Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Key Innovation Quotes and Observations from Day 3 of BEI

The third day of the Back End of Innovation (BEI) Conference in Silicon Valley had a great roster of thought leader and innovation practitioner speakers. If you don't follow me on twitter where I tweet as @innovate then you will have missed my thoughts on what some of the key innovation quotes and observations were from Day Three, so I'll recollect them here the best that I can.

The third day began with Lisa Marchese of The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas. Here are some Lisa's key quotes and insights:

  • When we created the Cosmopolitan brand we did so with the knowledge that most visitors came from LA, SF, NYC, etc.
  • "When we launched The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, room occupancy and room rates were low. This created a can't lose environment."
  • "We've out Belagio'd the Belagio. We've got the best view of the fountains."
  • "We looked at 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' and we had a different insight - people want to take constraints of their normal life off"
  • "We arrived at the Curious Class (tm) as a target - help curious, creative people leave with a story to tell."
  • "We saw Vegas mystique slightly differently. People want to be constraint-free self and have memorable experience."
  • "It is very difficult to keep a passionate, innovative culture where people feel that we are doing something different"
  • RT @virtualdavid - Innovators lose mojo over the years. It is hard to keep burning passion that we are doing something different going.
  • When innovation is in play, if people avoid conflict, the outcome is affected. It is not always a pleasant experience.
  • RT @RominaAK - Innovative Marketing - It's emotive. It makes you want to learn more
  • "Look for friction, and push innovation focus all the way through to marketing. Even marketing people go back to what they know."
  • We created something new with the Cosmopolitan, and then we had several other people competing in us in white space we created.
  • Lisa described how their team keeps creating innovation only to have other people knock us off, again and again, it's exhausting
  • We innovate in creative and channel - We buy where they don't buy - As soon as someone comes where we are, we leave
  • We don't want to be seen as at parity with the competition
  • We know we are in a saturated market & we have less money to spend, so we try to own channels we use - figuratively or actually
  • Because we must maintain agility in our marketing and advertising & not appear in cluttered channels, we are running out of channels
  • Because we are running out of channels, now we have to start thinking about owning the channels
  • Flipping things on their head is how we stay fresh as a marketing-led organization
  • People who in the innovation industry are "openers" are not necessarily "operators" and a lot of the creators are leaving
  • It is a big challenge to keep things fresh, and we have had some cultural and service challenges, things haven't been perfect
  • RT @virtualdavid - Mutation is progress. Correct is a mistake. Just right amount of wrong. From Cosmopolitan Hotel ad via Lisa Marchese
  • RT @thehealthmaven - Agility! When your competition zigs YOU zag.
  • When you get one win under your belt is helps you get future boundary pushing work approved.
  • We create a lot of content for our property and this all has to be curated in order to ensure the success of brand and hotel
  • "Trying to be like someone is not innovative, even if it's Apple."
  • If you want to create a great brand, you can't live in the middle, you must firmly plant your feet on one side or the other.
  • It is okay to piss people off or not have them like you. A strong brand can't be for everyone.
  • How do you keep people motivated in innovation? Have them look at more stuff. - Love it - Agrees with inspiration as center!

I then attended a session with Kenneth Klimpel of Colgate Palmolive. Here are the most interesting things I came away with from this session:

  • With the exception of pet nutrition, all our products are driven by four core technology innovation spaces
  • We can make exactly the same thing as anyone else for less because all of our plants are optimized for purpose
  • Amazing! A Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste plant can make 700 tubes of toothpaste - wait for it - PER MINUTE! That's a lot of toothpaste
  • When we looked at electric toothbrushes we didn't have the competencies to succeed there, but we wanted to do it, now what?
  • KK just showed an ad for the Colgate 1500 electric toothbrush via a partnership with Omrom - Looks like a smart toothbrush. Cool!
  • Colgate 1500 was outcome of Colgate looking at a mature market where they wanted to enter, but didn't have competencies.

