Johnson & Johnson Opening The Doors To Innovation – Walking the Walk

by Carl Bohlin, Member Success Manager

Quite often we hear of organizations looking to improve the industry in which they compete, or to benefit society, through innovation – a common buzzword at times.  In actuality what we have found is that innovation can mean real change which is unrealistic to the existing culture due to quarterly earnings or the board seeking immediate or foreseeable returns.  Further innovation leaders are also challenged with ROI for potentially disrupting the business (revenue) as it exists today.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation Labs (JLABS) is breaking the mold in a big way. Last month, we were lucky enough to have our Crowd Company Innovation leaders hosted for a tour, dinner and discussion at JLABS.  What we found in the lab, and J&J as a whole, is a culture that is diametrically opposite normal business behavior, and benefiting as a result.  How so?  Invite anyone (possibly future competitors) into a J&J space and provide start-ups full access to advanced medical devices & tools, peers, workspace and structure to advance specific medicines.  More importantly J&J is providing these tools with no vested interest.  

How can this be?  J&J doesn’t just have a mission statement, they live and breathe through their Credo which I encourage everyone to read.  The Credo starts with responsibility to medical professionals, patients, families and communities.  The final paragraph mentions stockholders and how they will benefit when all items described are handled properly.  

JLABS – like any innovation – was created through a need. Melinda Richter suffered a near fatal medical emergency while traveling internationally.  She made a promise that if she survived she would do something to enhance medical efficiency and bring solutions to patients faster and better than ever before.  The JLABS concept was created and sold to executives.  JLABS not only thrives but is part of the discussion of every company meeting.

JLABS provides

  • Start-ups access to working & lab space.  New space that is designed to foster innovation, not old storage or leftover.  The JLABS facility is separate and distinct with no J&J scientists working there.
  • The most up to date technology and tools provided by partners.  Tools J&J scientists may not have access to, and are often asking for.
  • Complete privacy to work without any sharing of IP.  Security cameras are not even allowed to be directed where work is being conducted and participants are encouraged to clean whiteboards after using
  • J&J assistance with advice from funding, legal, production and more

In return, J&J has built lasting relationships and a fulfillment of the credo they live by. There are no strings attached for the researchers and the solutions they create.  The end result could be partnerships, possible acquisition, private product launches, series funding or at the very least betterment of society and/or the people J&J serves.  Living up to the credo!

Are you ready to open doors and assist disruption of your industry?  

 

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