My secret recipe for Innovation

recipeI have a secret recipe for Innovation. And i am gone to share it with you. It doesn’t mean that applying this you will innovate for sure and succeed each time. No. This is actually the way I propose to run n innovation process in order to maximize the chance of a success. But what is success in that case? Creating value, for your customer and for you.

A two dimension approach

Most of the time people think that innovation is inventing something. That’s not true, or at least partially. Inventing is one part of innovation. Selling it is the other part. So to innovate wisely one has to ensure both the technical and business side of its project.
Make a little stop here. Just think and try to remember things that was technically perfect, cutting-edge technologies but never sold. Found some. Mee too. The other way round? More difficult because no one is used to look at the business model but I am sure you can find some
So to innovate you have to have something that is innovating on the technical and business sides. Let’s have a look at each of them.

Innovate « technically »

I should have chosen another word but couldn’t (if you have proposition please let a comment). What do I mean when I say « Innovate technically ». Don’t misunderstand me. Do we have to have something brand new to innovate on the technical side? NO. Talking about the technical side, I mean proposing a new solution which could have been invented years before but never applied on our area of innovation. But wait… « a new solution » to what? YESSSS here we are. A solution needs a problem. So to innovate wisely you need to solve a problem. And to solve it in a way that never has been before. To my point of view it means that clients should be at the centre of your consideration. What is their real problem? How can you solve it in a way they value your work? One of the best methodology I have seen in action so far to address those questions is Design Thinking and ServiceDesign.

DesignThinking

Design Thinking will help to identify customer needs, values and environment to define a clear vision of their problems to solve in order to come up with good ideas that you will prototype and test. So I would say that in the early stage of your Innovation Process, you should consider Design Thinking and its tools.

Speed is Gold

Once that done, speed is key. You have to iterate as fast as possible collecting the maximum insights and feedback from users and customers to modify your products (your value proposition). At that point of an Innovation project (service or product), the Lean Start-up seems to me the best method to accelerate your development. Lean Start-up allows you to learn on what your customer value and how you can bring this value to them.

Lean Start-up Cycle
Lean Start-up Cycle

We will see later how to implement it with the Design Thinking Approach.
Lean Start-up approach will allow our project to deliver faster and be sure that our value proposition is understood and appreciated by out customers. Moreover it will give us some good insights about what they value in our offer.

Business model innovation

As lean start-up and Design thinking are methodologies that gives us good insights and feedback about what is the good solution for a given problem to solve and what the future customers value in our value proposition, business models can still be very different. Innovating in Business model is also a good way to innovate.
Let’s have a step back. Old products, innovative business models. Some example to share? I am sure YES. Best is new product, innovative business model. Example? Again I am sure you found some. (if not, let me a comment I will give you some example I have in mind). Regarding Business Model Innovation my favour goes to… Business Model Canva and Value Proposition Design of course. thanks to those tools you can define, represent and iterate quickly on Business Model and chose the one that will create the most value. It is really rocket tools that works well (I have really good experience applying those 2).

FR_Business-Model-Canvas

Innovating in Business Model is the most powerful way to disrupt and create higher value for both clients and your organization.

The secret recipe…

How to mix all those nice tools and methodologies in order to maximize the chance to have at the end an innovative product or service?

That’s the secret. A good mix of those methods incl. other tools (JTBD…) lead to maximize the chance of delivering a good service/product, suited to clients needs and that they value enough to buy at a fair price.

 

No design, No tech products…

 

http://www.gfk.com/PublishingImages/Press/GfK-Infographic-Look-Technology-Countries-Web.jpg

In a recent study, GfK stated that design is one of the primary choice criteria for tech products. 1/3 of buyers says that design and style are an very important in their choice. Only 10% focus on technologies.

26 000 persons have been interviewed for this study which shows interesting differences among countries and ages. One should read the study if developing a B2C products. However, do you think that this is something new? I don’t.

 

Turn your strategy into a sucess: Project Portfolio Management!

 

 

 

 

 

Having your projects serving your strategy and allowing you to reach the global objectives  is a basis for every company. However, we often see corporates which are struggling with unnecessary projects burning cash or not aligned projects consuming resources. this aims to a paradox: One doesn’t have enough money nor workforces to perform the really important projects within the organization.

Selecting the right projects to be done, arbitrating among them regarding to the available resources, budget and so with only one goal, serving the strategy and delivering what needed to succeed, that’s the goal of portfolio management.

Portfolio management has only one goal: ensuring the most out of the available resources with respect to the given strategy. It means identify and promote the most relevant projects, allow the resources, consolidate the forecast, and improve performance while managing the global risk of the portfolio. In that sense, PPM is a key task to be performed within an organization.

