A New Front End of Innovation?


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The front end of innovation process has always been “fuzzy”. There are no clear definitions and more often than not corporate innovation units work hard to improve this important phase of innovation as they are not fully satisfied with their current processes.

Right now, there is so much change going on that impacts the design and implementation of front end of innovation processes. Specifically, I see three things that have a significant impact. They are:

External contributions: Open innovation and crowd-sourcing initiatives bring more diversity and opportunities to an innovation process. This is a good thing, but be careful as this also makes the innovation process much more complex. If this is not addressed in the very early stages it will have a significant, negative impact later on.

Social media tools and services: Many companies are just beginning to understand open innovation and yet they have to look into another thing that is very different from their traditional ways of working. Nevertheless, corporate innovation units need to embrace social media tools and services as they already play a big role when it comes to the front end of innovation. Check this post: Social Media for Innovation Brings More Questions Than Answers

Idea management systems: Positive development! Service providers have really stepped up in recent years and the systems are now very powerful and yet easy to use. This goes for the front end (what idea contributors see whether they are employees or external) as well as for the back end (what hosts/administrators see). This means that corporate innovation units can minimize time spend on IT systems allowing them to focus on what really matters; identifying and developing the right ideas.

Overall, I think we are headed towards a new kind of front end of innovation process that will be even more changing and challenging. Perhaps this is just another sign on how business is changing in general.

Let me know what you think.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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