Innovation Lifecycle2020-03-20T15:55:34-07:00
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Digital Transformation and Its Impact on New-Product Management for Manufacturers

March 11th, 2020|

For the manufacturer undertaking new-product development, Digital Transformation means smart new products with embedded software. Digital products in turn require software and hardware development teams to work together – a hybrid project – which ultimately leads to combining software development methods with the more traditional gating process that manufacturers use.

Landscape Monitor for Startups

February 10th, 2020|

Entrepreneurs deal with high levels of uncertainty; probably more than any other business. The more disruptive the startup, the higher the level of uncertainty. Will the customers buy? How do we reach them? Will we be able to sell at a profit? Will our partners do their part? Who is out there that we can learn from? Are there threats that we are unaware of?

Launching an Innovation Program: What You Don’t Know

August 3rd, 2016|

Although innovation programs are becoming more and more embedded within the enterprise, it is still very common to find organizations that are just starting to experiment with formal, continuous innovation programs. Many IdeaScale clients that come to us are quietly launching pilot programs as proof-of-concept initiatives that will confirm innovation value for senior leadership.

Avoid Innovation Paralysis – Why all Companies Can and Must Embrace Change

July 4th, 2016|

Someone once told me this: “Innovation is like an apparition of the Virgin Mary: one person saw her, but everyone talks about it.” Although funny, the quote aptly captures an attitude towards innovation that exists in many companies today. Innovation – and the skills that enable it – are sometimes considered as mystical gifts, preserved for the chosen few. In other cases, innovation is feared, because it involves unregulated processes, risk taking and investments with unpredictable outcomes. In this blog post, I’d like to make a case against this kind of innovation paralysis. Every company must innovate, and with the right understanding of the word ‘innovation’, every company can.

Do You Know the Seven Stages of Innovation?

May 3rd, 2016|

At IdeaScale, we define prolific innovators as organizations that have moved more than half of their ideas to the final stage. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every suggested idea became a value-generating, implemented reality. This means that the completed ideas had each been investigated, responded to, and a decision was made to move forward or not. But of course, at least a portion of those completed ideas generate measurable constructive outcomes.

Six Levers For Solving The Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 3

May 2nd, 2016|

This is the third part of a three-part article series. We are investigating why – despite all the investments made into the early phase of innovation – innovation results remain disappointing. We call this the “corporate innovation problem”. In the first part we illustrated that companies are investing heavily into the early phase of innovation. In the second part, we provided some metrics on the corporate innovation problem and found that the corporate innovation problem actually consists of a “complexity” problem” and a “system problem”. In this article, we show six levers to change the “system problem” and think this is the way to solve the corporate innovation problem – and ultimately to increase innovation performance.

Six Levers for Solving The Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 2

April 25th, 2016|

This is the second part of a three-part article series. In the first part we illustrated that firms are investing heavily into the early phase of innovation. In this second part we show that despite of all these investments, innovation results remain disappointing. We call this the “corporate innovation problem”. We provide some metrics and find that there are two root causes. In the upcoming third part we will suggest that six levers can be used to address one of the root causes. We believe that moving these levers can provide a solution to the corporate innovation problem – and ultimately lead to increased innovation performance.

Six Levers for Solving the Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 1

April 18th, 2016|

Innovation is at the top of the Management Agenda for many companies. For excellence in innovation, companies have to master the chain of activities from discovering valuable insight into unmet customer needs to successful market adoption. However, despite large and growing investments into innovation, results remain disappointing. We call this the “corporate innovation problem”. In this 3-part article series we dig deeper into this problem and find that there are actually two root causes for it. We focus on one of the root causes – the “system problem” – and work out six levers of improvement. Acting on these levers offers a solution to the corporate innovation problem and ultimately increases innovation performance.

4 Ways Your Travel Brand Can Innovate with the Help of the Crowd

February 15th, 2016|

When you’re thinking about innovation in the field of travel and transportation, more horsepower, hydraulics, and fuel efficiency might come to mind. But with the pace of change increasing rapidly, it’s difficult to imagine how government organizations and private companies will be able to absorb some of the most exponential and impactful changes that are sure to come in the next decade.

5 Ways to Create a Successful Innovation Program

February 1st, 2016|

You’ve heard it a thousand times: companies need to innovate in order to survive. The Googles and the Apples of the world are doing it- Google famously used to require employees to dedicate 20% of their time to innovation. But what exactly does it take to create a sustainable innovation program, especially if you are in an industry that is traditionally risk averse?

Getting From Ideas to Products

December 21st, 2015|

In a time when innovation and new product development are vital to remain competitive, large organizations are looking for ways to generate and execute new product ideas while mitigating risk. Increasingly, these companies seek to create a startup culture as a means to generate innovation.

Applying Collaborative Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing: an Example of Lean

December 8th, 2015|

Achieving authentic transformation across the manufacturing enterprise can seem as challenging as playing a competitive game of Jenga® in woolen mittens. In this article the innovation architect Doug Collins explores the role that collaborative innovation can play in realizing meaningful change. He grounds the exploration with an example from lean.

Where Do Good Ideas Go to Die?: The Problem with Your Old Idea Program

November 16th, 2015|

Our team found an example of one of the earliest workplace suggestion boxes the other day from 1721 when a shogun, Yoshimuni Tokugawa, wrote to his citizens “Make your idea known . . . Rewards are given for ideas that are accepted.’” This means that the concept of crowdsourcing ideas that can improve a city, workplace, or world has been around for quite some time.

