Open innovation is the way to go for corporations in the 21st century. If you are thinking of innovating on your own, you need to reconsider your priorities.
Of course, it is an investment and you have to incur costs in working with a technology startup.
Most corporation assume it is an expensive endeavor hence overestimate the budget.
The systems you are hoping to integrate into your business services have to run on compatible equipment.
While this should be part of your budget, you can go an extra mile for the best quality and elegant features on respective electronics to boost innovation.
Changing the floor plan, providing new computer monitors for all employees, and comfortable office chairs are some of the ways to invest in physical infrastructure with surplus money.
The will change outlook of your company.
Physical appearance and general feeling in the office should correspond.
If staff members are using smartphones provided by the company, it would be a great option to spend your surplus on upgrading their devices.
While remote access depends on structure of your business, convenience and efficiency within the company is crucial for business success, especially if your innovation involves AI engines.
Equip the marketing department with backup batteries, off-site data storage, and other tools that will help them deal with eventualities.
Marketing is a crucial aspect of any corporation irrespective of your business niche; it is wise to enhance the logistics by investing in proper tools.
Photos are crucial to growth process as well as marketing.
Today, hiring a professional photographer is not a big deal or not as costly.
Be sure to take quality headshots of your staff, if possible highlight your new equipment and innovation strategies.
Quality company photos go a long way (especially when it comes time to make content, a later note).
Old versions and outdated software packages are part of what you should prioritize with your surplus. It might be working negatively on your employees’ motivation.
Your employees’ creativity might also be hindered with old versions, upgrading helps in unlocking potentials.
Apart from the end year bonus, you can set aside money to develop a performance-based incentive program.
Identify merit areas and offer relevant rewards to boost employee motivation.
Motivation is key to individual performance.
After identifying areas of opportunity and risks hence your innovation, it is time to find out new market opportunities.
Irrespective of your business niche, you cannot exhaust market opportunities in the technology industry.
Find out new ways that AI can boost part of your business.
Human resource development
Innovation with unqualified employees won’t work.
Invest in education and conferences for training the staff. Even webinars, books and yearly subscriptions to innovation magazines will work in a pinch.
In your new market research, identify opportunity areas and new features in the innovation that employees need to familiarize with.
The effectiveness of AI systems needs familiarity by operators, for example. This requires training.
Marketing is inevitable in business. In the digital era, blogging is the most effective and efficient way of reaching to the global market.
Use the surplus to hire experienced bloggers to boost rating and visibility of your corporation.
(and generate content)
While professional bloggers will advise on the nature of content that works depending on your market and business environment, you need to be specific with content.
Showcase studies on the startups you've worked with, the results and what steps were taken after the engagement was complete.
Content on the company’s website or blog should be relevant and timely to a target audience.
Plus, as an element of altruism, startups get a HUGE benefit from having a large corporation write, publish and promote their fledgling brand.
Research and specify the target audience then customize content in this regard.
Content can be in form of messages, videos, or photos.
Suitability of any of this mode is dependent on your target audience and products or services.
After developing relevant content on your products, promotion is crucial.
Utilize online platforms including social media to spread word of innovation and capabilities of your corporation.
Spend the surplus on digital advertising.
Successful innovation marks a milestone in most companies. After working for long, it is wise to involve the community.
This is irrespective of your company structure and products. It can be a monetary donation, inviting the community for exhibition and free services or rewarding loyalty.
Giving back to the community enhances company image.
Besides, employees get a chance to interact informally with customers and explain the products at a friendly and easy tone. It is also a chance for employees to bond.
Consistent work all the days of the year is not only healthy for the body but also the mind.
Besides the end of year party, appreciate yourself and employees on the efforts that made the innovation and integration process successful.
Be easy, at least for a weekend, splash the surplus to this and let the new week begin with motivation and vigor.
After successful open innovation, the leftover budget should be used wisely to enhance the corporation in these creative ways.
About the Author: Simon Hitchens is a startup enthusiast, columnist, researcher and educator living in Chicago, IL. He dreams of someday living somewhere warm and writing a novel -- in ink.
About Gearbox: Gearbox.AI provides the leading corporate-startup engagement solutions designed to help open innovation leaders, corporate development professionals, and strategic partnership executives master the art and science identifying and aligning with what's next.
Through a unique combination of a membership community, AI-driven software, and cutting-edge expertise, Gearbox is focused on helping corporations keep pace in an ever-changing digital world and providing startups with new avenues for growth. The result for modern innovators is unprecedented agility, risk management, and superior results. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO with offices in Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Gearbox serves as a pivotal partner to large corporations, government organizations and a champion to innovative startups.
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