You are a start-up mentor? Be sure you worth it

2015-10-26_21-15-20Last October I have been lucky enough to be a mentor at the BigBooster event in Lyon, France. BIG BOOSTER is an international acceleration program in cooperation with MASSCHALLENGE in Boston (the sister city of Lyon if I am not wrong).

That was my first time mentor and I have been very interested sharing my comments, experience and knowledge with 3 very promising start-ups (it ended with one of our mentored start-up ECHY@echycontact – being selected to go this February in Boston and at last being selected among the 10 most promising start-ups of the pool. One more step in April and they might get the price 😉 ).

However during the days we were working I did to myself several comments regarding this kind of events and my own value to the start-ups there. That was a life changing experience for me and a truly new vision of what need and what is a start-up that have changed the way I am envisaging working and collaborating with them as Innovation manager in a Corporate.

Here are the points I would like to share:

  • Be sure you provide value to your mentored startups but also to your start-ups representatives as an individual. Not only for the company but also for the representative it should be an opportunity to grow.
  • Made clear among mentors what are your skills, in which topics each of you is a killer and in which topics you can’t really help. That’s key for your mentored to understand what they can seek from you and what they have to find elsewhere
  • Clarify frankly and from the beginning what are the objectives of the startups: winning a slot at the accelerator? working on their projects with professionals with no particular needs or wills to be selected? Challenging their approach? That’s key for you to be sure you provide the need values and advises to your mentored.
  • Made a clear and honest feedback. As for an example, we had a start-up which was way to early to confront with the others. That was our duty to tell them and help them making progress during the 3 days.
  • Work together on the subject. As a mentor you are also here to work and produce what is needed by your start-up. You are not only a counsellor but also a kind of Blue collar…
  • Last but most important: Be humble. Those guys are working hard on their project, that’s their life, their passion. And frankly I have learned a lot from them during those days. Being an entrepreneur is hard.

Thanks for reading and connect to my mentored startups @echycontact and @stimergyfr

 

INNOWEO’s first year: a wonderful challenge starts now!

KickstarterIn the field of our first year anniversary, I am really happy to present you our first « 1 year old » project.

For more than 6 months now, I am finalizing a tool that I have started to imagine some time ago. This tool is called « My Creative Problem Solving Toolkit ». The Kickstarter campaign I am gone to launch will end this development phase. Stay tuned for more info about that.

My Creative Problem Solving Toolkit

LOGO My creative PB solving46 tarot-sized cards deck.
39 tools to facilitate Problem Solving Workshop focued on creative solutions.
7 cards on Facilitation and methodology.
1 booklet to explain you the deck
1 dedicated box to protect your cards.

description des cartes

That’s also:

  • +6 months of work (late at night to have the maximum of time with my wonderful family),
  • 3 new softwares to learn (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign),
  • 4 prototypes (1 done with powerpoint, 1 with Indesign, 2 with Illustrator)
  • 10 beta testers who helped me a lot with their comments,

Very soon I will be able togive you more information and launch the Kickstarter campaign. Stay tuned!

INNOWEO turns 1 year old: What did I learn for this first year?

05_10_15Wahou… 1 year. It has been one year that I post on Innovation, corporate Innovation, project management and related topics.

Thanks for being so many to read my posts and join our community.

Let me make a little Lessons Learned (as all good project managers do) on this first year.

The Figures

INNOWEO for this first year means:

  • Over 180 articles
  • More than 50 000 visitors (mostly with URL from the US)
  • Over 166 000 viewed pages

The most read article so far on INNOWEO is… On My Shelf – My 8 preferred books on Innovation and Innovation projects with more than 2600 views. All articles have been seen at least 400 times and about 20% are granted with more than 800 views.

Thanks for reading me!


The INNOWEO community is today 275. As a member I hope you value what we send to you incl. information on what’s going on on INNOWEO and about our next projects.


