At INNOWEO, we stronlgy believe that INNOVATION and PROJECT MANAGEMENT are coming together and that respectively, they not only can but HAVE to come together in order to deliver the most value to clients and customers.
Large corporations are in a need to find new source of growth but have a lot of difficulties to embrace new entreprenarial opportunities.
Many start-ups are agile, speedy and have an innovation momentum that have no common values. However they often lack of experiences and lessons learned and are in danger when scaling their activity;
Large Coprations and Start-ups have the best opportunities when working together to address or create new businesses and innovation opportunities. In that framework, open innovation has a clear impact. Implementing organisations that are highly responsive to changes with an innovative state-of-mind is key for the future of both. Agile is part of the answer to that challenge but Start-ups culture have also very efficient tools in developing adative, reactive and shape-changing processes (lean start-up…).
Successfuly deliver, create breakthrough capabilities and build profitable partnership for the wealth and growth of all is part of the natural culture and behavior of Project management. In that senses, Project managers are fundamental actors of the collective leadership aiming to innovation and commercialization of new products and services. Articulating their actions along the backbone of Project management know-how, Project managers are eager to set-up this innovation culture among team and organisation that is the only way to maintain companies onto growth momentum.
Strategic orientation and budget allocations that are necessary to orientate the efforts to the most promising areas while ensuring a good alignment of all projects with strategic orientations are an open door to another key knwo-how of experienced project managers: Portfolio management
Project Management and Portfolio management, together with a strong innovatiove leadership are the main « tools » to ensure growht and wealth among all partners of an innovation project.
Designing and shaping a creativity room is key for the success of your future workshops. At INNOWEO we have already set a couple of creativity room, in corporate, in SMEs and for a consulting firm. We share with you our best tips.
Setting your goals
Building a creativity room for the fancy and the trendy stylish fact of having one is a bit short minded. If it worth the effort, it should be designed and aligned to your own goals.
Do you have an innovation strategy with macro goals? If not one should be hardly working on it. Defining goals are a necessary step.
Your creativity room should be aligned with those goals.
Are you aiming to develop new services?Are you aiming to develop new product? not exactly the same goals but might be converging.
Some usual tips
Set the stage
Colours, colours, colours
Vision is one of the most important sense for humans so don’t just but fancy colours on the walls… Colours ill shape the state of mind of the participants of your workshops.
Red, yellow, green, it actually doesn’t really matter. It should actually means something to you and your team. If Orange means something and have a clear meaning to your team and / or in your environment, let’s use it. However you should be able to identify a clear set of colours to paint your room. Don’t let it white and be sure you can easily pitch your choice of colours.
Move, move, move
Reconfigurable space is the key.
Buy movable furnitures, trolleys, light chairs and tables.
A way to establish a reconfigurable workspace is to set space divider.
It can be specially designed space separators or DIY ones.
But as you can see on the pic below (from the MIT Lab), don’t hesitate to buy loads of them.
Sketch, sketch, sketch Once you have set the room at that stage, you should allow your team to sketch. Sketching is a technique that allow your team to illustrate concepts
Once you have set the room fill it with inspirational material.
Bookshelf can provide lot of inspiration to your team. It can be a very simple bookshelf with little number of books to an extensive collection of inspirational ones. You can find my collection of books here, you can find other suggestion, here, here or here. But you should read my upcoming article « On my Shelf 2 – My Updated List of Must-read Innovation books
Tendencies wall Providing the workshop participants with tendencies and inspiration is key as most of ideas come out of existing concepts.
Reserve one of your wall to tendencies. Collect existing products, services, illustrations to inspire your participants.
Magazines, newspapers of selected areas in your business area, but not only, to establish connections and enhance creativity. This should be up-to-date so don’t hesitate to change your tendencies material !
Is a creativity room sufficient? In most cases, a creativity room is a good start. However, it is now proved that it works best when coupled to a FabLab. Prototyping allows people to better understand the concepts and speed up the innovation rate.
Brainstorming is somehow old fashioned and everybody knowing Creativity and Problem Solving understand its limits . However it is still in use in lots of companies.
If Brainstorming is still alive in your company, here is a survival plan to insure good results and efficient actions!
Organize the ideas Clusteringis the most efficient technique to avoid having lots of ideas, uncategorized, lost in the middle of their peers… Clustering ideas, identifying the patterns and the themes will definitely help to focus on emergent concept. Keep all ideas on the board, even those which have slight differences.
Use the weighted vote technique Once you have clustered your ideas, it is important to narrow down to the best of them. The best technique we use at INNOWEO when we are facing Brainstorming sessions results is the weighted vote. Give your participants a given number of stickers (usually 3) and ask them to vote for their 3 favourite ideas. Additional rules can be defined (only one sticker per idea or 2 maximum per idea or whatever rule which you think is suited to the vote – hint: keep it simple)
Prioritize the best ideas
Once participants have selected the best ideas, it is time for the sponsor, the facilitator and some selected key stakeholders to prioritize the ideas which have the best future. Take each point of view into account but at the end, (hint: let the sponsor/ main stakeholder decide about the prioritization at the end, don’t try to reach a consensus).
