Archives par mot-clé : corporate innovation

Why are they more innovative than you?

Startup Stock Photos

In your own company or outside, you meet people that have always something new to present, a new product to sell, a new project running/starting/ending… Why are those people more innovative than you? They have in mind and managed to implement in their environment those 8 characteristics which make their actions more innovative. Let’s discover them and see how you can leverage them.

  1. Listen to your customer. Outside and inside the company. Ask for feedback, what’s good, what’s wrong, what should be changed or improve. Listening to your customer is something that will always, ever, pay off.
  2. Created a momentum and more important, keep the high pace. Innovation today is more a question of pace and speed than a question of size, engineering capabilities or so… Install an innovation momentum from the start of your project, stimulate your team to creative thinking.
  3. Kick-off lazy managers. You don’t need any manager in your projects just to look and steer. Focus on actions. Ask those managers to come and join. Innovation is a game but also a war. Invite them to share their knowledge and drive the other wild dogs to the success.
  4. 3 words: Team, Team, Team. You can’t innovate alone. With your project team you are on a mission ans thus you will be able to innovate better and faster. Let your team embrace the project objectives and make their. Let them decide where and how to go. You will have astonishing results
    Startup Stock Photos
    Startup Stock Photos
  5. Use Creative Problem Solving. Being creative and innovative is a process. Creative Problem solving is a very good tool to help you getting new approach and ideas. It works on organisation, process and technology.
  6. Structure your approach. use canva and testing methods, use tools to validate your hypothesis and evaluate the value creation.Management support
  7. Encourage versatility. More ideas and insights come if you encourage your team to switch position or change their habits. allow your team to visit customers, talk to clients, go to some place to inspire them…
  8. Prepare the business. The most important part of your job: insuring that your deliverable will be included into the business and create value for you and your customers. Prepare the hands-on with production team, with sales team etc…

I hope those 8 tips and good practices I have identified will help you to innovate more in practice. Let me know in the comments section if you see some more.

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.

Reshaping Business Model canva facilitation with a card deck

carddeck2

For a couple of months now I am testing the Strategyzer Business Model Design Space card deck.

It is a nicely quality printed car deck to help you make the point on what is going on on your business environment to prepare your business model innovation. It helps to understand the forces that act on your model, uncover trends, weaknesses and opportunities for a new and innovative business model.

This is not a tool to facilitate the business model canva itself but more to make the business model generation more reliable and innovative.

The goal is to map out physically around your business model canva all the forces that act on it. Thus, visually you have a representation of those forces around your business. Just as it is in real life.

The deck itself

Nicely printed on quality paper, it is composed of 5 categories of cards.

cardeck8Each card is a set of questions that one should ask to the group. Each card has a title and a subtitle that allows understanding clearly the meaning and the aim of the card.

 

  1. The “how-to” cards
    Frankly speaking this is most of the time missing in the cards deck one can buy to facilitate workshop (see IDEO design cards). Those 6 cards explains you the goals of the workshop, how to implement it, the materials, the groupe, what outcome should be awaited and what are the possible next steps. Very valuable to start.cardeck3
  1. The “Industry force” family
    Those cards aim to describe what is going on regarding the industry (competitors, new entrants, substitute, stakeholders…cardeck4
  1. The “market force” family
    They address everything related to the market tectonic: issues, demand, segments, costs…

cardeck5

  1. The “Key trends” family
    Technology, regulations, society… are seen herecardeck6
  1. The “Macroeconomic” family
    Those cards will focus more precisely on global market conditions, capital, commodities and resources etc….cardeck7

For each family you have 4 cards on each topic with about 5 questions. Once you have answered all the questions you have a nice overview of the particular topic.

Reshaping the business model canva facilitation

I have used the deck to facilitate 3 pre-workshop so far, mainly for small businesses (as pro bono facilitator). Unfortunately I have no pics of our very funny, very productive WS.

The deck opened my eyes about Business Model canva facilitation. Before I was jumping right ahead into the canva itself, neglecting in a way the entire environment in which the business was done. Even if we were pretending to take it into account, we weren’t. The visual display of the environment that allows the deck helps a lot during the business model making process itself. And some errors can thus be avoided.

Now I use a new process for Business Model Innovation:
process V1

All those workshops can be actually performed sequentially the same day, even during the same workshop. However I think it is important to have them all. I am still wondering if Actual BM workshop should be after the Environment one (please leave a comment if you have a proposition), however, the steps are here.

Having those workshops at different times and locations is of a huge interest and I really advise to do so. It helps people to fully think, aggregate and compile the data and the results of each WS in the meantime. That’s key and provide a lot of value if you plan a 30min “back-to-previous-results” slot at the beginning of the subsequent WS.

As usual, if you plan a Business Model Innovation, be sure that you work in detail and with a lot of care on the composition of the group. This is somehow the most important preparation step.

Any comments? Please feel free to leave a comment below of to contact me: baptiste@innoweo.com / @BaptisteLeSueur

 

No design, No tech products…

 

http://www.gfk.com/PublishingImages/Press/GfK-Infographic-Look-Technology-Countries-Web.jpg

In a recent study, GfK stated that design is one of the primary choice criteria for tech products. 1/3 of buyers says that design and style are an very important in their choice. Only 10% focus on technologies.

