Q&A

Innovation Leader regularly fields questions about corporate innovation from our members and poses them to our community of strategy, technology, and R&D leaders. Often, we use our Friday e-mail newsletter to share the latest question and gather responses. (If you’re not getting our newsletter, you can sign up here.)

Staffing Innovation Teams?

What…information might there be about innovation staffing? In-sourced vs. out-sourced? Types of roles/functions on innovation team?

Working with Startups after Acquisition?

“I’m looking for insights into how to work with a startup when they are bought out,” one member asks. “We…wonder if someone has insights they would be willing to share.” 

Advice for Horizon Three Innovation?

We asked the Innovation Leader community: “Who does [H3 innovation] well? Do you have best practices or process overviews on this front?” Get advice here…

Whose Approval do you Need to Spend Your Budget?

We asked the Innovation Leader community the following question: “What’s the top innovation issue you’re going to tackle in 2019?” Inside are a few of the best responses…

What’s Your Top Innovation Issue for 2019?

We asked the Innovation Leader community the following question: “What’s the top innovation issue you’re going to tackle in 2019?” Inside are a few of the best responses…

What Software Do You Use for Managing Ideas?

One member of the Innovation Leader community asked: “What software do you use for managing ideas — specifically, dealing with an idea backlog?” See the responses inside…

What Metrics Do You Track for Your Innovation Center?

We asked the Innovation Leader community: What metrics do you track to prove out the value of your innovation center? Here are some of their answers.

The Best Ways to Communicate Innovation Activities?

A member of the Innovation Leader community asked the following question: “What are some of the most effective ways to communicate what the innovation team is up to?”

Has Your Company Centralized Its Innovation Services?

We asked our community if they had centralized or harmonized innovation approaches into one umbrella department. Learn about their approaches…

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. 

What Rewards Have You Offered Employees for Developing an 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

Are There 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.

Do You Have a Cross-Functional Innovation Team?

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

How Can We Make the Case for Innovating in the Whitespace?

We asked our members, “How can we make the case for innovating in the whitespace, not just building things related to existing products?” Here are their answers…

Do You Charge Other Departments for Your Innovation Services?

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…

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…

Who Should be on Your Innovation Team?

We asked our community: How do you think about who should be on your innovation team? Here's a summary of the top answers...

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…

How Should You Budget for 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…

Five Practical Steps for Building Startup Partnerships

One member asks how to make relationships with startups and entrepreneurs successful. Michele McConomy from rocket space shares best practices…

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?

A Guidebook to Successful Hackathons

“I wonder if you have a kind of ‘guidebook’ or ‘top 10’ list of things to do to (a) get started; and (b) succeed.” Get the guidebook and best practices here…

Kicking Off 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…”

Structuring an Innovation Group for IoT

“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?” Get answers…

Expanding Crowdsourcing without Getting Overwhelmed

“We currently hold an annual crowdsourcing event… [W]e want to expand the event…but I’m not sure how people could watch even more ideas to vote on them…”

Q&A: Innovation Investment

“Any thoughts or guidance or framework on [innovation investment] would be much appreciated.” Get answers here…

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…”

Q&A: Employee Engagement Issues

“We’ve been working to instill a culture of risk-taking and innovation, and are butting up against employee engagement issues.”

Advice: Sorting Ideas to Focus on the Winners

What are the best approaches to sorting and prioritizing ideas so that you can focus resources on those with the highest potential? We’ve got input from executives at Kraft Foods, Allstate, Intuit, Brown Brothers Harriman, and more.

Advice: Should Innovation Teams Strive to Impact Revenue/Costs?

A new innovation leader in the utility industry asks: "Should our team aim to quantify the impact we have on revenues, or reducing costs, at our company?"

What’s the Right Relationship Between Innovation and Business Units?

What is the optimal relationship between an innovation/team group and the lines of business? Is there a ‘golden rule’ for how close or how far away it should be?

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