Innovation speed or perfectionWhat is time to innovate?

The time between the day when the need to innovate is recognized to the day the first version of a prototype is in the market. Innovation speed or perfection? Go for speed any time.

For instance: The need or the dream to have an internet connection in any place in the world, land, or water is as old as the Internet itself. But in 2015, Elon Musk had an idea how to solve it. In Feb 2018, he created a company called StarLink. Today in 2021, we have full coverage, and in the next few years, it will be a standard. By 2025 people will realize that over 30,000 satellites are in orbit and connect all of us any time from anywhere. Look back and wondering how this could happen. Very much how we wonder why there is only one search engine to be considered serious, one computer operating system, one super large social network, one shopping platform, and soon one internet provider. We all heard of StarLink; but so far, nobody dares to compete. Is California or Silicon Valley a time capsule in itself? Time seems to run much faster – but only because we don’t hear a lot from China, in particular Shenzhen.
Only a few decades ago, Shenzhen was a collection of quiet farming and fishing villages. Today, the city is among the world’s leading innovation hotspots—in other words, the perfect location for our Airbus China Innovation Centre (ACIC).

If you want to innovate on Shenzhen speed you got to be even faster. Does it feel impossible? Yes, it does but only due to our massive overhead. If we don’t watch it, we will end like the britsh empire in 1900 or the Roman Empire in 1600 or Egypt or Mesopotamia or or or.

Western innovation labs, where are your results?

Innovation speed or perfection. In the past 20 years, several hundred innovation labs had been incepted. Yet, the outcome is more or less nonexistent. Yes, there had been nice improvements, some fun stuff, and maybe a few marketing Giggs. But nearly no groundbreaking innovation. They came all from startups. Something major may have gone wrong in those “Lost 20 years,” as one of the top Japanese executives told me recently. Everybody looked at startups because they seem to do something right. However, we all know 90% fail, and if you look at them, you will fail too. We all heard it “Innovation needs amazing creativity, and you can’t enforce it” – ok, so make innovation playgrounds with meditation, lego play games, sing together, and do sports together.  Hmmm – the unicorns show relentless execution, amazing speed; they work under enormous pressure. TIME seems to be a silver bullet. Very much like Elon Musks demonstrates it every day. When I founded my companies and watching my peers and the hundreds of startups we worked with, the best of the best were constantly full of adrenaline.

Groundbreaking Innovation in 40 days

We wanted to know:  What is the Innovation speed limit? The answer: 40 days right now. We can create groundbreaking innovation and validate the concept and bring it to market in 40 days. While most people are driven by their schedule, which is driven by others, who drive other agendas, and so forth, we need to put a stake in the ground NOW. The Nespresso Capsul took 15 years from idea to market success. The Tesla automobile took 15 years from inception to market success. Facebook took less than 10 years, Starlink probably less than 7 years. And the upcoming generation will be even faster. The western world already lost the first race against the red dragon in China. But we are used to not give up, to not surrender – to get up and compete.

Dare to compete

Some people use pacemakers to keep their heart beating – what is your business using? In a few days, we start with the global Ingenuity Cup. The promise is to get to groundbreaking innovation in 40 days. So far, most contestants are startups. While under huge pressure to deliver a real innovation for the first time, enterprise teams are struggling to make quick decisions, get approvals, find ways to put all the other administrative work to the side, and are fearful of failing. We MUST break through that barrier.

Dare to break all barriers and walls

  • You have no time? Never say this again. Take the time for what is most important.
  • You need approval? I don’t think so, because you have a mission.
  • You have other e important things to do? Stop innovating – it’s a waste of time doing it on the side.
  • You worry about your career? 5 years without success in an innovation lab is 25% of your career wasted already.
  • The next company won’t take you !!!!

Mr CEO, tear down that wall

Make your innovation teams play by the rule of global markets, global timelines, global competitors, global speed limits, and compete against everything and everybody. Innovation playground time is over. Every unicorn on earth competes with relentless execution, other nations have no rules and no limits. If you spend more time protecting what you have than investing it into future solutions, you, your board, and investors declare the limits of your abilities.

 

Dare to join the Ingenuity Cup even last minute.

Calculating the value of an innovation

BlueCallom Equation IntroductionOne of our early objectives was to easily describe the value of our work. It is not easy as Innovation has so many moving parts and the fact that enterprises around the world are feverishly trying to find better ways to achieve groundbreaking innovation and not just improvement is a testimony for its complexity. We tried to distill our value contribution down to neuro ideation, innovation opportunity discovery, innovation-to-market method, innovation financing, reporting, Innovation KPI framework, multi-user digital canvas technology, genetic computing technology AI usage, and a few other things. One aspect recently rose very prominently in conversations with users and customers: a very close relationship between brilliant ideation and relentless execution. However, there was an inner conflict: It is described in a blog post written a few years ago: The Initial value of an idea is zero. How could something of no value sparked multi-billion dollar businesses and disrupts entire industries if it has no value? It just needed to turn on of course but what value is it then? It reminded me of something I learned in quantum mechanics, that I quantum state can be seen as having two states at the same time. Every idea can too. As we learned from neuroscience, an idea is a clearly defined “object in our brain that is composed of past experiences”.  The trick is to use it or not. Unused its value is zero and used its value turns into one. The value of one is still not a lot but multiplied with execution that leads to exponential growth makes the one incredibly valuable.  Let’s not get deeper into quantum physics as it is just an analogy but look how this concept changes our understanding of innovation.

The two key aspects, that make or break groundbreaking innovation:

  1. Finding a brilliant idea that leads to innovation

  2. Making the idea a reality and bringing it to market with relentless execution

Harnessing the duality of ideation and execution is where BlueCallom makes the biggest difference. Moreover developing the BlueCallom Equation, paved the way for making innovation predictable, creating Innovation Forecasts, calculating an Innovation Lifetime Value, and an Innovation ROI. Groundbreaking Innovation (G)  = Ideation (I) * Execution(E)².

G = I * E² 

The meaning of G

For the development of innovation processes, we needed to make a statement of what we understand by the term INNOVATION, in particular groundbreaking or disruptive innovation is not Improvement. It became even more important when trying to find a way to calculate an innovation value. There are hundreds of different definitions of what innovation means. The following definition is made to make our methods and technology clear, and also what our equation is addressing.

