Innovation Excellence just issued an article entitled « Employee Engagement in the Innovation Process ». This worth reading (see button below to read it).
Especially, this pool result focus on the incentive that could be given to employees regarding their innovation involvement to reward their ideas or their achievement.
I personally fully believe that the success of innovation is based on employee involvement. However most enterprises don’t measure it. More than that most of enterprise does have incentives for their « innovative » employees. It is surprising to find that someone is giving most of the time money to someone else for something which is not really monitored…
There are ways to monitor employee involvement and reward them, even not on a monetary basis. That works and gives very good results.But don’t forget one thing, employee involvement will work if you put energy to embark people. However, in a company, only the top management involvement will guaranty the success of your innovation initiative and insure that people will sustain their commitment into the innovation process.
In a previous article I was talking about the fears the parties could have in an Open Innovation partnership. Here I will propose you some good practice, especially regarding Intellectual property, which is key in this kind of relationships.
A real win /win
When I have had to deal an Open Innovation contract, I never faced a fail due to a real simple approach. From the start of the discussion, as I work in a big company (this article reflects my opinion and not my company by the way), I have made things very clear.
If we work together it is on a win / win basis. We help you to develop your concept/technology/usage or whatever you would like, but in exchange, You will grant me a free license to sue it in my domain. It si a quite easy deal when the domain you are working in is not mainstream. It can be more complicated if you are in the targeted business of the start-up.
Explain, explain and explain
Even if it is less and less the case, start-ups don’t always have legals that take the time to explain them the contract. Do it. Explain it. A clear situation is a situation that will hardly go bad.
Think about different kind of partnership: Money is not the only way
Often in Open Innovation we think about giving money to the developers to develop faster of in a way that fulfil your requirements. However you have much more to offer as an established company, I just listed some of the ones I have in mind right now. Be creative!
your brand (co-branding could be a win /win)
your sales network
your offices (house start-ups inside your offices… It’s huge! It gives your company a taste of start-ups and thus motivates your employees… really good for your performance=
your IQ (do you have engineers? Marketing specialist? Production specialist that will help schifting from small series to WW product? that’s gold for a start-up)
Open Innovation is key to leverage innovation. Even if it seems difficult at the beginning it is simple and really powerful. Don’t miss the opportunity.
Do you see other points to take into account? Leave a comment to share.
Benchmarking can be a very powerful tool for innovation. I use it very often and it has really to be mastered if you want to avoid falling in usual traps.
Why should innovators and/or project managers benchmark?
I think that most innovators and PM benchmark even without noticing it.
Good pratices identification, sharing of experience, identification of patterns etC… the goods of benhcmarking is not to demonstrate (and there are some more than the ones I have listed here)
As we all know, innovation begins with curiosity. When you benchmark you are actually the most curious woman/ma on earth.
Positionning you and your company among your peers is the most important thing both as an innovator and as a project manager as you have to understand wether you are in good shape and in a good dynamic or if you are close to fall down in the precipice.
What are the common mistakes in benchmarking?
I personnaly use benchmarking for several needs. Each of those topics have their own tricks and issues but one common should be named now:
It is not because it is Google that it will work at home
Meaning that it is not because one practice work perfectly in another company that it will make you the next worldwide leader on your market. Your organisation has its own culture and history, its own employees with their strength and weaknesses, it own processes and own clients. Never forget to take care of that when trying to import something that works outside inside your own company.
How to leverage on benchmarking efforts?
I used always the same approach when benchmarking a company or a internal project etc…
One has to be very humble when benchmarking, humble but visionnary. This very nice process seems to be better than yours but you are not bad and changing will certainly add more troubles than benefis.
Brake, brake, brake.
Always try to espace/avoid/run far from the Wahou effect. A nice presentation, a friendly talk, amazing results on the bottom line are signs that you have to study the situation, not 100% to apply it.
Always in question
The real question you have to ask yourself always and always is:
How will I create special value out of that
That is the only mantra you should have in mind.
