Written by Luisa Gibbons
In our last post, we discussed essential factors to consider when selecting innovation partners. This demonstrates it’s not always easy… but when strong relationships with clear parameters are forged it’s definitely worth it!
The following summarises some of the main benefits in our experience:
Speed to Market
Every business faces peaks in innovation activity that cannot be met by internal resource. How you manage those peaks is crucial. It is better to delay than to rush and fail, but if you can find a partner who you trust to flex with your business needs then why wouldn't you? This is increasingly a consideration as R&D resource is stretched and headcounts are reduced… yet pressure to get to market fast remains to gain competitive advantage.
Skills and Capability
Certain projects require skills and capabilities that you may not have access to. Access to additional expertise and competences can remove information blockages in projects and at the same time up skill your internal resource.
A partner that can dip in and out, can often be managed more cost effectively vs. investment in a permanent resource (and more sustainable when faced with peaks and troughs in workflow). Any partner worth working with will invest upfront to understand your culture and business needs - this only needs to happen once, so next time they can hit the ground running.
Do not underestimate the power of external challenge, particularly in cultures heavily dominated by one discipline (such as operations). Finding solutions that are internally considered 'off limits' can be raised without risk and a broad range of experience in different industries can be applied bringing fresh perspective. A 'what if' rather than 'what is' outlook here is key! This external perspective can often be a real catalyst for change too – particularly when they have the credibility to bring together marketing, R&D and even operations to challenge the status quo.