The third session I attended of the day, was with David Davidovic of PathForward (formerly Genentech) and Sara M. Roberts of Roberts Golden Consulting and here are some of the key insights and quotes from that session:

  • RT @Smartorginc - David Davidovic says you can't understand a company's innovative-ness by only looking at its products and services.
  • Volatility is the new normal - Must focus on the Volume, Velocity and Variety in your innovation efforts
  • RT @Smartorginc - Sara Roberts says we hire for diversity but incentivize conformity
  • Sara Roberts told story behind Blockbuster demise through the lens of a change in CEOs and switch from online to retail focus
  • My reaction - I would argue that Blockbuster was not innovative because their board was not innovative & ultimately they run show. With public companies, if a board lacks innovation vision, they can kill an otherwise innovative company. Be careful who you pick for your board!
  • Sara Roberts says we've been asking for ideas when we need to be asking for involvement - we must empower the crowd
  • Most nimble & innovative companies ask employees not just for ideas but also to drive business planning process with predictions

The fourth session I attended of the day was with Bill Demas of Turn. Here were some of the interesting bits from my tweet stream:

  • Bill Demas talked about their pivot from an ad network to a completely different business model
  • Talked about their employee recognition award of burning a plastic boat in their honor instead of an employee of the month
  • Bill Demas talking about their pivot from an ad network to a self-service platform and how they had to let people go and hire new ones
  • Bill Demas talked about how they really try to build in transparency into what they do in what was a very obfuscated market
  • Bill Demas talking about how the advertising market has become so much more fragmented across a plethora of channels and devices
  • @BillDemas talked about how their turn software creates a Bloomberg-like system for tracking advertising spend
  • He talked about how their new vision was moving forward and then suddenly Google bought their biggest competitor
  • "I kept reinforcing that smaller companies move slower than big companies, and so our advantage was speed."
  • They started hiring software folks and teaching them digital advertising - We're a SaaS company first
  • @BillDemas talked about their use of traditional forming, storming, norming, performing framework as they went through tech pivot
  • They have a one pager that they use to track their future strategy and the things that are important to management
  • Sorry, had to leave a bit earlier to set up for my speech...

The final session of the event was my talk on Building Effective Innovation Teams. I spoke about several different tools, techniques and understanding that are important when it comes to building better innovation teams. Some of this content can be found in FREE innovation eLearning available from Innovation Tutors, including in the two following BETA eLearning modules:

If you were at the conference, what did you take away from Day Three?

Did you miss the Day One Highlights?

Did you miss the Day Two Highlights?

P.S. Don't forget to register for the FREE Beta of the Global Innovation Certification and the FREE Innovation eLearning BETA for the Global Innovation Certification BETA for Innovation Catalysts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B inbound marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He has recently begun distributing Innovation eLearning and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Key Innovation Quotes and Observations from Day 2 of BEI

The second day of the Back End of Innovation (BEI) Conference in Silicon Valley had a great roster of thought leader and innovation practitioner speakers. If you don't follow me on twitter where I tweet as @innovate then you will have missed my thoughts on what some of the key innovation quotes and observations were from Day Two, so I'll recollect them here the best that I can.

The second day began with Vijay Govindarajan. Here are some Vijay's key quotes and insights:

  • "Strategy = Innovation"
  • "If you want to lead in the future, you must do innovation"
  • "Strategy is not about competition for the present, it's about competition for the future"
  • "Common sense is not necessarily common practice."
  • "We say there is no innovation in education but none of the Top 10 universities in the world are in Top 10 today."
  • Vijay talked about his box 1,2,3 thinking model. Personally, I think the error is tasking one person with success in all three boxes.
  • "Companies over-emphasize idea generation and under-emphasize idea execution when it comes to innovation."
  • My reaction - People hype business model innovation WAY too much. Most Business Model Innovation examples started with the innovation, not other way around.
  • My reaction - The business model canvas is a useful tool for innovation, but it is not by itself the source of it.
  • My reaction - Ugh. I am so tired of hearing about fail fast, success comes not from failing fast, it is about LEARNING fast.
  • "You can ask your performance engine to do MORE work, but not DIFFERENT work."
  • "For Box 3 experiments you must create a dedicated team with permission to create its own culture"
  • "CEO must recognize that there will be tensions between performance engine & Box 3 experiments that they must manage"

