In my last post I introduced C.K. Prahalad’s message on the importance of co-creation in developing countries. This theory has a significant impact on job seekers looking for international high-tech job opportunities at large corporations.
One of the key elements of Prahalad’s theory is that new inventions must be co-created with the audience for which they are intended. This audience may include the poorer residents in developing countries. When it comes to new high-tech gadgets and infrastructures, corporations must work closely with consumers to ensure that new products truly meet their needs.
The market opportunities available in developing countries cannot be addressed by corporations if all of their intrapreneurs are deeply entrenched within their own cultures in a single geographic location. What is required instead is a local intrapreneur who can take the initiative to engage with these customers directly and participate in innovation by co-creation.
For innovation by co-creation to happen, corporations need to identify, train, and empower a set of global intrapreneurs who support each others’ efforts. Often times these corporations will train them using successful formulas (such as the seven habits of highly effective intrapreneurs). When employees have developed the skills and been given the autonomy to innovate in their own locale, they can engage local consumers and enter into the process of co-creation.
Engagement with local consumers and customers fosters ideas, and these ideas will lead to product proposals. In the book Innovate With Global Influence, I describe multiple examples of how globally distributed employees were able to generate their own ideas and deliver them within a large corporation.
What does this have to do with high-tech job seekers in developed countries (like the United States)? In the definition of reverse innovation, the last and final stage results in high-tech products that are exported back into more developed countries. This is extremely hard to do, because different countries have different regulations when it comes to the sustainability of high-tech products and the governance of high-tech information. Therefore it is imperative that local intrapreneurs interact with their global counterparts. Why? Because intrapreneurs need to collaborate with each other on the complex issues of global sustainability, and the international governance of information.
The need for high-tech employees to participate in globally distributed product development is an exciting option for a career in high-tech innovation. My next post will discuss how job seekers can best leverage this opportunity.
Steve Todd is a high-tech inventor and author of the book “Innovate With Global Influence“. An EMC Intrapreneur with over 150 patent applications and billions in product revenue, he writes about innovation on his personal blog, the Information Playground.