There is good news. No matter your industry or your business model, you can leverage a crossover that exists between legitimate startup incubation and corporate innovation to improve your products and services and how they are delivered to your market.
Here are some tips:
- Provide a "Safe Zone"
Innovation is messy. It is a creative process. It is filled with fits and starts. This doesn't often merge well with an established or defined business structure or culture. It is important to create a space for innovation to happen.
- Consider the Startup Incubator
Your company is not alone if it struggles with innovation. Most companies aren't in the business of innovating. Most established businesses don't think of startup incubators as a resource for corporate innovation, but there is a natural harmony that exists. Incubators are in the business of disruption. But successful startup development is also a systematic and strategic process.
- Leverage Community Resources
An incubator like The Venture Center, or the other top incubators in the global Startup Federation, provide a rich opportunity for the discerning business leader. Successful incubators - those that create legitimate scalable businesses - are in the business of teaching innovation. They develop best practices and a systematic approach to this often chaotic world of innovation. Smart business leaders recognize this opportunity and leverage these types of resources in service of their organization.
The bottom line is that you don't have to create massive uncertainty to provide new and exciting services and products to your market. You can partner with the best innovators in your community and leverage their expertise to the benefit of your business. The startup community and the establish business community have much to offer one another when it comes to areas of crossover such as innovation and talent retention.
For additional reading on this subject, start with Steve Blank's article on The Future of Corporate Innovation.
This column contributed by Steve Rice. Steve is the Director of Digital Strategy and Membership at The Venture Center in downtown Little Rock. His Twitter profile describes him as a "dessert lover and startup nerd as well as a human behavior junkie." He is passionate about building measurable economic growth in Little Rock through entrepreneurism.