How to Collaborate With External Stakeholders in Innovation

Open innovation is defined as “a situation where an organization doesn’t just rely on their own internal knowledge, sources, and resources for innovation but also uses multiple external sources”. In a modern business landscape, embracing it can be the key to identifying winning innovations.

While two-in-three companies cite innovation as a vital feature of their ongoing success, many restrict themselves by innovating strictly within the boundaries of their organizations. Here’s how yours can support its employees through open innovation and gaining outside support.

Facilitate collaboration between different departments

The first type of collaboration to consider is intracompany collaboration, which essentially unites all departments to innovate from their collective knowledge. Truly innovative companies focus on establishing a company-wide buy-in, and the bottom-up approach shown by Swisscom is a great example of how to achieve it through tools like KICKBOX Intrapreneurship.

It’s important to create a psychologically safe environment where employees at all levels have a voice and do not have to step through multiple hoops to be heard. Likewise, there should be some flexibility for them to work on innovations when they are in a creative mindset. Cloud-based connections and real-time feedback will further support intracompany collaborations. 

Furthermore, it is an ideal starting point that will encourage your organization to consider other forms of open innovation. 


Collaborate with customers

The goal of any innovation is to boost your bottom line, and this is achieved by engaging prospective clients and getting them excited about the products. Collaborating with them not only gives them a voice but additionally encourages their active participation. Even when you don’t use the suggested ideas, it may spark creative ideas from your employees.

However, customers are advocates of the brand and know what they want. The My Starbucks Idea saw the coffee company ask consumers for their ideas and resulted in the birth of several winning innovations. If this type of open innovation can work for a global organization like them, it can work for your business too. If a loyal client has an idea for a product they’d love, it’s likely others would respond well.

This form of public open innovation can be facilitated by your website, social media, and other channels.


Tap into the knowledge of external experts

Gaining input from external sources is another highly effective way to generate new ideas. Consultants and other experts can view your business with fresh eyes to highlight concepts capable of solving your current problems. The new perspective will also see your organization’s USPs and think about how to build upon its existing ideas.

Meanwhile, through the KICKBOX Intrapreneurship peer community, organizations can collaborate with numerous other companies. Forming mutually beneficial partnerships celebrates the idea that multiple heads are better than one. Sometimes, it may be possible to actively work together in a brand partnership. In others, simply receiving some additional knowledge from an outside party is enough to spearhead new ideas. 

Open collaboration will generally yield better results. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from it, call the rready team to arrange a demo today.

Contact us today