Pedro Costa has background experience in delivering highly complex projects in European, North and Latin American, and African countries. He is now the Head Corporate Innovation at EurA AG, an innovation consultancy firm specialized in the creation and development of innovation ecosystems, helping the largest companies in Europe to profit from collaborative innovation.
Head of Corporate Innovation, EurA-AG Brussels and Portugal
What are the essential digital tools for innovation?
It is becoming of most importance for large corporations to focus on attracting talent. Since the ’90s money became more available for start-ups and they, due to their flexibility and less bureaucratic hierarchy structures have been able to attract more and more talent over the years, developing attractive recruitment projects and having dedicated teams dealing with employee satisfaction and retention. Attracting the right talent is key for innovation, is obvious that you need to have the technical skills to overcome the technical challenges, but the challenges of innovation in an era of technical expertise “abundance” (when compared to the last century) are shifting towards the need to find people with the entrepreneurial spirit.
From the shareholders to the CEO, to product managers and shop floor workers, large corporations have implemented a risk-averse culture. Investors of large corporations are happy with moderated returns as long as they keep the risks near to zero, meaning, doing business as usual with small improvements. This has been the recipe for success for many years. But now, the rules of the game changed. Industries are being disrupted completely driven by innovative business models, sup-ported many times by simple technology and flexible and autonomous teams able to steer the business fast. In this sense, I would argue that the most essential asset for innovation is in fact the entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to foster an agile organization (fail fast and safe spirit).
Large companies have been trying from different angles to improve their entrepreneurial culture. From hiring ex entrepreneurs to run innovation departments, creating separated companies for product development and innovation, develop intrapreneurial programs to spark the innovation inside their doors. Many have succeeded and many have failed, and for this one thing is sure is not a simple recipe [ ... ]
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