Not everyone knows that NASA has embedded crowdsourcing into their strategy and capabilities. But in fact, back in 2011 (after they ran a highly successful crowdsourcing pilot) NASA established the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI).
Over the years, Israel has accumulated a lot of experience with corporate open innovation. Over 350 global corporations selected Israel as their source for innovation, understanding that the rapid rate that technology changes and the fierce competition that exists, does not allow these companies to rely just on their R&D departments.
The ideation platform marketplace hasn’t really changed that much in the past 7 years or so. There was an early burst of innovative design and alignment with user needs, but at this point the sector seems to have stagnated in terms of how they add value. Call it reaching middle age, or perhaps they are having a 7-year itch?
Last week Unilever announced research showing that one-third of consumers now purchase its brands based on their good social and environmental performance, but went on to suggest that brands are missing an opportunity from not promoting sustainability effectively. Getting this right could unlock a further $1trn market opportunity for sustainability innovators.
This time of year is full of meetings with leadership and teams in order to help them prepare for the year ahead. People discuss financial goals, sustainability goals, profitability targets, customer success metrics, and more, but there are also numerous research & development teams out there who are coordinating their annual innovation strategy who struggle in their process to create a cohesive innovation strategy.
The keyword “Industry 4.0” is no longer an empty cliché or a black box; it is currently probably the most important topic within the German economy. Not only will existing processes be revolutionized – but also new businesses and business models will arise. More and more companies have already started to tap into its potential.
They say creativity loves constraint. In fact, if you ask professional, creative people about their “limitations” they naturally see them as exciting and stimulating. Engineers and software designers for instance see constraints as absolutely fundamental to problem solving. So why does constraint get such a bad wrap? Why do so many people see them as things to be managed and talked around and spun? In this week’s episode, Adam Morgan delves deep into this topic and explains his process for creating a framework to understand constraint and a process to help people successfully manage it.
Many leaders of corporate innovation efforts struggle to get the support they need from executives higher up in the organization. Top executives can be skilled at talking the talk about innovation, especially in public venues, but frequently fail to walk the walk when it comes to making key choices that determine whether an innovation project will happen or die on the vine.
Innovation has become a business mantra and a word that threatens to lose all meaning every time it’s uttered at another conference or thrown into another book title. But in spite of its omnipresence it continues to be essential – a growing field – and one of the only practices that might save businesses from extinction.
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.
Innovation is all about survival – how often do we hear versions of that line? But in the field of humanitarian aid this really is the case. Innovation can sometimes be a matter of life and death. It’s a world characterised by crisis – but it’s also somewhere from which we might learn some new lessons to help manage innovation.
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.
Identifying new sources of growth has become increasingly more complex given the myriad of alternatives that new business models, strategic partnerships, advanced technologies, and other disruptive mechanisms offer us. Taking a systematic approach to finding these opportunities means veering from our usual mode of operations to a much more speculative mindset where the learning journey is as important as the destination itself.
Innovation initiatives have a habit of causing excitement and expectation; the organisation is trying something different and wanting to do new things. Senior management are anticipating the brand new shiny ideas, and front-line employees can’t wait to be rid of their daily frustrations. So what could go wrong? However, in all this excitement, there’s a group that is usually neglected in the engagement strategy – the middle managers. Often it’s assumed that these managers will support all the company initiatives. It’s their role to toe the line and make sure others do. They’ll buy in surely? Actually, they don’t.
As the market becomes saturated, it becomes difficult for many businesses, especially startup enterprises, to stay on top of their competitions. Technology has paved a way for firms to revolutionize their marketing and management strategies. Another tried and tested way to infiltrate their specific markets successfully is to inspire innovation within their offices, from employees to their brand.