Innovation has almost become a buzzword that businesses throw around because they feel they need to. But what does it mean to build an effective innovative ecosystem? There are several factors that need to be considered in order to successfully carry these ideas and features out. I will take us through 5 points that I feel are crucial for the running of an ecosystem – but first let us define what an innovative ecosystem means.  

An innovative ecosystem is a space where people can come together to share knowledge and resources with one another. It should enable people to test and iterate ideas, and communicate effectively and clearly with one another. In other words, it can be considered as a peer-to-peer review system where feedback is given, and people share current trends that can help to fix an issue.  

Here are 5 points for any company or business owner to consider:  

  • Have External Perspectives: It is important to have a variety of diverse opinions and perspectives in your ecosystem. Doing this will enable you to fill in the skills and experience gaps you might be missing, and help to open discourse to ideas and aspects you might not have considered 
  • Culture, Respect and Flexibility: No matter the size of the team or company in general, the feeling of the place you are sharing your ideas must be a safe space to do so. Employees must feel their ideas are needed and welcomed for any organization to thrive. The company must provide tangible and visible support for enacting ideas, and demonstrate their openness to hearing them. 
  • Policy: Leadership and rules within a company are also important, as presenting a consistent policy and framework for adopting new ideas will have a substantial impact on how your innovative ecosystem will work.
  • Learning: For your ecosystem to be able to succeed, there needs to be an open forum for continuous learning and space to transfer knowledge among one another 
  • Resources: This point might be considered the most important. To be able to manage your ecosystem at all you will need to have the right resources, including access to knowledge, funding and technical or practical tools (such as equipment or lab space).

These five steps are a good place to start if you are looking to build an effective innovative ecosystem.