Q&A: Has Your Company Centralized Its Innovation Services?

We asked the Innovation Leader community if they had centralized or harmonized innovation approaches, such as agile or lean, into one umbrella department. Learn more about their approaches.

Q&A: Are You Developing a Strategy for Amazon Alexa?

We asked the Innovation Leader community if they were developing products, strategies, or solutions for Amazon Alexa. All of them said “Yes.” Read on to find out what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Q&A: What Rewards Have You Offered Employees for Developing a Proof of Concept or MVP?

We asked corporate executives how their companies reward employees who develop a proof of concept or MVP. Cash, stock, and recognition were among the answers.

Q&A: Are There Executive Recruiters Who Help You Hire for Innovation Roles?

We recently asked members of the IL community if they used executive recruiters to find talent for innovation roles. See which strategies and recruiters they recommended.

Q&A: Do You Have a Cross-Functional Innovation Team?

In last week’s Q&A email, we asked a question from an Innovation Leader member about cross-functional teams that focus on the front end of the innovation process. Find out how members of the IL Community responded.

Southwest Airlines President: ‘If You Don’t Like Change, You’re Going to Hate Extinction’

Southwest is the country’s biggest airline, with 55,000 employees serving 115 million passengers annually. We spoke with President Tom Nealon about how the airline is working to address customer and employee pain points.

Q&A: How Can We Make the Case for Innovating in the Whitespace?

In last week’s Q&A email, we asked a question from a member of the IL community, which states, “How can we make the case for innovating in the whitespace, not just building things related to existing products?” Below are two of our most interesting answers from those who responded anonymously to the question. Have a question you want answered? Send …

FAQ: Your Corporate Innovation Questions, Answered

Innovation Leader regularly fields questions about corporate innovation and poses them to our community of strategy, technology, and R&D leaders. Here’s a collection of questions we’ve answered recently.

Q&A: Do You Charge Other Departments for Your Innovation Services?

Last week, we asked our community members: “Does your team charge other groups in the company for your services? If you don’t charge, why not?” Here’s a summary of their advice…

The Top 10 Innovation Issues Big Company Leaders are Tackling in 2018

We asked our community: What are your top-of-mind innovation issues for 2018? Here’s a summary of their answers, and a list of their favorite innovation resources.

Q&A: How do You Collaborate With, or Acquire, Startups?

We asked our community: How do you collaborate with, or acquire, startups without “killing the butterfly?” Here’s a summary of the top answers…

Q&A: Who Should be on Your Innovation Team?

We asked our community: How do you think about who should be on your innovation team — what kind of roles, and where do you find them? Here’s a summary of the top answers…

Q&A: Who Should We Be Benchmarking Against?

Last week, we asked the Innovation Leader community about how they approach benchmarking. Here are their answers/advice/insights…

Q&A: How Should you Budget for the Launch of Your Innovation Program?

Last week, we asked the Innovation Leader community about how they budgeted for the launch of their innovation programs. Here are their answers/advice/insights…

Q: What are the best practices for developing new business models?

To answer our latest subscriber question on business model innovation, we turned to Saul Kaplan, author of “The Business Model Innovation Factory,” who advocated companies playing offense, not defense. “Companies need to establish the capability to do ongoing R&D for new business models the same way they do R&D for new products and technologies.”

Q&A: Five practical steps for building startup partnerships

Our latest Q&A comes from a subscriber seeking best practices or guidance on how to make relationships with startups and entrepreneurs successful. To answer the question, we recruited Innovation Leader partner Michele McConomy, whose firm physically seats multinationals alongside disruptive startups.

Q&A: Elements of lean innovation

We’re about to embark on a “lean innovation” journey at our company, and I was wondering if you’d seen any studies or best practices that large corporations should consider?

Q&A: A guidebook to successful hackathons

“I see you’ve written a lot about hackathons, and have some great case studies from companies on how they run theirs. But I wonder if you have a kind of ‘guidebook’ or ‘top 10’ list of things to do to (a) get started; and (b) succeed.”

Reader question answered: How to define the innovation portfolio

We’re a very large, well-known consumer products company, and our innovation portfolio is actually quite complex, as we have many different types of initiatives included, all at vastly different stages. In fact, we often debate whether certain projects should be included at all. Do you (or does anyone else including your partners) have any best practices related to defining what should be included, what should be left out, how they should be categorized or grouped, etc.?

Enforcing candor: How Ford, Pixar, others innovate with brutal honesty

It’s very common for our innovation initiatives and projects to just muddle along, because no one is willing to step up and be honest and candid about what might be wrong with the idea. Do you have any thoughts on how other companies have brought more candor and honesty into their innovation programs?

Q&A: How to start education, training initiatives on innovation?

We’re in the process of starting an educational / training initiative around innovation, and could use some guidance on where to start. Is there a typical starting point for these programs? We’re a relatively big company (15,000+ employees) and are struggling with whether we begin in marketing, product management, product development, executive management, etc. Any thoughts or best practices or the progression / trajectory of such programs?

Q&A: Structuring an innovation group for the “Internet of Things”

We’re a $1 billion+ physical products company that lacks software expertise; although we have some in-house, I wouldn’t say we’re “Google-esque” in our mastery of software development. Do any of your members or partners have any thoughts on how to think about the integration process re: “smart devices” or “the Internet of Things”?

Q&A: Expanding crowdsourcing without getting overwhelmed

We currently hold an annual crowdsourcing event for the technical services division of our company. This year, we want to expand the event outside of tech services, but I’m not sure how people could watch even more ideas to vote on them.  How have others addressed this challenge?

Q&A: Innovation investment

We’re a $17 billion public company with lots of research and data around R&D, but I wouldn’t say it’s translating well to our corporate innovation and growth strategy. We have a bit of a gap there. I know this is complex, and every enterprise is different, but any thoughts or guidance or framework on the matter would be much appreciated.

Q&A: Innovation software

We’ve got what I’d call a first-generation legacy PLM [Product Lifecycle Management] system that we’re not really using or getting value from.

Q&A: Employee engagement issues

Though we’re a $10+ billion company, I wouldn’t say that innovation is in our bloodstream. We’ve been working to instill a culture of risk-taking and innovation, and are butting up against employee engagement issues.