We have several methods when we work with our clients (including many Forbes 500 corporates)
1- Startup Engagement: Benchmarking is one of the critical methods when you are corporate. We leverage 10s of startups in their domain to show how they are innovating in so-called regulatory, old, and close innovation industries. Our clients are pleased to talk and work with startups, which generally opens up a new chapter for them.
2- Ideation / Hackathons: Depending on the company itself, bringing outside talent or inside talent to such camps gives a massive boost to their creative juices. Seeing how people perceive their business or the future of their industry helps them understand what is going to come soon. Suppose a company has technological sources like APIs. In that case, Hackathons are good to find new talent and see how people are utilizing their tech. Even if companies do not have APIs (if you are reading this and you don’t know what API is, most probably you don’t), they can still workaround with ideation sessions. 24–48 hours of limited resources problem-solving cases.
3- Setting up a startup accelerator: So far, we’ve put in place more than five corporate accelerators having more than 100 startups in total in the program. Corporate employees have the chance to meet and work with these startups and learn from them.
4- Innovation bootcamps: We have a methodology similar to running our startup accelerator for corporate employees, which takes 6–14 days according to the intensity. These days are distributed around different times. We generally talk about Lean startup methodology to break their perceptions of how startups create value much similar or more significant than their own companies. In most cases, we result with 8–10 new startup-like ideas which can be put in place within the company.
Our actions are primarily to create awareness of thinking like a startup and find early adopters with incorporates. (Please see early adopters). If your company has ~1000 employees, you should expect that roughly 50 people in different levels from entry to C-Level are very prone to innovation. After you find those people, you need to empower them, give them some courage to test and fail, and then spread their experiences throughout the company. Those communications could be in different formats; having a fireside chat in the company, creating written or video content with these people, or adopting new team building activities.
I see significant improvement with the corporates we work with and love to add more things as we proceed. For more, you can check Hackquarters and reach out to me!
This is the revised version of a quora answer our CEO Kaan Akın wrote in 2018.