I then attended a panel with Rachel Birney of Exxon Mobil, Jon Fredrickson of Innocentive, and Julie DiSandro and Kurt Scherer of Booz Allen Hamilton. Here are the most interesting things I came away with from this session:

  • "Innovation = change with impact" Simple. Powerful. Elegantly stated. - K Scherer
  • "Don't communicate something about your innovation program until you have a real story to tell." - J DiSandro
  • "When it comes to managing an innovation community, you must stimulate people with a variety of things to react to." - J Fredrickson
  • "Recognize and fight the two antibodies that will kill innovation: corporate antibodies and personal antibodies" - Unknown

The third session I attended of the day, was with Maria B Thompson of Motorola Solutions and here are some of the key insights and quotes from that session:

  • People tend to come back from ride alongs not with problems, but solutions.
  • When people come back from ride alongs with solutions, you end up with incremental innovation instead of breakthroughs you seek
  • To get to innovation you need to get people to park in the problem space and refrain from jumping to solutions
  • When you are observing customers, look for the BUTs and the unexpected workarounds
  • Look for the important contradictions that customers seem to want "I want long battery life but low weight"
  • “Park in the problem space and force yourself to stay there and reframe it in multiple ways.” Yes!
  • "Engineers love questions"
  • Problemstorming or Provocation Sessions should have at least 8+ people, but she prefers 20+ people to get more dots to connect
  • Interesting that Maria B Thompson mentioned that she switched from going to FEI to BEI. I wonder if that might be a trend?
  • "The measure of intelligence is the ability to change" - Albert Einstein
  • Interesting idea that for innovation, instead of brainstorming ideas, you should focus on assumptionstorming and problemstorming"
  • Directed Innovation model being discussed is a good example of peer-to-peer collaboration - Motorola Solutions & Medtronic
  • Maria gave a shoutout to Conceptual Blockbusting
  • You might be on to something if your engineers tell you you're asking them to violate the laws of physics.
  • Rule #1 to ideation sessions, don't give the lawyer the pen for the whiteboard!
  • Contribution from audience - for remote people trying to participate in assumption, problem, or idea storming - partner them up
  • Demise of Motorola Mobility? The success of the RAZR - People reassigned from smartphone work to RAZR work because of its success.
  • "Vision without execution is hallucination." - Thomas Edison

The fourth session I attended of the day was with Michele R Westlander, Chief Technology Officer (Public Sector) and Innovation Evangelist from Google. The presentation was heavily skewed towards evangelism, but here were some of the interesting bits from my tweet stream:

  • Google doesn't call it HR, they call it People Ops. "It's all about the people, and the corporate culture."
  • Google Corporate Philosophy - "If you give people freedom, they will amaze you."
  • People ask us about expense of Google cafeterias, but think about expense of lost time & collaboration of people going off-campus.
  • Google's offices have a Tech Stop for hands on computer issue repair. Time is money.
  • My question - Some people would say that Google is great at invention (Microsoft too), but not so good at innovation. What do you think?
  • My reaction - Google's new collaboration model they are touting isn't new though, this was whole Lotus Notes model available twenty years ago. Just saying.
  • "At Google, failure is expected, if you're not failing you're pushing hard enough or reaching far enough."
  • Love that - "Don't take 'No' from someone who can't give you a 'Yes' in the first place."
  • My reaction - Happy to see Google is the first one to talk about learning fast being more important than failing fast - my mantra
  • Three biggest barriers to innovation - culture (people) aka resistance to change, policy (business processes), and technology

