Benefits of Implementing an Innovation Ecosystem Model
Have you heard that the next big innovation in air travel is completely transparent planes? Although it seems like a weird idea, we don't really see that one taking off. So now that the comedy show is over and we have your attention, we want to talk about how important the innovation ecosystem model is for your business.
The innovation ecosystem model has been around for a while, but it’s gained renewed popularity as of late. Business leaders are realizing that cross-company cooperation and collaboration have an important place in their industries—and they’re finding that they’re becoming more innovative than ever.
Even the most innovative entrepreneur doesn’t always have the answers. Unless of course you are Elon, he seems to have them all. You need a network of diverse innovative individuals where the best ideas and solutions can emerge. You need an innovation ecosystem.
The innovation ecosystem model provides a place for communities of innovative people with a diverse range of values, visions, and ideas to co-create new ideas and ventures. Today we’ll look at the basics of innovation ecosystems, their benefits, and how to ensure you’re getting the most out of yours.
What is the Innovation Ecosystem Model?
An innovation ecosystem is a network of individuals from different organizations that join forces to share experiences and expertise in the pursuit of innovative solutions. They facilitate the flow of information and resources within and between organizations, helping transform ideas into reality.
An innovation ecosystem makes knowledge and resources more accessible to everyone. It allows individuals with innovative ideas to connect with others who can provide advice, experience, or feedback.
What Are the Benefits of the Innovation Ecosystem Model?
When set up correctly, an innovation ecosystem can provide real, tangible benefits.
Shorter Project Timelines
An ecosystem of experts can help you avoid wasting time with ideas that aren’t viable, letting you focus on the ones that are. You can weed out bad ideas quickly with access to the right knowledge, best practices, and experience. Good ideas can then be connected to the people within the organization who know how to make them a reality.
Every type of organization has strengths and weaknesses. Large companies may have access to more internal resources and a larger talent pool, but they’re also prone to falling into conventional thinking habits. Innovation often comes more easily to startups and small companies that aren’t tied down by years of standard procedures. In addition, an innovation ecosystem can bring in perspectives from other industries and even other countries. The more diversity of thought you can bring together, the more potential there is for dynamic new ideas.
Joining forces with like-minded innovators always seems to spark growth. By generating better ideas and connecting them with the right people, organizations create new jobs, investment opportunities, and product lines—and with the expertise of an innovation ecosystem at your back, missteps are avoided, and ideas get implemented quickly and efficiently letting your company grow.
An innovation ecosystem also facilitates better communication in the organization. Part of setting up an innovation ecosystem is defining the roles, areas of expertise, relationships, and communication methods of those involved and mapping this information so individuals know where to go when they have questions, problems, or ideas. This helps to avoid duplication of work and keeps everyone in the loop.
What Makes a Strong Innovation Ecosystem?
An innovation ecosystem works when it generates ideas and results emerge from them. Here’s how to make sure that happens.
Cooperation over Competition
Business as we know it is based on competition. That can be a good thing, but it’s important to remember innovation isn’t a zero-sum game. In a strong innovation ecosystem, everyone benefits. Positive changes at one organization provide valuable experience that other members of the ecosystem can learn from. In this way, innovation ripples through the entire network, and everyone grows together.
Diversify Your Network
Fundamentally, an innovation ecosystem depends on the people it’s made up of. So, continually expand your ecosystem with innovators that have diverse backgrounds and perspectives to encourage fresh ideas. For example, it should include upper-level managers, both experienced and entry-level employees, external consultants, and people from various industries.
Active Information Flow
An innovation ecosystem is not just a bunch of suits hanging around speculating about the next big thing. It’s critical that the information shared in the ecosystem is actually put to use. You must have a process in place to pipeline ideas from one phase to the next quickly and efficiently.
It sounds obvious, but it’s easier said than done. The innovation ecosystem needs to be structured and well-defined but not so rigidly structured that they obstruct creative thinking. You’ll always be adding new ideas, systems, and members to your innovation ecosystem. This process should be seamless to get the most benefit without extra work.
Implementing the Innovation Ecosystem Model with rready
rready's innovation ecosystem is a place where professionals, experts, coaches, and entrepreneurs come together to share their ideas and experiences. Being part of the innovation ecosystem means having instant access to experts in almost anything, all from organizations throughout the KICKBOX community. It's a community of badass innovators sharing their experiences from KICKBOX projects and exchanging learnings, ideas, and advice.
rready has been helping organizations build innovative, supportive work environments for years. We can guide you through implementing the innovation ecosystem model, creating a culture that will continuously drive productivity, growth, and employee engagement. Give your team the tools for successful innovation. If you're rready to motivate your employees and transform your business, contact us today.Get started today