Front End of Innovation2020-09-12T08:41:58-07:00
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Why Your Innovation Process is a Recipe for Failure

May 7th, 2020|

Having a process for the front end of innovation is necessary but not sufficient. It also requires proper levels of funding, and a governance structure to support it. In this article, we'll look at how these aspects tie together, and how your company can support your full innovation lifecycle.

From the Future to the Present: Visualization and Innovation

April 26th, 2017|

Recent discoveries of exoplanets that are relatively close to our solar system are used to illustrate the importance of “visualization”—of future consumer lifestyles, work and recreation, and product and service preferences—for the process of innovation. Different aspects of the visualization concept are discussed, including distinctions between consumers and companies, the importance of widely shared images and competition, and a possible role for Zen philosophy. Particular attention is devoted to visualizations associated with digital innovations, such as smartphones, voice assistants and the internet of things. A key conclusion of the discussion below is that the concept of disruptive innovation should be expanded to include the idea of disruptive visualization. The latter phenomenon will probably become more prevalent in the future.

How to Innovate Efficiently: Six Ways to ‘Unfuzzy’ the Front-end

September 6th, 2016|

Kittens are ‘fuzzy’ because they’re soft and fluffy. But if someone uses the same word to describe the early stages – or ‘front-end’ – of an innovation process, the meaning is less cute. In that case, ‘fuzzy’ means ‘blurry’, ‘unclear’ or even ‘incoherent’. In many cases, innovation projects start off as chaotic and seemingly aimless ventures. In fact, this happens so often, that organizations tend to accept the ‘fuzzy front-end of innovation’ as a necessary evil. At CREAX, we believe front-end fuzziness can and should be drastically reduced in order to innovate efficiently.

How To Get Support for Your Big Ideas?

November 3rd, 2015|

Have you ever shared new big ideas at work? What happened...? Did they give you a standing ovation? Did someone bake you a cake to celebrate? Did you get promoted? Or I am a little too optimistic?

What Is An Employee Innovation Network, And Why Should You Care?

August 22nd, 2014|

As Innovation Program leaders look to expand their scope and influence across complex, global organizations, they are turning to the development of Employee Innovation Networks. This article examines what these networks can look like, and provides some high level overview of the value that they can generate.

28 Idea Killers

November 1st, 2013|

Every one of us knows reasons why creativity and innovation are stopped in our organizations. It happens everyday, everywhere in the world. And every time a good idea is stopped, it’s one too many. That’s why I present in chapter five of my new book ‘The Innovation Expedition’, which you can download at the top of this article, a great list of 28 idea killers.

How to Find Customer Frictions

August 21st, 2013|

An innovation is a simple new solution for a relevant problem. That’s why at the start of innovation you should look out for relevant problems instead of ideas. But how do you find them?

Thinking Like a Designer

July 25th, 2013|

Thinking like a designer can transform the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future. It’s about being aware of the world around you, believing that you play a role in shaping that world, and taking action toward a more desirable future. In my new book ‘The Innovation Expedition’ I describe the five characteristics necessary to think like a designer.

The Perfect Innovation Team

July 10th, 2013|

In my new book ‘The Innovation Expedition’ I love to refer in discussions on innovation teams to The Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation. The Mayo Clinic is a best-practice organization, which was researched in APQC's Innovation: Putting Ideas into Action 2009 study. It favors a specific combination of personalities when it builds innovation teams.

You Can’t Innovate Alone

June 27th, 2013|

You can invent on your own, but in an organization you can never innovate alone! You need an awful lot of colleagues and bosses to share your vision before a big change can truly take place.

How To Innovate The Expedition Way

June 10th, 2013|

Innovation is essential. But it is difficult and risky. Inspired by great explorers like Columbus, Magellan, Amundsen, Hillary and Armstrong a method for ideating new concepts was developed, designed as an expedition.

How to Pick the Right Idea?

April 18th, 2013|

Often times coming up with new ideas is not the hard part. In this example, a team came up with 752 new business ideas in a single workshop. But how can you pick the ‘right’ ideas? Gijs van Wulfen shares five lessons that he has learned in his innovation practice.

How to get 752 New Business Ideas?

March 28th, 2013|

Last week an innovation team of G+J Publishers in Amsterdam generated 752 new business ideas in 4 hours. How did they do it? Five reasons caused the explosion of ideas during their ideation workshop.

How To Get Anti-Innovators Up and Running?

March 14th, 2013|

In every organization you have anti-innovators. They are stuck in their habits; are ignorant the world is changing fast and think that they have nothing to fear. Actually, they are quite human. We all love our habits. Gijs van Wulfen explains how to get them motivated.

Why Managers Fear Innovation

February 14th, 2013|

Innovation is a paradox for management. On the one hand you are well aware that you have to take new roads before you reach the end of the present dead end street. On the other hand it is risky. It takes a lot of time. And it takes a lot of resources. Research shows that only one out of seven innovation projects is successful. So saying yes to innovation is a step into the unknown. It creates fear of failure, which causes fear to innovate. It's like sailing to the South Pole like Shackleton, where the surrounding ice can stop you any moment.

Innovators Prepare like Roald Amundsen

January 24th, 2013|

The race for the South Pole was a big event at the beginning of the twentieth century. Roald Amundsen was described as practical, pragmatic and ruthlessly ambitious. As a child Amundsen dreamed of being a polar explorer. In this article Gijs van Wulfen looks at his story as a source of inspiration for innovators.

How to be an Effective Innovator?

December 13th, 2012|

Being an effective innovator is not an easy task. The good news is that you can learn from others’ experiences. Gijs van Wulfen walks us through some of the important lessons he learned as a marketer, strategy consultant and innovation facilitator.

How to Effectively Manage the Fuzzy Back End of Innovation

November 28th, 2012|

You have doubtless heard of the fuzzy front end of innovation. It is another name for idea generation. But Jeffrey Baumgartner believes that the back end of innovation, where implementation is supposed to take place, is just as fuzzy. Many companies lack clear, efficient processes for implementing the ideas they generate.

Searching for Needs is the Best Innovation Strategy

November 15th, 2012|

Is it possible that only a quarter of all companies are highly effective at the front end of innovation? If so, what kinds of companies are most successful at the ideation and conversion stages? Gijs van Wulfen describes three different kinds of companies and suggests the Need Seekers strategy offers the greatest potential for superior performance in the long term.

Real Innovators Sail Off the Map

September 27th, 2012|

Innovation is often regarded as a journey of discovery. Small steps or large, its purpose is locating and conquering new innovation territory. When incremental explorations are not enough though, it might be time to sail off the map. In this article, Gijs van Wulfen takes a look at Christopher Columbus’ example, and how urgency, courage, new technology, teamwork and perseverance can help corporate explorers reach the New Found Land.