Innovation is the introduction of a
groundbreaking elevation in the way
people do things and ensuring
a successful global distribution.

It often results in disruption, how
industry segments conduct business.

Innovation is not the same as Improvement. For more clarity, we use Groundbreaking Innovation (G)

The creation of I

To get to groundbreaking innovation you need an amazing idea. And since we know, thanks to neuroscience, how innovative ideas get created, we can go one major step further: Making the innovation a reality. Not only by building a prototype but bringing that innovation to life in global markets. Some years ago I wrote a provocative blog post: “The initial Value of an Idea is ZERO” and that has not changed. There have been many known cases where people bought an idea for $1. With that payment, the idea had legally changed ownership. So we can assume that the buy-in of a team developing such an idea has the value of one – assume any currency. The idea is the must-have ignition to innovation, yet has no big value to anybody – yet. The value is created through execution. Every startup knows – it gets embossed in their neurons by every investor. And there is an important effect to be observed: Any successful innovation – ever created – was following an exponential growth rate. Hence the E².  But with no execution: 1 * 0 = 0 – in other words, the lack of execution makes the innovation value zero.

The significance of

  1. Innovation Timeline
    Innovative solutions take quite a while to get accepted in the market. And there is no shortcut. The larger part of the market participants is rather careful and conservative. It took a few years until the name Tesla even made it to News. It took even longer until Amazon became a household brand. The first two years, Computer 2000 and TechData had a tough start. But 10 years later both bypassed 8,000 competitors which never understood the level of disruption our business models had. Today the merged and combined company is doing nearly 40 Billion in revenue. The inflection point when the so-called “Hockey Stick” kicks in and turns the slow start is recognized as part of an exponential growth curve, it is too late for many companies to seriously compete.
  2. Innovation Management
    Managing an “Innovation to Market” process is an ART and a SCIENCE. One of the key aspects of the science part is the understanding that innovative products will never be purchased by conservative customers, which is the largest audience. One of the arts to get it to scalable results is to know when the broader audience is ready to engage. Today the function of “Innovation Management” is widely underestimated or even completely misunderstood. Innovation management could also be called “Innovation Value Management”. It is all about creating value from a disruptive innovation that has usually the DNA of a unicorn – no matter whether it is a corporate or startup unicorn.
  3. Equation
    * An idea, as a result of any kind of ideation, has a fixed initial value of zero.
    * Once a team is intending to use the idea and make it a reality, the value of such an idea becomes one (1).
    * As soon as the innovation is given to users and they see a value for them and start using the product, the value increases above 1. Here it can potentially grow exponentially based on the energy somebody puts into execution. The energy that is put into execution should become proportional to the value growth of the innovation if the execution is done right.

This also explains why some of the innovative products are perceived as “Overhyped” in the eyes of normal observers.  Only after carefully analyzing the innovation’s growth path and rate, capital markets react and may look unrealistic. This was experienced with almost every Silicon Valley IPO and afterward, those technological advances became the new normal and ever more often dominating entire markets. The   in the BlueCallom Equation can now also explain that behavior of seemingly hyped values that turned out to be valuable over time. The BlueCallom Equation is represented in the BlueCallom Deep Innovation Design model as well as in the architecture of the BlueCallom Innovation Management Software (code name ‘deep’).

 

Debunking 100+ Innovation Methods

G=I E² is more than just a formula for groundbreaking innovation, describing the duality between ideation and execution.  It is describing the foundation of any successful innovation effort or process.

* Innovation Team Structure

Brilliant innovation and relentless execution is not a job that a person can do on the side. It’s the opposite – innovation development is one of the most demanding engagements in any business anywhere in the world. The equation also makes clear what the innovation management’s responsibility is.

* Execution – Execution – Execution
It demonstrates the value relation between the idea itself and the execution process after the idea was created. It’s all about execution and that has never been even a consideration in innovation management.

* Time is of essence

It shows the importance of the factor time in the execution from zero to the max. In conventional innovation playgrounds, teams had infinite time. The outcome was zero. Unicorns ran like crazy and that made a huge difference.

* Innovation KPIs
How innovation teams achieve probability calculations, ROI, etc. to develop more robust innovation plans.  Only robust KPIs can indicate performance. The number of idea contributions, the value of the contribution, market validation, innovation confluence data, timelines, budgets, degree of disruption, adoption rates, growth pattern, and more. The number of projects can’t be one of them.

* The end of Innovation Kindergarten
The equations expose why empirical experimentation, pivoting, random brainstorming, and other “exercises” just could never lead to groundbreaking innovation. Lego games and dancing, meditation, and other relaxation is really nice – but cannot be the core of the top job of any industry leader.

 

Open innovation is a frequently-used term that brings a variety of imagery to mind: collaboration, intellectual property, startups, and co-creation. But most importantly, open innovation involves “combining internal and external ideas” to bring new business concepts to life. As an innovation strategy, open innovation serves as a pathway to integrate external perspectives (i.e., from users)  into the development of a new business offering. 

Simply put, open innovation involves accessing and exchanging knowledge between people in your organization and people working externally. The goal is to support innovation by generating new, high-quality ideas that can help create a long-term competitive advantage in the market. For an established company, open innovation can be implemented by collaborating with individual people, other organizations, suppliers, and even startups. The flexibility of how open innovation is pursued truly makes it a one-size-fits-most strategy! Do you agree? Please let us know your opinion in the comments. 

Why Pursue Open Innovation? 

Companies choose to engage in open innovation because of the various opportunities for growth, learning, ideas, and other benefits of increasing innovation activities. Also, mitigating the risk of innovation is one reason companies pursue open innovation. If the market is involved in the innovation process, achieving idea validation then ensures that a new innovation will be accepted by its market. Below are some of the key advantages of pursuing open innovation: 

Speed Up the Innovation Lifecycle 

Applying open innovation as a strategy to developing a new product can speed up the time from conceptualization to commercialization. When a company introduces the necessary external experiences into the innovation process, this combination of resources and knowledge together leads to a faster innovation lifecycle. For a product-oriented company, speed-to-market is crucial for success, so open innovation can be a great fit for this type of firm.  

