Since smartsourcing is a relatively new concept, it is important to develop a model/methodology that ensures successful implementation and encourages innovation. This warrants development, management and continuous refinement of a comprehensive Smartsourcing Innovation Model.
4 Stages of the Smartsourcing Innovation Model To achieve the Smartsourcing Innovation Model, practitioners need to move through four distinct stages, as follows:
- No operational processes or supportive information technology exists to guide or manage innovation.
- Only a few select individuals are involved.
- Culture of obedience.
- Innovation is primarily focused on developing new products/services/technology and is limited to a functional scope.
- Minimal use of information technology to enable innovation.
- Culture of efficiency and cost reduction.
- Innovation is spread through multiple departments in an organization.
- Senior management supports and encourages innovation.
- Operational processes for innovation exist and include appropriate information technology enablers.
- Employees are enthusiastic about innovation and proactively contribute ideas.
- Innovation is pervasive throughout the organization and its strategic partners.
- Well-connected value chain.
- Common language across the organization.
- Employees know how to contribute to the innovation process.
- Clear information intent. Innovation portfolio is developed and well-managed.
- Extensive use of information technology to facilitate innovation. Innovation is assiduously measured and rewarded.
- Culture of passion.
- Office of Innovation may exist.
- Chief Innovation Officer role reporting to the Chief Executive Officer.
Representative Management Practices Each stage of smartsourcing innovation is characterized by a set of representative management practices in the following four areas:
Vision and Strategy Vision and strategy encompasses the overall innovation aspirations of a company as well as its innovation strategy. Insights should include customer and market insights, as well as relevant business models.
Management Well-established decision-making and management processes are necessary to support smartsourcing innovation in all stages.
Organization In each stage, the smartsourcing organization needs to display a culture of innovation, innovation metrics and incentives, and utilize a hiring approach and collaborative practices that support and drive smartsourcing innovation.
For more on smartsourcing from Marc Kauffmann, read 6 Steps to Innovative Smartsourcing, 6 Steps to Smartsourcing: Strategizing Innovation and 6 Steps to Innovative Smartsourcing: Creating Metrics.
Marc Kauffmann is the president of The Kauffmann Group, LLC, a management consultancy featured in New York Times best-selling author Seth Godin’s book, “Bull Market: Companies That Make Things Happen.” He has 25-plus years of expertise in the evolution of innovative business practices, market approaches, product/service offerings and information technology. You can follow him on Twitter @Marc81753262 or find him on LinkedIn.