Map: These are the Key Players — and Tensions — Involved in Corporate Innovation

“Alignment” is one of those words you hear a lot when people talk about innovation in big companies. If you can only get alignment with the business units, with IT, the CMO, the folks in legal…great things will happen.

But in any organization, there are plenty of dynamics that can prevent you from attaining that alignment. We wanted to explore those forces — and create a guide to dealing with them thoughtfully. So we partnered with XPLANE, the renowned “visual thinking” firm, to create the map of the corporate innovation ecosystem, below.

We asked many of our friends working in corporate innovation and R&D to discuss the challenges of getting people in the core business, innovation groups, the startup ecosystem, and the marketplace aligned. (No doubt some of what they told us will give you a smile, like the CFO always asking, “What’s the ROI?”) And we also developed some discussion questions that will get your team and its executive champions working toward knocking down barriers, creating new incentives for innovation, putting in place the right resources — and getting alignment.

You can download the PDF at right or below. There’s a lot of text and fine details, so we recommend printing it out on an 11×17 sheet of paper if you can …

There are two versions of the Corporate Innovation Ecosystem map available:

High-resolution PDF (2.2 MB; for crisp printing) | Low-resolution PDF (302 KB; for online viewing & emailing)

For access to additional templates, frameworks, strategy documents, and more, visit our resource center.


Our Next In-Person Event:
Startup Engagement: Best Practices for Large Organizations
Download PDF »
Season 2, Episode 7: Inside the Silicon Valley's Innovation Culture
Listen »