I am managing portfolios (mostly of innovative projects but also from operational projects) for more than 5 years now. I have changed portfolios one time and thus have been able to learn a lot about how to apply the good methods to achieve the best performance.

Running a portfolio is not an easy task and is a true management action. Arbitration, killing projects, re-allowing resources are the main task one perform each day.

Running a projects portfolio is the only way to insure that your strategy will be effectively applied by focusing on the awaited results with respect to this high level demand.

But is your company using PPM wisely?I found this infography on  I think it orth the reading.

Wrike.com

Are Companies Using Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Effectively? (#Infographic)

Which country is spending the most on R&D?

 

 

OECD
OECD

I was lucky enough to go through this document about R&D and science within the OECD. An interesting reading for those who want to know more about R&D and Innovation trends with the organisation state members.

Interesting also to see the effort in R&D according to GPD and the international comparison esp. with the US and Japan.

Israel, has we all noted in the start-up world, is pushing hard. In Europe, France and Germany are not on the top position as the Nordic countries lead the field.

How to start an innovation challenge?

INNOVATION CHALLENge

Need to boost your innovation initiative?
Need to deploy an effective way to gather ideas from your community?
Need to energize your team on the innovation side?

You have the idea to run an innovation challenge?

Running such a challenge is not a straight and easy things to do if you want to leverage all results and achieve a good outcome regarding both continuous improvement or disruptive innovation.

What is an Innovation challenge?

An innovation challenge is particular in the way that it has an end (a few weeks), it is focused on a topic and, most important and often forgotten, it is has dedidacted ressources to implement the ideas. The deliverables should be clear and precisely defined (xx ideas implemented…).

In that way, an Innovation Challenge should be run as a project.

Why running an Innovation Challenge?

3 main reasons can lead to an innovation challenge. Otherwise some other tools might be more suitable.

  1. Want to solve  specific problem and need ideas and insights
  2. Want to aware people on a specific subject
  3. Start your innovation initiative by a particular event.

Main steps to run an effective Innovation Challenge

  • Name the project manager
  • Define clear scope, duration and deliverables
  • Determine the topic of the challenge and verify that it is aligned with coprporate concerns and startegy
  • Define the wording of the question
  • Find implementation team, allow ressources
  • Define with mean will be used to set the challenge (dedicated software, sharepoint, email…)
  • Define the targeted peoples who will be able to take part to the challenge
  • Define a powerful and innovative (somehow funny) communication plan
  • Run your challenge.
  • Dont’t forget to clearly set to the audience what you are looking for (ideas? solutions? concepts?…)
  • Keep the power high by communicating regularly and encourage discussion and exchange
  • Review ideas, select the good ones and assign ressources (with a dedicated implematation plan)
  • Communicate the results

Key parameters of success

  1. Run it as a project with all regarding attributes
  2. Management support incl. possiblities to mobilize team, ressources and budget to implement slected ideas.
  3. Have a clear duration, objectives and needs
  4. Encourage engagement and organize events to energize it.

Lessons Learned

I have run more than 10 innovation challenges so far. Most of the last ones have been succes ful with more than 500 ideas submitted and more than 1M€ savings generated. Not speaking about new products under development…
The first ones were a disaster. No problem to say it. I have collected for a 3 months duration 5 ideas for my first challenge… Bad topic, bad communication, unclear problem to solve, too wide subject, not a single good practice. We wanted to do a wonderfull challenge but ended with a too wide and difficult to handle challenge. The employees simply didn’t understand the point.
Hopefully this first fail did not affect the future ones because it stayed relatively unknown and we managed to prove to the community that all means were present for the second one hich have been much more sucessful.

 

What are you main lessons learned for your Innovation Challenge?

 

Why mutual gain is key to negociate?

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "négociation"

Some days ago I have been lucky enough to be part of  a conference regarding negotiation and in particular the Mutual Gain Theory.

I have been really impressed by this approach of negotiating and would like to share it for those who didn’t know it until now.

This theory is anything else but trying to reach a win/win agreement with no disappointment on any side. This is the foundation of a solid agreement. It comes originally from the Harvard Negociation Project.

Here are reasons why you should consider Mutual gain when negotiating…

  1.  Agreement is rock solid as both parties win
  2. Long term gain instead of short term personal gain
  3. Increase the nulber of parameters negotiated, creating more value
  4. Establish a common understanding of each other interests and thus allow to biuld multiple agreements
  5. Mutual gain ad value to value

I have myself used this method to negociate for years and it gives really good results especially when to established long time relationship.