6 Approaches to Corporate Innovation Programs

When it comes to corporate innovation programs there’s a number of different approaches that large organisations can adopt, however knowing which one to adopt can be a challenge, and oftentimes executives find themselves chasing after shiny metal objects such as innovation labs where strategic alignment is often an afterthought.

Below a simple three step approach to determining whether you should look internally or externally to drive innovation and based on your objectives, help you determine an approach that your organisation will be better placed to execute on.

Step 1: define your objectives (H1 BAU improvements, H2 adjacent innovation or H3 disruptive innovation)

Step 2: assess your organisation’s current state and capability to deliver on these objectives (free tool: benchmark your company’s innovation capability)

Step 3: based on step 2, determine if you are going to invest internally, externally or take a hybrid approach to achieve said objectives (how much are you really willing to invest in culture change, structural change and capability uplift? Do you have the right people on the bus? Is it easier to work with startups and other external players? These are some questions you might want to ask yourself at this stage)


Of course, the above focuses predominantly on overarching approaches and does not look at initiatives that may fall into one or more of these approaches such as idea challenges, hackathons, design sprints and more.

As with anything corporate innovation, there are no silver bullets — but by being more intentional about our approach, we are far more likely to succeed.

If your organisation is looking to or is assessing the way it goes about tackling corporate innovation, feel free to schedule a quick introductory all with me atcalendly.com/steveglaveski to discuss your objectives and provide some guidance on what your best next steps might be.