Part of my role within the Innovation & Design Team at Zebra Technologies involves synthesizing emerging technology trends into actionable insights. Much like many innovation teams, this yearly process involves concurrent stages of research, collection, and synthesis into pervasive and strategic themes. But as we internally transition external insights into internal action, I’ve been reflecting on our innovation process.
The top diagram represents an existing process, that from my knowledge is perhaps also representative of many other organizations. External inspiration enters an internal cycle of prescriptive stages – ex: collection, synthesis, ideation, business buy in – then, external publication, collaboration, or outreach.
But perhaps the approach should be inverted – and external publication, collaboration, and outreach come sooner and throughout. For example, involving academic collaboration, professional hackathons, and innovation challenges