Organize next steps
It is really important, for the project, for the brainstorming, for the participants that something goes out of the brainstorming. List all tasks that have to be performed, state a deadline, name a responsible.
Follow the implementation plan with your key stakeholder. (hint: keep trace of all actions in a shared file)
Document your brainstorm Documenting your brainstorm is key. Take pictures of the board, keep trace of each ideas per cluster and the results of votes and prioritization. (hint: Use the new technologies at their most. Collaborative and task management tools are the best choice)
Are you doing other things to ensure good results ? Let us know.
The Leader’s guide is a kind of follow-up of The Lean Start-up, a book which made the Lean Start-up one of the most trendy innovation method around the globe.
I really enjoyed the Lean Start-up and it serves us, at INNOWEO and in the pro life of each team member to foster innovation while staying on a voluntary momentum of delivery.
Much harder to read than the previous book, The Leader’s guide is a big dive into innovation practitioners and project managers who decided to use this methodology at work.
When it comes to compare my summer readings among them, one has to consider the real savoir-faire of US writers regarding this kind of books.
Clearly, The Leader’s guide is one of the best books about Innovation management and innovation projects I have read. It is not as clear and smooth as the Lean Start-up but what a collection of feedbacks, experiences and lessons learned: worthless!
What I enjoyed in this book:
The first chapters of the book, esp. « A primer on the Lean Start-up methodology » are among the most interesting chapters of innovation books I have ever read,
Sharing by practitioners of their lessons-learned is the most valuable things of the book,
Start-uppers AND corporate managers (« corporaters »?) give their example, not only focusing on new economy and digital. I especially value the sharing of Janice Semper (from GE), Cindy Alvares.
Lots of VERY VALUABLE INFO shared by LS practitioners!
Excellent chapter on MVP
Even more excellent chapter on how GE deployed Lean Start-up
What I less enjoyed:
The Leader’s Guide seemed to me much more difficult to read than the Lean Start-up. However the good organisation and symbols helps you to stay in and follow the demonstration of Eric.
One of the most impressive and inspiring book on Lean Start-up. Sharing the experience and Lessons-Learned is always the most efficient way to progress faster and achieve more results.
A good thing is that this book shares lessons-learned and experiences not only from the start-up world but also from SMEs and Corporate. That’s something really interesting from people like us at INNOWEO who are sharing this knowledge and experience with our customers. I found on the book things that we are already applying and things we will test (in the Lean Start-up way) very soon.
Let’s say it from the beginning: Wahou!! I dreamed to have such a book when I started my career in 2003.
It’s a turn-key method to accelerate your innovation project and get more results, faster. In addition, it gives you some tricks that I didn’t know and which can really change the way you drive your projects and deliver value for your clients and customers.
I read one chapter per day. It was my pleasure at the pool of my Tuscan holiday house to read the chapters of the book, organized to follow the natural flow of the sprint, day by day, the good day.
One of the best innovation book I have read this year. Pragmatic, illustrated with good examples, easy-to-follow, articulated between theory and actions, with levers to apply the concepts and tools to your projects.
What I really enjoyed:
The really pragmatic way of deploying the method to projects, in a start-up or corporate environment,
The trick from the field regarding prototyping (They love Keynote, for everything) and Test. Here I have to underline 2 of the major learnings for me:
Recruiting potential users and customers to test your prototype by themselves using « offers » websites like Craig’s list. Very efficient if your screening and selection is well made.
The magic number of 5 customers to identify patterns in your prototype, allowing you to save time and money to validate your hypothesis.
The practical lists, advices and planning given along the book and at the end, which allow you to start from scratch and by yourself a sprint right when you’re back at work 😉
What I less enjoyed:
For those who are used to run Innovation Workshops, creativity sessions, Problem solving and so on, you will recognize a lot of common points among what you know and Sprint! However the writers warns you at the beginning as they collected lots of tools in lots of methods and made from them a coherent approach.
Of course, as the writers work at Google Venture, the book is full of start-up experiences. Sad that only one example, not the clearer by the way, concerns a corporate (GE)
One of the best innovation book of the year so far, pragmatic, straight to the point and with easy, clear and efficient keys to deploy operationally the method when back at work. The writing is perfect, smooth and easy to read. Nothing to say really about this book which will certainly be a Must-read in the future.
Some more resources from those who want a little more about Sprint:
Remember, this book is in french, so is the review
Bien installé à mon poste de lecture, j’ai mis moins d’une semaine à lire le Makestorming.J’ai pris un grand plaisir à découvrir ce livre et à le lire et le relire (je l’ai lu 2 fois en fait…).
