Archives de catégorie : idea management

Focus on intrapreneurs: Tips to encourage internal entrepreneurship

Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs are buzz words today. However letting your employees be entrepreneurs inside your company is not straight forward.

Businessman turn on invention machine for glowing lightbulbs, representing to creat idea.
Businessman turn on invention machine for glowing lightbulbs, representing to creat idea.

In lots of Corporate time is to wake up the internal start-upers and copy/paste the start-up dynamic and growth into the existing organisation. The « start-up » state-of-mind is seen as the holy grail of product development and the good way to invent the future and to innovate. Some companies think that it is a question of life or death as Uber is the new Devil within Corporate.

One characteristics of start-ups is the agility in the way that they can test, learn, modify very fast in order to find quickly the good product for the right customers and opposite. This entrepreneur state-of-mind is the secret of internal entrepreneur also called Intrapreneur.

How can we encourage such behaviour? How can we leverage on the energy?

First of all there is a problem of human resource. Do you have the right talents for this new shift within your company? Corporates are risks adverse so they hire people that are risks adverses. But Corporate as such talents hates risks. And we are talking all about that. taking risks, failing and bouncing… Focus should be made on delivery, inside and outside the organisation.

Kick your employees out of the wall

Entrepreneurs are creative people. How do they manage to be creative and find new ideas of products or services? Observation and connection are keys. Those guys are out, they observe, they look at things, they ask people. Creativity is really often the possibility to connect an existing concept with a need and manage to adapt it and fill the gap.

One should push employees out of the wall to encourage their creativity, open their minds and increase their creativity.

Too much experts

Your company is organised in order to have experts discussing of their technical points. It reminds me the quote for Einstein stating more or less that we will have the same solutions if we try to solve the problem the same way we ever did.

That’s about innovation, letting new things fertilize our minds and generating new ideas and new way to address one issue or one need.

So  let your employees go out and get inspired by what is outside the company. Then brainstorm internally to get the best out of this. I have heard really often my colleagues or clients saying that « no our industry is different, it will never work here »… Well did they try already? hard enough? I am sure no. I am sure no because I ran several workshops of this kind with outstanding results in very different industries; Energy (of course, that’s my job) but also electronic, Insurance, banking…

Co-work

Coworking is key and allow team to leverage their capabilities and results. So if you are trying to establish a culture of entrepreneurship within your organisation, don’t forget to plan co-working possibilities. Because finding the good resources, the good knowledge (connecting) within the company is a entrepreneur state-of-mind. Mixing temporarily (sometime for an hour) the people with different expertises will add so much value to your project.

Do you have your own office? Alone in a room. I do. That’s counter productive for innovation and coworking. Set coworking space: a fablab or innovation Lab, a meeting room transformed to be the Project’s place, an open office…

In a future article about #MyDigitalTransformationProject (follow this hashtag for more info) I will present you our dedicated office and what advantages it gives to the project.

What is an intrapreneur?

Someone who is curious, interested, open minded, an expert of nothing but good at everything, a continuous learner (on that point try to find out how much employees in your organisation are attending to MOOC… That’s a good sign), taking manageable risks, knowing how to learn from failure, enriching his/her knowledge with other experts, connecting the dots to make a new picture.

Some great info on INNOWEO!

05_10_15Some great projects are in the pipe at INNOWEO. As you know I have a standard job and runs INNOWEO at night. As I am running 2 side projects linked with INNOWEO, I have posted much less articles those last weeks and I wanted to tell you why.

Great things are coming.

Kickstarter

Our first Kickstarter campaign!

At INNOWEO our first goal was to exchange information, experiences and more on innovation and management of innovative projects.

For 1 year now I am working personally on a wonderful creative problem solving tool. It is a personal project and I am running it in parallel to INNOWEO’s blog. I want to test the market asap even if I want to come up with a valuable and ready-to-sell product. That’s the reason I have decided to fund it with Kickstarter. You will see it at the beginning of next year. My objective: first trimester and around of 100 items backed.

