Innovation management can be considered as a combination of innovation processes that entails exchange and learning to offer different innovative solutions. Successful exploitation of knowledge and ideas in an organization is considered crucial in being able to bring new ideas, improved processes, and operations (Birkinshaw, Hamel and Mol, 2008). This increases the efficiency of the business thus improving its profitability. Thus innovations play a big role in the success of an organization. Hidalgo and Albors (2008) increasing significance of knowledge has changed the way firms operate and compete since the main changes in knowledge and idea have become an economic driver.
TECHSOL, a high tech startup is planning to launch their first service in the company which is social media monitoring and analytics platform for businesses that need to understand how their customers talk about their brands. Since the company wants to ensure that it captures value from innovative brand watching service it is important to strategize on the management of creativity and innovation process within the company.
Management of innovation that involves a combination of change managing and innovation practices will enable the organization to unite through common goals and practices (Birkinshaw, Hamel and Mol, 2008). For effective management of creativity and innovation for the high tech start-up, collaborations with external actors will enable the TECHSOL to remain innovative in the future. Therefore, this plan will suggest the best tools for, practices, methods, and benefits of adopting them in the innovation management plan.
Collaborations with external actors that will enable TECHSOL to innovate in the future
Today, firms have highly relied on open innovation nearly in every step of their operation from process, discovery, and delivery through some external collaborations. Oke (2007) found out that open innovation has been demonstrated to have an impact on a firm’s innovative output having substantive benefits such as risk reduction, knowledge sharing, and increased development. Ideally, open innovation is referred as the purposive flows of understanding and ideas that hasten the core innovation and enlarge the market for outward reliance on advancement.
Steiner (2009) stated that open innovation assumes that a company should rely on external knowledge and ideas as well as core concepts and utilize the core paths to market as firms consider innovation and advancement. TECHSOL should utilize both outbound and inbound practices. Ideally, the inbound innovation considered as inventing firms establishing associations with other individuals or organizations to acquire competencies and understanding to expand on their advancement. On the other hand, outbound is concerned with innovating firm establishing links with other individuals or organizations to exploit the technologies and internal ideas and expand their markets. Therefore, this kind of collaboration is potentially beneficial to the partners due to the amount of knowledge that one would acquire to make a comparative investment.
Future innovation in TECHSOL (New services and new business models)
Chesbrough and Appleyard (2007) found out that under the open innovation it is evident that there a significant amount of information flow into the organization from the external actors that will boost cooperation in projects with the external actors and lead the incorporation and purchase of external technologies. This will lead to new and improved/ new business models and services. Therefore, through open innovation, TECHSOL will have numerous sources of knowledge and concepts that can be tapped and relied on to take the innovation management of the organization to a better level. Considerably, Shoshani and Braun Hazi (2007) found out the creativity of the online community is essential in improving innovation within a firm. Therefore, the creativity of the online community will be used in finding ideas about new business services as well as business models. With regards to this, open innovation will encourage the organization to link with outside sources thus benefiting from involvement in new business opportunities and technologies.
Open Innovation practices
The inbound practices are of higher value as compared to the outbound practices. The inbound practices are substitutive to the R&D activities while the outbound is complementary to the firm’s internal development. TECHSOL will rely on Joint ventures and sourcing (asking users to create, screen or test the ideas. Joint ventures mean that there are new business entities that are created to offer the company an opportunity to gain access to technologies and markets. This is one of the effective ways through which TECHSOL can share their internal inventions not being used within the company in order to contribute to other companies outsourcing R&D efforts.
On the other hand, the company will be able to acquire inventions from the joint venture to contribute to the company’s innovation. This is important because it will benefit both parties. Sourcing is another essential OI practice that can increase knowledge and ideas available from the users. In this case, TECHSOL will ask the users to test their services and offer feedback and reviews thus offering information that can be capitalized as ideas and increased knowledge on best and improved practices.
Importance of open innovation
According to Zhao, Sun, and Xu (2016), the preeminent way to have appropriate ideas is to rely on many ideas. Therefore, suggesting to open up the innovation practices to external actors and employees will offer a significant number of advantages to TECHSOL in terms of innovative solutions. Being a market watching service, there is a need to save time. The time for product development from the first step of product launch has become increasingly important due to increased market competitiveness and short life cycles. Thus, open innovation is essential in time-saving since it reduces the time to market by various activities to external actors in the sense of labor division. For instance, TECHSOL can develop cooperation with another company and in this way, reducing the development time through partnership to enable the firms to react more flexibly and quickly to new market requirements and new technologies. The tasks needed to implicit knowledge for the customers can be outsourced thus reducing the time trial and error procedures thus gradual approaches to optimal solutions thus meeting their needs. Herstad et al., (2008) have a similar opinion that startups and small-medium sized firms are expected to gain much from open innovation to their intrinsic limited capabilities thus can improve their innovation capabilities.
