Unveiling the Top 3 Competencies of Corporate Innovators

Publication date: 31.08.23
Reading time: 5 minutes
Introduction to the problem

In today's rapidly changing world, businesses need to be constantly innovating in order to stay ahead of the competition. This means that corporate innovators are in high demand. These individuals possess a unique set of competencies that enable them to navigate the dynamic market environment, identify emerging opportunities, and spearhead innovative initiatives. This article explores the top three competencies that corporate innovators must possess, along with real-world cases that illustrate the significance of each competency.

The main challenges

Corporate innovators need to:
be able to think outside the box and come up with new and original ideas.
be willing to take risks in order to bring their ideas to life.
● be able to collaborate with others in order to get their ideas implemented.
However, this can be difficult in a corporate environment due to the need to conform to the status quo, a fear of failure, a lack of trust and communication.

Here are tips on top 3 competencies a corporate innovator can develop to achieve success in working with innovations:

1. Creativity

Creativity is the ability to think outside the box and come up with new and original ideas. Corporate innovators need to be able to think creatively in order to identify new opportunities and solve problems in new ways.

Creativity is a complex skill that can be developed over time. There are many different ways to practice creativity, such as brainstorming, journaling, and playing games. One way to practice creativity is to set aside time each day to brainstorm new ideas or to explore new possibilities. Another way to practice creativity is to get feedback from others. Sharing your ideas with others and getting their feedback can help you to identify potential problems with your ideas and to improve them.

Case study:

Google's 20% project system, also known as "20% time," was introduced in 2004 by then-CEO Larry Page. The goal of 20% time was to encourage creativity and innovation by giving employees the freedom to work on their own ideas, even if they were outside of their normal job duties.

The system was wildly successful, and some of the most popular Google products and services, such as Gmail, AdSense, and Google Maps, were all born out of 20% time. However, as Google grew larger, it became more difficult to track how employees were spending their time, and the company began to scale back the program.

Despite this, the spirit of 20% time still lives on at Google, and it continues to be a source of innovation for the company. In recent years, Google has introduced a number of new programs that encourage employees to take risks and pursue their own ideas, such as the "Innovation Time Off" program, which gives employees one week of paid time off to work on their own projects.

The success of Google's 20% project system shows that giving employees the freedom to explore their own ideas can be a powerful way to drive innovation. While the program may not be feasible for every company, it is a model that other businesses can learn from.

2. Risk-taking

Risk-taking is the willingness to take risks and experiment with new ideas. This is also a complex skill that can be developed over time. One way to develop risk-taking is to start small. Try taking small risks that you are comfortable with, and then gradually increase the size of the risks you take. Another way to develop risk-taking is to learn from your mistakes. When you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Don't let it discourage you from continuing to take risks.

Case study:

Netflix was originally a DVD-by-mail company, but in 2007, the company decided to move into streaming. This was a risky move, as streaming was still a new technology. However, Netflix's gamble paid off, and the company is now one of the most successful streaming services in the world.

There were a number of factors that made Netflix's move into streaming a risky decision. First, streaming was still a new technology, and there was no guarantee that it would catch on with consumers. Second, Netflix would have to compete with established streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime. Third, Netflix would have to invest heavily in content to attract subscribers.

Despite the risks, Netflix's move into streaming was a success. The company quickly became one of the most popular streaming services in the world, and it has continued to grow its subscriber base. Netflix's success is a testament to the company's willingness to take risks and its ability to adapt to change.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration is the ability to work effectively with others to achieve common goals. Corporate innovators need to be able to collaborate with others in order to get their ideas implemented.

Case study:

In 2016, Visa announced a new collaboration with blockchain startup Chain to develop Visa B2B Connect, a new blockchain-based solution for global B2B payments. The system is designed to be simple, fast, and secure, and it will offer participating financial institutions a consistent process for managing settlement through Visa's standard practices.

Visa's collaboration with Chain is a significant development in the world of finance and technology. The two companies have a shared vision of using blockchain technology to improve the speed, security, and transparency of financial transactions.

There are several advantages to this collaboration for both sides:

For Visa, it provides an opportunity to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology, such as improved security and efficiency. It also enables Visa to stay at the forefront of technological advancements in the financial sector. Additionally, the collaboration with Chain can help Visa to better understand and navigate the complexities of blockchain.

For Chain, this collaboration gives the startup an access to Visa's vast network of financial institutions. This will allow Chain to more easily deploy its blockchain-based solutions to a wider range of customers. Also the partnership with Visa gives Chain the credibility and trust of a leading financial institution. This will help Chain to attract new customers and partners.

Overall, the collaboration between Visa and Chain is a win-win for both companies. It is a clear sign that the financial industry is taking blockchain technology seriously, and it is likely to lead to further innovation in the years to come.

Here are some additional tips for becoming a corporate innovator:

● Be open to new ideas and perspectives. Don't be afraid to challenge the status quo.
● Be curious and ask questions. The more you learn, the better equipped you will be to innovate.
● Be persistent. Don't give up on your ideas, even if they don't seem feasible at first.


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Access to a comprehensive database of startups. Innotechnics has a database of over 60,000 startups in 15+ countries. This gives corporate innovators a wide range of potential partners to choose from.

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