fuzzy 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.

Executing on Innovation – The Required Key Ingredients

Innovation: We all have seen the biggest, most successful companies talk about it and share their success stories. We have read about it in the latest business journals and magazines. We all want it in our organization but the right recipe with the right ingredients is often elusive. In this article we will share different views and discuss key ingredients required to create, execute, and innovate in your organization.

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.

Integrating Agile with Stage-Gate® – How New Agile-Scrum Methods Lead to Faster and Better Innovation

Recent experiences show that Agile project-management methods can be used in the innovation process and has a great potential to reduce development time and increase the success rate of new products. The article briefly outlines how an Agile method, such as Scrum, can be used within a structured innovation process with milestones and decision points, such as Stage-Gate®, and what benefits it provides to both manufacturers and service-providers.

Challenged by Innovation? Someone May Have Already Solved Your Problem

In 1946, Soviet inventor and science fiction writer Genrich Altshuller developed a methodology called TRIZ. It became known as "the theory of inventive problem-solving" and was based on a simple premise: across different disciplines and applications, the same challenges occur again and again. Unfortunately, people keep solving nearly identical problems from scratch. The main lesson from TRIZ is this: if you understand how your innovation challenge is similar to someone else’s, you can reapply solutions that already exist, instead of reinventing the wheel time and again.

Creativity is not Enough: How to Turn Ideas into Revenue

“Eureka!’, Archimedes famously howled, while running butt naked through the streets of Syracuse. Soaking in his bath tub, the bearded Greek inventor had just discovered a new method of determining an object’s volume. Funnily enough, this well-known story captures two myths about innovation. One: it’s the work of a sole – and usually slightly eccentric – inventor. Two: chance has a part to play. For businesses, the reality is vastly different. Indeed, turning ideas into revenue requires quite a bit more than just ideation and luck.

Six Levers For Solving The Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 3

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

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

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.

10 Ways to Reduce the Innovation Failure Rate

You are not able to stand still in this fast paced business environment, but most of the time innovation fails. Innovation process-expert Robert Cooper shows that of every seven new product/service projects, about four enter development, 1.5 are launched, and only one succeeds. Innovation is so difficult to master, indeed. I love to share with you five reasons why innovation goes wrong and give you ten ways to reduce your failure rate of innovation.

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

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

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.

Sensing is Exploring Uncharted Territory

Where do you start when you want something new? Whether the aim is just an improvement, a small incremental change or something more unique, disruptive and breakthrough, the start will probably determine where you end up. Do you start jotting down ideas? Do you grab a whiteboard and Post-Its, get a few people in the room, and start brainstorming?

How to Avoid Robot-Zombie Innovation

In order to create Breakthrough Innovations, you need to abandon the corporate robot-zombie talk, says Andrew Benson. By cultivating an open and free form innovation culture organizations can avoid the idea logjams created by formal innovation processes.

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

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?