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Collaboration In Innovation

Emily Djock
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021

The value of collaboration in innovation is beyond question, and yet often regarded as implicit rather than something that must be continuously nurtured. It is no easy feat to create an environment that systematically fosters curiosity and sharing. It requires mechanisms for transparency, channels for connection, as well as intellectual humility to be challenged by new ideas.

Get it right—embed a spirit of collaboration across and beyond your organization—and enhance your ability to innovate through the integration of different viewpoints and brain trusts, joint ownership and buy-in, and efficient resource management.

It is for these reasons that collaboration is a core tenet built into the ITONICS software suite.

The latest Innov8rs Connect series, which took place 22-26 February 2021, sought to bring together this dynamic community of innovators to discuss the best and latest in innovation with a focus on crisp content, practical insights, and meaningful engagement. It’s not just about answering the question, how to win, but how to win together.

The week saw more than 35 innovation leaders and practitioners hosting various interactive sessions on the topics of Foresight & Trends, Ecosystem Engagement, and Startup Collaboration.

ITONICS’ own Dr Tassilo Henike, Senior Innovation Consultant; Dr Christian Mühlroth, Chief Commercial Officer; and Christian Resch, Product Manager joined the Innov8rs community to share their knowledge and guide discussion amongst participants.

Below are the key takeaways from each of the ITONICS sessions.

The Bavarian Automotive Industry in 2030 – Insights From A Realistic, Software-based Scenario Analysis

Dr Tassilo Henike, Senior Innovation Consultant at ITONICS

Tassilo-Henike-Innov8rsThe landscape of the automotive industry is changing due to external tensions such as new mobility concepts and a growing sustainability imperative. With a growing number of competitors, German car companies must consider how they can maintain relevance and impact going forward. To that end, Bayern Innovativ and ITONICS set out to develop a snapshot of this future for the Bavarian automotive industry using software-based scenario analysis. After evaluating more than 100 influencing factors, 24 key drivers were identified based on their impact, probability, and reach. By performing pair-wise comparisons of these drivers, the interplay of not-so-distant realities began to take shape, revealing four future scenarios (Diversity Dilemma, Incremental Change, Software Dominance, and Comfort Zone).

It is here within these future plausible scenarios that an automotive company could look at the implications for innovation—from building digital workplaces, automation, and digitization of production to electrification and new business models.

Compared to traditional approaches, software-based scenario analysis can process greater complexity over a longer duration, making for richer, more realistic insights. At the same time, embedding scenario planning and foresight management into strategic planning can seem daunting to many organizations—which is why it’s important to start with the basics:

  • Understand your current ecosystem and situation. Develop a picture of the factors driving your business and what might change in the future.
  • Identify your key drivers. Not all factors and possibilities hold the same relevance; be brave in focussing on what is most impactful, probable, and far-reaching for your business
  • Think about how these key drivers influence your business and what are the implications for innovation and growth.

ITONICS Strategic Foresight guides organizations through all phases of scenario analysis using intuitive operations and integration of different topic-field experts to uncover new opportunities, improve insights, and steer strategic business decisions.

AI in Foresight and Innovation: 4 Steps to Stress Test Your Innovation Pipeline

Dr Christian Mühlroth, Chief Commercial Officer at ITONICS

Chris-Muehlroth-Innov8rsIn times of uncertainty, it is imperative to know where to direct attention and resources. Innovation leaders turn to foresight and innovation management to retain control, discover opportunities arising from change, and develop a future course of action. Applying artificial intelligence to this process allows organizations to manage complexity, separate and connect data, and provide directional recommendations. Businesses can thereby review their innovation pipeline in four steps:

  • Understand change by collecting company-external data. Collect, connect, assess and understand the drivers of change. Integrate public and non-public external data sources (e.g. scientific articles, patents, startups, news, blogs, curated reports, etc.)
  • Capture your innovation pipeline by connecting company-internal data. Collect, connect, and assess your innovation investments such as R&D and projects in your digital platform, then connect them to the drivers of change.
  • Spot optimization areas using AI-based recommendations. Identify areas for ‘defense’ by looking at investments in areas with low priority. Answer the question: “Are we still doing the right things?”
  • Discover opportunities using AI-based recommendations. Identify areas for ‘offense’ by looking at areas with high priority but low investments. Answer the question: “Where to play?”

Organizations can uncover new opportunities for innovation and growth, as well as stress test their innovation pipelines and portfolios by harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence techniques. 

But the first step is knowing where your organization currently stands in terms of maturity, capabilities, and direction. 

Get started with a conversation amongst internal stakeholders about possible consequences of the future. This is an opportunity to share opinions and departmental insights, as well as align on the innovation terminology that will feed into your process. 

Now is also the time to take the ITONICS Innovation Maturity Assessment. This free, 10-minute evaluation will provide you with a benchmark report and dedicated recommendations for optimizing your innovation program.

How to Build a Digital Innovation Platform to Drive Successful Transformation

Christian Resch, Product Manager at ITONICS

Chris-Resch-Innov8rsAn effective digital innovation management platform should serve as a one-stop-shop for ‘everything innovation’ within your organization. It must provide a transparent view of all innovation activities thereby enabling collaboration across teams and identification of gaps and connections in your innovation portfolio. While the inputs and outputs will differ for each organization, the underlying architecture required to drive successful transformation is consistent. There are five key considerations that form the functional foundation of this architecture:

  • Data integration to connect all relevant data. Integrate public and non-public external sources into one central database. Add your own data and invite your scouting teams for collaborative data collection.
  • Search and discovery of hidden information. Find relevant insights within your innovation portfolio by leveraging defined filters, flexible categorizations, and advanced search capabilities.
  • Knowledge management throughout the innovation process. Organize all your future-oriented knowledge in one place by connecting the dots, inviting relevant experts and leveraging the AI-driven recommendations.
  • Collaboration on your innovation portfolio. Use the collective intelligence of your expert organization to evaluate and spur discussions around topics of interest.
  • Reporting of aggregated data. Slice and dice your innovation portfolio for tailored and targeted reports and dashboards.

Future-proof your company's strategy for disruptive change by bringing these features together under a single structured digital toolbox. ITONICS Innovation Cloud supports the end-to-end innovation management process, from environmental scanning, and trend and technology management, to strategic foresight, innovation portfolio management, and roadmapping.

Innovate Everywhere - Innovation Cloud Platform |

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