Archives de catégorie : idea management

249$: the price of your pro life

I am not used to write article in reaction to news but at that point I have to write it down.

So Microsoft just bought LinkedIn for over $26 B. That’s a lot of money but what is important is another figure: 249$.

I found this number on the net and it is the first time I see a pricing for a profile.

Take $26.2 billion, divide it by 105 million, which is the total number of active members on LinkedIn, and you get $249.52. And that tells us exactly what our professional information and allegiance–yours, mine, and virtually everybody we know–is worth.
Inc.com

Just take a moment. Think about it and what it means for you, for us and for the business.

That’s pretty interesting. Really.

 

10 steps to successfully present your new Product (or service)!

Skyrocket(infographic)

The most impressive product advocates like Steve J. share the same method to be sure to create an extraordinary moment when presenting a product. Here is what they do to convince you and millions that the brand new thing they have for you is an absolute must:

 

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
    Success needs hard work.
  2. Find a name: Short, clear, straight to the point
    This is one the most important thing to do. A good name will allow everybody to remember your product and its positioning, a bas one…
  3. Find a good moto: « The car, without the gasoline »
    Refer to the main solved problem, summarize the advantages, make the value clear
  4. Explain the main functionalities of your product: « Phone + email + internet »
    That’s where you show why your best, not 1 or 2 times, 100 times better!
  5. Make a demo that will help your audience to picture themselves
    Show it real, show it works!
  6. Present a problem you solved, the competitors don’t (and show how you solved it of course)
    That’s where you hit the target.
  7. A second one?
    That’s where you hit the target, a second time.
  8. Summarize quickly all the advantages / innovations / key features of your product
    so much advantages, so many innovations…
  9. Explain the pricing vs competitors or equivalent solutions
    Convinced that your product is THE solution, explain to your prospects that your are not a escrow (at least pretend it).
  10. Train, train and train
    Do it in front of your mum, your son, your wife, your dog, do it and do it again and again so that the D-day it will be smooth, clear and efficient.

Some more to add?

Infographic 1

Wisely use Sticky notes in your Workshops

lean-office-manage-sticky-notes It might seem obvious to use but sticky notes are not that easy to use in a workshop. Let’s discover how to use it wisely for the good of your workshop and to achieve the results your participants deserve.

Sticky notes are somehow the most used tools in Innovation, Creativity, Brainstorming, Problem Solving…. well it is the most used tool when dealing with ideas, structuring and organizing things.

As easy as it seems, using the sticky notes at their top power requires some tips we will share with you.

Why are the sticky notes such a Star?

Sticky notes have a bunch of advantages for organizing and structuring ideas of any kinds.

  • Visual: Images are processed 6000 times faster than text. With their colours and shapes it amplify information and provide quick understanding of the underlying contextual contents.
  • They are legions: As they are easy to set, you can catch all ideas coming up in your team life like a streaming of content
  • Movable: as you can rearrange them, it is easy to cluster ideas, create connections and reorganise your thinking

How to get the most out of it?

A sticky note is more than just a piece of coloured paper glued on a wall. It has 4 characteristics giving them their abilities to organize and visually shape your mind:

  1. Writing
    Too much text makes it unreadable and will alter the necessary « quick » understanding, giving too much details.
    Too less text will not give enough contents to understand the deep meaning.
    The good writing of a sticky note should be concise enough to be understood.
  2. Drawing
    Humans understand much better images than text. A sketch illustrating the ideas will ease the understanding. Sketching is also a good way to stay concise.
  3. Colour
    Using different colours allow structuring and managing your different ideas and concepts. One colour, one group, one category is a good technique to stay your workshop organized.
  4. Shape
    Sticky notes are now coming in various size and various shape. Choose the ones that are the most suited for your workshop.
    3d_sticky_notes_and_pointers_set_310506SMS-Sticky-Notes

Last tips

As I have used thousand of sticky notes in hundreds of workshops, I can share with you some tips.They are not definitive, so feel free to add yours as a comment.

I personally use the traditional squared one in different colours (at least 4) and the « citation » one. I categorize the notes and structure my mind.From time to time I like other shapes but only for a dedicated use only. As for an example, I use arrow-shaped ones for process analysis and I have found an bulb-shaped ones for good ideas!

