Mentoring: The secret formula for corporate success

To develop an inventive solution, you don’t have to be an expert in the field you’re observing or investigating.

There’s one shared truth about innovation: big ideas are just ideas unless they bring real value to the world.

That’s why nearly every VC, entrepreneur, corporate innovator, and university researcher is looking for the same thing: a formula for recognizing, developing, and scaling great ideas into high-impact inventions.

However, a new model for sourcing and scaling big ideas is on the horizon. That’s what Mentoring is all about! It is based on the most crucial success factor in assisting young entrepreneurs in turning their ideas into real-world solutions. 

The startup ecosystem is built on networks of people who help one another. Investors discuss deals and referrals, and entrepreneurs assist other founders in obtaining consumers, talent, and finance. Mentoring is a fantastic way for company founders and corporate employees to form personal bonds and learn how they can assist one another. This is how you establish your name and network.

An external innovation mentor for corporations is a person who can help a company’s innovation team, business units, or leaders adopt creative solutions or disruptive ideas in their organization. In today’s fast-paced innovation climate, organizations must institutionalize mentorship programs as they endeavor to embrace the entrepreneurial mentality. According to a UPS Store survey, 70% of firms that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is twice the percentage of startups that do not receive mentoring.

To develop an inventive solution, you don’t have to be an expert in the field you’re observing or investigating. Not all startup innovators and entrepreneurs come from the same industry as the company’s domain. This supports the notion that innovative talents can be learned rather than inherited.

Questioning is the most crucial skill to develop. Asking “why” or “what if” can help you enhance your other talents and perceive a problem or opportunity from a new angle. Many innovators and entrepreneurs built their businesses by observing and questioning their environment. 

Outsiders with fresh viewpoints are the entrepreneurs with the most significant potential to make an impact.

Some entrepreneurs are concerned that corporations will slow them down, that they will not comprehend them, and that corporations will steal their product ideas. On the other side, corporations are concerned that startups will fail rapidly, be too shabby, and fail to provide rapid returns on their investment. Only by establishing trust between them will they be able to collaborate.

The fundamental idea is to provide value to the founders. This enables organizations to shift mindsets and bring those perspectives back into the workplace, resulting in a more agile and inventive organization. It also allows for a reputation as true partners to entrepreneurs inside global startup ecosystems rather than as takers.

Mentors also take what they learn from working with company founders to internal venture builders. They can serve as internal mentors and coaches, assisting internal businesses in growing and scaling.

Why do innovation mentors matter?

Source of creativity and inspiration.

To come up with fresh ideas, most firms rely on a small number of people within their organization. By taking a more collaborative approach, corporations can profit from their innovation mentors, who are well-connected to growing industries and trends. Based on the expertise gained from their innovation mentors, corporations can then identify the most significant opportunities and generate new ideas and creative concepts for their organization.

Furthermore, many organizations are uninformed of the potential benefits of new technologies. Innovation mentors can help organizations figure out how to integrate new technologies into their operations in the most efficient way possible.

Source of Validation

It’s common for a company to grow unduly committed to a single notion or acquire tunnel vision after developing an original idea or business plan. Before implementing a new concept, companies must validate their new ideas or business models with unbiased and external parties.

As they are unbiased, external, and professionals, the innovation mentor is an excellent individual to validate a company’s new idea or business model. An innovation mentor can help confirm a company’s unique vision, help the company look beyond its original scope, develop the idea, and provide critical feedback and criticism.

Mentors are knowledge banks.

Experience is critical to a company’s success. Innovation mentors have worked with other businesses to assist them in integrating disruptive ideas into their operations. They may utilize this knowledge to coach businesses through the common hurdles they face on their innovation path to avoid costly blunders.

Mentors navigate risks

Corporations are set up and organized to maximize profit while reducing risk. However, we all know that the larger the risk, the greater the reward. Innovation is no different, and it necessitates risk-taking in businesses. Suppose you aren’t willing to make mistakes. Mentors in innovation can help companies navigate the innovation process and gain confidence. 

During the innovation process, there will always be bottlenecks or persons in any organization who do not believe in a given idea or concept. Innovation mentors can offer encouragement when it’s challenging to maintain the necessary confidence for success. Pilot projects and new business models can all be evaluated by innovation mentors to determine when to pivot and when to persevere.

Mentors improve the company ecosystem.

Access to an innovation mentor’s environment can bring various advantages. Innovation mentors, for example, can make crucial introductions. In the complicated innovation ecosystem, the best innovation mentors are those who are well connected. In the example of British Petroleum, an innovation mentor connected them to a startup, which helped them reach one of their strategic goals much more quickly. This is because the startup they collaborated with already had a solution for their strategic goal. An innovation mentor can not only introduce you to an innovation ecosystem partner but also show you how to engage with the most successful. Guidance is essential since corporations interact with startups differs significantly from how corporations interact with one another.

Invest In Innovation Mentors

If companies want to be effective at accepting disruptive change in today’s market, they need innovation mentors. An innovation mentor is an external innovation professional – an individual or a consulting firm – who will guide and advise a corporation’s innovation team, business unit, or leaders who want to implement innovation in their company. A company can benefit from having an innovation mentor in various ways. They can contribute to a company’s innovation ecosystem by giving creativity and inspiration, validating ideas, providing experience and guidance throughout the innovation process, and improving its innovation environment.

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