Embracing Business Ecosystems to Enable Sustainable and Accelerated Innovation
In a successful business ecosystem, the level of interconnection of products is much greater than in traditional business designs. This puts the whole concept beyond the reach of the typical corporate comfort zone. Yet increasing dependence upon an ecosystem is the only way companies will be able to continue competing in the new marketplace.
To build that dependence, and indeed interdependence, the first hurdle executives face is simply to embrace the idea – accept the ecosystem concept and work together for real results. The next step is to identify key players and determine the role of each organization in developing the product ecosystem. Changing needs call for a change in skill sets, and mapping out how those new roles will be executed is an essential part of the game plan. And finally, before putting the plan into action, it is important to determine how to construct positive, win–win relationships. In the old way of thinking, bigger players could put a squeeze on suppliers to get the lowest cost, but they would miss an opportunity to develop a relationship with those suppliers. In building a thriving, successful, and self-reliant ecosystem, leaders who have strong relationships will find themselves with the advantage. Win–lose structures are based on cost alone, but win–win relationships come from working together.
This mentality is carrying over from the business sector into government. Today, we are at the start of a heightened awareness of the power of this new way of thinking, and governments are applying the principles to create national innovation systems. For example, the governments of Singapore and Ireland are attempting to create environments that make it easy for companies to innovate. Instead of keeping strict reins on businesses, they have loosened legal requirements and allowed more flexible labor laws. This has given innovation the freedom to thrive and ecosystems the opportunity to evolve, paving the way for an entire nation to develop momentum.
KeywordsOpen Innovation Product Ecosystem Corporate Entrepreneurship National Innovation System Dynamic Random Access Memory
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