When R&D Departments Hit a Wall, What are the Innovation Opportunities?

Posted by InnoCentive on Aug 3, 2018 10:14:00 AM


Innovation isn’t always an easy process. What can occasionally and historically be smooth sailing towards new developments, the journey is often marred by setbacks, slowdowns and countless failures. While failure can be a step forward – see Edison’s 10,000 ways to not make a lightbulb – there are times when R&D departments hit a wall. More specifically, they may simply stop moving forward, or worse, move in reverse. There are no more advances, there are no more ideas, and research and development are instead replaced with frustration. Leadership will also begin looking at failure and delays and begin asking questions.  

When an R&D department has reached this point, and there are many reasons why it’s time to take action!  Perhaps the next steps are on another path, where the notion of R&D “failure” is replaced with rapid experimentation using a global and diverse crowd of prepared minds and non-experts" in the field. 

Wasted Time, Money and Other Resources Doing What Has Always Been Done  

Resources are finite, even for multi-billion dollar organizations. Wasted time, money, and other resources can bleed even the most financially profitable organization dry, and with trillions being spent being spent on innovation worldwide every year, it’s evident that there is quite a large amount of spending on “failure” in R&D programs pursuing the traditional avenues of innovation. 

Remember that when your R&D department repeatedly hits a “failure” wall, you are diverting resources away from other areas of your organization and spending them on initiatives that can't or are no longer providing value. 

If your R&D innovation experts are particularly stumped by a problem, ask them and yourself, “do we really know what the problem is that we are trying to solve?”  If you don’t know, failure is inevitable!  Solutions and advancements come from solving well defined problems, crowdsourcing the correct problem to the global “crowd” can accelerate and improve your innovation trajectory while improving employee engagement and satisfaction.  

Engaging the World’s Best Solvers, Whether They Are Part of Your Organization or Not 

It’s important to realize the best possible solution to your business issues may lie outside of your internal innovation department. There are hundreds of thousands of innovation experts available through crowdsourced solutions platforms. 

Please take notethis is NOT outsourcing and likely will not mean fewer people are needed at your company.  Finding an external solution to solve the correct problem will mean more meaningful and profitable work for your employees. Success is measured through growth and opportunity, not fewer employees and less work. 

Your company and your best employees will be empowered when they too can learn about how InnoCentive’s Challenge-Driven Innovation™ approach can improve the R&D success at your company 

If you feel that your R&D team has hit a wall on one of your current issues, get in touch with us today to find out if open innovation solutions are right for your organization. 

Topics: Innovation Insights, Solvers, Seekers

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