The Innovation Master Plan, a blueprint for innovation success. 

After building four innovative businesses, two growing into the billion Dollar revenue range and later helping several hundred startups to become innovative; we decided to create this Innovation Master Plan as a blueprint for innovation success.

The foundation of this Innovation Master Plan is the Deep Innovation Design method. The method is highly influenced by neuroscience, how our brain composes ideas. Creativity and innovation are done laterally in our brains. Lateral thinking and lateral processes are becoming of strategic importance in empowering teams to create the disruptive concepts, businesses need to stay competitive.

The full details and additional insights can be downloaded as a Whitepaper.

(1) Pillars of Innovation

When having a chance to learn from neuroscience how ideas get created in our brain and extrapolate the impact of that learning, we also see several aspects of innovation like purpose to innovate, the time and finance to innovate as well as the overall outcome in a very different light. Also, the entire innovation process can be seen in a very different light and the necessity for a stringent process is rising. The least used but biggest power of our brain is lateral thinking. When putting the key learnings together, the pillars of innovation become an important part of innovative thinking.

(2) Preparation for Innovation

When preparing for innovation there are several key components to take into consideration, starting with an Innovation Readiness Check. By completing a simple checklist you can determine if your top executives are on board, understand your current access to customers, and grasp your readiness to create groundbreaking innovations.

Leadership buy-in is key to your success. Genuine Innovation is a long-term engagement. It usually takes less than six months to create an innovative solution, but on average 5 to 10 years to be recognized as an innovation in the market. Innovation is a CEO mandate. Without a dedicated innovation strategy that comes from the very top of an organization, no innovation is realistically possible.

Next, craft an innovation mandate and an innovation strategy. An Innovation Mandate is similar to a declaration, mission statement, or manifesto. It is therefore not just the wish to be more innovative but building an entirely new operation within the company that may be able to compete and disrupt an existing business for the benefit of the market and the benefit of staying highly competitive. Once the executive team agrees on becoming an innovative business an innovation strategy needs to be crafted. Such a strategy is not focused on a certain innovation target, product, audience, or technology but the strategic position of the company, the fact that innovation is not a single event but a continuum, and what value the company sees in innovating.

Finally, assemble an innovation dream team and establish an innovation culture. Every business starts with a team. Our research and our own experience have shown that a highly diverse team will always beat a team of specialists. Make very clear what the goal and objectives are. The team must know the magnitude of that venture and make sure there are unique rewards for the team. Intelligent people argue with logic and facts, not ego and self-interest. The smartest people don’t work for money but for self-fulfillment. Have a base innovation culture statement ready before you attract talents. Then shape it together with the team you hire.

Innovation is the duality of brilliant ideation and relentless execution.

(3) Innovation Life Cycle

An innovation effort is a long-term engagement that deserves thorough planning. None of the highly innovative disruptors has hit the billion-dollar mark within just a year or two. The complete innovation life cycle is best described with an innovation journey map. That map shows the very origin or starting point of an innovation effort and all the major episodes of the innovation life cycle, all the way to global market acceptance. Even the greatest idea ever is no innovation unless it is recognized as such in the designated market. Like every journey, innovation has a destination. However, in our case, the destination is “Innovation Continuum”.

To help navigate the journey, BlueCallom created a methodical approach that starts at a point where a team may have no idea where to start, includes getting market feedback, from that point creates an innovative concept. From there the concept gets verified in the market and with positive feedback, it is much easier to finance. Then we are building prototypes that we call MVPs (Minimum viable Products) and bring those to market. After the market introduction, we spend a lot of effort in scaling the innovative business and go global. We purposefully do not go step-by-step through that journey but work in episodes and may jump back to an episode as needed. It’s part of the lateral thinking process. This is why the Innovation Journey map is not a linear path from one activity to the next but allows the freedom to go back and forth.

Putting the Innovation Master Plan to work

To implement a successful innovation master plan be PREPARED:

  1. Complete an Innovation Readiness Assessment
  2. Get the buy-in from the CEO
  3. Develop an innovation strategy
  4. Assemble your Innovation Dream

Finally, EXECUTE the entire Innovation Life Cycle. Start with the Innovation Opportunity Discovery all the way to bringing the innovation to market. There are many good reasons why the conventional sales and marketing teams cannot successfully bring disruptive innovation to market while working on the conventional and main solution offering.

Time is money – literally, execute relentlessly and focus on a 1% growth rate per day, creating exponential growth.

To download the complete whitepaper, please visit here.

 

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

.”

 

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.

 

In a recent research project, interviewing or discussing the entire innovation process in mid-market to global enterprises,  we found a high concentration in 7 areas of counter-intuitive behavior or innovation traps. We have been aware of 5 of them but No. 2 and 7 were also new to us. We will continue expanding our research effort to determine more innovation traps and what you can do.

