Incubate or Stagnate: Why Big Organizations Need External Catalysts for True Innovation

August 13, 2023
 · 
3 min read

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, large organizations face the challenge of staying innovative and competitive. To foster innovation, many companies are adopting the concept of incubation, which involves nurturing and developing new ideas and concepts within the organization.

Benefits of Corporate Incubation: Corporate incubation is recognized as an effective strategy for driving innovation within large organizations. According to Bundl, a leading innovation consultancy, corporate incubation is one of the 16 tools for disruptive innovation. It involves using internal resources to develop new ideas and concepts within the organization (Bundl, 2021). Some of the key benefits of corporate incubation include:

  1. Involving employees in the innovation process: Incubation allows employees to contribute their ideas and be part of the innovation journey, fostering a culture of innovation within the organization (Bundl, 2021).
  2. Discovering new value propositions: Through incubation, companies can explore new business models and value propositions, enabling them to adapt to changing market dynamics and customer needs (Bundl, 2021).
  3. Using existing corporate assets to increase profits: Incubation provides an opportunity to leverage existing resources, capabilities, and infrastructure within the organization to develop new revenue streams and increase profitability (Bundl, 2021).
  4. Acquiring insights to increase efficiency: Incubation allows companies to gain insights into their operations and identify areas for improvement, leading to increased efficiency and productivity (Bundl, 2021).
  5. Fostering a culture of innovation: By establishing an incubation program, organizations can create an environment that encourages experimentation, risk-taking, and continuous learning, fostering a culture of innovation (Bundl, 2021).
  6. Providing access to new ideas and technologies: Incubation provides a platform for companies to collaborate with startups, universities, and other external partners, gaining access to new ideas, technologies, and expertise (Bundl, 2021).
  7. Expanding strategic vision: Through incubation, companies can explore new markets, technologies, and business opportunities, expanding their strategic vision and positioning themselves for future growth (Bundl, 2021).

Importance of Outside Perspective and Consultation: While internal incubation can be beneficial, it is equally important for large organizations to seek outside perspective and consultation. External input can bring fresh ideas, diverse viewpoints, and industry expertise, complementing the internal capabilities of the organization. Here are some reasons why outside perspective and consultation are crucial:

  1. Overcoming internal biases: Large organizations may have established processes, hierarchies, and cultural norms that can hinder innovation. External consultants can challenge these biases and provide alternative perspectives, helping organizations overcome internal barriers to innovation (Bundl, 2021).
  2. Access to specialized knowledge: External consultants bring specialized knowledge and expertise in specific industries or domains. This can be valuable in identifying emerging trends, understanding customer needs, and developing innovative solutions (Bundl, 2021).
  3. Market insights and benchmarking: Consultants can provide valuable market insights, competitor analysis, and benchmarking data, enabling organizations to stay ahead of the competition and make informed strategic decisions (Bundl, 2021).
  4. Networking and collaboration opportunities: Consultants often have extensive networks and connections within the industry. This can open doors to potential partnerships, collaborations, and access to external resources, further enhancing the organization's innovation capabilities (Bundl, 2021).
  5. Objective evaluation and feedback: External consultants can provide unbiased evaluation and feedback on the organization's innovation initiatives. This can help identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, leading to more effective innovation strategies (Bundl, 2021).

Concept incubation and innovation within a large organization are essential for staying competitive in today's dynamic business environment. Corporate incubation offers numerous benefits, including employee engagement, discovering new value propositions, and leveraging existing assets. However, to maximize the potential of incubation, organizations should also seek outside perspective and consultation. External consultants can provide fresh ideas, specialized knowledge, market insights, and objective evaluation, enhancing the organization's innovation capabilities. By combining internal incubation with external expertise, large organizations can foster a culture of innovation and drive sustainable growth.

References:

  1. Bundl. (2021). 7 Benefits of corporate incubation as an innovation strategy
  2. SpringerOpen. (2019). The role of corporate incubators as invigorators of innovation capabilities in parent companies
  3. LinkedIn. (2021). How Companies Incubate New Business from Within – Part 1 of 2.
  4. Weekly, D. E. (2020). Why Corporate Incubators Fail. And an idea on what to do about it
  5. The Inovo Group. (2019). Incubation is the Hard Part Between Discovery and Success
  6. HubSpot. (2023). What Is an Incubator? A Complete Guide for Startups

SCTY is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) incubator, advisory and consultancy based in NYC. Founded by Ali Madad, SCTY engages in works for culture, commerce and public policy.

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