When projects extend beyond the boundaries of the firm to involve external players, an even greater set of new capabilities is required — to find external innovations, bring the players on board, and manage the expectations and contributions of complementary partners. For example, when Intel launched WiMAX (the wireless broadband standard), it initially partnered with a few other companies. But over time, Intel had to recruit a wider ecosystem of players to supply compatible infrastructure, devices, and services.
Experience shows that innovation doesn’t have to be constrained to the complexity–dispersion curve. Implementing the necessary changes is challenging and can take time — but it is one of the best ways to position an innovative company for competitive advantage in the future.
Reprint No. 00145
- Yves Doz is the Solvay Chaired Professor of Technological Innovation at the international business school INSEAD.
- Keeley Wilson is an INSEAD research fellow specializing in innovation.
- This article has been adapted from the authors’ book, Managing Global Innovation: Frameworks for Integrating Capabilities around the World (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2012).