Developing and implementing an innovation strategy is never easy, clear-cut or risk free, especially when confronted with resource constraints. To do more with less, and help increase the odds of success, private companies should:
1. Collaborate externally.
Embrace open innovation models and use digital advances such as social media and crowdsourcing to collect fresh ideas and feedback. Remove barriers to the customer-facing organization so innovation is more closely targeted to real-time consumer desires.
2. Create an innovative culture.
Lead innovation by example, but also relinquish control to key innovative talent – bold thinkers with a deep understanding of target customers. Introduce new policies – like public recognition for creativity – to surface good ideas from employees.
3. Fail - and succeed - fast.
Pursue a few innovation projects simultaneously, rather than going all in on one single idea. Take prototypes and pilots to customers to pinpoint losing innovations quickly, and then reallocate resources to winning ones.
4. Claim R&D tax credits.
Collect the necessary documentation and make the necessary calculations to claim R&D tax credits, helping to offset the cost of innovation projects.