La première partie est intéressante avec une définition du hacking et corporate Hacking qui en intéressera plus d’un. La suite promettait d’être tout aussi inspirante mais je suis resté un peu sur ma faim. La description du Makestorming en lui-même m’a paru très abstraite et peu appliquée malgré les exemples donnés et les témoignages. Le dernier chapitre proposant la mise en action vient conclure avec plus d’énergie le livre en donnant des pistes intéressantes, même pour des organisations matures.
Ce que j’ai trouvé très positif:
La mise à plat et la définition claire et précise du Makestorming comme un vrai hacking des organisations qui théorise définitivement les pratiques que mènent de nombreux innovateurs en entreprises.
Les clés données pour favoriser et créer l’environnement nécessaire au développement de projets hackant l’organisation pour innover plus rapidement,
Les différents Template et autres Canvas pour screener ses projets, ses envies, ses ambitions etc…
Malgré tous les points très positifs, je n’ai pas « appris » à la lecture de ce livre. Tous les passionnés d’innovation, travaillant ou non dans un grand groupe, savent les freins et les vicissitudes pour lancer, entretenir, faire vivre puis enfin livrer un projet d’innovation qui souvent va à l’encontre des intérêts établis.
La partie Mise en pratique m’a paru un peu courte. Peu de recettes pratiques, de mises en situation, de mise en action.
Makestorming est l’un des meilleurs livres en français sur l’innovation en entreprise. Lisez ce livre! Et de lecture attentive et ce quelque soit votre niveau de maturité en Corporate Innovation. La rédaction est très bonne et les exemples de mise en œuvre permettent d’entrevoir la réalisation d’un makestorming en entreprise. Plus que tout le livre transmet une vraie énergie et une vraie motivation pour changer son organisation, pas à pas, en la hackant, en en contournant les blocages pour accélérer l’innovation. Cependant en comparant avec mes autres lectures de l’été, les leviers et les moyens d’activation ne m’ont pas sauté aux yeux…
As I already told you, my summer reading list was short but promising. Let see what after 4 weeks of sun, bath and reading, I can say about those books I choose.
Love to read
First let’s have a look at my reading stations. It is always a pleasure to read books but even more in good conditions.
From my sunny French balcony …
…to hot Tuscan summer…
…via the cool resting station of the Jura mountains near Switzerland (by the way a perfect place for Trail Running lovers),
I have really enjoyed discovering those pages. Again, sharing with you my reading commentaries doesn’t mean judging the authors and their work, I am no one for that, but more giving you my very own thoughts about what I, personally as an Innovation practitioners, start-up founder and entrepreneur, think I have learned reading their work.
A timely release
As I have to review all those books, I will post one article per book in the coming day. Stay tuned.
On my shelf for further reading
I have already ordered a book that I should have read for a long time:
Change by Design, How design thinking transforms Organizations and inspires Innovationfrom Tim Brown, IDEO.
At that time of the year flourish lots of reading list with fancy names.
My reading list for this summer is kind of short. As during that time of the year I spend most of my time with my family playing with my kids and taking care of my wife, I have selected books that I consider the reading cannot wait any longer.
The Leader’s guide by Eric Ries
In a previous post I explained you why I have been among the firsts to back Eric Ries new book on Kickstarter. After some time waiting for the book to come up, it is at the end at the front of my door and on the top of my summer reading list. I really can’t wait jumping into it and see all lessons learned and tips gathered by the Lean-startup community and shared here by Eric.
MakeStorming, le guide du Corporate Hacking
MakeStorming, the guide to Corporate Hacking.
This book is in French and as far as I know there is no translation into English so far.
I discovered this book through the workshop I run and facilitate in other enterprises. One participant told me he had read it and found it very interesting and close to my methodology « Creative Problem Solving ». I bought the book from their website a couple of days ago and just received it today. I spent also sometime on their website to understand their approach to corporate hacking and digital transformation inside corporate and established organisation. It looks at a first glance very interesting, close to my own method but with a fairly better organisation, and clear focus on making things (the maker philosophy) and a wonderful collection of easy to use tools.
That’s all for me folks. This summer, near the pool in the beautiful city of Firenza, one will be able to spot the blue and yellow covers of my books. If so, please feel free to speak with me and share a glass of chianti talking about Innovation, Corporate Innovation and Project Management.
See you there.
One more book is coming to my list as I read the first one (Makestorming) in less than 3 days… I will post you the review and my comments as soon as I have time to write it down.
I choose to add… Sprint another book about how to rush a project and solve problems faster!
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.
Depuis plusieurs moi nous travaillons sur le concept d’INNOWEO SOLUTION et nous sommes fiers aujourd’hui de vous le présenter.
Les Managers de l’Innovation travaillent pour vous!
Pas envie de recruter un Directeur Innovation??? Pas assez d’activité pour un Directeur R&D???
Besoin de définir votre politique Innovation?? Besoin de résoudre une problématique de manière innovante?? D’un hackathon interne?? De déployer l’intelligence collective??