Monday, 28 March 2011

Collaborative Innovation Model by Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy

The collaborative model was developed as part of the PhD dissertation of Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy in the year 2003.

Collaborative Teams
The Collaborative Model is divided into three very specific teams with focused roles.  These are the Core team, the Enterprise wide cross-functional team and the Networked external team.  Figure below shows the composition and function of the proposed collaborative network. 
Composition of the Core Team
The core team consists of people with flair for creativity, who have a sound idea of all the functions of the enterprise.  There are two levels of requirements for the formation of Core team.  First level is a primary requirement, which includes Network Collaborator, Top Management Representative, Visual Communicator, Industrial Designer and Creativity Expert.  Second level is a conditional requirements, which includes experts in the area of technology, marketing, R&D, manufacturing, etc.
Functions of the Core Team
Core team is responsible for coordinating with the Enterprise wide cross-functional team and External networked team.  They are also responsible for deciding who should be member of the External networked team and pursuing those agencies to make them member.  The Core team would also coordinate the work done on innovative ideas by different functions, so that activity of innovation transcends the organization and runs smoothly.
 The core team would also engage in knowledge brokering or encourage other partners, especially the members of External networked team to make an effort in that direction to come up with new ideas.  In addition, they will capture and nurture good ideas, so that they can be used at the right time for the advantage of the organization. The members will use their expertise in visual representation of ideas for the purpose of enriched communication among different members of the network and other significant stakeholders like the top management.  With the help of the established collaborative network, the core team would evaluate the business potential of an innovative product idea.
The Core team will conduct creativity workshops within the organization to train employees; how to keep looking around for innovative ideas.  After an idea passes through the final stage of the idea generation process, Concept refinement and finalization, the Core team would facilitate the implementation and testing of the idea by providing right people and resources.  The core team will have provision for radical thinkers who would be part of the collaborative team but would chart their own path in Idea Generation.  The core team representative would bring in this radical idea at different stages of idea generation processes.
 Composition of Enterprise Wide Cross-Functional Team
The members must be experts in their functional area with thorough understanding of the importance of the functional activity in meeting the organization's objective.  They could be heading the department or unit, or a very senior member of their team.  They will represent all the relevant departments of the organization including, Product Planning, Marketing, Materials, Engineering Design, Research and Development, Manufacturing, Finance, and Human Resources.  
 Functions of the Enterprise Wide Cross-Functional Team
The primary function of the Enterprise wide cross-functional team would be to review and evaluation of an idea from the perspective of that particular function.  (This could be at a very broad or specific level, depending on the level to which a particular idea could go).  The members will provide innovative input from the viewpoint of their function/position within the organization.  The members will help in testing the feasibility of an idea at both the departmental (functional) level and organizational level.  This team will nurture the ideas with core team, especially when they are in nascent stage.  Innovating processes along with the products that will help organization in running more effectively and smoothly.  The team will get in touch with the relevant members of the External networked team, so that ideas could be discussed in detail or to hold detailed discussions to come up with new ideas. 
 Composition of the External Networked Team
The External networked team consists of members with varied interests who will be involved in different capacities with the organization.  First set includes members whose business is directly affected by organizations performance, e.g.:- Suppliers, Technology Providers, Distributors, Retailers, User Groups (may include industrial or domestic consumers), etc.  Second set of members includes institutions that may innovate in isolation e.g.:- Universities, Government and private laboratories.  
 Functions of the External Networked Team
The External networked team would play a very critical role in providing new inputs, as they will come from their different perspective and broader knowledge and experience base.  They would make maximum use of the knowledge-brokering cycle for the organization.  Further, they would work with organization to evaluate the potential of any innovative idea generated from within or outside for the organization.