The fifth session I attended of the day was with Steve Garguilo and Matt Kane of Johnson & Johnson. They spoke about their efforts to bring the TEDX model into the Salon events that they were helping to organize within J&J:

  • They wanted the Salon events to be very local and how they spread to Brazil and China and other J&J places
  • Their Salon format was based on TEDX format and had a goal for 75% internal and 25% external speakers
  • They told a story about how an employee created art out of styrofoam waste & how that evolved into an effort to reimagine waste at J&J
  • They talked about how powerful it can be to change people's experience - used accordion & post-its under people's chairs to make point
  • They focus not just on compelling content on main stage, but chances to connect & explore, and to experience something new
  • My reaction - I like what they are doing with their Salon experiences, ties in nicely with the first of the Eight I's of Infinite Innovation
  • My reaction - It's becoming more common to have a Chief Innovation Officer, but do you have a Chief Inspiration Officer? Inspiration drives innovation...
  • They told a powerful story about how someone installed a "Before I die, I want to..." picture on the wall and how people engaged with it, and how it evolved into a "Before the end of 2013..." campaign within the company
  • They talked about how the TED library is being translated into other languages and how this can be leveraged for global event rollout
  • They started their events informally because they were passionate about it, and it has grown into a corporate funded event series.
  • We are not only ones doing TEDX kinds of events, Google, Disney, Intuit and others are doing too & can be learned from
  • They used a nomination process, required rehearsals, and had people who could help shape presentations & evaluate whether people were ready
  • Part of how we convinced people to conform to the TEDX style was to reinforce how they were going to help people look good
  • My reaction - Interesting to see how the TEDX format has spread from expanding to additional cities, and now expanding into inspiring employees
  • My reaction - Must say that by making employee inspiration investment in right way, you will not only increase innovation but employee engagement too
  • It is worthwhile work to contribute towards getting people to bring their authentic selves to work...
  • Their efforts were off the side of the desk of their full time jobs until it grew to a keep doing or stop doing moment...

The final session I attended was with Ken Perlman of Kotter International. Here are some of the key insights and quotes from that session:

  • "Too often we deprive people of something to take home to show that they matter."
  • "We don't have the time to work on the stuff that is truly important because we're working on the things we have to do."
  • "Leaders should lead with a question. Leaders should be asking WHO and WHY to drive innovation." - Are you?
  • "Most people are good at self managing. Most people are focused on the WHEN, WHERE, and HOW. Leverage this!"
  • "Leaders ask people to take ownership." - If nobody responds, then it is on you & your framing.
  • Our hierarchical approach to management is really all about risk management - Not built for speed.
  • "Employers are competing for employees' time."
  • "Simple is not equal to easy. Clarity creates speed."
  • "It is human nature that when pushed, we push back."
  • "Hierarchy needs the network to innovate."
  • "Organizations become more hierarchical as they grow and networked organization shrinks."
  • "We argue about the what when we should be focused on agreeing on the why."

If you were at the conference, what did you take away from Day Two?

Coming up next, highlights from Day 3 of BEI...

P.S. Don't forget to register for the FREE Beta of the Global Innovation Certification and the FREE Innovation eLearning BETA for the Global Innovation Certification BETA for Innovation Catalysts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B inbound marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He has recently begun distributing Innovation eLearning and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

Innov8tn Execution -- 3 Days of Tweets #BEI13


Back End of Innovation '13 wrapped up after three days of great workshops, presentations and site visits.

It was a great conference, one of the best I've attended in the last decade--beyond traditional presentations, the incorporation of the site visits at Xerox Parc, PayPal and Intuit, plus, the all day workshops offering hands on, deep dives into the process of executing Innovation are true innovations applied to the conference format.