Gain New Knowledge 

Open innovation is centered around gaining access to new knowledge, which can be accomplished by partnering with external organizations or individuals with a specialized skill-set. By applying new knowledge to a company’s project (or product or problem), the introduction of new ideas and perspectives can lead to new value creation and innovation. As a side-benefit, access to new knowledge and learning opportunities can help employees evolve their careers in your company. 

In the Deep Innovation Design methodology, the ideation process involves an analogous search in which innovation participants compare unrelated (but similar) industries, companies, or sectors in order to derive inspiration by translating the understanding into their own company’s dynamic. Analogous search can also be accomplished through open innovation by incorporating unrelated (but similar!) partners, suppliers, or organizations into a company’s innovation process. The introduction of a radically different way of accomplishing a task or workflow could lead to successful innovation! To learn more about Deep Innovation Design, you can check out this TED Talk or read more in this blog post

Benefit from the Customer Experience

Collaborating with selected customers (i.e., highly-engaged users) is an effective way to generate new insights about customers’ usage of your products, services, and/or perspectives on your competition. Interacting with highly-involved customers opens the doors to innovative ideas. These individuals likely have experience-based opinions around your company’s current offerings or other ideas on how to improve. Including customers in your innovation or ideation process increases the likelihood to compose and capture original ideas. Since an idea is a composition of past experiences according to recent discoveries in neuroscience, involving the experiences of the end-user can augment the ingenuity of the innovation team. Customer interaction through open innovation can lead to differentiating your company further from the competition, save time, and mitigate risk. 

Are you interested in more resources on open innovation? We welcome you to explore our upcoming webinar: The Strategic Value of Open Innovation on March 11, 2021. 

Risks to Pursuing Open Innovation 

Of course, it is important to mention the potential hazards of engaging in open innovation. Some companies may choose to avoid openness in their approach to innovating in order to eliminate the risk of revealing company know-how with external parties. As such, vetting potential partners, vendors, and collaborators is important before exposing internal processes and practices! However, the benefits and possibilities produced by open innovation significantly outweigh the risk of sharing too much information. 

Thank you for reading! What do you think are the pros and cons of implementing open innovation? Please share your ideas in the comments below. 

During the first week of February, the BlueCallom team brought innovation leaders worldwide together at the BlueCallom virtual Innovation Thought Leader Circle event. The Innovation Thought Leader Circle series provides a space where a select group of innovation professionals comes together virtually to share best practices, insights around innovation management, and advanced learning in innovation. 

To generate knowledge and share interesting perspectives around innovation in 2021, we invite you to get insights from this lively innovation circle around innovating during a pandemic, overcoming external challenges in this “New Normal,” and supporting innovation culture to prepare for future shifts in the business landscape. 

Entering into a State of Innovation in the New Normal

Technological advancements and digitization are not necessarily enough to transform an entire industry, but the innovative business models that introduce the technology are disruptive. We’ve witnessed how companies have innovated their business models, products, services, and customer interaction techniques during the global pandemic. Innovation is more critical than ever, or as Kevin Minier says, the current status quo is now entering into a “state of innovation”. 

Adapting to the “New Normal” will determine which companies simply survive and which companies thrive. How will innovation look in a post-pandemic world? As pointed out by Robert Cloughtery, companies should expand their innovation vision from short-term fixes to long-term business model innovation.

For example, Hussein Dajani, General Manager of Digital and CX Transformation for Nissan Motor Co. in Africa, Middle East, India, Turkey, and Oceana, discussed how customer experience transformation had been a crucial strategy to meeting customers’ “where they are” in today’s landscape: in their homes (due to lockdowns). “Innovation, I believe, boils down from empathy, from really listening to your customers, seeing what their real needs are, and being able to deliver on that innovatively,” says Dajani.

Shirin Kurtuldu also contributed excellent knowledge on how to capture customer-driven ideas by running a Voice of Customer program and asking your own customers what they want, what kind of innovation they are missing.  

Corporate Innovation is Key 

However, innovating strategically for the long-term in an established enterprise can be difficult, considering bureaucratic measures, regulatory barriers, and risk-averse structures that hold big companies back from implementing transformational changes.

As Hussein Dajani points out, big firms often think from a place of “revenue, dollar signs, and immediate profit,” making short-term approaches more feasible to execute. The focus on short-term profit is a signal that a company is not as forward-thinking as it should be to innovate and gain a competitive advantage over time. The company’s mindset is another key factor.

Axel Schultze, CEO and Founder of BlueCallom, says, “the culture shift from a non-innovative company to an innovative company is a massive change…it’s a significant change in mindset.” The question then becomes, how to create a culture of innovation? Facilitating a culture in which accepting “failing fast is such a key technique to helping with innovation,” says Tony Namulo.

Regardless of whether a company adopts a ‘freedom to fail’ attitude or not, half the battle is pushing a great idea from concept to creation and convincing others of its merit. Circle attendee André Lüscher says, “for every idea, you need someone to convince other people that this idea is great.” An idea won’t make it past the gatekeepers and bookkeepers at each milestone check-in without a product or service champion supporting the idea along the journey to development and commercialization. 

Turn the Pandemic into an Innovation Opportunity 

Due to the pandemic, the nature of work changed. Teams work together in an online and remote capacity. Pointed out by Mikel Mangold, “all this international collaboration that is going on right now is incredible” and is requiring innovation around online collaboration tools to make remote work accessible and productive.

Aside from virtual collaboration, remote work also enables the ability to reach a broader audience. Furthermore, companies can find talents across the global stage. A lot of companies are going to be considering “the global talent pool, in terms of being able to increase the pace of innovation within companies,” says Tony Namulo. Thus, a silver lining to the pandemic is new value creation through the various opportunities presented.

But not only are digital work tools in demand, but digital lifestyle tools are also increasingly important. For example, gyms and the fitness industry are undergoing a moment of reckoning as digital fitness services adapt to meet our new needs, as Laurent Guinand discussed.

The business of education is another industry in a moment of upheaval as online education has been thrown into the spotlight, and online education platforms’ successes might even indicate that online education is the future. Axel Schultze says that “the education system has followed the needs of the industry,” and with changing industries across all sectors, the future is in the hands of the innovators and creative minds. In this way, ‘timing,’ in addition to ‘need’ and ‘technology available’ can be considered the keys to building a successful innovation, as deemed  Tony Namulo. 

