Innovation can be defined in a multitude of ways, and it always depends on the situation/space you are attempting to “innovate” in. Corporate innovation takes on the same approach – there is no one size fits all. According to Built In, corporate innovation is a “strategic method of sourcing and embracing new ideas that allow a corporation to retain market share over an extended period. The process involves harmoniously merging new, disruptive ideas into existing processes, with innovation coming from both inside the company and from external sources”.
Large corporations across the globe have implemented corporate innovation in some way or form, and in multiple capacities. But if you have attempted to do it, have you seen the result you were looking for? In essence, corporate innovation is all about initially staying relevant and attempting to get ahead of the curve.
Many ask, why would a strong corporate that is a leader in its field want to invest in certain innovations?
It is a clear-cut answer: Because you are not the only one in this field, and the effects of globalization will result in your demise – if you do not innovate.
*Reference Coplex Blog
In 1960, the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 Index was almost 60 years. In the fast-paced digital landscape, the average age of companies listed on the stock exchange is under 20 years old.
By now, in the year 2023, we can all confidently agree that getting out of your comfort zone creates new opportunities. Corporates face the largest obstacle of getting everyone on board to get out of the comfort of past and current practices. Stability is key, and so is leaping into new territories of innovation.
There are three phases that we, at Rainmaking MENA, like to look at within corporate innovation for a corporate:
1. Core: Innovating at the core of the corporate business is critical, and I believe most corporates that pursue to innovate here would end up working with us to set the tone and then hire their own innovation team internally who are subject matter experts within the respective field.
2. Adjacent: This is the bread and butter of what we like to do. Our innovation team, experience, and ability to be lean would bring key adjacent opportunities that are still within your space, but out of your peripheral.
3. Transformative: Speaking of comfort zones, if I were sitting with a very innovative CEO of a corporate, the conversation is probably very exciting, and we would be looking at transformative opportunities to truly dig deep into the pockets of innovation and diversify the corporates’ portfolio with things that are "out there".
Now, let’s look at a few of the many values added for instilling corporate innovation within a corporate:
Market share expansion
Customer satisfaction and loyalty
Employee engagement and retention
Adaptation to industry changes
Collaboration in ecosystems
A few studies by reputable organizations that analyzed the impact of utilizing corporate innovation concluded with the following:
Top innovators achieve 16% higher profit margins compared to other companies in the same field.
Companies that focused on innovation are 1.7 times more likely to have a customer-centric culture.
81% of customers trust companies that are innovative.
Through innovation, it is 17% faster on average for product to market.
61% of CEOs interviewed believe that innovation is a key driver of revenue growth and increased market share.
Does corporate innovation make sense?
Our Commercial Director, Hani Murad, believes we already answered this question. To be direct, yes it does. In whichever industry you are in, corporate innovation has a place to create real impact internally and externally. We have seen it happen, and we have made it happen for corporates globally.
If you are interested in taking this discussion further, reach out to Hani directly on: