This week InnovationManagement spoke with Anders Sundelin, VP of Business Operations at CIP Professional Services, about his views on innovation management. Read more about the satisfying process of helping companies to create and capture value in their organization and what kind of challenges arise in this line of work.

What is innovation management to you?

I see innovation management as a wide area, covering everything from determining out where and why we innovate, identifying innovation within and beyond the boundaries of an organization, to capturing and protecting innovation where appropriate to enable sustainable competitive advantage. But it’s also the act of getting an organization together to accomplish innovation goals efficiently and effectively, and to plan and organize activities and prioritize resources. Innovation management is not only a matter of developing new technology, products or services, but also ensuring that you create and capture value in the best possible way – to innovate your business models. In essence, innovation management should be core in all organizations.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

I spend a large amount of time developing and implementing tools and processes for innovation and value creation management, something that I find very exciting. In many companies R&D is still seen as a black box and the only way to capture value is through existing product lines and existing business models. We develop tools that help organizations create transparency within R&D, visualize and measure output from different projects, and compare, contrast and assess different internal, external and collaborative projects. It is highly satisfying to help companies realize what their valuable assets are, and to be visionary about how this can be used to create and capture value. I also lecture at universities and executive training and one thing that is always highly satisfying is the moment when someone in the audience goes ‘ah-ha’, and is inspired to do something with the new knowledge they’ve just gained.

And the most frustrating parts?

There are frustrating parts on a macro level and on a micro level. I believe great challenges of today, such as climate change and poverty, need to be solved by innovative technology and innovative business models. I am involved in some very interesting projects but it’s frustrating to see the overall progress on these great challenges being so slow. On a more micro level I find it frustrating that the days only have 24h and that I don’t find enough time to do everything that I want to do.

What’s your next big challenge?

There are a number of challenges that I’m currently working on. One is to scale up the company to help more clients develop, manage and create value from innovation. The challenge is to grow fast and still be profitable, while doing projects that are interesting not only for our clients but also for us to further develop our tools and capabilities.

A second challenge is to develop my blog on business models and tools for business modeling, to become even more useful and make the information more easily accessible. The blog grew very quickly in popularity and I have not found the time to develop it as much as I want to. I want to provide a toolbox for business model innovation, together with inspiring examples of organizations that have been able to implement innovative business models.

About Anders Sundelin

Anders Sundelin is VP of Business Operations at CIP Professional Services, a development and consultancy firm owned by Chalmers Industriteknik and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. CIP PS specializes in knowledge- and technology-based business development and in particular intellectual asset and property strategy in development, commercialization and collaboration initiatives. Anders Sundelin, who has consulted for multinational corporations, institutes, SMEs and universities, is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator in a number of executive educations and corporate training programs on the topics of intellectual asset and property strategy, business model design, business modeling and valuation. He lectures at several universities, and has a popular blog called The Business Model Database.