Who would have thought that a company specializing in web solutions could someday recruit a team that could innovate and think sufficiently outside the box to create a car? Google did it with its Self-driving Car Project. This example illustrates the fact that more and more companies feel the need to innovate to remain competitive. In a context where globalization means that competition continues well beyond our borders, companies often have no choice but to reinvent themselves in order to survive.
When recruiting the best talent is no longer enough
Large companies often have the best talent: those who have ideas, expertise and skills to innovate. However, these people may be managers who are often overburdened, which gives them very little time for new projects. Although meetings to stimulate innovation take place, ensuing projects often fall into oblivion for a lack of resources as well as lack of time and commitment. This is why some companies decide instead to recruit teams whose sole purpose is to innovate. However, before embarking down this path it is necessary to establish:
- What is the best project to develop?
- What expertise needs to be recruited?
- Who will be in charge of this new (R & D) team?
It is not necessarily easy to find answers to all these questions. Rather than trying to resolve these issues, it is sometimes wiser to turn to external solutions. For example, you can consider OneLeap, a platform that I discovered recently and which offers a completely revolutionary approach to innovation. I will summarize below the main lines of this amazing source of creative builders' talent.
An innovative model which is unusual
OneLeap stands out by offering solutions for innovation, development and growth that are out of the ordinary. It is actually a platform that allows large organizations to find veteran entrepreneurs who will help them innovate. Whereas it is usually the richest organizations that support entrepreneurs seeking funding and resources to build their startups, here we have the apparent paradox of having the opposite situation. It is instead a pool of entrepreneurs who, with their creativity and resourcefulness, are contributing to large organizations.
Through an extensive network of entrepreneurs spread across 35 countries with specialized experience in various sectors, organizations can recruit a team that will in just a few weeks, identify growth opportunities, create new products and test them with customers. This team of entrepreneurs who arrives in a large organization with the mission to innovate has several advantages.
- It will take a fresh look at the company, its business model and its products and services;
- It will have no other purpose or concerns other than innovation;
- It will infuse the entire organization with an entrepreneurial spirit and new ways of doing things;
- With limited resources and a set deadline, it will quickly identify, develop and test innovative processes, products, or services (to improve products, services, business models, internal procedures etc).
Innovate the entrepreneurial way
If OneLeap promotes the expertise of entrepreneurs it is because they know how to handle things and make the most of the limited resources at their disposal. The very fact that they are limited in resources, is forcing them to explore more creative options and think outside the box. Besides being clever negotiators, entrepreneurs also know how to build partnership networks for the expertise, products and services they do not own themselves. Their frugal, innovative, risk-embracing and direct approach represents a timely antithesis to the conventional and sometimes restrictive procedures of large organizations. This positive collaboration is very well described by Dr. Beth Altringer in an article of the Harvard Business Review that also mentions the experience of a company that uses OneLeap. And if your curiosity is insatiable, I also recommend you read the inspiring Entrepreneurial Way by OneLeap.
As noted earlier, Google has managed to recruit an ingenious team that created a bold and surprising project. Unfortunately, as exciting as they are, the projects of this nature are not within the reach of all organizations. What Google is demonstrating is that innovation takes source in the minds of people who are not afraid to embrace 'risks' in order to realize ideas that no others would have thought. They are true entrepreneurs.
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