Over the last 5 years, I have had the privilege to work with several large companies helping them design and deliver their innovation programs. One element that some fail to account for is the critical role of Legal & Compliance (L&C) in the process of business model innovation.
How often have we heard of stories that have negatively affected a corporation's reputation, brand image or market cap? The larger an organization gets, the higher the stakes therefore they have professional and robust L&C processes in place. They are there to ensure that the employees operate within the regulatory and legal bounds of their business environment.
But these very processes that protect the existing business inevitably become major obstacles for innovation teams trying to test their business ideas ‘cheaply & quickly’. When teams wish to talk directly to customers, they are not allowed to or when they wish to put out a prototype in the market, they need to go through a minimum 6 month long process. Very often, just having the chance to talk to someone in L&C can take 2 weeks or more.
If an Innovation program is not designed to include innovative ways to tackle this challenge, it is likely to create poorer outcomes in terms of evidence collected from the market and insights to be drawn from them. Furthermore, you run the risk of team members being excited about the entrepreneurial methodologies but frustrated by the procedural burdens.
In a recent Stratchat with Alex, I shared a couple of real-world examples from the Pharmaceutical industry (which is highly regulated). where we addressed this challenge at the design and delivery phases such that L&C helped these teams move forward.
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