Archives de catégorie : innovation management

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.

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

 

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!

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.

You won your first clients? Don’t forget to have this tool in your pocket!

As an entrepreneurs your first job ever is to win a client. Your first clients are more important than the state of your product itself. Never forget that your clients are paying your bills, your salaries and giving you the opportunity to invest and develop your activity.

What is the most important when having your first clients?

Once you have your first clients your new job is to make them come back and buy again. It is really important that you realize recurring customers or supportive customers are the best way to secure your business.
Recurring customers are buyers coming back and buying, same or other stuffs.
Supportive customers are happy customers that are keen in supporting you and your business by giving you positive feedback and testimonials.

How do you find your recurring or supportive customers?

They will find you. Because your products provide them big values. However you have one important thing to do. Identify and connect to them, communicate and help them in their new unconscious task to promote your business. So you have to establish a relationship with your customers. You have plenty of solutions to do so. Social Media are of course one straight forward way to establish it. Phone calls, emails are « old fashioned » but still very efficient.
But the most important thing is to keep track of your relationships to be sure you will provide them with the right info at the right time and not bother them by too much contacts or no contact at all. To keep this trace of what are your interaction with your customers, especially in B2B business but also in B2C, be sure you have from the beginning of your activity a good tool to secure all the data. Those data are gold for you to track customer activities and relationships as well as providing them the right info, the right offer that will boost your business.

Use the right tool for your activity

To manage correctly your customers you need a tool. It is absolutely impossible to do it by hand. You can have access to a broad range of CRM tools, offline or online, at various price (from free to…).
As you start an activity please consider to use a free tool or at least its free version.
The most simple too is an Excel spreadsheet. However you will discover really fast that your excel file is not that easy to easy. I would advise you to use one of the online free tools. they are professional and well done. They can embedded a lot of additional functions which you also should check to make your choice. Take care to check the paid version capabilities as well as proposed plan to be sure that it will fit your needs if you need one day to go to the paid version. Nothing is more boring and stressing that migrating a CRM. The table below from Capterra, presents the main online CRM. This list is not complete and you should spend sometime on the net to be sure you have seen all available solution.

CRM

Spend sometime also to get into your CRM and configure it completely. CRM can do a lot of things for you so be sure to use those tools at their full power. It will provide you more value and free your time.
Consider also to integrate your CRM with a marketing platform to automate your marketing and client relationships (such as mailchimp or equivalent)

Those tools are the best way to manage your customers and be sure that not a single one is let aside when business is on the mood. However you should not spend too much time on it but on developing your business. So please automate as much as possible. Each CRM got his own automation and if you link it with a marketing platform you could just skyrocket.
Last tip, connect it using Zappier to establish actions on trigger. That’s the perfect way to have semi-automated actions done at the right time.

I personnaly used Zoho in connection with MailChimps and Zappier. It saves me lot of times and help really to develop my business and relationships in a good manner. However please choose your own tool and solutions to be sure it fits your needs and values.

Two ressources to discover those solutions:
http://blog.capterra.com/free-and-open-source-crm/
https://zapier.com/blog/best-free-crm/

 

 

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.

JOIN THE INNOWEO COMMUNITY

No spam only valuable emails from INNOWEO, your data will not be shared.

Choose Wisely your innovation KPIs (hint: we help you)

KPI

So important for your activity, to track its performances and weaknesses, your KPIs must be wisely chosen to serve your strategy and objectives.

Let’s start at the beginning (it is much better).

What kind of KPI?

  • composite KPIs ==> helps to track complex activities within your company and aggregate different indicators to evaluate their performance
  • Measuring KPI ==> quants KPIs helping to follow the activities and performances of your company
  • Quality KPIs ==> Specific KPI to measure Quality, Clients satisfaction, emotions etc…

Choose them wisely

An error when casting your KPIs can have tremendous impact on your activity. here are some steps to help you find the right one for you.

  1. Set the Direction: Define clearly your objectives and strategy
    Yes, your employees and your company deserve clear objectives and strategy. It will definitely help later to chose the right one if you know where, when and how you want to drive your company.
  2. Chose your vessels: Define the tactic
    Lots of people misunderstood Strategy vs tactic. Tactic is how you get where your strategy is aiming you. Each tactic plan has a given objective (gaining clients, selling more, increase the revenue per client, developing more cutting edge technology, Patenting more etc…). It should give access to a quantified results and participate to the company strategy.
  3. Do it! Elaborate your action plan
    Your action plan is your daily reference document. It contains all actions and activities necessary to achieve your goals. Each line should have a given KPIs helping you to drive your actions and evaluate their results.
  4. Drive: Follow and adapt
    Build, Test, Learn, the magic words.
    Follow your performances, line by line, set targets and thresholds and even more important, learn why your actions have the given results, get feedback from customers or clients, and adapt your tactics. Your clients are not reacting the way you thought, learn why and adapt your actions. That’s the only way to be successful.

