Vijay Govindarajan tells us that Innovation cannot happen inside the performance engine, so it requires a dedicated innovation team. Every time you start a new innovation initiative — which the performance engine cannot do because of its limits of reach — you are essentially creating a start up company.
Setting an innovation entity acting as a start-up is what we experienced at Orange with the creation of Orange Vallée. Orange Vallée was created in 2007 to “identify, develop, and market innovative products and services within particularly short lead times. Orange Vallée’s offer would complement the Group’s portfolio on the world’s Internet, mobile telephony and convergence markets”.
The adventure has been going on for 3 years now, and one can draw the following lessons:
What has been more difficult to achieve is a streamlined cooperation with the core company; a clear selection of links to develop collaboration has been missed.
- our innovation strategy and belief did not meet some concrete shared goals with our parent company;
- the innovation portfolio management has not been very balanced between disruptive projects and quick wins, not very focused on a selected number of projects, and it did not show a clear intent that everyone could use as a basis for individual and team decisions;
- no innovation process pairing open innovation with design thinking, user involvement, fast integration, prototyping and testing capabilities, and cross functional management, has been shared and implemented so as to define a relevant framework for all the innovation team.
Deriving from Orange Vallée, from our personal experience in innovation, and from an in-depth research through academic sources and 15 case studies we have since tried to optimize the architecture through designing a “Rapid innovation” model.
Yet this framework has to operate on a set-up entity.
Will this one be built in 7 days? We don’t think so and suggest a roadmap to implement the rapid innovation model. In the next episode, we’ll see how we would unfold the set-up in a 9 months timeline over three main stages: Create, Develop, Engage.
By Nicolas Bry
Nicolas is a senior VP at Orange Vallée, an Orange entity dedicated to rapid innovation. He developed a strong experience in innovation management, creating and managing international digital BU, at executive committee level, with a focus on video and TV services design. Graduate from engineering school Supélec, he further completed at HEC Business School a professional thesis on “rapid innovation” in 2010 (nbry.wordpress.com).