My tips for your next workshop:

  • Be sure the sticky band is positioned on the top to avoid the sticky note to be up side down,
  • Write upper case to be readable from away,
  • Keep the same ink colour during your workshop, unity creates readability.

 

Thanks for reading.

FabLab d’Entreprise: Retour d’expérience (Saison 2)

Pour retrouver la saison 1, c’est ICI

Voici maintenant près de 2 ans nous inaugurions notre FabLab d’entreprise. C’est l’une des briques qui définit aujourd’hui l’écosystème d’innovation de l’entreprise. Ce fablab, pensé, conçu et réalisé en interne, partait sur des hypothèses assez tranchées et peu communes:

  • pas d’équipe d’animation dédiée mais des « champions », des référents qui avaient pour mission d’animer et de promouvoir le lieu,
  • Un Lieu « DUAL » avec une partie orientée INNOVATION (Design de SERVICE, workshop de créativité, Business Model génération, Design thinking etc…) plutôt orientée concept et réflexion et une autre partie clairement orientée PROTOTYPAGE avec principalement une imprimante 3D, des moyens électronique (ARDUINO etc…) et maquettage plus classique (carton etc…)
  • Un libre service complet avec des réservation en ligne

Après 2 ans de fonctionnement quels enseignements peut on tirer?

Un bilan globalement positif, des améliorations à mener.

  1. La nécessité d’avoir un accompagnement technique et méthodologique
    Même si les équipes sont formées aux techniques de créativité (+de 30 animateurs formés et certifiés), de BM generation etc… il est indispensable d’avoir un accompagnement plus proche et précis des utilisateurs et un process pour le soutenir. C’est une démarche que nous mettons en place actuellement pour accentuer les effets positifs de notre Lab. Cependant la position de ne pas consacrer une équipe à temps complet nous tient à coeur. Cela oblige à l’appropriation du lieu par les équipes, même si du coup la dynamique est plus complexe à enclencher.
  2. La complémentarité du lieu DUAL.
    La mise en place des 2 espaces, en insistant sur la mobilité et sur l’agilité de l’espace est clairement un succès. Le prototypage est alors complètement corrélé à l’intérêt business (pour la partie BM generation) et les idées obtenues lors des phases de créativité sont immédiatement testées. C’est hyper réactif et hyper efficace.
  3. Les limites du libre service
    Comme indiqué plus haut, la nécessité d’un accompagnement est clair. Cependant le principe du libre service sans équipe dédié est pour nous important. Comment faire pour accompagner les équipes alors même que les réservations sont automatiques et les sujets peuvent être inconnus? C’est tout la subtilité de l’accompagnement et du réseau de « champions », connaitre les projets, susciter les vocations et les demandes d’utilisation et proposer notre catalogue de service d’accompagnement des porteurs de projet (c’est gratuit…)
    Un autre aspect insoupçonné au départ est l’aspect… vol. Disons clairement, c’est un risque lorsque vous mettez une telle structure en libre service avec des outillages et des moyens. Nous avons mis en place une bibliothèque qui a subi quelques outrages au démarrage mais tout s’est remis en ordre rapidement. Le matériel n’a pas disparu mais il s’absente régulièrement. Je trouve cela plutôt positif, montrant que nos équipes s’investissent.
  4. La nécessité d’acculturer la totalité de l’organisation.
    La culture du Lab et du Make n’est pas inné dans une vieille organisation, habituée au processus classique de développement. L’acculturation de tous les étages de l’organisation doit être réalisée avec un très grand soin. Pour le faire nous avons organisé des réunions d’information et des démonstrations dans le Lab. Nous avons également démontré pragmatiquement les gains qu’ouvraient une telle structure dans l’entreprise. Vous avez gagné quand les utilisateurs réparent seuls l’imprimante 3D est… imprimant la pièce cassée (le ventilateur en l’occurrence).
  5. L’évolution et le change permanent
    Le fabLab et la culture Maker tournent autour des concepts de test & Learn. Ces concepts s’appliquent aussi à la strucuture et il faut s’avoir adapté les choses à l’usage et l’utilisation que font de cet outils nos collaborateurs. Cela induit une remise en question permanente du lieu, de sa conformation et de son équipement.
  6. Le grand vainqueur? L’impression 3D
    Comme dans tous les lab je pense, notre imprimante 3D est sans aucun doute la grande gagnante du concours de l’équipement le plus utilisé. Avec un ration d’utilisation supérieur à 75%, c’est un équipement en danger du coté maintenance. Nous envisageons de réinvestir rapidement sur une machine plus perfectionnée et surtout plus industrielle.
  7. La nécessité méthodologique
    La culture Maker n’est pas inné dans nos organisation. Grand groupe ou PME c’est un vrai shift de fonctionnement, de management et d’ambition. La tentation est grande, et nous y avons parfois succombé, de penser que les choses « vont se faire d’elles-même ». C’est faux, il faut le lieu, les hommes et les méthodes pour arriver à des résultats probants. La mise en place d’un processus de définition et d’accompagnement des projets est clé.
  8. L’utilisation dans tout ça?
    Tous les acteurs ne se sont pas appropriés le lieu et toutes ses possibilités. Cependant si la structure est aujourd’hui connue, l’utilisation est grandement inégale.
    La partie INNOVATION est très utilisée, notamment pour nos séances de créativité et de business model. Toutes les réunions ayant un objectif INNOVATION ou CREATIVITE sont organisées dans le cadre du Lab et profite des méthodes qui y sont déployées.
    La partie PROTOTYPAGE est plus complexe car elle nécessite une implication et un savoir-faire plus fort de la part des utilisateurs, n’ayant pas mis en place une équipe dédiées. L’imprimante 3D, nous l’avons dit, cartonne et a un taux d’utilisation frisant l’esclavage. Les plateformes ARDUINO de prototypage électronique sont aussi très utilisées. Le maquettage classique peine à s’imposer, malgré les possibilités et la facilité de mise en œuvre, sans doute par un manque de méthodes et d’exemples.