Benchmarking is a tool that is very powerful to innovate within your company or your project. You should use it as much as possible with regards to the above issues.
And you, do you see more issues and good practices regarding benchmarking?
I have made several canvas so far. Some of the ones I have taking part to design are actually reshaping their business. And I have a couple of lessons to share with you and try to give you some simple hints to also end on a powerful game-changing Business Model.
Analyse your current Business Model
That is your starting point, don’t neglect it.
Work in group
We are much cleverer working in groups. But choose your group wisely.
Learn from others
Competitors / other companies outside your playground, just be curious…
Define different scenarios
There is no perfect business model, there are options, scenarios that you have to have in mind. For one of my projects, I had more than 10 different scenarios.
Visit your future
By building business model you are defining your future so do it, visit your future, share your vision.
Show me the money
You are here to develop your business (or you are a NGO…) so focus on money and how it goes into your pocket
Visual is king
Make your business model canva visual. show the patterns, show the flow, show the relationships.
Test, Test, Test
Go to your partners, your clients, your stakeholders and test, test, test your assumptions and your models.
Once you ended on a defined model, implement it as fast as possible.
If you manage to do so, you maximise your chance to be good 😉
Do you see more steps to follow or want to give us some feedback. Please leave a comment.
In Open Innovation, terms of contract are key. Especially when a (big) established company is dealing with a start-up. I will not speak about an open innovation contract among big companies, that kind of contract are well handled by companies legals.
The fears of start-upers
Imagine one moment that you are working like a dog on developing your start-up. At one point someone comes. He is interested in your work and would like to work with you on an OpenInnovation contract. What would be your analysis?
He/She wants to steal my technology, or
He/She wants to buy my company to develop the concept (happy), or
He/She wants to buy my company to kill the concept or internalize it (unhappy)
If as an established company you are not clear from the beginning there are very few chances that you will actually collaborate…
However established company also have concerns working with small start-ups.
The concerns of established companies
Working with start-ups is…strange for a big company. The time horizon, the speed, the reactivity is clearly not the same and can completely panic your partners. Their concerns are simple but can be difficult to solve or handle:
Are those guy serious?
Will they stop their activity soon? Is the financial statement ok?
How can I work work a company that have no Sales?
Are they ISO?
Seems strange to you but those are remarks I have faced several times.
Once that you have made that clear statement once have to ask what are the really important things when building an open innovation partnership? We will discuss that in Open Innovation (2)
Do you see some other concerns for both parties? Leave a comment.
In Innovation, SPOTIFY is an interesting example. They are really the good practice in Agile and they adapt the Agile management to their need at an incredible level.
Some times ago, Henrick Kniberg, issued a very nice video describing the Agile engineering culture in this very interesting start-up (is it still a start-up?)
If you rather like the drawing….
In a second video, Henrick presents within other interesting thing, the way to establish a « fail friendly » atmosphere…
To innovate wisely and maximise the chances to be successful, each and every innovators should at least follow this 3 steps rule:
Identify an unsatisfied need
The need is the basis of your success. If you identify correctly the need then you are able to define a solution to this need. That’s your idea. As there is a need, you are sure that there is a market too. The best ideas come from an obvious need.
Create the new user experience
Once you have your idea and the need it saves, you have to deploy a solution. To do it, please focus on user experience. How many solutions aimed to fulfil a need and failed because the UX was bad or even worth because the usage was unsatisfactory?
Invent your own business
It is fundamental to implement your own business model; Don’t copy, don’t reinvent, just do it your way.
The business model is really core to your innovation. don’t fear to propose first-of-a-kind model to your management. If it worth it, there will be no worries.
L’entreprise libérée est à la mode en ce moment. Parait qu’elle surperforme les autres ect etc… Une petite vidéo sympa réalisée par l’agence POSSUM Interactive vaut mieux qu’un grand discours pour comprendre ce qu’est, au final, une entreprise libérée.
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