1) RESEARCH TRAP

Having trouble analyzing your market to discover real innovation opportunities or risks to get disrupted?

STATUS QUO
Today we ask questions hoping to hear that our customers tell us what they need and how you can improve. We ask far too many questions. The results are at the very best improvements for the here and now – never innovation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Using a methodical approach for a needs & dreams analysis leads to current and future visions. There are only two times one question. What is the best possible product for you? And in a different interview another question about their dreams. Then it’s all about the analysis of that two times one question.

2) EXPERTS TRAP

Are you still working with innovation teams that are loaded with experts and only a few market-facing minds?

STATUS QUO
The majority of innovation labs are assembled with top experts. If you add more, you get more of the same but it is impossible to get to groundbreaking innovation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Assemble a highly diverse Innovation Dream Team with carefully selected talents – not skills. It’s all about intelligent team compositions.

3) BRAINSTORMING TRAP

Are you still using yellow post-its, whiteboards, and brainstorming as your top ideation tools?

STATUS QUO
Ideation is done in one, two, or three brainstorm meetings. But our brain is not releasing deeply rooted groundbreaking innovations. Because it is structured to work very differently.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Learn all about Neuro Ideation, how our mind composes thoughts and ideas, and how we can stimulate it to release amazing concepts in just a few weeks – yes, it isn’t just a brain dump.

4) CREATIVITY TRAP

Do you feel you are super creative only the infrastructure and organization are not up to par?

STATUS QUO
The majority of innovation center members reported that they feel they are exceptionally creative but are limited by the organization, infrastructure, or otherwise.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Review the degree of impossibility of the idea and conduct a methodical market validation. You will know in just two weeks if organization and infrastructure are the biggest limitations. In most cases, it is a natural misperception.

5) APPROVAL TRAP

Struggling with getting your executives to finance and approve disruptive innovation concepts?

STATUS QUO
In particular, the most innovative ideas fail to get attention, financial support, and approval from the executive teams.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
When learning about Neuro Ideation it becomes obvious why most disruptive ideas get initially rejected, no matter from whom. “Experience Transmission” is part of the staged Financing Method.

6) EXPERIMENTATION TRAP

Are you still believing that experimentation, pivoting, and prototyping will unfold all of a sudden a magical innovation?

STATUS QUO
The idea that experimentation, pivoting, and rapid prototyping is a preferred innovation method. Fail and fail fast to try as much as possible. If we don’t know how our mind composes ideas, it is our only way to move forward.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Build your target innovation on the needs and dreams analysis, compile the inputs, and conduct Neuro Ideation sessions, involve the management in all episodes. You will experience an unimaginable logical result that is fundable without random experimentation.

7) THE GUESSWORK TRAP

Are you still HOPING you have a great idea, HOPING your customers will like it, HOPING you get the funding, and HOPING it will be a success?

STATUS QUO
The act of innovation is largely built on hope. Even though nobody would actually admit it.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Think through the entire innovation life cycle from finding out what and where to innovate all the way to bring such innovation successfully to market. Explore the Deep Innovation Design model. You may notice that the Neuro Ideation method has a far-reaching influence on all facets of the Innovation Life Cycle.

 

Obviously, you can manage the “Status Quo” with a project management tool. But isn’t that making something dysfunctional even worse and you can get caught in one or more of these innovation traps? Prior to founding BlueCallom, we did that too – and despite the love and energy for innovation, the process never really excited us. We just didn’t know why.

After learning a lot about neuroscience and how ideas are composed in our minds, we created the neuro ideation method. Little did we know that Neuro Ideation is changing the entire Innovation Life Cycle and unfolds all of a sudden a logical, natural, and manageable innovation flow.

Hope it was insightful.

 

A billion-dollar innovation is not done with a few brainstorming meetings.

We started with a big problem (see history below) and have the vision to develop technology for innovation teams to innovate like never before imaginable past brainstorming. Now we are ready to go.

Ready to Callomize

On Wed, Oct 15, we introduced our “Neuro Ideation” methodology. On Tue Nov 24, we will open up for Beta Teams to start beta testing the system and build groundbreaking innovations. The beginning of an amazing journey.

 

A billion-dollar innovation is not done with a few brainstorming meetings.

There is no free lunch and no brainstorming. And thinking 30 days to get rich isn’t helping you either. There is no known highly disruptive startup that got to their initial concept, product, and market validation in a heartbeat. And there has been no disruptive innovation from larger enterprises in the past 20 years.