Pendant ces 2 ans, nous avons découvert les limites de notre approches et nous travaillons à rendre plus efficace et plus attrayant ce lieu pour tous les makers et innovateurs de l’entreprise. Des actions d’animation et de communication vont être lancées pour encore plus mettre ce lieu au centre des pratiques de développement.
Preuve de l’impact de ce genre de lieu sur les mentalités, le FabLab a permis l’arrivée sur Lyon de la première salle d’immersion 3D en réalité virtuelle de l’entreprise. Le Lab est donc aujourd’hui voisin de cette salle et la synergie des deux équipements est surprenante.

 

Merci d’avoir lu.

Avez-vous  un retour d’expéreience à partager sur votre fabLab?

 

Corporate Social Network

enterprise-social-networkI have been solicited lately by a company which wanted to deploy a Corporate Social Network. It wasn’t their first try. Let’s see what they did wrong and how to ensure that you CSN will be a success.

The Initial Project

Deploying Yammer!, the company had taken an approach that led to the failure of the deployment and very low acceptance ratio within the teamsYammer

  1. A limited deployment
    The first approach was planned to be deployed on a limited number of people. As the company did want to take too much risks with its employees, it has been decided to deploy the CSN on a limited number of places and people. Those people were chosen according to their specialities, knowledges, expertise etc…
  2. A community or group approach
    As most of the people who had early access to the CSN were selected according to their knowledge and expertise, it is natural that the project team organized the CSN with communities and groups. Those communities and groups were decided by the CSN manager and the company management.
  3. A lack of EXEC support
    No EXEC were planed to be on the CSN in its early time. If the EXEC were supporting the project they were not users and did not really understand all its possibilities and capabilities.

 

Diagnostic

Why this initial project failed?