Going Once, Going Twice, Going Three Times: Selling Your Idea

November 12th, 2015|

People cannot appreciate the value your idea offers if you fail to convey its relative advantage. In this article, the innovation architect Doug Collins shares a simple, good example of telling the right story at the right time to the right audience. Save this one for your clip file.

Results of a study on excellence in the Fuzzy Front-End (PART 2): Where leading firms are setting their priorities

November 9th, 2015|

This is the second part of a 2-part series on a study that innovation.support conducted. In the study we wanted to find out where leading firms from various industry sectors set their priorities in developing the early phase of their innovation funnels (“Fuzzy Front-End”). In this article we want to provide you with the key findings of our study.

How to Achieve Excellence in the Fuzzy Front-End – Part 1

November 2nd, 2015|

The term “Fuzzy Front-End” (FFE) has been established for the early stage of innovation which determines the innovation effectiveness and hence ultimately innovation success. We wanted to better understand where leading firms are setting their priorities in the FFE currently and where they see things going in the future. To answer this, we conducted a study. Our train of thought and the main findings are in a two-part article series published here.

The Super Heroes of Solar

October 26th, 2015|

What is the real value of participating in innovation programs? In this article Rob Hoehn looks at his favourite example, working with the Department of Energy. They started by asking the public what the most pressing problems were when it came to making solar a cost-competitive resource for every citizen and then asked that same crowd to come forward with possible solutions to the top-voted problems.

Taking Action: Your Innovation Master Plan

June 5th, 2015|

The focus of the The Innovation Formula is on the innovation process that makes sense for small businesses, where lean, simple, and fast are essential. You may also be interested in a view of the innovation process that’s suited to larger companies, so this chapter provides an overview of the Innovation Master Plan framework that we use when we’re working with larger organizations on innovation projects and initiatives.

Overcommitting and Underutilizing Resources is Risky Business

November 26th, 2014|

Bringing innovative products, methods, and ideas to market requires companies to apply resources to their most promising concepts and that can be expensive, requiring lots of talent, if they want to be fast and first to market. The problem is that most companies overcommit their limited resources by approving more ideas than they execute. They do it because they lack a clear view into their resource capacity.

The Critical Lead Time to Eruption in Brainstorming Sessions

November 18th, 2014|

Dr. Stephen Sweid has conducted more than a hundred structured group brainstorming sessions in recent years, as well as many one-to-one discussion sessions as a consultant and trainer. He has observed a number of common patterns related to timing and evolution of the brainstorming process.

Elements of a Successful Innovation Roadmap

November 10th, 2014|

Countless articles argue: To remain competitive, companies need to consistently build their innovation portfolio. Value-oriented improvement and new developments must permeate the business. This article discusses a structured approach, known as a Rapid Innovation Cycle, which brings a repeatable process to innovation, empowering individuals to contribute more and organizations to look beyond themselves—all leading to a higher success rate.

Should I Talk About My Co-creation Partners?

October 29th, 2014|

Research and practice have investigated firms’ benefits of co-creation with external stakeholders, such as more creative ideas, reduced development costs, and improved product quality. However, little is known about how consumers perceive products and their firms that communicate about such co-creation activities. Using two experimental studies, we investigated how consumers’ knowledge about the involvement of different types of stakeholders during the innovation process changes the adoption of new products.

The Death of Innovation Crowdsourcing (As We Know It)!

October 27th, 2014|

Ideation focused crowdsourcing has been around for some time, but the approach is often not producing the desired business results in order to justify continued investments. How does the model need to change in order to drive real business value?

Methods of Measuring Ideas for Innovation

October 23rd, 2014|

Turning ideas into numbers and knowing the characteristics of the Ideal Idea (0.00iur) is like having a compass and knowing the safe harbor where the minimal risks of innovation converge. Mathematically identifying desired ideas by users, extracted from simplified mathematical formulas, is the Holy Grail that eliminates uncertainties and passionate discussions, which are unhelpful in choosing ideas.

Corporate Open Innovation Portals, Part II: Two Successful Case Examples

October 13th, 2014|

Jos Tissen of Unilever, based in the Netherlands, and Shawn Heipp of Elmer’s Products, based in Ohio, USA, have something in common. Each manages his company’s corporate innovation portal, the website used to encourage technology solution submissions from external customers, suppliers, inventors, and businesses. Tissen and Heipp describe their unique portal implementation choices and their results to date.

10 Steps for Boosting your Firm’s Innovation

September 15th, 2010|

Here are 10 steps you can take to turn your company into an innovation leader that races forwardswith new products, services and improved processes while your competitors remain far behind with outdated products, limited services and inefficient processes.

The Innovation Hype Cycle

July 13th, 2010|

According to the Gartner Hype Cycle model, media coverage of a new technology goes through five distinct phases. Graham Horton has discovered that the way media treats innovation follows a similar pattern.

The Basics of Creative Problem Solving – CPS

June 2nd, 2010|

Creative problem solving isn't just brainstorming, although that's what many people may associate it with. It's actually a well-defined process that can help you from problem definition to implementing solutions, according to Jeffrey Baumgartner.

Why open innovation alliances fail

February 8th, 2010|

One of the reasons why open innovation is so hard to implement is because you must open up your internal innovation processes to another organization. According to one innovation expert, you actually need to manage three sets of relationships in any potential partnership, which explains why it's so hard to create a successful open innovation alliance.

The Critical Role of Trust in the Innovation Process

January 19th, 2010|

The innovation process requires considerable amounts of trust. The innovation process involves risk both for the firm running the process and employees participating in the process. Jeffrey Baumgartner outlines some practical ways to increase the level of trust, and therefore the level of innovation, in your firm.