No Time for Fluff: How COVID-19 refocused

corporations and accelerated innovation.

Sagi Latin
 
SOSA's Corporate Innovation Team
Photo by Andy Beales

A few years ago, corporations fell in love with the notion of innovation and joined the 21st century's gold rush towards technology. Afraid to become the next Blockbuster headline, traditional industries have found themselves in pursuit of the perfect technology; one that will yield profits, position them as groundbreaking, and place them as leaders in their field. But just like an average millennial searching for love, they struggled to find that "perfect match" and ended up with unfortified potential at best, or just a whole lot of failed dates.


"Afraid to become the next Blockbuster headline, traditional industries have found themselves in pursuit of the perfect technology."

In past years, corporations have encountered a universe of companies dazzled by the supply, in an endless race after the next trend. Even though almost every corporation has formed an innovation division, only a few have cracked the formula for a prosperous and efficient open innovation process.

sepia photo of a man walking under a tunnel in lisbon, portugal during the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Yohann Libot
Then Came COVID-19.

Seven months into the pandemic, it is clear that everyone wants to see (or show) results. Genuine results. Background noises have faded, and the clock is ticking - there is no capacity for anything but ventures with a solid worth.

We see our existing and new partners far more focused. Their needs are refined, and they know exactly what they want. Their expectations are down-to-earth, and they are aware of the constraints, capacity, and budgeting of the organization they work in. They know where the internal obstacles lay (legacy systems, personal, procurement, infoSec, etc.), and understand that they have to include all of the different units starting from the beginning of the process. We’re seeing well-equipped champions leading startups through the complex paths of a corporation.


"Another significant shift in the innovation arena is the deep understanding that innovation culture is crucial, perhaps even more than the technology itself."
sillhouette of road signage
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros
A new, hands-on innovation culture.

Another significant shift in the innovation arena is the deep understanding that innovation culture is crucial, perhaps even more than the technology itself. Corporations are seeking to carry out in-depth processes that will change the mindset of their employees. The days of seeing numerous startups for the sake of innovation and moving on are over. The days of result-oriented workshops and processes that will develop the corporation's innovative imagination, together with tangible results, are here.

time lapse of busy freeway
Photo by Radek Kilijanek
"When goals are clearly defined and focused, the route towards accomplishing innovation is quicker, and ultimately more effective."

The combination of these two shifts in mindset and action have created a significant change in the world of corporate innovation. At SOSA, we are feeling this new accelerated momentum: processes that have taken six to eight months in the past have now been shortened by almost half. Decisions that were dragged on and often fell between the cracks are now being made more easily. When goals are clearly defined and focused, the route towards accomplishing innovation is quicker, and ultimately more effective.

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