Real, consequential information was presented, ready to be applied by the participants. Great mix of industries represented by senior executives, consultants, and innovation practioners. Really a value if you're in the business of, interested in, or looking for innovation.  Be sure to attend next year's #BEI14 and the upcoming Front End of Innovation FEI.

If you're not a twitter follower, you should be. Gr8 way to follow information in a moment, a glimpse. If you are on twitter, please follow me @mobilepointview for more of my analysis and commentary on innovation, global technology issues, the mobile industry and global business.  I'll be posting some more of my thoughts here this week as well as at www.globalpointview.

Here are my tweets reflecting topics and speakers who made an impact on me during #BEI13.

21 Nov
GHOST MESSAGING? softwre that scoops up all ur public content&dvlps interactive, artificial intelligence bot that texts as u-after ur dead! Innov8 aftr ur gone! #BEI13

Ultimate Goal of Back End of Innovation? Innovation w Impact! That's a wrap! see you at FEI14 Thanks all!

Calvin Smith , Reverse Innov8tn is a solid source of new innovation.

Innov8tn is about speaking to the custmr, not abt technology. "People don't want a 1/4th inch drill, they want a 1/4th inch hole"

Visiting -Cre8ng the new eBay, vignettes for merchants to experience innovation



Bill Demas, Turn. Innov8tn is burning boats, commitment to vision, cultivate culture.




Visit 2 -taking every moment and turning them into a shoppable opportunity. Cr8ing innovation thru omni-channel experience.

D4D, visit at "7 to get 1" design theory making Intuit into organism of innovation

Word of day- Pretendotyping -pretend, imagine the intended functionality, mock-up, sketch, drawing etc. and treat and use it as real.

Rachel Birney "What to do w people who Are all ideas & no action? Take good&execute them. All about execution."

Kurt Scherer "Innovation = change with impact" Simple. Powerful. Elegantly stated.

-"It is entirely possible for innovation leader to perform flawlessly and for innovation initiative to fail miserably.

"A warrior is not afraid to be a warrior". Innovation community,a discipline.launching global innovation certificate.


Combinatorial Cocktail Conversation w validates robot theory of strategic intuition

Dennis Hong Humanoids- Darwin ROBOT lead--amazing things-Robot's learning based on behavior. The future is now! Very KEWL!

Einstein: "innovation is combinatorial play". Steve Jobs:"Innovation is just connecting things" Combinatorial vision

Ken Favaro "Tru innovation is nothing more&nothing less-than a creative combination of existing ideas" Combinatorial vu


Innovation Failing Forward- CEO-"Mediocrity is biggest threat. Most companies are looking too small or or no risk "

CEO -"Those that start w strategy will fail. Start w ideas at the edge of strategy. Challenge strategy"

Innovation Failing Forward workshop-"Best ideas for innovation are Uncertainty&Ambiguity"

David Matheson, CEO "The work of Innovation is 3Qs-does anyone care/should we do it/can we do it?" BEI13

I love China. Mobile Building in Kunming. That's Executing Innovation :)

Great Piece! 7h Strategic Planning for New Ventures. Part I: What the heck is strategy? Prsntr


Paul Ruppert is a senior executive in the mobile industry having been
responsible for new product innovation, development and launch; revenue driving and globilizing markets within startups, fast moving large service providers and Fortune 50 companies. He's driven over $300 million in revenues over the last decade, and is a co-author of a patent enabling SMS to go around the corner or across the globe. He blogs at www.globalpointview.com and tweets @mobilepointview .  He is one of the "Official Bloggers" for the Back End of Innovation conference.





Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Design for Delight: Innovation at Inutit #BEI13

At Back End of Innovation #BEI13, yesterday 40 of us visited Intuit’s @IntuitInc headquarters and had a delightful time
discovering how Intuit thinks about innovation.

Over the last five years Intuit has knitted innovation into the core fabric of the company using Intuit’s innovation driving process “Design for Delight”, aka, “D4D.”

