Corporate R&D or Startups: Who will lead the next innovation?

Image credit: digitaldjtips.com

Image credit: digitaldjtips.com

Today’s pace of innovation has been like never before. In the course of Crowd Product’s many a startup as well as corporate engagements, we have been privy to new solutions that leverage transformative technologies like Blockchain, IOT, AI-ML, Predictive Analytics, NLP & Text Analytics, AR-VR, Computer Vision and others, to realise goals. Alongside, there’s also been a raging debate in the innovation-led communities and among thought-leaders – on whether innovation happens at Corporate R&Ds or in the Startup community. The jury seems divided here.

In a recent tweet shared by YourStory media, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu believes that R&D enters are not the only place where innovation happens, but innovation is led by startups today.

Several companies have R&D teams, where the best of talent are given the environment and resources to come up with new solutions. Organisations have also used creative techniques to ensure this talent is engaged productively. One example that comes to mind is the Internal Crowdfunding at IBM R&D. Here each of the 500 member were given US$100, and we asked to either propose an idea or use the money to contribute to projects of their colleges. This simple exercise brought out a micro-tasking site for the company.

TCS, which is among the world’s largest IT services brands and among the top 100 Most Innovative Companies in the world, has recently begun looking within for the next big technology solutionTCS NumbersEven as its closest Indian competitors, Infosys and Wipro, have invested in startups to unravel the next emerging technologies. As witnessed during the recent NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2018 conference, Corporate-Startup matchmaking has become a trend. During the event one witnessed several corporate leaders interact with trending startups and on latest technology solutions.

While today’s corporates are pursuing a smart strategy, as in taking advantage of their internal R&D teams as well as engaging with innovative startups, another opportunity and a massive one is being missed out on by most organisations. Very few corporates have been engaging their larger workforce on ideas and solutions effectively. Such engagements has not only the potential to bring out the next big idea, but can also serve to address corporate cultural issues and team morale, where employees and their ideas are taken note of.

Corporate innovation I believe, and with data to back the claim, should not be restricted to a few individuals or designated teams, but open to the collective – that is every member of the organisation (and society at large). We have a solution and format to enable you engage your large teams more productively and to realise goals. Email me on vinay@crowdnavigator.com to learn more.