A limited deployment impeaches your community to reach its break even point. If you don’t have enough members, then your members cannot produce enough contents to reach a point where the interest is high enough to attract the reluctant and put your CSN into a great dynamic. A social network is before everything, social.
My first tip if you are planing to deploy a CSN: Open it widely and don’t limit the access to your tool.
The adopted community/group approach is also a major factor which can affect the success of your project. The Essence of a Social Network is to be more or less self organized. If you put too much constraints then the community will react and reject your organisation (which happens in our case). To maximize your chance to have a successful CSN, let your users organize themselves the groups and communities. What is important to understand is that the users will self leverage the interest of communities and groups according to their true interests and needs. It is very interesting for your  CSN because it will help you to determine the true center of interests of your employees.
My second tip if you are planing to deploy a CSN: Trust your employees and let them organize by themselves groups and communities. (You can still gently create other communities and groups later on)

The last point is the EXEC involvement. Not only funding and promoting but also particpating to the CSN. As no EXEC were on the CN, employees took it as granted that the CSN was not something EXEC took really care to. If my EXEC don’t care about it, why shouldn’t?
My second tip if you are planing to deploy a CSN: Involve your EXEC as early users

Our new project

  1. A strong EXEC support with clear objectives.. and lots of change Management
    All EXEC had their own profile, posted news and even realized some PR on the Yammer! The CEO wrote the first message on the new platform.
    As the EXEC, all employees had to have their profile filled (part of their annual objective).In addition, early users were used as « evangelist » to train their colleagues and explain them how to use the platform. On line and off line training sessions were deployed.
  2. A company wide deployment
    As a limited deployment cannot allow your CSN to reach its breaking point it is important to open it widely. In our project, the new platform has been promoted to everyone, included in their annual objectives. Profile filled is also of a great tool for the company has the Search allow you to find competencies within your team. It is a new way to gather and access knowledge and competencies with your company.
  3. A self organized network
    We did not organize the CSN in anyway. After a while, the self organisation worked and groups and communities were created by the users. Interesting was the comparison among the initial project communities and the actual projects: none were common. However users defined the groups and communities they really needed. No management induces communities are planned because it also helps the company to determine what kind of interest and concerns their employees have.

 

Did you have such a project? Do you have access to a CSN within your company?

You can find an interesting article by Charlene Li on HBR here

Corporate Hacker(s)

Hacker-5

Do it, do it fast, do it often

Read also on the same subject my other article (in french)

As Innovation manager in a corporate, I nurture a hacking mindset within a group of “champions”. Why is hacking mindset so important within an innovation culture?

What is a Coporate hacker?

A hacker is someone smart but with creativity. Thinking from a different point of view at a given problem gives new original solutions.

Hackers are smart. That’s the starting point. However they leverage the self-learning to establish a new standard that puts the creativity at its highest level. Engineering is not the only way to develop things and necessary qualities are not necessary learned at school.

The Hacker principles

  • Do it, even imperfectly

Don’t try to deliver something perfect the first time. First iteration are always unfinished. At that point we can connect that to Lean Start-up with its very fast iteration and feedback from the customers. It is really important to see things, to test things to validate.

As Corporate workers we have learned to plan everything. To be sure that everything will be delivered and established as planned. If we failed then we are not good at delivering. That’s something that is inverted by the Corporate Hacker mindset. Corporate Hackers should be allowed to deliver incomplete product, test it and learn from feedback to iterate and reengineer their product. As Project and Product manager, I have developed Human Interface mainly on card box thanks to Bill Baxton method of sketching User Interface. Is it imperfect? Definitely. Does it give you more info than weeks of coding? For sure. What is the best solution in terms of ROI and OTD? I let you decide.

  • Deliver quickly

That’s the second point of Corporate hackers. They have to deliver quick and often. One can understand that concept in the field of IT but be sure that it is not only IT related. I have myself experimented that kind of methodology in a B2B electronic device development project with a great success. If you are able to deliver quickly, then you are able to sustain the effort to test functionalities o your product, iterate, learn from customers feedbacks etc…

  • Break your work

If you do things imperfectly, if you did it fast, you will break you product often. It is easier to throw away a day of work than a week. So admitting that you can look ridiculous at a first glance is key. Accept that your work can be criticize.

 

Pasteur is a hacker, Dyson is a hacker, Edisson is a hacker. We all know what all their stories are about today. They all did something complicated with limited resources.