At the moment I have already sent 10 copies of the tool (prototype V2) among some friends of mine to test it and collect feedback. I used it myself in workshop for more than 4 months now with really valuable feedbacks and insight.

Stay tuned to have more information about it!

A brand new satellite Website

In addition to the Creative Problem Soving tool, I am finishing a satellite website for INNOWEO’s blog. You will discover soon what it is but I have it in mind for months and and I am at the end quite happy with the results. Again as I don’t want to come in front of you with something not finshed and validated, it is under early tests by some friends of mine. They are at the time evaluating it with great insights.

2015-11-21_15-37-13

Its name? INNOWEO Solution. This website is very important for INNOWEO because it will launch a new side of activity, not only for me but for a team of 5 motivated people. Motivated to help you to innovate faster and create great value for your customer.

My objective is to have a french version available before the end of the year and english version right after new year eve 2016.

Again, stay tuned to have more information!

24 hours a day

Unfortunately my days have only 24 hours and I cannot write for INNOWEO’s blog as much as I want. I apologize for that but I hope that those 2 side projects will also create the same interest and value for you as this blog.

Be sure to stay aware of all those news by joining the community and see live how innovation can reshape our world.

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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?

 

How to practice Six Sigma and Innovation?

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach for process improvement. It delivers quality and offers a set of techniques to improve processes. But is it so rigorous that it stifles innovation? (Source : ProjectManagement.com – Six Sigma and Innovation)

Good question isn’t it?

The « wonderful » world of 6-sigma

6-Sigma is a very powerful tool that helps most of the organisation to perform better by allowing a performance enhancement. Going deep into the processes it definitely eradicate any waste of time or no value adding task. However is the 6-Sigma world so wonderful? (That’s an open question, leave a comment to answer)

The risks within 6-sigma

Of course 6-sigma is risky for innovation because everything seems to be so defined, so controlled that serendipity cannot happen. and serendipity is one root for innovation.

My practice of Innovation in a 6-sigma world

I leave in a 6-sigma world. More than a 6-sigma world actually. How can you innovate when processes, procedures and work instructions are so rigorous? Give the people a bit of fresh air. that’s all about it. define an innovation process that gives people the ability to act by themselves again and try new things. It is that simple. give them a bit of freedom back.

How to leverage 6-sigma to innovate.

I see one particular point where 6-sigma is of interest when speaking about innovation: bottom-up innovation or so-called « collective intelligence ». Those kind of initiative is really often backed by an « idea management system » which nothing but an idea or suggestion box. Frankly speaking this is not innovation the way I define it however it is some kind of, close to continuous improvement. As it is the most process driven tool of the innovation toolset, it is the area where 6-sigma helps the most. I have in my company a suggestion box that my innovation team is running. At the moment we are using 6-sigma tools to make our process more agile. Doing so, we are very focused on simplifying the process and making it clearer, softer, smother. That’s key. And 6-sigma has tools and is a tool for that and nothing else. One has to fight to avoid new or inadapted KPIs….

 

What is your opinion regarding 6-sigma and innovation? Leave a comment and let start to discuss.

 

On My Shelf – My 8 preferred books on Innovation and Innovation projects

Innovation books collection

Lately a friend of mine asked me about what kind of books I would consider if asking about « must read » dealing with innovation: Here is my selection of 8 books that are, at the time, the ones I consider as the most valuable.

This is Service Design Thinking

This is Service Design Thinking
This is Service Design Thinking

More than any other books even more than any other website or TV show speaking about IDEO, this is how I have discover Design Thinking and especially SERVICE Design Thinking. Still one of my favourite reference and reading. A comprehensive and useful website is available.

