Friday, 28 March 2008

Do you feel that managing Innovation in your company is hard and no fun?

In many large companies managing Innovation is like being just one of the many risk avoiding grey suits. But working on Innovation supposed to be fun, different, free-thinking. Do you recognise yourself in the following situation:
  • You are responsible for the start of or running a complex and long term innovation program or portfolio with clear innovation objectives and targets
  • This portfolio exits of more complex innovation projects
  • The basics of project management of each separate project is well in place
  • Each project works in parallel to deliver the innovation targets
  • There are (strong or weak) interrelationships between these projects to manage
  • There are different (internal and external) stakeholders to manage

This sounds like one big opportunity. But there are some complications like:

  • The Innovation Objectives and targets are defined in only financial terms: Revenue/Profit growth
  • The Innovation Strategy doesn’t give directions for prioritizing and decision making processes
  • There is not overall logic overview for the portfolio to ensure the overall targets
  • There isn’t framework to oversee the impact of the portfolio on the current Business Model
  • There isn’t framework to oversee the impact of the portfolio on the technology integration needs
  • There isn’t a systematic way to manage the execution of the innovation projects successfully

And you left with the following questions:

  1. Do I really understand the Innovation Strategy of my company? If not how can I?
  2. Have I optimized our Innovation Portfolio to set the right priorities and the take the right decisions? If not how can I?
  3. Am I able to mobilize and manage the execution power in my company? If not how can I?

    And you just looking for some insights to get the answers:

Discontinuous Innovation Lab

This week the Benelux Discontinuous Innovation Lab organised a Kick-off Workshop to start an active link between the academic world and companies active in new innovation approaches. On behalf of Capgemini I took a membership in this DILab.
The main objective of this new community is to look for insights, experiences in searching, selecting and implementing new ways to realise discontinue innovations.
Prof. John Bessant shared his vision by presenting an entertaining overview in this field. He is one of the writers of the executive briefings of the Advanced Institute of Management Research: “Dealing with Discontinuity” and “Twelve search strategies that could save your organisation”.
The second presenter was Victor Paashuis from the company NEDAP. He showed us the innovation practices in his company. I was pleasantly surprised by his insights and his vision on how to execute and boost the innovation initiatives! One of his statement is that NEDAP innovates value which is not asked for by any customer, isn’t thought of by any R&D or Manager in his company. Good ideas come from a very selective group of free thinkers. They stick to the idea until it is launched in the market in spite of the dominancy of mangers focused on reducing risk.
I will keep you informed on the progress of this new initiative in the Benelux.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Technology Driven Innovation versus Business Innovation: poor alignment!

In many cases Technology Driven Innovation is an important driver for change in doing business. But what kind of technology are we talking about? Davila described in “Making Innovation Work” a distinction of three kinds of technology changes; namely in product and service offerings, process technologies and enabling technologies.

Enabling technology facilitates the speed of execution of the company’s strategy. ICT is by far the most important enabling technology in speeding up communications between the partners in the eco-system end value chain. Alignment between ICT and Business Innovation is become a key-success-factor. How are Top Innovators managing this alignment?

Recently a Global CIO Survey 2008 (400 CIOs across the globe representing all Industry sectors) showed that the role of IT function is almost non-existing in driving the Business Innovation. Alignment between ICT driven innovation and Business driven innovation is just not happening in almost every industry sector!

Business doesn’t recognize the most value Technology Trends which could enable the innovation strategy to execute.
On the other hand IT doesn’t recognize the main business drivers and can’t support the necessary changes in the business model.

I think there are already working Business Innovation Concepts to create this alignment. The challenge is how to mobilize the execution power. A lot of work is still to do!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Perfect example of innovative communication

Eric Bun is a real innovator of what I call the new generation. He is astonishing good in building communication formats in an innovative way. The latest achievement is a book review of "Brand Hijack'' from Axel Wipperf├╝rth. He showed that a book review is not simple a plain text with an opinion but also a way of bringing the message across!