The learnings

  • 5 new softwares learned (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, WordPress and SnagIt)
  • Over 20 hours of MOOC watched (thanks to LinkedIn special offer – 1month free on Lynda.com) to have minimum skills on those softwares
  • 3 new words discovered: SEO, Growthhacking and Inbound Marketing
  • Again over 20 hours of MOOC watched on those topics (hopefully I travel a lot for my work 😉 )
  • 4 new websites used: twitter, buffer (awesome #1), Zappier (awesome #2) and canva (awesome #3)
  • 2 on-line training fulfilled (TheFamily)

The key Points to share with you

Here are my 5 key learnings of this first year:

  • writing a blog don’t take too much time if you are organized (I do it at night),
  • writing a blog means that you have set a blog… Learning WordPress and Internet mechanism is key for that.
  • SEO is queen
  • Twitter is king (read my next article on how I discovered the true power of twitter during this first year)
  • Having a blog opens a lot of doors and allow you to meet very wonderful people. (read also a coming article on that topic)

I have also learned that Twitter is an interesting media. Frankly speaking I am still amazed to see that with very little efforts and no particular strategy on this medium I have today more than 2k followers @BaptisteLeSueur. And a lot a very good interactions!!!

Again, Thanks for being part of my INNOWEO adventure. Let me know what you think about that!

Happy Birthday INNOWEO!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY INNOWEO!One year ago, on the 1st of March, was released the first post on INNOWEO.com

This year had been an amazing year for us, with a lot of joy, some disappointments, new projects, successes and failures but most importantly a lot of fun.

 

I would like to thank you for reading me, following me on twitter (@BaptisteLeSueur) and helping us to grow this adventure into the next level.

In the field of the celebration of our first year, we will give you some hints about what we have learned during this first year, not hiding the worst but promoting the good.

THANKS FOR READING.

Geek news: We made a Favicon ;-)

TEST3 - favicon4Did you realize that we have now a favicon?

This is not something really important by the way but to be frank I have had so much trouble to have it at the end of this day… I am not a IT guy so I miss up things there. However I think it is a good sign for INNOWEO. More and more I have the necessary time to set up « aesthetic » things that will make INNOWEO looks more professional.

I am preparing the step 2 for INNOWEO and this need a pro Blog. Let me know what do you think about this website (look and content), it will really help me. And tell me if the favicon works for you.

Thanks for reading!

 

Top 10 skills

I just found this picture on the net from the Davos forum

TOP 10 skills

Let’s look at the list for 2020 and what INNOWEO is about:

  1. Complex Problem Solving: That’s exactly what we do. Stay tuned for a great project on that topic coming soon.
  2. Critical thinking: To innovate wisely, you need this critical thinking that allows you to analyse the pro and cons and take the good decision, outside all those prepared matrixes…
  3. Creativity: No comment. That’s INNOWEO core value and knowledge
  4. People management: As facilitator, as managers, we manage people
  5. Coordinating with others: When driving an innovation project, that’s the main task of the project manager.
  6. Emotional intelligence: That’s part of what Creativity is about, what empathy is about, what Design thinking is about.
  7. Judgement and Decision making: We have tools for that.
  8. Service Orientation: What we do is Service Design
  9. Negotiation: Let’s read our article on that topic
  10. Cognitive flexibility: that’s key for… creativity

Let’s face it. We are ready for 2020 at INNOWEO 😉

From Ideas to Products: 5 tips to implement creative ideas

When speaking about creativity and novel ideas, it is really often that people are enthusiastic and proactive. But are we lacking of good ideas?

mini-desin-process_07

Don’t fear to lack of ideas. You will always have tons of « good » ideas

Having creative and novel ideas is not an issue. Put 10 people in a room for 1 day with a good methodology (stay tuned on INNOWEO for that 😉 ) and I guaranty that they will come out with at least 5 to 10 concepts that worth to look closer.
Every brainstorming session will end with a few good ideas.

Why so few see the light of the day?

The main reason why so few ideas come to reality is the lack of empowerment and the lack of responsability.

Really often at the end of a brainstorming seesion, all team members goes back in their office and nothing happens. If no one is ready to take risks for the idea, it is quite normal that very few are actually realized.

As Innovation manager it is key for us to inverse this curve and make more ideas a reality. Don’t mess you up. It means that the organisation has to support your game.

Here are my tips to guaranty that ideas are at least studied and some be saved from the dark night they are heading to.

My 5 tips

  1. Find ambassadors or champions (who will drive and support the projects, from top exec to project managers, via technicians.., your champs can be everywhere in your organisation).
  2. Have team members (of your creativity workshop) engaged by setting a list of actions for each of them
  3. Prove the value by communicating on good results
  4. increase the number of participating people: the more people involved in saving ideas,  the more ideas saved
  5. Train your execs. Focus on value added and value creation to explain your execs how wonderful new ideas are. If you are successful, no more budget and resources issues 😉

Do you have more tips? Share it with us!