400 Million businesses (OECD) may look for a total of 100 Million Innovation Managers during this decade.

100 Million Innovation Managers

Of course, at first sight, it sounds ridiculous. Yet if you take the number of registered businesses around the world plus the enormous growth rate of new businesses it is relatively easy to imagine that 25% of those companies, no matter how small they are, will want at least one person that works on innovation concepts. The fortune 20,000 however, is more like hiring Millions on their own. Of course, there is room to debate the number in both directions. If we consider a 3% investment in innovation, the numbers could also move further up. Who would have thought just 10 years ago that in 2020 we will have 1.5 Billion websites live? And an estimated 100 Million webmasters are handling them.

Gameover for romantic ideation dreams

Now, since we know how the brain is actually composing, processing, and fine-tuning ideas, we can begin strategic innovation management. We know that no idea ever composed was by accident. We know that brainstorming can’t create a single disruptive business model. We know that disruptive innovation takes on average 6 weeks to create. It will not happen in a week nor will it take longer than 12 weeks. With amazing predictability comes manageability but most importantly readiness to invest. Constructing an innovative idea is no longer much different from architecting a new skyscraper. Both have a predictable outcome. All that is opening up new investments. 100 Million Innovation managers become more and more a realistic number.

Now is a good time to build up your experience.

BlueCallom launches its Innovations Management Academy with an orientation webinar on Jan 7 and Jan 18. http://bluecallom.com/certified-innovation-manager-orientation/ We will help innovators, managers, and executives to get their arms around the many counter-intuitive aspects of an innovation lifecycle. It’s already hard enough to find top talents. And that will get even harder in the next few years. Having experience will remain to be a top value in an innovation career. “How many innovation projects did you complete?” “What methods did you use?”. To compete with 100 Million others for a job is equally challenging than trying to get top talents competing with 100 Million other businesses. We interviewed shrimp farm owners in Vietnam, street dealers in Cambodia, car repair shops in Nigeria, and 50+ more businesses. The owners are on average 25, graduated from their local University, and are smart enough to understand that our world is changing very fast. The shrimp farmer considers an AI system to manage the population, the car repair shop an e-commerce system for parts sale, and the street dealer a mobile app to push their daily harvest of ultra-fresh food to sell it the same day. Each one of the innovative concepts is simple at first glance, yet powerful enough to force all their competitors to follow.

Starting January 25, the new BlueCallom Innovations Management Academy will offer four major programs:

Deep Innovation Design Champion – learning all about the methodology
Deep Innovation Design Specialist – applying the acquired knowledge in a project
Innovation Manager – learning to run a full-size innovation project
Innovation Executive – knowing what you can expect from your team

You will find all details here: http://bluecallom.com/imacad/

#innovation #innovationmanagement #openinnovation #deepinnovationdesign #jobs #career #tech #share #hiring

100 Million Innovation Managers

When applying for a job at BlueCallom, you will find the same behavior in the World Innovations Forum and our previous companies. We ignore CVs for more than 15 years now. Interestingly enough, you find the same with Facebook, Google, and many others: “Your CV is of no value” to us. And since not only applicants but also peers are asking WHY, here is a more detailed answer.

Your CV is of no value to us.

  1. People can write in their CVs what they want.
  2. Some applicants even use a professional CV writer to do it for them.
  3. Employee-references can even be legally enforced to be “positive” in some countries.

When lying is not only OK but enforced by law, the value gets down to zero. It’s even worse. We no longer can help applicants why we rejected them due to  “Political correctness” or worse, lawsuits due to XYZ-discrimination (replace XYZ with virtually any reason) have turned employee protection into employee disadvantage.

Your skills are not mission-critical to us.

Skills are things you can learn. And well-developed skills are all too often hard to unlearn. We are an innovative company and a thought leader in the innovation space. What we do today was unthinkable yesterday and is of less value tomorrow. At BlueCallom, you will need to be a life long learner. In the interest of our future development, life long learning of our team is essential. To make that easier, we make learning part of your job. Whatever you did in the past is clearly important and is part of your “experience collection,” which gives you the repertoire for ideas and ingenuity. But any repeat job you did in the past is of no value to us. But ONLY if you are up to par with every aspect of today’s world. Hence, your CV is of no value.

Your decade long experience is counterproductive.

Unfortunately, if you have 10+ years of experience with anything, we cannot afford to untrain your neuro pathways. Untrain and train new things is a massive effort, and we are not yet big enough to have the resources to take care of such a process. You may call it age-discrimination because you know this is a great way out of needing to change, but it won’t help you here.  And therefore, the list of all the jobs and with it your CV is of no value.

We know, in the past 200 years, all the above, very much like your educational degrees, had been essential for your career. But not for us and maybe soon for other businesses. Your education trimmed you to learn and repeat, become good at something, and then develop it to perfection. In the last 50 years, knowledge has multiplied thousands of times, and right now, global knowledge doubles every 24 hours. Learning all that “knowledge” is obviously impossible – all you can learn is where to find it.

What are we looking for if the CV is of no value?

The next two decades will bring major employee advances.

In the next 20 years, we will experience office automation progressing as much as we have seen industrial automation in the past 50 years. Today there are rarely production facilities where thousands of workers march into the plant in the morning and out in the evening. Instead, today, we see long lines of cars leaving the office in the evening and going in, in the morning. Yet this is only because organizations have been evolving that way. In fully automated offices like ours, where customers automatically get their products and pay automatically, no office workers are needed.

We are looking for creativity/ingenuity.

We train our sales force to maximize individuality in customer interaction. They need to be creative, have an amazing attitude, a broad understanding and constantly help get our offering as close as possible to our customers’ dream solution. There is nothing to automate. Our marketing teams are constantly learning about the needs and dreams in the market, new tools, and new techniques. Our marketing needs to be as unique as it can get every day. We don’t repeat campaigns. Even though our product needs to be suitable for millions of innovators worldwide, each configuration, each function, each episode in the process needs to be a perfect fit for a perfect outcome. Each of our products will be definitely unique without being custom made, which would make it unaffordable.