Lean Start-up

Lean Start-up by Eris ries
Lean Start-up by Eris ries

Is there really a need to come back to the Lean Start-up by Eric Ries? Nope. I have been deeply inspired by this book to develop my own approach of Lean Start-up in corporate, used in my company with wonderful results. If you had to choose one…

Business Model Canva and Value Proposition Design

Business Model canva et Value proposition design
Business Model canva et Value proposition design

The sister’s books that worth the reading. I have used and then spread it all around in my company. Benefits? Having a dedicated and common framework and vocabulary to speak about business model and value proposition and more than that, having engineers thinking about business 😉

The Standard for Portfolio Management

Standard for portfolio managementDealing with Innovation projects is nothing else but managing a portfolio of projects. Thus the standard from the PMI(c) is fundamental because before being « innovation » they are « projects » a must be properly managed. pmi.org

Innovation Jugaad

Innovation Jugaad
Innovation Jugaad

In a time where money is missing and when you have to be more and more effective to be sure that every € you put inot innovation will produce some more € as a business, it is vital to do more with less. That’s what Innovation Jugaad is teaching!

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Réussir une négociation
Réussir une négociation

Here is the French version of the famous negotiation book from Roger Fisher and the Havard Negotiation Project. A very useful book for Innovators and for everybody as we all have to negotiate one day or another. Most true for innovators who deals everyday

Les systèmes de suggestion en révolution (idea management in revolution)

I don’t know about the english title of this book but as it has been written by the wonderful Bernie Sander it was originally in english.  A very interesting book for those who have to run an idea management system.

Les systèmes de suggestions en révolution
Les systèmes de suggestions en révolution

Do you see some more to add? Leave a comment!

The 15 min challenge

pocket watch, clock, time, numbers

The 15min Challenge

I have been recently challenged by a small company to increase their number of ideas. As I already wrote several times, most companies doesn’t need more ideas but they need good ideas and they need to select wisely the ideas to be implemented.

The goal of this mid sized company however was a bit different. Its CEO wanted a bit of continuous improvement rather than a real cutting-edge disruptive innovation. That’s hard time for the corporate at the moment and it is important to leverage the possibilities to enhance the performance of the organisation.

I have myself experimented several Continuous improvement tools that are close to collective intelligence and innovation. Two of them are in my pocket for such challenges 😉 But among the ones I have deployed there is a funny one (not that the other is boring). I have called it the 15min challenge. It has rather simple rules (which should be adapted according to your organisation culture, blue or white collars etc…)

  1. Set the time zone
    Define when you want to hold the 15 min challenge during the workday. sounds easy. Not so sure. Ask me if you want some more tips but believe me (or not) but that the most important task to perform in that method.
  2. Put the 15 minutes in place
    The deal is easy: at the established time, allow every single employee you have to step back 15min. During those 15min, one and only question: What keep me away from my best performance and how can I improve that? By myself. Of course answers can range from the lack of post-it(r) notes to organisational issues. One has a process for that 😉
  3. Empower your employees
    Once you have all your employees with so much improvements possibilities, put a governance in place that will allow them to modify , the way they work, for a better performance. Authors should also evaluate the benefits they could achieve. A lot of coordination is necessary from the challenge team and from the management. For more complex issues, problem solving techniques should be used (I also have tools for that ;-) ).
  4. Measure the benefit
    Work with your accounting department to evaluate the real benefits (ev. vs the costs). My experience shows tremendous results, sky-rocketing the expected savings. Can I guaranty a ROI? nope. I honestly don’t have enough samples to guaranty a ROI however, what I can say is that on the ones I have led, the ROI all included was average more than 3.
  5. Celebrate
    Find a way to celebrate the success with your team. That’s key within your management and your organisation.

And you are done. Seems simple but I have myself hold several challenges and each time I have been surprise by the preparation time needed and the coordination time necessary. So that’s a lot of work.

Have you experienced such a challenge or equivalent? What’s your feedback?

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Innovation Myths serie

Protected from Flickr via Wylio
© 2009 Hartwig HKD, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

INNOWEO has issued a still going serie of articles called INNOVATION myths.

