Soren Kaplan wrote a terrific article recently for Fast Company. Kaplan explained how some large companies try to act more like startups in an effort to jumpstart innovation. He outlines four key practices/principles that invigorate innovation:
1. Follow customers home: In other words, conduct anthropological research. Go into customer homes and observe them in their natural settings using various products and services.
2. Tap outside collaborators: Bring in experts and innovators from outside the firm to bring fresh perspectives, explain their research, and educate folks about how things are done elsewhere.
3. Stay small: Don't think in terms of bet-the-company type projects. Think instead in terms of low cost, rapid experimentation.
4. Use the best, invent the rest: Creating a new product or service doesn't mean inventing the entire thing from scratch. Often, you can combine off-the-shelf components with proprietary innovations to develop a unique new product.