Collaborative innovation occurs when two or more parties work together in different business aspects which include process improvement, creation of new products and services, enhancements to the supply chain, and solving business problems. There are multiple stakeholder groups within a business which can benefit from the implementation of collaborative innovation. These stakeholders include suppliers, distributors, clients, governmental agencies, and investors. The transfer of knowledge and sharing of resources can enhance the functionality of a collaborative innovation project. Technological advances help the innovative process because they can enhance communication by allowing employees access to information in real time.
The best organization structure for collaborative innovation is for the team to self-govern itself without the influence of outsiders such as managers, investors, and the board of directors. The use of brainstorming can help team members generate ideas faster. It is important for parties to work together to achieve common goals that benefit everyone. Collaborative innovation is imperative towards the economic growth of a corporation. Without innovation companies become stagnant because this function is critical to the process of bringing new products to the marketplace.
Seven steps that companies can follow when engaging in collaborative collaboration projects are:
Create shared goals and collaborative business strategy
Establish team dynamics including roles, protocols, communication strategies, and monitoring of collaborative environment
Implement inner coaching process to optimize the performance of team members
Develop key collaboration skills including active listening, dialogue, and conflict management
Develop productive and efficient relationship with the innovation team to accomplish the share goal of the project
Empower team members to make their own decisions
Maintain good relationship with key stakeholder groups
(“7 step collaboration project”, 2018).
Some of the training programs that should be used in collaborative collaboration projects include leadership training, training to handle relationship and emotions better, and development of strategic goals. Innovation and collaboration is often used in the business world to achieve process improvement at corporations. Often the best ideas for process improvement come from the factory workers because these individuals are engaged in the everyday operations of the firm. Using feedback mechanisms is a great way for management to obtain valid suggestions from its workers. It is also important for the lines of communication to be open among all stakeholders that participate in a collaborative innovation project.
The supply chain of a corporation serves one of the most important functions of the logistics of a company. The raw material and inventory of a business is obtained from its suppliers. Due to the importance of the supply chain it is imperative for managers to establish long term relationships with suppliers, distributors and transportation companies. The communication and dialogue between a company and its supply chain must be effective. Good communication can enhance the ability of a company to negotiate better terms, superior supervise, lower prices, and fosters collaboration. Organizing a supply chain for long term collaboration is very important.
Managers are responsible for establishing relationships with its supply chain and for igniting innovation within its supply chain and other function of the organization. Often collaborative innovation projects with supply chain firms do not work because companies do not utilize a sequence of steps to guide these efforts. Four steps that can be taken to establish effective collaboration and long-term relations with suppliers are:
Collaborate in areas in which both partners can benefit mutually
Implement the optimal benefit sharing model
Choose partners based on capabilities, strategic goals and value potential
Invest in infrastructure and human capital
(Benavides, Eskinazis, Swan, 2018).
Creative destruction is a phrase that refers to the process of making radical changes in a company from within to alter the economic structure based on incorporating innovation into the business. The concept of age of discontinuity gained popularity in the 21st century as major changes occurred in the economy, society, and political landscape based on the proliferation of information technology. The third phrase, “only the paranoid succeeds” is based on the point of view that in business companies must be aware of its surrounding and marketplace to monitor the competition closely to unsure your firm outperforms others in different business aspects including innovation and new product creation.
A&P a former giant in the food industry had to file for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and downsize its operation by closing over 100 stores to ensure the company did not seize to exist. Other companies within its industry such as Wal-Mart adapted better to the changing times by applying technological advances to its supply chain and by advertising its business in a more effective way. Consequently, the profitability of the organization went down. It is going to be hard for A&P to recoup the market share it lost to its competitors even if the firm becomes profitable once again. In business when a company loses a large portion of its market share to competitors it becomes hard to recover the ground lost. It requires an extraordinary effort or the creation of a new innovative product to bring back the customers that left. Since A&P is a grocery store the possibility of creating a new innovative product to differentiate itself is virtually non-existent.
Walmart currently is the market leader in the retail industry in the United States and abroad. To ensure that this firm does not fall into the same predicament as A&P the company can implement sound business strategies and practices. Walmart must aggressively advertise its business using various platforms including television, radio, press, internet, and mobile. Another strategy the firm should use is establishing long term relationships with its suppliers and other vendors in its supply chain. The continuous utilization of a low-cost strategy can help maintain loyalty among its clientele. Walmart should increase the utilization of information technology and implementation of innovative processes within its supply chain to achieve greater efficiency. To maintain its leadership in the retail industry Walmart must ensure it invests in its human capital by providing training and development opportunities for its employees, while at the same time enhancing the corporate culture of the firm to increase employee retention rate.
A mutual trait that and IBM, Newmont Gold, Apple, A&P, J&J, Toyota, 3M and Apple have is that these firms focused on innovation to achieve success. Toyota in the 1970’s applied new innovative processes such as lean manufacturing and just in time inventory to improve its efficiency. An innovative product released in 2007 that changed the business trajectory of Apple was the world first smartphone, the iPhone. The creation of the iPhone represented a new product line for the company that provided the firm with a new income stream that helped improve the overall sales of the organization. In 2016 Apple sold over 211 million units of iPhones. IBM is a company that constantly uses innovative collaboration when it provides business solutions to its customers. These efforts often use multicultural teams located in different parts in the world to work jointly in projects. The use of innovative collaboration has incremented among successful corporations since companies realize that creating synergies with other companies in collaborative projects saves both money and time. In the future the use of collaborative innovation will continue to proliferate itself in the business world.
- “7 Step Collaboration Process” (2018). Collaborativeoutcomesinc. Retrieved from http://www.collaborativeoutcomesinc.com/7-step-collaboration-process/
- Benavides, L., Eskinazis, V., Swan, D. (2018). Six steps of successful supply chain collaboration. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/practice-clients/operations/six-steps-to-successful-supply-chain-collaboration