As for the 100th post, we propose you to come bakc to all those articles through those links or via the INNOVATION MYTHS page.

Soyez créatif! – Un article sur les injonctions à être créatif et à trouver de nouvelles idées, de nouveaux concepts, sur demande

Disruptez – Un article sur la dictature de la disruption en innovation

Innovation de garage – on innove jamais tout seul dans son coin

 

 

 

The Innovation Tools Serie

tools, workshop, garage, saws, screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, mallets

INNOWEO has issued a still going serie of articles called INNOVATION TOOLS.

As for the 100th post, we propose you to come back to all those articles through those links or via the INNOVATION tools page.

How to create a persona – An artilce about the persona, how to build it, how to synthesise it, how to use it. (English)

Benchmarking – benchmark is widely used but not often wisely.

Roadmapping – Roadmapping is widely used also but lots of traps can occur.

UX, c’est quoi ce truc? – vous vous demandez ce que désigne UX? c’est ici (french)

CIR, une arme pour l’innovation – toutes les infos sur le Crédit d’impot recherche (french)

Le design thinking expliqué – cqfd

La Résolution de problème… en innovant

Une équipe créative? – les trucs pour former une équipe vraiment créative

Value Proposition template – a good tool to evaluate your value proposition

Customer Journey Canva – a Canva to do a customer journey, one of the main tool of Design thinking

 

If you do that 6 things, you kill your innovation program…

Kill ideas
you kill ideas!

Yes, you kill good, very good may be disruptive ideas. And you even don’t realize it.

  1. You have a suggestion box (or a so-called « idea management system »)
    I haven’t say that for all long time. But now that I have some lessons learned about the suggestion box, that’s clear: That’s the n°1 idea killer. Usually organisation don’t anticipate enough, both the flow of new ideas to evaluate and the needed effort to implement them. As most of the time suggestion box comes along with an « idea per year » objective, the disaster is guaranted. No feedback from the process, never, no news, never, nobodies know what is your idea, where it is, if it has a chance to be deployed: a disaster. Ideas are our cheered eyes. no taking care of your employees ideas is the best way to aknowledge innovation as another management mantra.
  2. Don’t celebrate failure
    You are risk adverse. Your whole organisation is shaped to avoid taking risks… How do you want to innovate? Innovating is taking risk. It is allowing people to fail, to step again and fail again, until they manage, for the wealth of the organisation. So celebrate failure as success (a bit more for success)
  3. Don’t put innovation as a running task
    You can’t innovate on demand. One can think it is cheaper, less risky, but it is not wealthy at all. And really often even not efficient. You will never sustain innovation mindset by asking to innovation on the fire.
  4. Legal, accounting and purchase at first
    For sure that’s done. Put Legal, accounting and purchase on the front when dealing with ideas and you are done. Giving care to ideas is protecting them, taking care of them. There will be legal issues and financial issues with new ideas. For sure. Well intentioned killers are around in the organisation. Create a dedicated process where legal and accounting and purchase will have the look but protect the ideas there.
  5. You think outside the box…
    Believe me. I have never seen a company which is lacking of ideas. You have ideas all around your organisation. You don’t need to « think outside the box ». you need to recognise the good the perfect idea when it shows up. Sustain innovation by harvesting, evaluating, testing, testing and testing and of course measuring the impact. That is one of the key.
  6. Innovation come by itself
    Innovate is not a natural outcome of most of the organisation. Our organisation are designed to deliver things they know. Not the unknown. As most of the insights you will get from all sources you could have will tend to threaten your current business model they will not be taken as opportunities but as risks. in reality they are the fuel to innovate.

To innovate wisely one has to put an innovation-friendly organisation in place. That’s a hard job. As a leader or CEO it is of your responsibility for the long term success of your organisation. One has to put innovation as reflexes, kept in mind of all employees by the top management.

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