Spring 2016: The Future of Innovation

future of innovation

Assignment Brief

The beauty industry’s think tank shared predictions about the future of innovation with a panel discussion moderated by Ellen Byron of The Wall Street Journal on June 8, 2016.

Today, innovation is the product of symbiotic relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and synthesis across domains. But what does the future hold for innovation? Graduate students in the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management master’s degree program revealed their research findings on The Future of Innovation.

The 2016 research re-examined the definition of innovation, the future evolution of innovation cultures and processes, and how corporations and brands might be structured for successful innovation in the future. Students revealed strategies for growth, factors for success, and actionable recommendations. 

One team examined External Innovation: Global Innovation Culture and a second team addressed Internal Innovation: Corporate Innovation.  

Media Coverage 

WWD: FIT Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing Grads Suggest Open Innovation, Flexible Workplaces for Future

External Innovation: Global Innovation Culture

Today, innovation goes far beyond research labs, Silicon Valley pitch meetings, and large corporate initiatives. Innovation is invariably the product of symbiotic relationships, partnerships, collaboration, and synthesis across domains. When examined holistically, innovation springs from many external sources, including academia, NGOs, creative agencies, media and research firms, consultancies, and even crowdsourcing.

Most organizations now understand that all components of innovation do not necessarily need to come from within, and that they can accelerate their efforts by sourcing externally. What role might external partners play and what do their relationships with one another look like in the future of innovation? With Gen Z entering the workforce this year, how will their distinct mindset impact the way innovation is approached? How might we envision the future of innovation culture, and which partners will be involved in fostering entrepreneurial communities? With crowdsourcing on the rise, who is really in charge and in control of the future of innovation?

Group Leaders: Hilary Feldman and Andrea Muguerza
Group Members: Jessica Abrams, Carmela Deang-Robles, Danielle Fanslau, Meredith Gray, Nicole Handy, Sorah Kim, Jacqueline Lazor, and Therese Lizardo

» Global Innovation Culture Infographic (.pdf)
» Global Innovation Culture White Paper (.pdf)

Internal Innovation: Corporate Innovation

The internal innovation capstone research is aimed at defining what the future of innovation will look like within organizations over the next seven years. The team conducted more than 70 interviews across 10 industries in four global markets. As a result, three macro trends were identified and informed the development of a new organizational model for innovation. 

This new model identifies the right organizational design to drive diversity of thought and experience, broadens the perspectives of employees via an elevated talent development structure, and creates a work environment that is rooted in trust, which will allow for the exchange of insight and intellect in order to drive innovation. This new model provides a blueprint for organizations to successfully evolve in order to better innovate and to drive concrete business returns over the next seven years.

Group Leaders: Megan Manco and Andrea Steele
Group Members: Dolores Assalini, Jennyfer Corazzari, Eleanor Jablon, Tori McGee, James Purcell, Kristi Silko, Alejandra Thompson de Jordan, and Samantha Yungst

» Corporate Innovation Infographic (.pdf)
» Corporate Innovation White Paper (.pdf)