Thursday, August 6, 2015

Are Outside Innovators the Key to Success?

In 2013, Campbell Soup Co. launched its “Hack the Kitchen” contest to challenge innovative developers to create web or mobile apps for mealtime solutions. The winner, FoodMood, tapped into user’s emotions by asking “What’s your mood?” and the app then suggested recipes based on the user’s feelings and food preferences.
FoodMood, developed by Pollinate Inc., received a $25,000 cash prize and a $25,000 contract to bring the idea to market.
But perhaps more important, Campbell Soup – with more than 19,000 workers – decided that it wanted outside innovators to create new ideas.
Campbell’s is not alone. General Electric is partnering with students and entrepreneurs to help them create new products.
“The first lesson we learned was don’t just talk about it, meet about it, think about it — just go do it,” says Venkat Venkatakrishnan, GE Appliances Innovation Leader. “It’s something we don’t do very well. We tend to evaluate all the risks, look at everything…the local startup community goes and builds something, does something, and figures out the rest.”
Campbell and GE are big companies looking to adopt a more innovative, agile mindset that permeates start-ups, and more organizations realize they need to do the same in order to survive.
“Truly creative business leaders engage less-conventional partners, such as citizen developers, and entrepreneurs to help drive innovation,” notes VentureBeat.
In addition, an IBM trend study of more than 1,500 companies found that those who excel in business goals partnered more creatively with outside organizations and recruited less traditional partners for their efforts.
Driving change
Clearly, there are challenges for big organizations that want to become more entrepreneurial and respond quickly and efficiently to new ideas in order to stay competitive. Brad Smith, president and chief executive officer at Intuit, recently noted that implementing change is not easy, partly because teams “seek routine and repetition – hoping to avoid (read more here)

Photo: Bloomberg

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