Innovation Management Software

Unlike conventional processes, where brainstorming plays an important role, we changed how to interact with your computer by helping you move from linear thinking to lateral thinking. You may already know from design thinking that iteration is a big part of the process. On our multi-user digital canvas, you see the facts, research, market data, or other given or provided information on the left-hand side –  right across your logical brain hemisphere. You see your creative responses and constructs, answers, or activities to your right, across your creative brain hemisphere. And the middle field, i.e., Field-9, is the “negotiated summary” or initial outcome. Very much like the brain halves exchange and negotiate information via the Center Callom (Corpus Callosum). Going further down, you find the execution of relevant information. When you start, you will possibly find it odd that everything is so small and so much information. Over time, however, you will not want to go back to lists of data where you need to go back and forth in that linear order. It takes a bit of mind training to get familiar with it, but your thought process will not only become much faster but less distracted. You will start innovating and experience less brainstorming.

Innovation is a highly unique process.

Hundreds of thousands of innovative concepts get turned down every year by CFOs in corporations or venture investors by startups. My blog post, “The Initial Value of an Idea is Zero,” is one of my most read blog posts.  And that addresses one of the biggest counterintuitive aspects of innovation. Why spending so much time on ideation if the value is initially zero. And since many executives know that the value is created in the execution, the ideation process became a second-class citizen. If we look at the full scope of the Innovation Life Cycle below, you will realize that many steps look like ordinary business activities like producing a prototype or go to market and scaling. But there is a reason we added them to the methodology toolbox of the “Deep Innovation Design” model.

Each of the steps that are supposed to make an innovation successful is profoundly different relative to bring an improved product to market. Market validation is not done when a prototype is created but before any penny is spent building one. Why? Because you can build a prototype of an existing but improved product, and it becomes quickly obvious if it will work or not. Not in the innovation space. With your next-generation product, you go obviously to your biggest customers first to get this massive initial volume you need to support the massive production line you have. There is no way to do that successfully with groundbreaking innovation. To gain fast access to global markets, you will probably need very different and far more creative ways to enter the markets than the growth strategy from existing improved products. On the other hand, scaling seems to be not a big deal in your existing production environment. The scaling of groundbreaking innovation is fundamentally different because your initial customer base of early adopters is by order of magnitude smaller.

The Deep Innovation Design process superseded any current innovation processes by its width of the end-to-end innovation lifecycle and the depth of the neuro ideation method.

Innovation Financing

Yet another big challenge is to get funding for an innovative project. You may get paid to innovate, but the innovation will not materialize. Or, as a startup, you build an amazing opportunity, but investors turn you down. Why is that? There is a multitude of reasons, but most have to do with “communication.” It’s an interesting pattern that most highly innovative businesses did not get any funding when they started. Google was not given the tiniest chance, yet the became the global leader. Salesforce had to initially bootstrap for the longest time to get of the ground with funding. Two of my companies are the same. The simple answer is:  any groundbreaking innovation is challenging to understand and hard to believe in becoming successful. Only now, when we understand how we compose ideas, going far deeper into our minds to answer, we know how difficult it was to cross the chasm of the obvious ideas and get to the impossible ideas and back to something we can start realizing. A CFO or investor needs to be taken on the very same journey to understand the concept AND its importance. Without a diverse innovation team, this is virtually impossible.

Ready to rock

We are exceptionally excited to open up the door for beta users to join us, help us shape the future of innovation, maybe even the future of learning, thinking, communicating, and a future of human collaboration. Please consider joining our Neuro Ideation intro on Wed, Oct 15, and if you like to beta test BlueCallum com to our beta test webinar on Tue Nov 24.  Or simply get in touch with us at any time. we would love to explore what YOUR ideal way to innovate would be.

P.S. History

Interestingly, we are a groundbreaking innovation in itself. 2016 we began to help startups methodically create disruptive business models. In 2018 we went deeper into how groundbreaking innovative ideas were created with little to no findings. The entire Internet could not provide an answer – we hit the wall, BOOM. In 2019 we ran by accident into some eye-opening presentations and talks from neuroscientists about how our neural system processes experiences and associates those experiences with each other on the fly. That it helped them to solve all kinds of brain illnesses was less interesting for us. But we found a way to apply those discoveries in the research to find out how innovation is created. After our amazing discovery, how our minds compose and process ideas, we feverishly created methods to apply the newly gained knowledge to innovate like never before imaginable. During initial work with a few big clients, we hit the wall again – BOOM. The early experiments showed that the participants created so many valuable ideas that it was impossible to capture the time [when ideas had been composed], and date volume killed our canvas-based model. With 25 people, it was easy to create 250 valuable idea snippets. If we included customers, we would run into the thousands. The only option to solve the problem was to build a computer model that could capture any number of idea snippets entered at any given point in time, including outside any brainstorming meeting, and include selected customers from around the world to contribute. Mid-February, when the earth seemed to stand still because of covid-19, we started our software development project. The first lines of code were written end of February. The early Beta (more an Alpha Version) was ready 6 months later, and a month later, we had the first two pioneer customers on the system. We knew that, when dealing with the brain, we are opening a can of worms. Today we know it isn’t just a can; it’s a full-size metal oil barrel. We realize we are at the beginning of an all-new era of cognitive technology.