Front End of Innovation2021-06-18T07:55:01-07:00

Five Questions to Answer Before Crowdsourcing

June 24th, 2021|

As the director of the IdeaScale Crowd community, I recently had the opportunity to share some insights and best practices for innovators who are new to crowdsourcing, and may not have conducted their first campaign yet. We discussed five questions to ask as you prepare for your first campaign, why those questions are important, and some examples of good and bad answers to those questions.

Why Bother with User Innovation?

October 1st, 2020|

Users are a hidden ‘front end’ of innovation, highly motivated, prepared to experiment and tolerant of things not working right first time. So it makes sense to try and bring this perspective to bear.

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.

7 Innovation Lessons From the First Man on the Moon

August 9th, 2012|

After reading Neil Armstrong’s biography, Gijs van Wulfen discovered there are many lessons from the Apollo 11 trip which can be applied to our everyday innovation projects. Here are seven inspirational lessons learned. Can you think of more?

Innovate Like Famous Explorers

July 19th, 2012|

Innovation nowadays has many similarities with voyages of discovery in the past. In this blog Gijs van Wulfen walks us through practical learnings for innovation inspired by successful explorers.

Five Ways to Commit Innovation Suicide

June 27th, 2012|

Customers change. Competitors change. Technology changes. If you don’t do anything, new and competitive products catch up and overtake your products and services quickly. A study by A.D. Little has shown that the life cycle of products has decreased by factor 4 the last fifty years. So innovation is essential. But it is time consuming. It demands a lot of resources. And a positive outcome is very uncertain. In this blog Gijs van Wulfen offers a helping hand by identifying five common mistakes to avoid.

The 66-Point Innovation Checklist

June 7th, 2012|

Gijs van Wulfen has developed a structured innovation approach connecting creativity and business reality in five steps: Full Steam Ahead, Observe and Learn, Raise Ideas, Test Ideas and Homecoming. Here he summarizes the benefits of his method in a 66-point innovation checklist.

How to Pick the Right Idea?

May 17th, 2012|

Imagine you have just finished a successful brainstorming session and you're sitting in front of a long list of great ideas. Now what? Gijs van Wulfen shares five important learnings on how to pick the right idea.

21 Situations When you Should Not Innovate

April 24th, 2012|

With an abundance of innovation success stories circulating the net and popular business publications, when do we hear about the other side of the coin – when is innovation not the answer to our organization's problems? Gijs van Wulfen provides 21 examples of when we should avoid innovating. What are your experiences?

The Bouillon Soup Lesson: You Cannot Innovate Alone

April 4th, 2012|

It is often in the commencement of one’s career that simple mistakes are made. Whether it’s a result of inexperience, blinding enthusiasm or fearlessness doesn’t really matter, as long as the lesson learned serves you, and others, well. Gijs van Wulfen shares a constructive experience from his first innovation position.

How to Get Rid of Old Ideas?

March 15th, 2012|

Have you participated in a brainstorming session that felt like wasted time? For some reason no new and interesting ideas were formed? Perhaps you need to get rid of your old ideas first! Gis van Wulfen explains.

We Need to Innovate. Now What?

February 23rd, 2012|

If you are not one of the lucky few to work in one of the most innovative companies in the world, you've probably thought at some point "we really need to innovate." Gijs van Wulfen provides practical advice on where to begin.

Innovators Look for Problems

January 11th, 2012|

A brand new innovation often requires changing a person’s behavior or habits, which can be a nearly impossible task! So why not approach innovation by looking at existing problems? Gijs van Wulfen looks at 10 practical problems and innovative new products or services solving them.

One Out of Seven is Ridiculous

December 20th, 2011|

Suppose you are a professional soccer player, chosen to kick the penalties for your team. And you scored only one out of seven penalties. Would you be satisfied? How long do you think your trainer and fellow players let you take penalties? They would probably kick you out of the team after the second failure in a row.

40 Reasons Why People Struggle with Innovation

December 6th, 2011|

The fuzzy front end of innovation confronts you with a lot of questions. For the new edition of my book ‘Creating innovative Products and Services' I have posted a question on front-end innovation struggles to innovation practioners in more than 20 linkedin groups. The response was massive. I made a list of forty reasons why people struggle starting innovation in their companies in daily practice.

Use Front and Back End of Innovation Skills

November 8th, 2011|

With a front-end that's fuzzy and a back end that isn't very effective, no wonder creating new products and services isn't easy. Gijs van Wulfen explains why connecting the two can enhance inspiration and smooth the innovation implementation process.

Never Start Innovation with an Idea

October 18th, 2011|

Are you trying to come up with the next big idea to jump-start innovation in your company? Try another approach. Gijs van Wulfen gives us three reasons why you should not start an innovation initiative with new ideas, rather formulate a clear and concrete innovation assignment. Here's how!

20 Tips for Ideation Excellence

September 27th, 2011|

The so called fuzzy front end of innovation doesn´t have to be that fuzzy. Here is Gijs van Wulfen´s comprehensive list of tips for polishing and perfecting your ideation process.

Seven Managers Struggling with Innovation

September 13th, 2011|

Managers may come in all shapes and sizes, but almost all of them struggle with innovation or the lack there of in their organization. Gis van Wulfen introduces us to seven different managers who explain their views on innovation. Do you recognize any of them?

Drafting Mini New Business Cases

August 30th, 2011|

Mini new business cases tackle the critical uncertainties during the ideation phase so that your idea makes the best first impression to the board. Gijs van Wulfen explains how.