Front End of Innovation

From the Future to the Present: Visualization and Innovation

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.

Systematic Idea Generation and Organizational Capabilities for Front-End Innovation Performance in SMEs

This study seeks to answer two key questions about the front-end innovation: when do idea generation activities involving internal and external partner’s payoff, and which organizational capabilities support idea generation activities for achieving high front-end performance?

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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.

How To Innovate The Expedition Way

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?

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.