Talent, attitude, openness, and passion for making it a reality is what we are looking for. Everything else, every skill, can be learned by any average human. We know you can become what you envision to become, no matter what it is. A degree, CV, or deep experience wouldn’t make a difference. Please send us an email about why you are interested in joining the company, how you will make a difference, and share your LinkedIn URL. That’s it.

If a job at BlueCallom is not your absolute dream job

More than 50% retire with a bittersweet view when looking back. Sweet because they got used to what they do and are kind of ok. Bitter because they never had a chance to fulfill their dreams. Never had a chance? You have the chance to get your dream job but most likely have never been educated on making it a reality. We had let go of people or never hired them in the first place if we recognized such a situation. And we always helped them to pursue their dreams – as we did.

Our Career Opportunities

 

LINEAR vs. LATERAL

Your innovative brain thinks lateral. Your logical brain thinks in linear processes. That’s why almost all business tools are built in a linear manner – step by step.  But in recent years one business process has sneaked into our business life: INNOVATION. Yet, this creative process is still handled in a linear way: step by step. For instance “Empathize”, “Design”, “Ideation”, “Prototyping”, and “Testing”.  To make it more flexible, iteration is part of the process but that is still between modules and still not lateral.

EVERY IDEA EVER CREATED

Knowing how the brain is actually composing, processing, and fine-tuning ideas, has a profound impact on any type of innovation management process. Today, we know that every idea ever created, was a composition of past experiences. Our brain cells or neuron cells can not create any new idea from scratch. We also know that brainstorming has never created a single disruptive business model. We know that disruptive innovation takes on average 6 weeks to create. It will not happen on any hackathon weekend.

Deeper insights are provided during the education programs of the BlueCallom Innovation Management Academy.
Let us now explore the 10 things that change with Neuro Innovation.


1) LATERAL THINKING

The good news is that we do not need to train anybody with lateral thinking. It is an integral part of our brain’s superpower. All we need to do is creating awareness of what exactly lateral thinking is and how it behaves. Simply speaking, instead of looking at things in a linear process (step by step | learn and repeat), we look at things in parallel and don’t repeat or iterate until it works. When you drive a car you steer the car, look at the street, once in a while in the rear mirror, on the speedometer, hear music, keep an eye on the remaining fuel, look at the scenery – all at the same time. Your conscious, sub-conscious, and motoric mind, work all in parallel. When you watch movies, you follow the story, wonder if certain things are possible, manage emotions, listen to theatrical music, and more.  When you THINK – any thought – you do that in parallel. When you “create”, meaning build and craft anything your brain works many tasks in parallel. Lateral thinking is a very fast back and forth of thoughts, verifications, and more.

Innovation is taking lateral thinking to perfection.

Attempts to make innovation, in particular ideation, a linear process is a perfect way to kill the outcome. The major episodes in the innovation process are linear and one builds on top of the other, but within the episodes, lateral thinking is the way to go. And one group of humans does it pretty well: startup-teams.
Creating a lateral thinking environment.

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2) WHAT SHOULD WE INNOVATE?

Instead of watching competitors – a far more effective way to innovate is to watch customers. The first question an innovation team should have an answer for is where and for whom they innovate. We know that disrupters could come from anywhere and can change the way an industry segment does business in just a very short period of time. But there is absolutely no magic involved. They simply found out what the respective audience has trouble with – whether they can articulate it or not. So why not do the same for your business? Moreover, you sit right in this market. The best way to find out is to conduct very specific research in your market. No questionnaire and no interview with countless questions. Just a well guided casual conversation.
Creating leaders not followers

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3) INNOVATION INSTEAD OF IMPROVEMENT

instead of settling with improvements – focus exclusively on disruptive innovation. In our research, we discovered that the only difference between searching for a disruptive innovation versus settling with an improvement is the time and the way we interact with our brain. So there is no reason to accept an improvement if you can get to disruptive innovation. The first step is to get rid of brainstorming. While brainstorming was a great first step in leveraging the brain in the ideation process, it produced only very obvious ideas. And instead of hoping for a great idea that may strike you like a lightning bolt – our brain is able to get to amazingly disruptive ideas over a sequence of sessions that stimulates new and different searches. The final composition with a highly diverse team can be reached in 4 to 8 weeks of very specific exploration tasks.
Getting truly creative literally and laterally ;) 

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4) LEVERAGING THOUSANDS OF IDEAS

Instead of selecting one or only a few ideas from brainstorming – Neuro ideation produces thousands of ideas and idea pieces during a project. You will want to use them all – and you should. A complete disruptive innovation concept has never been just a single idea. Aggregating thousands of inputs including idea pieces, opinion, customer feedback, and research data can no longer be managed with colorful stickers and whiteboards.  You will need computer power to capture all the data, rate and rank them, sort and store them, and finally, analyze them. Looks like work but billion dollar businesses do not come for free.
Creating full concepts not only ideas

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5) IN-MARKET IDEA VALIDATION

Instead of random experimentation in a lab – validate the “idea-success-fit” in your market. There is no better validation than exploration sessions with future clients. The added value of having your audience not only help validate the idea but also help shape it to the real-world application is priceless. To this point, there was not wasted a single penny in prototyping, experimentation, or testing. And pleeezzz do not fear that somebody can steal your idea. Only weak and obvious ideas can be stolen. Little improvements can easily be stolen, so keep them for yourself – but please do not call them innovation.
Not wasting time, nor money

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6) INNOVATION COMES WITH TEAM DIVERSITY

Instead of working only with experts – assemble a highly diverse innovation dream team. Having more of the same experience is of no value in innovation. But having a greatly diverse team brings far better results than the best expert team in the world. Experience diversity is the new order in innovation. On top of all, involve your customers and business partners in the process.
Producing the best possible outcome

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7) MARKET BORN PRODUCTS

Instead of building prototypes and testing them in labs, use a unique “market born” product design method.  A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that shows only one feature is more important than a shiny but mediocre improvement. There is no lab that can compete with real user experiences. A lateral collaboration model with your customers and early adopters is bringing you more insights faster than any internal team ever can.
And still – no funding needed so far