Hackers are that kind of people. Be sure that you can do things, wonderful things without any resources. At that point you can connect it to the popular concept of Jugaad Innovation. If you have the appropriate mindset, you can be a hacker and find an innovative solution to a given goal. Not only each problem has a solution, but each problem has many solutions.

A Corporate Hacker?

In a corporate, you have hopefully smart people. So you have the basics. However it is a duty for you to allow your team to stop asking permission to do things. If you want a corporate hacker culture, then allow your team to stop playing with your corporate rules. Asking about permission is the good way to never deliver.

This is a very important fact and step to establish an area within your company where teams can play their rules: A sandbox, within a special HR process to recognize their efforts and results. This is really important to set a frame where your hackers will work. Establishing this frame will free their mind and develop the consciousness of your management of the initiative. Call it whatever you want. Some call it “Corporate Incubator”, come call it “Corporate Accelerator”. In a way you don’t care, adopt the hacker philosophy and create it. You will be learning by doing yourself.

Hacks for you

  1. A very important step not to underestimate is to identify the potential hackers within your company to create and aggregate organically a community. If you can, establish a communication tool among you on Slack or Yammer or whatever tool you have. Connect your community, encourage people to help other. It will first create a real mindset of intrapreneurship and also it will create “virtual” debt among your hackers that will unlock situation later.
  2. Let the things go. Meaning that as manager you have to admit that some projects will succeed without your help. Your job as innovation manager is to establish the environment that will allow your hackers to success.
  3. Read the Lean Start-up (by Eric Ries) and Sketching user experience (by Bill Baxton).

 

 Are Corporate Hackers a special kind of Intrapreneur? Are they intrapreneur?

Do you see more hacks to share? Want to share your comments? Let’s go!

The Danger of bad KPIs for Collective Intelligence

Dont kill my vibeCollective Intelligence is something very fragile and it shouldn’t be endangered by bad KPIs. Let see together how to avoid killing the vibe of the collective intelligence for Innovation.

Establish the vibe using cleaver KPI(s)

Depending of your Collective Intelligence strategy, it can be quite easy to set up KPI(s) that are showing your commitment in growing the community, getting more people involved and getting more results.

However, Collective Intelligence is something fragile and to be protected. It can hardly stands a lack of management supports, a lack of strategy and clarity in pursued goals.

KPI(s) are not only a management tool, don’t forget it is moreover a communication tool. You can engage people in increasing company revenues and innovation rate by giving their ideas of new products and services to you but also seeking and destroying waste along your organisation and processes. To do so, KPI(s) and visual management can help to give the goal, the direction, the target.

Let’s take the standard example of an Idea Box and Idea management system.

Focus on meaning

While deploying your collective Intelligence initiative, focus on the message and on the results.

With our idea box, it could be easy to set up a goal at x ideas  per employee or xx ideas for the whole organisation. What is the message behind? Of course the answer to this question depends of your organisation however in most enterprises it will be more or less « I don’t care about quality, I just want to reach my target to get my annual bonus » or something equivalent.

To give more meaning, set a topic or categories in which you want your people to focus on. Example: Safety, New business, efficiency,… You will see a drastic increase of submitted ideas in correlation with much more quality. Trust people intelligence is key.

Give figures a message

Giving figures is a bad habits in organisation (I think it is « bad Habits N°2 in my ranking, just after using excel for everything but math…). However managers like to establish quantified goals to manage their team. If you just set figures in your collective intelligence intitiative, you will lose support from your employees, trust will fall down and your project will die with no benefit for the company.

Allowing figures you set as target to transmit a message is a powerful tool to have a full alignment of your teams.

For our idea box, let’s imagine your management want you to set a figure of savings. Let’s say, achieve 2M€ savings this year with the submitted ideas. Please consider changing the message and giving the numbers a new horizon, because here it just says « give my money back ». Encourage your team to seek and destroy wasted time or unproductive tasks in your processes with a target t xx% of your « whatever number is relevant » for a global amount of 2M€. Communication changes everything when embedding people.

Worst and best

The worst KPI ever when dealing with Collective Intelligence, esp. with idea box: idea per FTE.

The best seen so far: % of implemented ideas on a specific subject

Do you have good or bad KPIs to share? Share it as a comment!

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!