I am writing my dissertation on: “how to build an internal & external innovation ecosystem for international companies”. If you have any insights to share or just interested in the topic, feel free to contact me!
For the first three and a half
months of my internship, I was organizing an internal collaborative innovation contest. In other words, an
innovation contest open to the company’s employees only, and that encourages
cross-sectorial and cross-country cooperation.
One of the contest’s goal was to find intrapreneurs – Wait, don’t you mean entrepreneurs? – No, intrapreneurs are employees taking initiatives focused on innovation and creativity to transform an idea into a profitable venture. Even though the term has been used in management papers since 1978, it only got democratised in 2015.
I believe most of you are familiar with the second type: the external ones targeting start-ups or inventors. The purpose behind it: scouting for partners with new cutting-edge technologies.
I just presented to you the two corner stones of today’s innovation ecosystem. These contests are the equivalent of the 80s and 90s research and development departments. Therefore, the next time someone approaches you about an innovation challenge, don’t turn a deaf ear!
From an organizer's perspective, whether it is an internal or an external challenge expect to wear several hats: project manager, accounting, webmaster, writer, editor, translator, video maker, shooting director, communication expert, travelling agent, pitch coach … and everybody will refer to you as “the innovation girl/guy”.
This contest was my first international project. It reached 4500 individuals from 13 countries. The - flawless - finale took place in a 15th century castle and was attended by the group’s top-management. Everybody was impressed, and I received nothing but great feedbacks and compliments. Trust me when I tell you, this is the best kind of pride!
To end our talk here are pictures of the beautiful castle’s gardens!