Using Design Theory as an innovation process through their D4D approach, Intuit has created an organic innovation organism acting as a company.

What was once a organization that focused on “fixed” products being shipped based on customer research serving the interests of the performance engine which is an on going business, has become a customer centered, iterative trail and error, deep customer emersion driven innovator improving customers’ lives so profoundly that customers can’t go back to their old ways because of the experience of change the customer has felt.

Human centered. Inspired. Design centered…D4D.


Design for Delight—D4D distills down to Going Beyond…Don’t just give customers what they ask for, aim to go far beyond their expectations.  Seek inspiration from many different places, from comparable industries to extreme perspectives.

Intuit's D4D’s three operational pillars are:

           
v Deep Customer Empathy
o   Live the experience of the customer through their eyes…Follow them home
o   Discover something new that is so surprising, it makes you think differently about the customer and our opportunity to serve them
o   Clearly articulate the problem or opportunity in the customer’s words and free of a solution
v Go Broad to Narrow
o   Go broad—“Seven to Get One”—with many options on problems as well as solution ideas
o   Purposefully choose the uncomfortable option so we can learn quickly
o   Let great ideas go because they don’t solve the problem or opportunity in the most DELIGHTFUL ways.
v Rapidly Experiment with Customers
o   Experiment to learn, not to prove our idea is the right one
o   Spend more time experimenting with customers than sitting in a room deciding what to do.
o   Prototype Everything—solutions, problems, opportunities

At Intuit these aren’t just words.  They’ve folded into their culture over the last five years, with   They’ve designed “method cards” as rubrics for innovation.  They’ve iterated the process, applying the same process to the company’s innovation process that they apply to their innovative products.
training over 180 Innovation Catalysts within their organizations where these sparks of innovation help facilitate the D4D behaviors across Intuit’s 10, 000 employees all across the globe.

Intuit has taken design thinking and re-cast the company’s approach to innovation and breakthroughs through D4D.

Simply delightful. 

Paul Ruppert is a senior executive in the mobile industry having been
responsible for new product innovation, development and launch; revenue driving and globilizing markets within startups, fast moving large service providers and Fortune 50 companies. He's driven over $300 million in revenues over the last decade, and is a co-author of a patent enabling SMS to go around the corner or across the globe. He blogs at www.globalpointview.com and tweets @mobilepointview .  He is one of the "Official Bloggers" for the Back End of Innovation conference.

The 30 Day Corporate Innovator

While every corporation is clamoring for more innovation, there is still the concern that “management doesn’t get it.” Various themes echo here at the "Back End of Innovation" conference and elsewhere: "All they care about is near-term revenue!" "They're afraid to fail!" "We have to fight the corporate antibodies!" The "they" in this case are the middle and senior managers who are responsible for funding innovation initiatives.

Dorian Simpson, founder of Planning Innovations and an exhibitor at Back End of Innovation 2013, has taken a fresh approach. Rather than bemoan the small-mindedness of senior executives, Dorian focuses on providing innovators with the skills to develop and present their most compelling innovation ideas to senior management in a way that serves the needs the entire cast of characters involved. His program and upcoming book “The 30-Day Corporate Innovator: Key strategies to move big ideas through the corporate chaos” helps innovators navigate what he calls the “executive inquisition." According to Simpson, innovators don’t think of “the executive as a person who might be putting his or her job at risk when funding new ideas.”  Simpson provides a four-stage, 30-day action plan to address this communication disconnect. 


Why 30 days?
Simpson has found that 30 days is a natural business cycle. It is the right amount of time to allow the innovator to learn the right lingo and collect enough data to present a preliminary proposal with enough substance so that all parties can evaluate it for further action. At the same time, it isn't so baked that the innovator is too wedded to the idea to make changes. And 30 days isn't such a long interval that management will forget about the proposed idea.