26 000 persons have been interviewed for this study which shows interesting differences among countries and ages. One should read the study if developing a B2C products. However, do you think that this is something new? I don’t.

 

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.

 

INNOWEO most read articles (a 6 months feedback)

05_10_15For 6 months now, INNOWEO is providing you with exclusive contents regarding innovation, corporate innovation and project management.

Time for me to have a look back and look at the most read articles on the website (not ranked).

  1. Your next product idea is right here, in front of you.
  2. INNOVATION TOOLS: design thinking tools that works in corporate
  3. INNOVATION TOOLS: How to create a Persona (Design Thinking)?
  4. 5 tips to use BM canvas wisely (and also other canvas)
  5. Open Innovation (1): What are your fears? & Open Innovation (2): good practices
  6. Qu’est ce que le « Design Thinking » ?
  7. The Leader’s guide: Why I kickstarted Eric Ries’s next book

I would also suggest to have a look at the following articles which are, I humbly think, really interesting.

Why are patents a terrible way to measure Innovation.

patent In most corporates, patents are used as a KPI for innovation. Measuring innovation is a concern. Lots of indicators have been deployed and I haven’t seen so far one fully satisfactory. However if one is really bad at measuring innovation, this is « patents ». here are the reasons I classify « patents » as the worst indicator for innovation:

  1. Patents are not innovation
    Patents are a way to protect a development or a technology. Not to validate an innovation. Losts of patents are useless because there is no market, the technology is too expansive…
  2. To protect your innovation, patenting might not be the best solution
    When dealing with invention protection 3 alternatives are possible: *

    • Patent (just as most of corporate does), main advantage is that you will be the only one to use the technology but by publishing a patent you disclose the subjects you are working on.
    • Disclose (just as TESLA did). 2 strategies behind: « Catch me if you can » and impeaching other to protect it (as disclosed technologies cannot be patented afterwards)
    • Keep it secret. Risky if someone else patents your technologies but safe in the sense that nobody knows what you are working on and how you do it.
  3. Patents are not sales
    Are you sure that all your patents are generating cash for your organisation. It shound but is it really the case? Are your team patenting only things that will generate cash? Do you have the maturity to manage your patent portfolio in such a manner that 100% of your patents are useful for your business? Patenting to get patents and have an top level indicators is useless, and even more it is dangerous. Patents cost money and can cost a lot of money. « Patenting to patent » is even worth if your employees are rewarded when patenting…

A good article on the subject by the Washington post.

What is you prefered KPI for Innovation?

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!

Visual Project Management: why you should give it a try

 

In the Last issue of PMNetwork from the PMI I have been really interested in an article called: « Now you see it » about the advantages of visual modeling in project management and moreover in gathering requirements.

A short experience

I have myself used Visual Project Management to manage a Continuous Improvement project this year.

Mur Pit Stop visual management
What you can’t realize from the pic is that this tool helped us for:
  • Planning
  • Risk analysis
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Cost management

We did not use it for requirement analysis but know we have seen that we could do that visually too.

The main interest is as everything is represented graphically, with dedicated colours, with earned-value indicators, and positioned within time (just a funnier and more complete Gantt chart). So you can really see each morning what is late, what you should have on your desk, what is the next task/deliverable/risk to be mitigated…

You have your project under your eyes at a glance. And not only you as project manager. But the whole team. Everyone gets more involved, responsible and accountable for his tasks, in a gentler way that usual Project management tool. That’s one of the most impressive effect of Visual Project Management: Team involvement.

Where should I look to find visual project management tools?

Lost of tools exist and are already mastered into your company. don’t try to reinvent something that your organisation masters. However some new tools can enrich this approach for the best of your project.

  • Continuous improvement tools
    Such as Ishikawa, Value Stream Mapping, Process Workflow and so on can be used to gather requirements, find interactions and lean-ify your project
  • Visual management
    Of course Visual Project management is first of all… visual management so please take a look at your dashboards and see what could be useful for your projects.

Those first two are kind of classic. However I would like to mention one family that is of a big interest for my actual projects

  • Design thinking tools
    Yes really. Design Thinking. Customer journey, Blueprint, persona etc… are very good tools to manage a project and model its interactions, requirements and deliverables. Planning can be fined tuned using Customer journey. Give it a try!

Of course most of the tools that helps you to analyse a situation or predict scenarios can be helpful.

What for?

More than just tools, Visual Project Management will have a major impact on your project. A faster agreement on requirements is done using a Ishikawa like diagram called « features diagram » or « features tree ». You can build a better common understand of the project and its deliverables using the Customer Journey. Project monitoring is easier when leverage on Visual management tools and techniques.

As a conclusion

You should really try the Visual Project Management. Definitely. After my first experiment of it I use it every day to manage my R&D/Innovation portfolio together with more classical PMP processes. It helps me to leverage the portfolio approach while giving me the opportunity to better understand and model the interactions among the projects, esp. the resources, and to communicate at the easiest with all stakeholders.