As part of a future fit technology strategy, technology leaders must aspire to create an environment where internal teams can collaborate with partners to realize the value the organization is after. I outlined the basic steps in my previous blog post, Take The Leap To Form Creative Partnerships And Scale Innovation. But guardrails must be in place to help a value-aligned and purpose-driven co-innovation partnership succeed.

A Transparent, Joint Approach — But You Own The Initiative

Co-innovation partnerships might sound a lot like “creativity unbound.” But there are a few key rules to govern your journey:

  • Transparency is everything. Always operate in plain sight: Value measurements and decision processes must be open for all to see. Everyone on the team must understand how their work relates to the overall organizational objectives and key results (OKRs).
  • Forget org charts. Organize the joint team around themes, streams, and experiences — not reporting lines. You and your partner will collaborate within flexible workstreams, some of which might be temporary. Put committed leaders in charge, not line managers.
  • Mesh up frameworks. Frameworks are tools, not straitjackets. Set dogmatism aside to jointly choose what is best suited. Fuse standard frameworks and your partner’s best practices, and jointly refine as you go.
  • It’s your thing. You and your partner will jointly define value metrics, investment criteria, and team alignment — but you always own the initiative. The ultimate co-innovation partnership model, though, is a joint venture.

Bold Organizations Unleash Creativity Through Co-Creation Partnerships

Working with co-innovation partners is a departure from traditional engagement models that you may still be experiencing. You will be building joint, nimble, creative teams and establishing the right conditions for them to thrive. Your partnership will be based on trust, transparency, and value alignment.

Forrester clients can read more about how bold organizations can unleash creativity and learn how Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approached this journey in my latest report, Preparing Your Organization For Co-Innovation Partnership Success.


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If you’d like to discuss how this affects you and your organization, please don’t hesitate to schedule an inquiry call with me.