Which ideas to put forth?
According to Simpson, anything idea that looks like an opportunity that requires funding should be presented in proposal form using this method. Ideas that result in entering new markets, dramatic cost reductions, incremental or radical innovations fall into this category. 

What happens in 30 Days?
The 30 Day Corporate Innovator is broken out into four parts:

Part 1. The Innovator’s World: Exploration of the corporate environment and the key people and personalities involved in moving the idea forward.

Part 2. Corporate Innovation Translation: The language of corporate innovation and how to speak in that language.

Part 3. The 30 Day Action Plan:  Components of an idea proposal and tools to generate one, including the one-page idea proposal, the customer value pyramid, early stage product plans, an ROI report, and the "minimum realistic ask," which is the initial investment needed in both time and money to move the idea forward.

Part 4. Trendeation: A term and method developed by Simpson that shows innovators how to spot and leverage trends that will strengthen the case for the idea when it is presented.

A few things to keep in mind: the ideas put forth should be those where an opportunity that executives care about can be articulated; the proposal needs to be stated in language that everyone understands; and the "ask" should be specific, with clear rationale and the idea not so precious that people are afraid of killing it. Simpson has moved away from complaining about what's wrong with Corporate America and toward creating an action plan to address some key disconnects.

The book comes out in first quarter 2014. Contact Dorian Simpson on the website for more information.



Ivy Eisenberg is founder of Our IdeaWorks, an Innovation and Lean Customer Research™ consultancy that helps companies connect to customers and other stakeholders to discover business opportunities, accelerate growth, and build and deliver successful products and services.  Ivy has more than 25 years of experience in the Front End of Innovation, user interaction design, and software product and project management. She has worked in healthcare, financial services, B2B, consumer goods, and telecommunications sectors.  Ivy is also an award-winning humor writer and storyteller, with an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is Your Innovation in Box 1 or Box 3 ? -- #BEI13

Vijay Govindarajan is a management thinker, professor, consultant and innovation rock star.

Ranked 5th in The Thinkers50 ranking of 2013--Clayton Christensen another innovation visionary--was #1 this year, "VG" challenged the #BEI13 audience asking which box are developing strategy for?

Box 1 = Managing the present
Box 2 = Selectively forgetting the past
Box 3 = Creating the future

The "future" time frame should be at least 15 years ahead of where you are today. To be an innovation leader you should be thinking about what you are doing today to be intersecting the present of 15 years ahead of yourself--meaning spending most of your thought on Box 2 and Box 3 initiatives.

Pretty common sense, but reality is that it is not common practice.

VG lit a fire in the #BEI13 audience by breaking down the why of where you spend your time, while managing the "performance engine" which is the territory of Box 1 thinking.  Box 2 & Box 3 thinking should be focusing on "Opportunity Gaps" while Box 1 focuses on "Performance Gaps."

VG's core lessons from his recent book "Beyond the Idea" distill down to Parables for the Fundamental principles for Innovation, and Developing "Strategy for Boxes 2 & 3"

1. Companies must shift time and energy from the Box 1 side to the Box 2 & 3 sides of innovation--from a focus on ideas to the focus on execution.
2. Organizations are not built for innovation are built for ongoing operations--they are Performance Engines, maximizing efficiencies.  Result: Incompatibilities will exist between both.
3.  There are 3 models for overcoming these incompatibilities:
     i. Small initiatives attempting to squeeze innovation into small slivers of slack in the performance  engine.
     ii.  Repeatable initiatives to make innovation as repeatable and predictable, delivering ongoing series of similar initiatives.
     iii.  Custom initiatives that are beyond the limitations of either the Small or Repeatable variety.

These three models, the Small, Repeatable and Custom are the key dynamics of Box 2 and Box 3 thinking.

The takeaway thought is that Performance Engines can do more, but they can't do different things.  

Box 2 and Box 3 must have its own logic.  The logic of Innovation process, and going beyond the ideas. The core perspective of executing innovation.

