While many factors contribute to the success of open innovation and technology scouting, these are the top twelve emphasized by experts and experienced scouts:
- Choose entrepreneurial individuals to be on the scouting team. The ability to understand both technology and marketing helps.
- Make sure your innovation strategy is clear before you begin scouting – don’t expect scouting to shape your strategy.
- Cast a wide net in your search for opportunities – then winnow down to the best few based on customer need, growth potential and strategic fit.
- Move fast to make decisions. Structure the evaluation process for quick early vetting to focus resources on quality ideas.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away from a prospective partnership or to kill a project that isn’t adding value.
- Craft clear joint agreements using common language for all essential terms; include expectations, goals, roles, contingencies and IP ownership. Remember win-lose is really lose-lose.
- Be flexible and make adjustments (a 3 year project doesn’t mean a 3 year budget is assured).
- Stay lean, keep a scarcity mentality.
- Don’t forget the core in pursuit of next generation.
- Create scale and run as fast as you can.
- Treat partners and prospective partners openly and honestly.
- Invest in the long term.
This article published in conjunction with MRT’s e-Learning Masterclass series:
e-Learning Masterclass on Technology Scouting and Crowdsourcing to Accelerate Innovation – check our website for upcoming dates