Jill E. Perry-Smith
Key Insight: Deftly turning innovative new ideas into real offerings requires an understanding of the four stages they pass through — generation, elaboration, promotion, and implementation — and which kinds of collaboration are most effective in each phase.
Top Takeaways: Most truly novel ideas either stall out in development or lose their originality along the way. To defy the odds, leaders need to help innovators collaborate in the right ways at the right times. Idea generation benefits from random, brief encounters, while elaboration works best with the support of close colleagues. Promotion — the process of gaining support and funding to develop a concept — is most effective when innovators can ally themselves with well-connected colleagues or managers who can propagate an idea more broadly. When an idea reaches the implementation stage, the primary collaborative need is for a shared vision, trust, and group cohesion; that gives team members a sense of ownership and the drive to overcome obstacles.
Thorsten Grohsjean, Linus Dahlander, Ammon Salter, and Paola Criscuolo
Key Insight: To eliminate bias when deciding which new ideas to pursue, organizations need to adjust the process before, during, and after making selections.
Top Takeaways: New initiatives are inherently uncertain, particularly if they are based on new technology or approaches to the market. Deciding which new ideas are winners and which are duds is tough, in part because bias and process issues can muddy decision-making. Ideas that are extremely novel generate discomfort because of the risks involved, and factors like the race and gender of presenters can influence decision-making gatekeepers. Changes to the green-lighting process can help mitigate these biases. They include removing the name and demographic information of idea creators, standardizing submissions, having diverse voices on the evaluation team, and even choosing to randomly select midlevel projects. While there will always be some hits and some misses in the process, understanding the potential pitfalls and using processes designed to avoid them will help generate better outcomes.
Denis Bettenmann, Ferran Giones, Alexander Brem, and Philipp Gneiting
Key Insight: Participating in a multisponsor, industry-specific corporate accelerator program can enable organizations to more rapidly integrate innovations from startups into new-product development.