Today, many businesses have entered the “innovation imperative” — an executive mandate for the company to launch the next wave of innovation in their industry, all while maintaining and improving business with their current customers.
I work on a team at Epsilon tasked with corporate innovation within our agency services discipline. Across the agency, our innovation team is charged with leveraging research and data in all its shapes, sizes and types to figure out what makes consumers tick so we can help our clients connect with them through smarter marketing and more effective creative. For example, we’ve recently introduced machine learning as a new accelerant to our data-infused creative process.
Innovation really is key for any company seeking to proactively thwart disruption to their business model, operations or products.
Successful companies look to the future rather that sit idly by as easy prey for startups and competitors.
The Corporate Innovation Imperative, the latest Crowd Companies report from Jeremiah Owyang & Jaimy Szymanski, examines the distinct ways corporations are maturing to overcome innovation challenges. According to the report, there are five distinct maturity phases that corporations navigate when implementing innovation initiatives.
5 Phases of Corporate Innovation Maturity
During the maturation period, innovation requires top-down executive support to grow into a mature or advanced innovative corporation. While grassroots support is an effective catalyst, executive support is essential in spreading a culture of innovation, approving budgetary allocation and increasing innovation headcount.
During program rollout, it’s critical to include cross-departmental constituents to smooth the path to acceptance and adoption internally.
Success of innovation teams depends on internal alignment and support of key stakeholders that will move the program through to implementation.
As companies mature, they begin to clarify what core innovation goals they seek to accomplish — often settling on goals related to product, operations, customer experience or business model.
4 Areas of Corporate Innovation
To start, companies typically build their innovation ability by approaching one or two innovation goals separately.
As companies mature in innovation, their programs will evolve to fulfill all four innovation goals — serving as the beating heart of the organization.