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8) INNOVATION FINANCING

Current estimates show that 90% of innovation projects won’t make it to get funding. And the more innovative and disruptive a concept is, the less likely the approval to go forward. This, theoretically insane behavior, stems from the way disruptive ideas get perceived. In particular, finance-people are conservative thinkers. Therefore, at last, one finance person should be part of the innovation team. Collaboration with the finance department on a bi-weekly cycle is highly suggested. Also here, neuroscience is an important guide on how to involve the executive bench in innovation projects to prime their thinking with what you are doing. Keep in mind that the next billion-dollar product line will need maybe a 100 million and more investment over time. To get such a financial commitment, the innovation management system must provide an extraordinary set of data to be able to defend an innovative concept. The fifty most innovative businesses from the past 20 years consumed more than $500 Million in funding before they became profitable. And investors worked with the management team on a weekly or monthly basis.
CFOs need relevant financial data – and learn to be an investor

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9) INNOVATION TO MARKET

Instead of conventional market introduction, leverage neuroscience to select perfectly matching early adopters for creating a successful path into global markets. Innovative products will NEVER be purchased by 75% of your customer before the first 5% of early adopters got very excited. Most industry segments fail to innovate even with extraordinary solutions because they never had to do this in the past 20+ years. When IBM decided to go with an innovative computer into the market, they created a completely autonomous company: the “red IBM” but still did not manage to really scale it.
What every startup does due to the lack of a customer base

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10) EXECUTIVE LEVEL REPORTING

Executives need to understand every process in an enterprise – no matter what. And the way this is done today is simply through data. The Deep Innovation Design process, when run with the corresponding software provides on average 25,000+ data points to analyze and feed an entire KPI framework. When moving from LINEAR to LATERAL thinking and corresponding methods, we gain an incomparable amount of data. The data ranges from real-time budget consumption along the way, various timelines such as Time-to-Innovate TTI, Time-to-Validation TTV, Time-to-Market TTM, and ROI data that may be even dynamic based on the progress. The data also deliver qualitative data such as Ideation-Network data measuring the degrees of ideation connections and ideation stacks as well as quantitative data like idea contribution volume, contributor network size, or idea validation levels and volume, and more.
Neuro innovation and lateral thinking are the two keys to profoundly different innovation data.

10 things that change with Neuro Innovation

All in all, some of the topics in Neuro Innovation have not even been part of the conventional innovation processes, so that means no change, only additional learning. In other words, we don’t touch existing neuro pathways but help build new ones. Summarizing the new ones: 1) What should we innovate?, Innovation Financing, Innovation-to-market.

Deep Innovation Design Training

All the above is part of a new, one-week training: Deep Innovation Design Champion starting Feb 22
See the full program here:
http://bluecallom.com/bcdc-training/

Innovation is no serendipity – Earth is no disk. :)

 

The name Deep Innovation Design Training indicates the difference: DEEP. Far deeper than any other innovation method so far. And instead of being more complicated, the Deep Innovation Design model makes innovation actually more easy and far better to manage, finance, and execute.

Uncovering why truly groundbreaking innovation was so hard and so rare:
1) Not really knowing how innovative ideas can be created.
2) Then, being forced to random experimentation, pivoting, and failing.
3) Not realizing that the relationship with users holds one of the most important keys to innovation.
4) Therefore, not really knowing what the ideal innovation team composition should look like.
5) Failing to create a robust, market-based concept validation.
6) Lacking the skills to present groundbreaking concepts for c-level approval.
7) The first 6 items makes it nearly impossible to create KPIs that allow creating a genuinely manageable process.
8) Mistakes are resulting in a large portion of projects being dismissed
9) And if not, disaster strikes when the go-to-market strategy started with the usual top customers due to lacking the understanding of early adopter dynamics.
10) As a result, corporations are failing to create disruptive innovation in 99% of the cases and settle with improvements or copying the new leaders.

Immense knowledge explosion in neuroscience has led to a new understanding of how ideas get created. This advancement resulted in innovation management processes, KPIs, and IMS systems. You can learn it all in the upcoming Deep Innovation Design Training.

Education leaders from the University for crafts and arts in Lucerne helped design the Deep Innovation Design Champion Training.

Here are the core elements of the one-week online training with live instructors.

1) Innovation Opportunity Discovery

Innovation Opportunity Discovery - BlueCallom Method Instead of random idea development, countless experimentations, and other activities, we developed a targeted innovation opportunity discovery method that involves customers and the market in general to the degree that has never been done except by highly innovative startups. It involves counterintuitive yet logical steps to observe the market and analyze the highest potentials and risks to get disrupted.

2) Innovation Strategy

Innovation Strategy - BlueCallom Method With the results of a targeted Innovation Opportunity Discovery, a team can craft an Innovation Strategy for the first time. You will describe the innovation strategy goal, who you will innovate for, budgets and resources, and the anticipated outcome.

3) Innovation Dream Team Assembly

Innovation Dream Team Assembly - BlueCallom Method Once a direction for the innovation is discovered, and a strategy is created, we can assemble an innovation dream team that looks different than 99% of all corporate innovation labs, centers, and teams.

4) Needs and Dreams Analysis

Needs and Dreams Analysis - BlueCallom Method The first step of such a team is to identify the needs and, most importantly, the DREAMS of their customers’ users. Getting to the customers’ dreams is not exactly an intuitive process, but Neuroscience is also here was extremely helpful.

5) Neuro Ideation

Neuro Ideation - BlueCallom Method Conventional brainstorming, stickers, and whiteboards have been the most sophisticated tools we had to let our brain spit out ideas. After understanding how ideas get processed, it was a shocking realization that those ideas were always exciting but never even nearly innovative – rarely if a major improvement. The human mind is the most complex object in the known universe but also the most effective. Knowing how ideas get composed from past experiences, how they get started, and composing new ideas changed everything. No drugs, no special training. It’s all about experiences, the right team, the right inputs, and the right details. Neuro ideation leads to a super logical process that we never need to understand in all details but in its behavior.

6) Disruptive Business Model Development

Disruptive Business Model Development - BlueCallom Method Disruptive technology, products, devices are the classics and rather fast to emulate. Disruptive Business Models a difficult to copy and, in connection with disruptive technologies and experiences, almost impossible to catch up. See Amazon, Apple, Google, IKEA, Microsoft (never invented anything), Tesla, and others. It’s clearly part of the innovation development process.

