Co-creation. Some call it innovating at innovation.
Yet, with market conditions being what they are, it is no longer enough to merely come up with a bigger, faster or smarter product or service; the game belongs to those who innovate innovatively so they go leaner and their offerings get cheaper, more durable and first to market. This is driving enterprises to look at new ways of innovation - like co-creation. And, that takes more than two heads engaging in an inspired exchange of ideas.
A fairly defined ideation framework, with a robust platform to match, where members of the co-creation ecosystem can gather, collaborate and share ideas is a good starting point. And yes, a clear vision of the joint investment, and how it will create opportunities for everyone must necessarily lead. With this in place, several interesting co-creation models have thrived in recent times.
The most basic type, if you will, works well at an early stage of Intellectual Property development. Herein, the technology partner, with the co-creation framework and platform, collaborates with a product partner to refine and bring momentum to an existing innovation. Product customization partnerships are fairly common too with partners jointly charting the customization path and laboring through the product road map. Often times, joint research agreements help crystallize the partners' 'informed hunches' into innovative product development ideas. A more intensified model of co-creation is a joint innovation center, wherein partners leverage collective strengths in research and development to accelerate innovation. Product development, herein, goes the whole nine yards. Everything is jointly defined and executed - ideas for the product, the co-creation path, working through product development, incubation and finally, commercialization.
Whatever be its form, co-creation works on a fundamentally simple principle - take responsibility for innovation out of a distant uninvolved lab and place it right at the heart of a truly invested market - its ecosystem. Suddenly, it's in everybody's interest to make it work. To keep it lean. To rake in the green-backs. As quickly as possible.
Innovative innovation? Perhaps. But then, it's also the basics of business at work in its purest form.