KPIs and Innovation

Oh yes, I couldn’t finish this article without having a word on Innovation. There are good KPIs for innovation. Depending of your targets, objectives, strategy and tactics of course. But there are bads any way, whatever you like to achieve. Here they are:

  • Number of patents…. So easy to write a patent. Is the company needing it?  Is there a market out there?  If yes, does the investment worth the sales? Answer those question (and some others incl do the owner get money when filing up?) to be sure patents are necessary but anyway it is so easily deviated…
  • Number of ideas per employees. First my personal opinion is that suggestion or idea boxes are killing innovation and collaborative innovation. Don’t start an idea box to innovate. Start it for continuous improvement, for employee engagements whatever you want but you will never innovate with an idea box. especially with a quantified « per employee » number of ideas. It kills the dynamic (if you managed to have one), overflow the process… If you had the chance to have one good idea, now you are sure to miss it.

Tell me if you have some more deadly KPIs for Innovation in the comments.

FabLab Corporate, retour d’expérience (1 an après)

DB12E2B128

Il y a un an nous avons installé un FabLab au sein de notre organisation. Après 1 an d’utilisation il est temps de partager les principales leçons de l’installation d’un tel espace dans un corporate.

  1. Installation et mise en place

L’installation et la mise en place d’un tel espace n’est pas un gros challenge. Pour un budget relativement limité, une structure de bonne qualité peut être mise en place. [un autre article sur le sujet Creative workplace for a budget]. Nous avons mis en place un espace d’innovation plus qu’un FabLab pur et dur. L’option prise est d’avoir 2 espaces distincts mais complémentaires :

  • Un espace dit d’ « innovation » qui permet aux équipes de se retrouver dans un environnement différent favorisant l’innovation. Dans cet espace, les outils utilisés sont principalement des méthodes de créativité, le business model canva, du brainstorming, des ateliers de Design Thinking etc…
  • Un espace « maker » qui ressemble plus à un FabLab et équipé de matériel pouvant permettre de prototyper des concepts imaginés dans la partie « Innovation ».
  1. Motivation

Comment faire venir les personnes dans le Lab et comment les motiver à utiliser ces moyens qui sont forcément en rupture avec la culture d’entreprise ? Nous avons mis en place plusieurs actions pour embarquer les personnels dans cet outil.

  • La réalisation de démonstrateurs
    Nous avons réalisé quelques démonstrateurs pour démontrer tout l’intérêt de venir prototyper au Lab ou imaginer les services et produits de demain. Pour cela nous avons mis en place des projets et des réalisations utilisant l’impression 3D et le prototypage électronique (sur base d’ARDUINO).
  • L’identification de « Champions »
    Grâce à la communication interne réalisée sur le sujet, très rapidement des personnes sont venus spontanément utiliser l’outil. Parmi eux, des « champions » qui utilisent le Lab dans l’esprit et avec de bons résultats ont permis de mettre en avant de premiers projets et de communiquer sur des réalisations concrêtes.
  • La banalisation de l’utilisation de la partie « Innovation »
    Un travail interne auprès des managers et des chefs de proejt nous a permis très rapidement d’utiliser de manière intensive la partie « innovation ». toutes les séances de créativité, tous les workshop de brainstorming, toutes les actions contenant une notion d’innovation ont été relocalisées dans le Lab. Cela a permis à de nombreuses personnes d’appréhender le lieu et ses possibilités.
  1. Résultats

Après un an d’utilisation, les résultats du Lab sont très positifs. Nous avons réalisés de nombreux MVP pour nos projets d’innovation, de nombreux workshops d’innovation se sont tenus dans les locaux du Lab. Cela a également ouvert la voie à l’expérimentation du Design Thinking et du Service Design. Un certain changement dans les méthodes de développement et dans les projets est en cours, accordant plus de place à l’innovation et aux actions innovantes. A noter la très bonne prise en main par les équipes opérationnelles de deux outils spécifiquement développé pour une utilisation dans le Lab (même si cela n’est pas une obligation) :

  • Le One Hour Problem Solving qui est une méthode de résolution de problème en équipe, visuelle et collaborative qui permet d’adresser un problème en une heure avec un plan d’action concret en output.
  • Le ui a été largement déployé dans nos équipes et qui profite du Lab via un Canva XXL

 

 

(cet article n’engage que moi)

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A Physical space to innovate? A lab In a way

innovation lab

A Lab but more a physical space for innovation. Meaning not necessarily a FabLab but an innovation Lab.

Having an Innovation Lab instead of a FabLab only is much more powerful especially in corporate. It allows also to innovate on several aspect of the business including technical (with some « Fab » possibilities) and business with, just as we do at our Lab’In Lyon, the Business Model Canva and value proposition.

It gives also the possibilities to have « innovative » meeting: one can « relocate » a meeting in house. That’s a powerful way to change the state of mind of participants while staying at home.

At our Lab we have set two spaces that allow us to have on one side meetings, creativity sessions, Design thinking / service design workshop, business innovation sessions ect… and on the other side a FabLab with 3D printing capabilities, electronic mock-up capabilities, IoT and UX/UI prototyping. It gives very good results with a lot of MVP issued already this year, imagined on one side, made on the other one.

Physical space for innovation

 

INNOWEO article on Lab’In Lyon FabLab (in french)