7) Market-Based Idea Validation

Market-Based Idea Validation - BlueCallom Method Instead of testing the product and showing it to a small group of insiders, fearing the competition could copy it before it is out, make massive in-market validation. Never use an agency for that. The innovation team needs to get out and ask roughly 20 – 30 clients in a personal interview. A team of ten can easily get feedback from 250 people. Part of the trick is the selection of the interviewee. Ask highly visual and vocal people, who you find on the web, in your support department’s records, and so forth. A methodical process and carefully crafted the questions – no more will do the magic.

8) Staged Innovation Financing

Staged Innovation Financing - BlueCallom Method Probably one of the most strategic acts of the entire innovation process. While startups may sack in a hundred million or more, how will you get the funding from your CFO? How can you convince an executive who perfected cash management, profitability, capital expenditures, and market cap – to make substantial investments into a future they cannot see. The “Staged Innovation Financing” model helps far beyond the monetary aspects but took a deep dive lesson from neuroscience. It explains why somebody not actively involved in a genuine innovation process will under no circumstances approve a substantial investment in groundbreaking innovation unless you use a methodical path, making them part of the process despite their busy days. An estimated 95% of corporate innovation projects fail because of that.

9) Prototyping Market Born Products

BlueCallom Prototyping Market Born ProductsDue to brain wiring as experts and their training, top of the line engineers cannot release premature products. This is an extremely costly problem that needs to be solved. Most successful products are born and improved in the market and completed during approximately six months of market testing. Market side advocates can provide priceless support and invaluable insights.

10) Innovation-To-Market

Innovation-To-Market - BlueCallom Method Usually are new product generations, or even new products are presented to the biggest customers first. The more disruptive a product is, the harder it is to get large businesses to accept those innovations. Is it an indication that the innovation is not good? Wrong. The audience is not good for groundbreaking innovation. Any groundbreaking innovation ever brought to market took at least 3 years to gain adoption and 5 to 10 years to become mainstream.

11) Global Scaling

Innovation Scaling Globally - BlueCallom Deep Innovation Design TrainingAfter the first two or so years in the go-to-market process need to scale. Audience expansion, geographic expansion, production scaling, sales and marketing scaling and diversifying to different audiences, financial scaling, growth financing, and so forth. THIS 11th EPISODE determines if INNOVATION is happening. It is the ultimate milestone of the innovation dream team, most likely in its 5th year of the project.

12) Innovation Continuum

Innovation Continuum - BlueCallom Deep Innovation Design TrainingEven the most innovative companies fail to continue their innovation journey. Cisco is still making most of their money with communication devices, Intel with their silicon-based chips, Mercedes with their combustion engine based automobiles, Google with search, Facebook with their social network, Uber with taxi service operation fees, and so forth. There is no “we wait until we get there” innovation culture, operational guidance, financial structure, team spirit, take years to enter into an “Innovation Continuum

.”


Innovation KPIs and goals - BlueCallom Deep Innovation Design Training

Management, KPIs, and Goals

With a detailed and methodical process, innovation turns from random experimentation to a measurable and manageable process. A strategic effort calls for a goal and milestones. All that is now possible, and you can experience it in the Deep Innovation Design Training.

1) Goals: 

Most likely, one objective is a competitive advantage. But the hard goal needs to be the return on investment and profit contribution. Obviously, there may be a whole series of other strategic goals and objectives.

2) Key Performance Indicators include:

Time Management:

Obviously, trying to manage anything the factor time is one of the most critical factors. Time to complete certain project episodes, execution time compared with others and so forth. The factor time is part of a series of KPIs.

Time to innovate:

The Time To Innovate TTI is one of the strategic KPIs. It’s important to know how fast can a team get to innovation. The start and the endpoint are critical to be defined so we can measure that time span. We calculate the TTI in days from the initial “Needs & Dreams Analysis” to the market-based “Idea Validation”. It’s also important to define innovation as a disruptive or groundbreaking innovation. Everything else would be an improvement.
Benchmark for a good TTI: 6 weeks

Time To Market:

The Time To Market is the time between “Idea Validation” and first revenue during the “Innovation-to-Market” episode.
Benchmark for a good TTM: 6 months

Budget Management:

The way a given budget is used over time between Innovation Opportunity Discovery and first revenue in the market. Then from first revenue to scaling, being in at least 20 countries and 5 continents.

Financing stages:

Staged Innovation Financing is a process that manages financing from Innovation Episode to Episode until the team presents to the CFO. In the meantime, the team will present each stage in a 3-minute online meeting.
Benchmark for a good initial budget is $50,000  plus the salary for a team of 8 to 12

Innovation contribution:

Measuring the number if innovation relevant ideas, research facts, and work inputs
Benchmark for a good TIC value: 1,200 (contributions)

Degree of innovation confluence:

Measuring idea composition based on team inspiration from other members. They share who inspired them. Data show the Idea Confluence Factor ICF learning how well a team builds on each other or works in isolation. The Individual Ingenuity Driver IID shows the key driver and possible dominance.

Innovation Progress States:

Measuring the progress from episode to episode as an IPS (Innovation Positioning System) over the typical 12 episodes. Average Mean Time Between Episodes MTBE
Benchmark for a good MTBE: 2 weeks

Innovation process data consolidation:

Average corporations run between 50 to 2,000 innovation projects, distributed across the world. It’s important to consolidate and compare all the data to help teams improve and share their experiences to advance their innovation processes.
Consolidation is important to see the overall effort, overall budgets, overall cost, overall team sizes, overall ROI. For comparison purposes KPIs including TTI, TTM, Budgets, TIC, ICF, IID, and MTBE.

With a Deep Innovation Design Training,
Innovation is no longer serendipity
but a highly strategic and intelligent process!

You may want to explore the BlueCallom Innovation Management Academy.

 

The end of brainstorming – it never led to groundbreaking innovation.

This post was inspired by a direct question for me on Quora. Over a year ago, I was asked a similar question.

Question: “How do successful companies manage the influx of ideas and choose top-notch ideas for inventing new products?

The answer “forced” us to build the first Neuro Innovation Management Software, BlueCallom! We realized it will be the end of brainstorming.

