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Cisco Innovate Everywhere Challenge

How Cisco ignited a company-wide Startup Culture

 

The Challenge

Speeding up Technology Foresight to stay at the Cutting Edge of Innovation

Technological change, societal demands, hyper-competition, and the digital transformation of the economy have increased the pressure upon companies to shift from incremental innovation to disruptive and strategic innovation: Today it is all about disrupting or being disrupted.

Cisco exemplifies a company who continues to disrupt its marketplace. In 2015, Cisco kicked-off its first and unique company-wide Innovate Everywhere Challenge. The goal was to drive global disruptive thinking, capture game-changing innovation opportunities from Cisco employees, help them grow and enhance employee experience, empowerment, and collaboration across all functions. Along the lines of "Team up, Disrupt, and Innovate", Cisco established the Innovate Everywhere Challenge as a vehicle to shape its future growth.

Supported by ITONICS collaborative innovation platform, the Innovate Everywhere Challenge is now a best practice for innovation management at Cisco.

Innovation at Cisco
  • Innovation = Cisco’s DNA
  • Innovation is the job of every employee. It transcends traditional business unit silos.
  • The annual Innovate Everywhere Challenge calls out to all 74,000 Cisco full-time employees to „Team up, Disrupt, and Innovate“.

Objectives

Cisco was looking for a powerful tool


769

venture ideas
submitted


49

percent of all employees
participated


36600

participants
worldwide


89

countries
participated



The Solution

A company-wide cross-functional innovation competition on one collaborative platform

The Innovate Everywhere Challenge consists of four phases running over a period of eight months - supported by the collaborative innovation management platform ITONICS Enterprise.

1. Ideate - Spark ideas and team up
  • Who: All Cisco employees
  • What: Team up and submit venture ideas that are categorized by market, technology, and business models to the innovation platform ITONICS Enterprise
2. Validate - Is the venture valuable? Should it be built?
  • Who: 30 semi-finalists
  • What: Selection of 30 semi-finalists by 120 expert judges after a preselection through employee token investment
3. Fund - Sell your venture
  • Who: Six finalists
  • What: Looking for internal executive sponsors and live pitching the ventures before a panel of internal and external industry leaders regarding the feasibility, viability, and desirability of the ventures
4. Build - Find product-market fit
  • Who: Three winners
  • What: Growing the ventures and preparing the integration into the Cisco organization supported by a 25.000 seed funding
 

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Learn more about how innovative companies implemented a world-class innovation ecosystem!

About Cisco

Cisco exemplifies a company who continues to disrupt its marketplace. In 2015, Cisco kicked-off its first and unique company-wide Innovate Everywhere Challenge (IEC). The goal was to drive global disruptive thinking, capture game-changing innovation opportunities from Cisco employees, help them grow and enhance employee experience, empowerment, and collaboration across all functions. Along the lines of “Team up, Disrupt, and Innovate”, Cisco established the Innovate Everywhere Challenge as a vehicle to shape its future growth. The results are impressive. In 2018, the Innovate Everywhere Challenge won the Innovation Leader’s Impact Award which honors extraordinary innovation programs and their outcomes. Supported by ITONICS collaborative innovation platform, the Innovate Everywhere Challenge is now a best practice for innovation management at Cisco.

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