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2022 | Book

The Corporates Strike Back

How Large Companies Win the Innovation Race Against Disruptive Start-ups


About this book

65% of global CEOs are concerned about losing the innovation race against disruptive start-ups. The supposed solution: copying their methods. But as corporations are not start-ups, this is a fatal mistake. Most ideas never reach successful implementation, and innovation becomes frustration. So how does a solution look like that enables large firms to systematically leverage their existing strength and thus win the innovation race sustainably? The answer is the 5C process for efficient innovation. This book closes a gap in the practice-oriented innovation literature - and brings the desire for innovation back to established companies.

The road to successful innovation management is long - this book is the shortcut.

Thomas Weiler, VP Innovation Portfolio & Strategic Programs, Deutsche Telekom

An overdue update on traditional R&D processes for the 21st century.

Uwe Wagner, CTO, Schaeffler

Anyone who has ever experienced the methodology described here in practice will hide the book from the competition!

Dr. Carsten Stöcker, World Economic Forum, Global Future Council-Member

Table of Contents

1. Innovate or Die: Efficient Innovation Instead of Inefficient Start-UpStart-up Thinking
With upcoming disruptive start-ups changing the rules of the game, innovation has become increasingly essential and difficult for incumbents to thrive in today’s world. By copying the start-up methods, large companies try to solve the innovation dilemma of simultaneously managing their existing core business and creating new, disruptive innovations. However, these start-up methods are focused on opportunistic greenfield innovation. Consequently, implementing them in complex corporate environments leads to a vanishingly small chance of success. To increase these chances, incumbents need to find a way to exploit their strengths as an unfair advantage by developing efficient innovations with high customer fit and traction. Using the proposed 5C process, corporates can find the balance between their core business and future opportunities to win the innovation battle against disruptive start-ups with efficient innovation.
Lucas Sauberschwarz, Lysander Weiss
2. Efficient Innovation with the 5C Process5C process
Taking into account conventional innovation methods, a direct link from the current business of the corporation with high traction towards innovative, new business is often not established. This is because innovation processes usually deal with either the customer (pull) or the company (push) side. Differentiating from such innovation processes, the 5C process stands out in combining both customer fit and traction to enable efficient innovation for corporations through processual ambidexterity. To achieve this, the 5C process is broken down in five steps: Configuration, Customisation, Compilation, Construction and Conversion.
During the Configuration, innovation potentials are derived by combining emerging market/customer opportunities with existing core business strengths. Customisation marks the identification and validation of customer pain points within a selected potential. On this basis, new inspirations for ideas are gathered through scouting during the Compilation. Subsequently, in the Construction, multidimensional ideation is applied to create innovative ideas and concepts that are innovative ‘inside-the-box’ and hence, as close to the core business as possible and as disruptive as necessary. Finally, the Conversion deals with the transition from an implementable innovation concept to its implementation and commercialization as a successful innovation.
Lucas Sauberschwarz, Lysander Weiss
3. The Innovation Machine: Efficient Innovation in Corporations
The chapter deals with the question how efficient innovation can be implemented organizationally. As a basis, the strategic significance of innovation in companies must be clarified. Next, in addition to integrating the 5C process itself, sustainable efficient innovation with major strategic relevance, customer fit and exploitation of the core business also demands a suitable organisational anchoring, possibly in a specific venturing/innovation unit. For these, appropriate conditions must be established in the organisation to enable the seamless implementation of the 5C process, including for instance the right structures, governance, culture and capabilities. As a result, an "efficient innovation unit" can be institutionalised which can cover both the creative problem-solving and the analytical work required to implement the 5C process and sustainably establish efficient innovation in the company.
Lucas Sauberschwarz, Lysander Weiss
4. The End Is Not Nigh
The need for innovation will increase even further in the future driven by increasingly fast social changes, new technologies and the associated changes in customer needs. Armed with the 5C process to develop efficient innovations, corporations can gain new confidence and motivation to pick-up the battle against disruptive start-ups.
Lucas Sauberschwarz, Lysander Weiss
The Corporates Strike Back
Lucas Sauberschwarz
Lysander Weiss
Copyright Year
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN

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