Innovation in Business Cooperation
You have set up a great ecosystem. It all feels good and your customers love it. Now it is time to leverage on all the good energy and buzz from all involved in the ecosystem. Time for innovation! How do you manage Innovation in a Business Cooperation? What do you need to think about?
It is a good step to return to the baseline and goals you had when you entered into the ecosystem. What should the ecosystem achieve and what do you want to achieve? Based upon these goals you should have a common ground for the collaboration. In addition there should be an understanding of the Business Value Chains involved. That is who will bring what value to the customers.
Overall you need to have a plan for how you secure your Commercial interests as well recognize other interests as well.
Let us look at some key steps
What is your Core?
Defining and understanding the core areas of your business value add is crucial in a business cooperation. The core area is the part where you provide key value add for your customers and where you compete with others. In your Core area it is vital that you keep track on and protect the commercial values of innovation. Non-core areas are from your perspective more suitable for cooperation and mixed inputs from the ecosystem.
Use the common ground as the base to create ideas
When you enter a cooperation around innovations in your ecosystem, it is recommended that you together with the other participants revisit the common ground for the ecosystem. You should together walk through and agree upon the common ground for the innovation cooperation. It is recommended that you do this ahead of any cooperation.
Agree early on the commercial terms for use
A good set of principles in the innovation common ground are that you have clearly divided the concerned areas between you. Who will own and who will contribute? In this way you have eliminated any concern or later disputes of your collaboration. You could also agree upon that it is open and not settled.
However you should always consult your Legal IPR Team before any collaboration event so you know clearly any boundaries in the upcoming work. It will also give you the opportunity to brief your technical team on how to go ahead in the daily technical work.
Let the innovation begin and enjoy!
Once you have set the ground for as well as the result of the innovation work, you can let the team start to work and enjoy the energy and the result to come.
Working together with other companies to innovate and create better solutions to customer needs is a great way to get faster and better results. Before you enter such a cooperation you need to be clear on what commercial objectives you have and must protect. In addition you need to be able to respect the interests of your fellow companies. On a practical level you must also secure that all involved in the daily work clearly understand what commercial behavior that must be followed.