Wherever big company executives turn, they’re confronted by the same messages: innovate or die; adopt an entrepreneurial mindset or die; think like a startup or die. It is becoming increasingly important for corporates to innovate either through internal R&D, corporate innovation teams, in-house innovation labs, or external accelerator programs. If not, they run the risk of becoming obsolete, stagnating or arriving at bankruptcy – creative or financial.

 

That said, corporate innovation is notoriously difficult to implement and promote within a large organisation. More than one third of companies fail to formally incentivise innovation and 90% of corporate innovation initiatives fail. Why? It predominantly comes down to the conservative culture and rigid structures that don’t support risk-taking or experimentation within most corporates.

 

Unsurprisingly, corporates are consequently left with several questions as to how to best implement, achieve and maximise the benefits of innovation. We have compiled the top 100 questions asked by CEOs of corporates worldwide, from the process of ideation to successfully executing innovation itself.

 

Ideation

  • What are the questions to ask yourself when going down a wormhole whilst brainstorming?
  • What is the expected time-frame to make a new idea/product profitable?
  • Should an idea be a fixed concept, or with room for flexibility?
  • How should you go about select one idea out of several?
  • What are some tips when creating an ideation framework?
  • How can you facilitate creative freedom in order to experiment with innovative ideas more?
  • How do you kick start innovation if there are plenty of ideas but the regular work still prevails over innovation?
  • What’s the best way to transform a traditional company with traditional products into an agile organisation with new ideas, products and IT infrastructure?
  • How do you test business ideas with limited information or knowledge?
  • What are some ideas regarding how to get approval of management for circular economy “as-a-service” business models?
  • How do you prioritise the good ideas over the bad ideas?

 

Culture

  • How do you move from an “industrial culture” to a “startup culture”?
  • What’s the best way to build a lean startup culture within the shadow of the “mothership”?
  • Is it possible to steer a company culture in a certain direction without destroying it?
  • How do you improve the adoption of innovation culture within an organisation? What are the key enablers?
  • How do you balance innovation activity with the creation of innovation culture?
  • How do you change the culture of an organisation from incremental product evolution to true innovation in the R&D arena?
  • How do you create an agile startup culture in a corporate environment and where team members are more willing to take risks?
  • How do you embed a culture of innovation where people pull in the same direction, rather than creating innovation silos across departments?
  • How do you move your team from a solid but non-innovative technology to an innovation culture?
  • How do you build and promote an innovation culture in a large mature organisation, and incorporate it at every level?
  • How do you carry out “corporate hacking”, with specific regards to “culture hacking”?
  • How do you define the culture of a successful innovative organisation?
  • How to cultivate a startup culture in an environment full of experts?
  • How to create a culture where a big corporate is brave enough to kill their own business model?
  • What needs to be done to impact innovation culture? Where do you start and what are the prerequisites?

 

Team

  • How do you incorporate an IT innovation team with an agile organisation into a traditional automotive company?
  • Is agile the right concept if you’re looking to coordinate multidisciplinary teams working on strongly coupled innovation tasks?
  • How do you set up agile development teams if the product owner and development team are geographically dispersed?
  • When agile teams require a new leadership style i.e. coaching instead of “command and control”, how do you convince management that this new leadership style is also beneficial to them?
  • How do you maintain newly recruited team members with a “startup mentality” in a traditional company?
  • How do you keep up the spirits of a big team?
  • How do you motivate team members, especially older members, to try new things?
  • What’s the best way to run a lean startup within a large organisation with established processes?
  • Is it better to integrate or split teams when carrying out corporate innovation?
  • How do you identify and retain the right lean startup staff?
  • How do you scale innovation in your organisation with a limited team?
  • How do you educate a team from a large organisation about startup motions and programs?
  • Do you need a separate team to launch new ideas/products?
  • How many ideas do you recommend for a team to work on simultaneously?
  • Is it advisable to recruit innovation experts from outside the business or can I successfully transform my team?

 

Success criteria

  • How much time should you allow to determine whether or not your efforts have been successful?
  • What are the key elements needed for a successful startup and lean innovation, including risks and metrics?
  • What are the KPIs to measure success in a lean startup, excluding profit?
  • What are some general tips for being successful with team startup initiatives?
  • What does success look like within the realm of corporate innovation?
  • How do you increase the success rate of front-end innovation projects?
  • How do you adapt your mindset and ways of working in order to achieve successful disruptive innovation?
  • What does it take to succeed in bringing innovation to the market?
  • When wanting to succeed in innovation, is it possible to influence customer behaviour in advance or during the marketing phase?
  • What are some key tips to execute an innovation project?
  • How do you succeed with the digital transformation of business models?

 

Execution

  • How do you implement “transformation by innovation” in general?
  • How do you transform entrepreneurship into corporate innovation?
  • How do you innovate within a corporate environment in an industry with very limited product or process innovation over the past decades?
  • How do you move an organisation to innovate as business as usual?
  • How do you enable true intrapreneurship in a corporate environment without being disrupted by the core business?
  • How do you improve innovation execution?
  • After recognising that you need to innovate with others, how do you select relevant startup collaborations and ecosystems?
  • How do you define clear innovation strategies enabling prioritisation of projects and resources allocation?
  • How do you handle innovation roadmap management, especially in the early stages (proof of concept), to taking on board (buying-in) the right stakeholders at the right moment in time?
  • How do you ignite sustainability-inspired innovation to drive growth?
  • What are your recommendations regarding getting involved early in innovation projects with customers in a B2B environment?
  • How do you drive more step-out innovation and show progress to support future investment?
  • How do you best navigate the organisational challenges you face as a leader through an ever changing agenda in an innovative organisation?
  • What are new ways to communicate news, insights and trends within an organisation without boring emails and tools?
  • How do you increase your presence in innovation hubs internationally to increase global outreach?
  • How do you innovate the core business in an extremely efficient and commoditised market rather than just looking at smaller value adding innovation?
  • How do you transform an innovation POC to a scale up solution?
  • Is there a favoured organisation model recommended for an innovation hub in corporate companies?
  • How do you ignite sustainability-inspired innovation to drive growth?
  • What are the primary things required to execute an innovation project?
  • How do you improve innovation when transferring from a customer intimate to a modular architecture type of organisation?
  • How do you implement lean toolbox in local innovation?
  • How do you make sure that the ideas created at the front-end of innovation have a chance to be implemented?
  • How do you implement ideas when your company is not “3 horizons of innovation-proof”
  • How do you apply new agile management methodologies in a larger corporate organisation?
  • How do you ensure that you have the necessary resources e.g. time and budget to implement innovation?
  • If you were to takeover a new delivery organisation which should be transformed from a legacy setup to a new agile setup, how should you implement the change?
  • How can you seamlessly transfer innovation into an organisation?

 

Challenges

  • How do you avoid the trap of the innovation hype and still perceive and convince the organisation that you face disruption?
  • How do you overcome the issues associated with the speed of change occurring within the organisation?
  • How do you deal with the issues associated with moving beyond product innovation towards services, solutions and digital transformation?
  • How do you cope with disruption related to quantum computing and AI?
  • How do you overcome key challenges, for example a lack of time, budget, visibility and internal competition with other innovation eco systems (internal IT, internal business, external third parties) etc?
  • How do you systematically and continuously identify challenges at all levels inside your company where innovation methods should be applied?
  • What are the most critical issues and challenges to overcome when starting out with innovation?

 

If you’re a corporate seeking to innovate, we would be interested to hear your questions and queries based on your experiences. Likewise, get in contact with us for a free 25 minute consultation with one of our mentors.

We look forward to hearing from you!