Steiner, (2009) found out that collaborative innovation is a condition of innovation due to incremental of business processes and services. In line with this argument, the increase of new to market factors is considered a central advantage since it is the perceiving uniqueness of innovation to the consumer. Ideally, TECHSOL services will be developed further thus creation of a functional added value. Relatively, open innovation will be created with increased involvement of external actors and users who open up new markets and create new functionalities. Open innovation activities are integrated to become part of the organization strategy for new business development. The need to connect to open innovation to company strategy is essential in new business development and the creation of improved/innovative services. Thus open innovation is essential in joint strategizing process for TECHSOL.
Through the integration of innovative customers, the market acceptance will be increased significantly thus lowering the risk of undesirable developments (Alexy and Dahlander, 2013). Relatively, open innovation takes innovation management to a higher level through numerous sources of knowledge and ideas. For instance, the integration of the internet community into the development process will facilitate increased creativity due to new ideas for innovative services and new business models. However, on the contrary, the study of Van de Vrande et al 2009 reveals that open innovation would lead to a likelihood of revealing material that is not proposed for sharing. However, TECHSOL can still use creative ideas to develop better brand-watching services that will facilitate enhanced interaction with customers to understand their demands. In this way, they are able to get instant customer conversation which can be offered to the clients about their brands increasing the significance of their services.
Herstad, (2008) found that open innovation involves cross-linking of know-how and acquaintance from different external actors and industries which brings about change of perspectives. For instance, solutions that are already used successfully in other companies can be transferred to enhance innovativeness in TECHSOL. This will make it easier to develop solutions and ideas that few individuals are aware of. Thus open innovation is the answer o changing customer needs and market conditions for TECHSOL. This is because the company will easily access broad knowledge and ideas thus offering faster, better and cheaper solutions as compared to others.
From this perspective, TECHSOL should devote to collaborations (Open innovation) in backing and enabling innovation and control of processes. The contribution of ideas and knowledge in this kind of innovation management is achieved through reduced transaction costs between the external actors and the firm. The senior management is therefore devoted to investigating the imminent and to realize the wants and requirements of the market, the competitive business, and resources available at their disposal. Collaborative innovation will enable the firm to acquire information and ideas from different players outside and within the business that will add to the development and creation of new services, business processes, and solutions. This will include the customers as well as other stakeholder’s consultants and agencies. Ideally, through this kind of innovation management practice, the firm will be able to promote open forms of benefit and collaboration through having access to various knowledge and capabilities thus enhancing and accelerating the innovation process. As a startup, the company will be able to partner with other external actors complementing each other and having an advantage of different resources and perspectives.
Alexy, O., & Dahlander, L. (2013). Managing open innovation. The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management, 442-461.
Birkinshaw, J., Hamel, G., & Mol, M. J. (2008). Management innovation. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 825-845.
Chesbrough, H. W., & Appleyard, M. M. (2007). Open innovation and strategy. California management review, 50(1), 57-76.
Herstad, S. J., Bloch, C., Ebersberger, B., & van de Velde, E. (2008). Open innovation and Globalization: Theory, evidence, and implications. Vision: EraNet, 19(9), 1-96.
Hidalgo, A., & Albors, J. (2008). Innovation management techniques and tools: a review from theory and practice. R&d Management, 38(2), 113-127.
Oke, A. (2007). Innovation types and innovation management practices in service companies. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 27(6), 564-587.
Shoshani, Y., & Braun Hazi, R. (2007). The use of the Internet environment for enhancing creativity. Educational Media International, 44(1), 17-32.
Steiner, G. (2009). The Concept of Open Creativity: Collaborative Creative Problem Solving for Innovation Generation-a Systems Approach. Journal of Business & Management, 15(1).
Van de Vrande, V., De Jong, J. P., Vanhaverbeke, W., & De Rochemont, M. (2009). Open innovation in SMEs: Trends, motives and management challenges. Technovation, 29(6-7), 423-437.
Zhao, S., Sun, Y., & Xu, X. (2016). Research on open innovation performance: a review. Information Technology and Management, 17(3), 279-287.