The end of brainstorming - opening up to an all new perspective

Hubble-Telescope Credit: Nasa

A loaded question. Almost like “how do we deal with the size of the universe and select where we want to do research?” We had amazing telescopes – but thinking outside the planet earth and building Hubble was a major breakthrough in many ways.

Answer: The influx of ideas and its selection.

Who says we have to make a selection? Think Hubble – look from the outside. We have to realize that all disruptive businesses we come across were built from pieces of ideas. If we select only a few – it will probably never survive just because we limit ourselves. More detailed questions needed to be answered:

Do we really know how to create a disruptive idea?

Once I realized that I couldn’t answer the following question: “How do you determine if there is an innovation at the end of the process?” we ended up building a Hubble for Innovation. We needed to leave the comfortable sessions, talking about thinking outside the box, thinking big, bold, open blah blah blah… and find our Hubble – Neuroscience.

The pictures we saw were more than spectacular!

We took the ideation process even further and deeper and stimulated an avalanche of idea pieces. In one project, we worked with 25 executives of a large airline, producing 25 x 30+ idea pieces = 750 idea pieces in one process (2 weeks of Neuro Ideation). Since we wanted to assess all ideas and use as many as we could, we ended up needing the computer and a few algorithms to help sort and rank it. Another project consisted of 600 managers from a large pharmaceutical company. We estimated that we aggregated roughly 18,000 idea pieces, of which we also want to take as many as we could. We had to admit, neither our idea collection mechanism nor our algorithm would be good enough for that task; so we decided to build a “machine” (software) to run the show.

Building “OUR” Innovation Hubble

There is no way I can describe all our insights from Neuroscience. However, our core discovery was: “Every idea ever created by a human being, was composed of past experiences.” Meaning we can’t “create any genuinely new idea.” In other words, hoping for ideas to compete in the innovation race is like dancing around a fireplace and hoping for rain. But that is what innovation labs do today.
The day we began to question all that, was the day we realized that innovation could be a logical, manageable and highly success-oriented process.

We’re almost there – currently beta testing. First, “self experiences” almost killed us, putting our own long-term vision on its head. It was even beyond our own expectations.

Neuro Innovation Management and the end of Brainstorming

1) No more limitations – The end of Brainstorming

Don’t limit your golden nuggets (ideas) because we all have been conditioned to a process called “Brainstorming.” While brainstorming was a great start, it never created groundbreaking innovation, and today we know why. Get your team from Brainstorming, yellow Post-Its, and whiteboards to a deep dive into Neuro Ideation. The depth of your ideas will be as different as the depth of the view from Hubble. Instead of ending a brainstorming session with a few “best ideas” leverage them all. Instead of making brainstorming the core of your ideation process, give your brain time to take a deep dive into past experiences, and come up with far more relevant concepts. Neuro Ideation is a two to three-week process and requires a needs and dreams analysis with your market to be prepared. The results will be stunning no matter how creative you may think you are.

2) Tools for things we can’t handle

Remember that we all built tools to overcome our physical limitations. So we need to build amazing tools to extend the limits of our idea process. It brings a truckload of valuable idea pieces. And when we think in that direction, it opens up a whole universe of innovation relevant aspects. We call it Deep Innovation Design.

3) Never forget the innovation purpose

You need to ask yourself some of the old questions: “What problem do you want to solve? Who do you want to innovate for? What value will you provide? 100% of the answers to those questions come from our customers. With Neuro Innovation Management, we can stimulate groundbreaking Innovation on Demand. Our “Innovation Hubble” already showed us pictures that we couldn’t imagine seeing before. We eventually realized that we have to start every innovation project with an “Innovation Opportunity Discovery” project.

P.S.
We feel like Pythagoras when he explained that earth is no disk – when we say “Innovation management is no serendipity,” declaring the end of brainstorming and the beginning of a logical, manageable innovation process.

I hope it gives you some inspiration.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BlueCallom to change innovation landscape with AI, Genetic Computing, and Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 25, 2020 (Lucerne, CH) BlueCallom ™ today announces its official launch as a Neuro Innovation
Management software company. The organization’s vision is to provide groundbreaking change to innovation
effectiveness and innovation economics. According to a UNESCO report, the investment in R&D has grown to
$1.7 Trillion, with further growth by 2030. BlueCallom pioneered a neuroscience-based solution, challenging
conventional ways of innovation, including brainstorming, working with paper stickers, random
experimentation, expert-dominated innovation, and R&D.

By applying knowledge from recent neuroscience discoveries, we transformed innovation into a highly
effective, far less costly, and manageable process,” said Axel Schultze, Founder, and CEO at BlueCallom. “A
new understanding of the neural process in our brain opened unexpected opportunities.” BlueCallom offers
software to help global innovation teams identify innovation opportunities, collaborate, ideate, validate
ideas, prepare for innovation financing, and bring their innovation into global markets. As a result, teams are
more efficient and able to generate a return-on-investment faster than previously capable.

The company aims to solve three major innovation problems: 1) lack of disruptive innovation, by providing a
Neuro Ideation method to achieve groundbreaking innovation within less than six weeks in 85% of all
attempts; 2) the struggle innovation teams face to launch innovations in global markets, by providing a
comprehensive innovation management solution with a unique innovation-to-market method; and 3) lack of
manageability, by providing executives with a dashboard to track innovation projects in real-time.

BlueCallom’s software is currently in beta-test with several early adopter firms, including a pharmaceutical
company, a technology company, and a university. The software is presently available for enterprises and
governments and the company expects it to be available for mid-market businesses in 2021.
For more information, please visit bluecallom.com and find the company on social media @BlueCallom.
—————————
About BlueCallom AG
BlueCallom’s vision is to leverage neuroscience for a groundbreaking enterprise-grade innovation experience.
The cloud-based Neuro Innovation Management software empowers innovation teams to create lasting
value through a new innovation life cycle, involving opportunity exploration, collaboration, ideation, idea
validation, financial reasoning, and global market entry. Executives get consolidated innovation progress data
in real-time. BlueCallom’s Deep Innovation Design model allows for collaboration with selected customers
and partners. Founded in 2020, the company is headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland.
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Media Contact:
Cleo Dan | cleo at  bluecallom com |