Did you know that the term Skunk works is defined in the 4th edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language as “an often secret experimental laboratory or facility for producing innovative products.”
Some of the advantages of a skunk works development project are speed, project focus and team work. Even if all products that are part of a Skunk works collective are not a hit, they do have the potential to:
create a huge impact even if one of them succeed
generate new learning for your core proposition in strategic ways
The disadvantages are skilled personnel leaving the company once the project is completed, internal employee jealousy and the ‘not-invented-here’ syndrome. An article attached that explores this further.
Several things to be aware of if you are a large organization wanting to accelerate a project:
Locate your edge, which is likely to be an emerging business opportunity that has great potential to scale up rapidly.
Identify your change-maker/s who fully understand and will embrace this opportunity.
Position this individual/s outside the core of the organization.
Take a lean startup style approach and experiment relentlessly in order to accelerate learning.
Deprive the team of much in the way of support or resources.
Encourage the team to connect and partner with other parties outside of the organization to gain the support they need.
The new venture should look to create a new product or service and not cannibalize the core business, at least to begin with
If you are a young start-up or inventor looking for some space and help ask some questions before signing up. Are accelerators and incubators up to the task to create scale-able companies or is that there task today? Before you hook up with one of these see if they have an innovation process that is scale-able. Do the incubators and accelerators have the capability to help you run successful proof-of-concepts, giving access to talent and finance,these things are traditionally lacking from the modern incubator.
Assume it can be done and get to prototype so that you can get to some serious innovation!
Here is another article that gives more insight on what is skunking!
If you are thinking about the benefits of a small group working fast to complete your project talk with us about taking on this function for you. We are off-site, focused and operating autonomously on your next innovative product.
2019 is in full swing, please let us know if there is any way we can assist you in your next disruption!