Nathan Vega
VP, Business and Product Development
Published Mar 07, 2018

According to our 2017 Forrester survey, enterprise leaders are supportive of innovation—they just need a roadmap.

Innovation. It’s one of those words that looks great on paper, but can be much trickier to accomplish in the real world--especially at an enterprise-level business. Still, most of us want to innovate. In fact, according to our recent Forrester survey of 106 firms, only 12% of respondents said they lacked the support of their company’s leadership for innovation. So why isn’t innovation overflowing from every meeting and project at your company?

To empower true innovation, you need a strategy, or a roadmap. Without a plan, innovation will be unfocused and unempowered to disrupt. First, we need to answer three basic questions:

  1. Where do we want the map to lead? Make sure to explore your goals and objectives and really think about whether innovation will make a positive impact on your business.
  2. What challenges lie on our route? Barriers to innovation can hold you back. Understanding and planning for these challenges will help you create solutions more strategically and efficiently.
  3. Who will drive us forward? You not only need the proper team and skills in place, they need to be empowered to innovate.

Where do we want the map to lead?

All great plans begin with a clear goal. Decide where you want to go and the best route to get there. Start by moving discussions around “innovation” from vague aspirations to specific plans, teams and objectives. This will help the road before you become clear and uncluttered.

What challenges lie on our route?

When our Forrester survey asked “What are your biggest impediments around adopting new technology”, nearly half of respondents (46%) answered “lack of skills needed on team”, placing this answer far above lack of tech knowledge of lack of certainty about personnel and processes. Tech executives also have anxiety around how to secure new technology, which can further slow product adoption or innovative cyber solutions.

Who will drive us forward?

In order to innovate, you’ll need the right people with the right skills who are confident and empowered enough to drive you forward. Even the best roadmap can’t get you where you’re going if there are knowledge gaps too big to cross. Consider recruiting, promoting and empowering the tech skills, people, and teams that will enable innovation.

Moreover, look to build tech partnerships with outside like-minded organizations and programs that prioritize and understand innovation that can help you reach your goals. Collaboration accelerates digital transformation, lowers cost and reduces risk. For instance, Columbus Collaboratory Members are enterprise-level businesses across industries which share IP and resources to solve complex shared tech problems and innovate better solutions together. Adding a strategic seat on your board of directors or engaging in a regional partnership are also great forms of tech collaboration that can help build skills, close knowledge gaps, and ultimately speed innovation at your organization.

We’d love to help you build your roadmap to innovation. For more about our Membership options and security solutions, visit ColumbusCollaboratory.com.