For all of the creative enterprises that can be found across the globe, company bosses can always look at American innovation trends for inspiration. Indeed, no matter the country, business leaders around the world are always pushing two big themes throughout their businesses: (1) “We need to be more innovative in our thinking!” (2) “Digital transformation needs to be a top priority.” The problem? Both of these terms have been reverberating through the hallways of thousands of US and UK businesses for the last ten years without much real progress (remember when Palm Pilots would cure our dependence on paper as part of that digital transformation?). And worse still is that most of our employees have grown deaf to both of these terms. And yet, these terms are more important than ever. So how can you regain the attention of your employees? Embrace American innovation trends. I’ve written about how to do that with digital transformation before, but when it comes to innovation and, more specifically, gaining innovative thinking from your employees, you need to inspire them to the task, not just speak on it at conferences and at your all hands meetings. That said here are three American innovation trends that have taken root during the last five years. Here in the US, these are the practices that you should be looking at with your employees. (1) Corporate innovation partnerships When I was working at PwC US I was a part of our @Scale Fin Tech corporate innovation team. This team worked with outside startups to find the best and most innovative new technology for our large financial services clients. Our primary goals were to show that PwC could find and validate interesting fintech companies, and partner with them on solutions for some of our largest financial services companies. Think of large US banks that want to better understand blockchain technology and how it will affect them in the future. However, large corporations, such as PwC, are not the only ones connecting Fortune 500 to startups to be more innovative. Some startup hubs are taking on that role to actively drive their business. Texas-based startup accelerator Capital Factory in Austin is following this model. After being approached by companies like Daimler, and government agencies like the Department of Defence, Capital Factory hired veteran Steve Guengerich to further connect large enterprises to the startup scene in Austin. He will serve as their director of corporate innovation and his full-time job will be making their startup hub a high value source of innovation. Continue on the next page for the remaining two American innovation trends you can learn from.
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