A new way to involve employees
Since the very first idea box, collaborative innovation practice has come a long way and many initiatives are being developed. Nowadays, businesses do not hesitate to open their innovation strategy to respond better to company challenges.
Innovation has become an opportunity to mobilize collective intelligence, within the company or outside of it, from employees, clients, suppliers, subcontractors to every partners. By doing so, a business adapts itself to its stakeholders by fully involving them in its core strategy, and it transforms it into a collaborative, imaginative and creative strategy.
According to an Innov’Acteurs study, 76% of the companies chose to implicate their internal staff in their collaborative innovation strategy.
When it comes to internal collaborative innovation, there are numerous practices : collaborative platforms, creativity training, hackathon, organization of collaborative innovation trophy … At the end of 2009, according to the Observatoire du Management de l’Innovation – BearingPoint, 75 % of large companies had implemented one or many initiatives involving employees.
The SNCF group stands as an example to be followed in this area : it established a network of 250 facilitators to stimulate innovation within the company, and even designed a system that allows every SNCF agent to alert the company of any malfunction that would affect travellers. The company also organized a hackathon for developers – professionals or amateurs – employees of SNCF, to imagine new apps enhancing traveller’s access to information.
Open up external ideas to suit the market needs better
If the concept of collaborative innovation is more about mobilizing inner resources, then it is also interesting to put up external actions, involving clients, schools, local authorities, research labs …
Whether it aims to make a consumer panel in order to test a product’s prototype before introducing it on the market or engaging clients more directly in new products design process, as Oxylane group does with its sport’s article co-creation platform OpenOxylane, businesses no longer hesitate to open their doors up and give a more strategic role to external resources.
Collaborative innovation strategies involving third-parties are made easier by specific tools depending on the user and its goal. You may read more about it on our article about collaborative innovation platforms .
Collaborative Innovation became a leverage for competitiveness
If the development of a collaborative innovation strategy induces more more risk taking by encouraging every idea to be expressed, it also proved to have positive impact on companies that adopt them.
As reported by Innov’acteurs/Inergie in a 2011 study, 67% of the employees deem collaborative innovation process motivating. Similarly, researches led by the Association pour le développement de l’innovation participative ( association for the development of collaborative innovation) stressed that organizations that adopted such initiatives have seen their productivity increase dramatically, their defective product rates pushed down as was employee absenteeism.
Behind collaborative innovation lies a business transformation initiative but also a change in its career, management, and behavior with third-parties.
Picture courtesy of the NewYorker