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Collaborative Innovation, A Good Idea For Your Firm ?

According to this recent article of La Tribune, companies are increasingly adopting collaborative innovation. It has even become one of the main trends this year. Let’s be honest, the name is appealing. But, what is it exactly ? And how to implement it efficiently ?

Collaborative innovation, a management technique

collaborative innovation with manager

Generate commitment to your structure

Collaborative innovation is mainly a management concept. It allows, within the firm, to go from the simple idea, to the effective implementation of it.

It can be achieved several ways :

  • Putting first the Happiness at Work. Effectively, the expectations of employees regarding their comfort in the workplace have been significantly increasing. The competition between employers is strong. One way to stand out of the mass ? Invest, this way your employees will be the better-off within the market.
  • Consultative management : it is more and more supported by managers, because employees’ initiatives play a big part in it. But, it is not easy to set up. Going around the table once a year is not enough.

Anne-Sophie Chevasson, in charge of management at Biscuits Poults, summarize very effectively what consultative management is about (in an interview for Entreprendre.fr) :

“we do not apply a model, but values and principles”.

A few ideas to start collaborative managing : create a fablab, to enhance creativity. Let’s not forget that collaborative innovation is indeed about innovation and progress. You can also use dedicated online platforms to consult employees regularly. Or, you can go even further and help them building their intrapreneurship project….

The intrapreneur case

Intrapreneurship is a very interesting concept, if you wish to make your employees part of the corporate management. The aim is to have a bottom-top approach. It can be very productive, especially if you offer them the adapted resources : on a technical level, as well as on a human one (advice, help).

So, when we talk about collaborative innovation, it’s all about putting innovation first, and even set a real “innovation culture” at the firm. The more implicated employees, the merrier!

On the other hand, we will see that you can even involve your clients in this approach.

collaborative innovation thinking entrepreneurship

Okay, but to you have any success story to share ?

As we know you only believe what you see, we have one story to tell. The French Bank Société Générale had launched in 2018 an intern call for projects, to “Invent the bank of tomorrow”. The results ? Within 2 months, more than 17 000 staff members had token part in it! Yes, 17 000 answers, and inevitably some really great ones…

Collaborative innovation, how to involve your clients ?

When, and why ?

Several companies chosed to collect customers’ ideas and projects online. Here are a few examples :

  1. The testing case : large-scale testing has become more and more common through the years. Especially with flourishing influencers and bloggers. Brands choose it to validate an innovation, before launching it. The targeted audience is quite small, to get the best results. For example, a brand as Petzel (frontal lamps) will target only athletes.
  2. Consultation and chatting : those are a lot easier to implement. It is mainly about setting a dialogue between the clients and the brand, thanks to technological means as forums and platforms online. The results are often numerous but can be difficult to analyze precisely.

One alternative : the “concepts sharing”, which Cisco, BMW, Ben&Jerry’s and others have chosen. Thanks to a simple online form, or an idea box, this process allows to know better clients’ expectations, and respond to them quickly!

3. Lastly, co-construction involves most the client, by offering him to participate to the product development. Dell (computers) or Starbucks (food) have successfully tested it !

To implement collaborative innovation, the first step is to collect your clients’ feedback and suggestions. You should check this page out, to find out about how to do it !

See you soon J

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