Let’s face it, running a business in today’s world is a formidable endeavor: change and disruption have become the new norm. In an effort to keep up, innovation is at the top of every executive’s priority list and new innovation methodologies, training and strategies are available every day. But is all the hype really helpful while Western businesses and policy-makers are working under an outdated paradigm?
Despite their rising popularity, many companies are finding it difficult to yield sustainable results from their innovation and intrapreneurship programs. What does it take to go beyond the one-time initiative (or in rare some cases, the one-hit wonder)? We sat down with four speakers for the upcoming Intrapreneurship Conference in London, as a taster to what will be discussed during the day.
Whether you are designing a feature, creating a product, or building a company, your technology needs to be solving a real problem for your customers, says Cyriac Roeding, founder and CEO of Shopkick. Roeding describes how his company only began working on technology when it was explicitly needed to solve a key problem.
Even before the term was coined in Wired Magazine in 2006, crowdsourcing was utilized as a way to accomplish goals. The strategy had been used for several hundred years before it was officially given a name, but since being named, crowdsourcing has grown into a huge field, spawning subdivisions of the strategy and being used for a multitude of purposes. Wikipedia is one of the most recognizable and mainstream instances of crowdsourcing, designed to elicit and compile knowledge from the masses. Crowdsourcing has been used in real time to track public transportation and traffic updates with various apps.
At a time when organisations are plugging more effort into innovation, Gerard Harkin has written a book called ‘Innovation Unplugged’. Why? As he puts it himself, Gerard is on a mission to make innovation more effective by ‘unplugging’ from the hype, confusion and ‘gobbledygook’ that are so prevalent today, and return to the basic principles of innovation, and its role in enabling business growth.
Mike Rothenberg encourages entrepreneurs to avoid “red oceans,” a business-strategy term for cutthroat markets where competitors struggle for incremental gains. The CEO of Rothenberg Ventures says entrepreneurs should instead swim toward blue oceans, rivers and ponds, while developing the instincts to discover these emerging, wide-open markets.
The secret to innovating successfully is being able to test thousands of ideas and safely know you can do so without going broke. But how? With the low-risk innovation tools presented in the highly anticipated book by Dr. Evan Shellshear, you will learn the latest tricks and methods to run an effective innovation program in your organization.
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.
LEGO has earned the right to celebrate. Not only are kids playing with more mini LEGO people than there are human beings on the planet (Delingpole J, 2009) but in 2015, they were nominated by Forbes as the most powerful brand in the world. For a company which was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, the toy maker has made an amazing turnaround. They restructured, hired a new CEO, and forged more licensing partnerships than ever before. Most importantly, they discovered the secret to some of the world’s most successful, low risk innovation strategies.
Over the last few years, innovation has become a ubiquitous branding tool. Whether you are a blue-chip company or a local start-up, innovation has entered the everyday lexicon of CEOs and administrative staff. Compared to prior marketing trends, innovation is not a passive buzzword—it is critical to the success of your company.