How do you seize opportunities?


Larger companies find themselves facing opportunities they cannot seize alone


…Or sometimes even their industry cannot seize alone

Can successful solutions in other sectors work in the hospitality arena? In an increasingly digital and connected environment is a possible solution to use partnerships for shared problems?

A partnership process which helps build innovation capabilities for the digital age which can work across the sector.

EP has long supported many entrepreneurs within and beyond hospitality whose original thinking and innovation can be successfully applied in larger companies. This fine example below may also work for the sector…

The Cisco Example

Cisco, the California networking and technology company, created a possible answer to the challenge of finding new ways to grow profits. They brought together innovation mavericks and senior executives at large established companies in a model designed to address opportunities where the goal is to work together to overcome an issue.

Instead of relying on start-ups to create the innovation or buying them in, companies can take part in an ‘ecosystem innovation’ to collaborate to develop and then commercialise new concepts.




The four phases from Cisco’s example:


1.Identify the ‘focus zones’ and innovation partners

These are the areas of opportunity, the group knows they need to draw on each other’s capabilities to create ecosystem level solutions so they evaluate the best way to apply the methodology.

2. Find and define the problem

A robust problem discovery and definition phase is finalised after months of asking and understanding the problems customers face.

3. Convene the participants to prototype solutions

Teams build a simple prototype, use it to test their “leap of faith” assumption with customers, and then apply the learning to restart the build-test-learn loop.

4. Achieve commitment and follow-up

The teams prepare presentations for experts and investors – for Cisco this was their senior executives and executives from the participating organisations. Anyone ‘judging’ the event and wanting to invest must commit on the spot.

According to participants the value of the process goes far beyond additional revenue. Every experiment produces three types of value: launch, strategic, and exit.

Who will be the first to raise their hand and join in a partnership of innovation to solve a shared problem.

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