Today innovation seems everywhere. If not used by savvy marketers or your chill cousin working for a startup, you can find it in thousands of LinkedIn job titles of people who are close or far related to the subject (guilty as charged). More and more organisations are trying to implement one form or another of innovation practices. Some will work better than others. But there will be a point where innovating from the inside-in is not enough and you’ll hit a big fat brick wall of wasted time and effort.
As the world and technology is evolving so fast, it’s hard to keep up with it all by yourself.
Your solution will become less efficient or even obsolete, your customers will change their needs faster than you change your underwear and your employees will hit the max of their capabilities.
This is where multi-party innovation comes into the picture, you create ecosystems of like-minded people and organisations who work together on the future of your industry.
And there is a good reason for it. When done well, it can mean a positive change for your business, your customers and your employees.
So what are the several advantages of implementing multi-party innovation in your overall innovation strategy?
That’s right. We don’t start with the business advantages, we start at the source of innovation. Humans. People. Your employees and colleagues.
Nowadays with the millennials (born roughly between 1980 and 1996) being a large part of the workforce and Gen Z well on the way (born as from 1997), the expectations and needs of an average employee has changed a lot.
Being the first generations that are digitally connected, they are used to network on a different level, as well as being comfortable reaching out when they seek extra skills or capabilities. For them co-creating with others, even if these are considered competitors, comes more natural than ever before.
Because of this, multi-party innovation is nowadays a way of working that not only attracts new talent, but also allows you to keep your talent.
It will also answer to the flexibility and never-not-learning aspect that today are so highly valued by employees. And in the meantime the organisation will benefit from the entrepreneurial spirit that it will allow its employees.
Sharing knowledge and expertise with third parties will either way affect in the long run not only your employees, but also your company culture. Which again is nowadays important in the war of talent.
By allowing people to work on multi-party projects, you will not only create an open and innovative atmosphere, but also will foster the concept of creativity and ideation with management.
Also thanks to a leaner and more agile way of working, just like in-house innovation, turnaround time for your projects (from idea to execution) will be faster and more efficient, as the amount of time and resources spent is optimized.
One of the reasons why the world seems to move faster than its 107.226 km/h, is because of the ever evolving technology. Below illustration is a known one by many by now and the effect of the adoption of technology is accelerating as well.
So fast it’s hard to keep up with your in-house capabilities or own legacy. Just like any house or building, the foundation of any business should be stable and sturdy.
This should however not be a reason to stall you from adding more floors and continue growing your business.
There are of course several ways of acquiring the necessary technology and expertise, but collaborating with other parties in a project is a safe and fast way of testing the waters first.
And finally it will impact at the end the company’s bottom line. Not only will you have to use less resources, you will also be able to answer faster to the increased expectations and choices of your customers. You’ll even be able to open other markets you were not thinking of before. You’ll be able to answer complex challenges.
Basically, in the end your costs will go down, while your growth will be more sustainable.
Want to know more on why you should join a multi-party innovation project ?