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Innovation ecosystems and the value of collaboration

How to approach innovation partnerships

When it comes to innovative ideas, many think of the light bulb going off in the head of an individual in a stroke of genius. In reality, game-changing ideas are much more frequently the product of innovation ecosystems—groups of organizations brought together with purpose to foster the development of norm-challenging innovative solutions.

Ecosystems in the era of intentional innovation

Consumers and businesses alike remain fascinated by the lore of innovation—from the college dropout who started a personal computing revolution in his Los Altos garage to the programmers whose video game bust transformed into a messaging platform boon.

Certainly, the lone genius and their surprising, sometimes earth-shaking inventions are breathtaking to behold. But for innovation to be useful to most enterprises, especially established ones, there needs to be a deliberate plan to find and shape ideas for their markets (existing and emerging), rapidly vet value, and scale accordingly. In turn, these big organizations can serve as the lifeblood for startups, whose existence may rest on finding the right innovation partnerships and customers quickly to create an interconnected market. Enter the era of the innovation ecosystem.

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Digital innovation ecosystems: Learning the basics

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Collaboration, intention, culture

By being part of an innovation ecosystem, by being part of a platform play, you can bring the best of what you are to this end-to-end solution. When you bring people together, they have a network effect, and they build on top of each other. So, the innovations don’t just get linearly better. They get exponentially better.

The best ecosystems are intentionally created. There is a purpose, there is a strategy behind it, and there are rules to make sure that the ecosystem can work well together. It could be as simple as doing preliminary research, talking to others about what’s worked for them, and narrowing your field around what partners you want to start to form relationships, before you proliferate to multiple.

The culture of an ecosystem is crucial. When you’re getting together very large organizations and completely different startups, there are inevitably going to be culture clashes. It’s important to define who you are, what you are, what you stand for.

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Find your place in an innovation ecosystem

How can innovation ecosystems remove isolation from innovations and accelerate with intention? How can new solutions in groundbreaking areas of technology, including digital reality, artificial intelligence, mobility, blockchain, and others, be more intentionally developed and brought to life? How can digital innovation ecosystems foster digital disruption, transformation, and overall change in how humanity engages with technology, businesses, and each other?

Deloitte’s newly expanded Catalyst leadership team and colleagues will address how enterprise and startup companies can thrive within an effective global innovation ecosystem that allows every participant to focus and accelerate growth goals to realize the prospects of the future—today.

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Digital reality changes everything.
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