Where the rubber meets the road is VG's operational zone.  To learn more of his thinking on innovation, from exploring innovation for the developing world, to the core forces and process of executing innovation, check out his books including:  The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (2010) was a broad coverage of all innovation efforts; Reverse Innovation: Create from Home, Win Everywhere (2012) addressed the challenge of innovating in fast growing emerging economies; and Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution (2005) addressed high risk--high growth ventures from within established organizations.

Box 3 Rules if you want to live breakthrough innovation!

Paul Ruppert is a senior executive in the mobile industry having been responsible for new product
innovation, development and launch; revenue driving and globilizing markets within startups, fast moving large service providers and Fortune 50 companies. He's driven over $300 million in revenues over the last decade, and is a co-author of a patent enabling SMS to go around the corner or across the globe. He blogs at www.globalpointview.com and tweets @mobilepointview .  He is one of the "Official Bloggers" for the Back End of Innovation conference.








Women in Innovation - Illuminating Cocktail Hour at BEI

Those of us who chose to keep the energy going for cocktail hour after a full day at the Back End of Innovation Conference at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency (#BEI13) headed out to the chilly Terra Courtyard to hear Vivek Wadhwa speak on Women in Innovation. Wadhwa is an entrepreneur, lecturer, and writer who is currently Vice President of Research and Innovation at NASA’s Singularity University, and Fellow at Stanford University, among his other roles. Add to these accomplishments author of the upcoming book Women in Innovation. 

As Wadhwa has written: 
“One of the technology industry’s most serious shortcomings is that it leaves out
women and some minorities. I have written a lot about the dearth of women and why this is an important issue. I am also crowdcreating a book, Innovating Women, on how to fix this imbalance. In a nutshell, we need to do this for the economy and to boost innovation.”

Where are Women Innovators?
What Wadhwa shared with us as we huddled around industrial patio torches for warmth was a disturbing picture of how poorly women are represented in corporate America and the technology startup world alike—disturbing and surprising, given our advanced, modern world where half of technology users are women. Women in computer science are dropping, not increasing, according to Wadhwa, and women feel extremely uncomfortable in the tech world. At Silicon Valley tech conferences, women are groped and abused, and they struggle to maintain a foothold in the male culture of Silicon Valley. Even Twitter, the epitome of successful new technology companies, launched its IPO with an all male management team, all male investors, and all male board members. Wadhwa has taken his story to Tech Crunch, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post and now, he is publishing his book.

Sharing the Message to Promote Change
Wadhwa’s goal was to have 30 women co-creating the Women in Innovation; instead he had 500 co-authors. Within 6 weeks, they gathered enough information to publish a dozen books.  It took about 2 more months to create a publication-ready manuscript. They are now waiting for publishers to produce the book. It is imperative to change this gender imbalance. According to Wadhwa, it’s good for the economy. With diversity comes increased innovation, growth, increased creativity, lower failure rates, and better success rates. When men and women work together, good things happen.


Ivy Eisenberg is founder of Our IdeaWorks, an Innovation and Lean Customer Research™ consultancy that helps companies connect to customers and other stakeholders to discover business opportunities, accelerate growth, and build and deliver successful products and services.  Ivy has more than 25 years of experience in the Front End of Innovation, user interaction design, and software product and project management. She has worked in healthcare, financial services, B2B, consumer goods, and telecommunications sectors.  Ivy is also an award-winning humor writer and storyteller, with an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Key Innovation Quotes and Observations from Day 1 of BEI

Today was the first day of the Back End of Innovation (BEI) Conference here in Silicon Valley and there was a good roster of thought leader and innovation practitioner speakers. Tomorrow promises to be more of the same. If you don't follow me on twitter where I tweet as @innovate then you will have missed my thoughts on what some of the key innovation quotes and observations were from Day One, so I'll recollect them here the best that I can.

The event began with Julie Anixter of Innovation Excellence and Ronald Jonash of IXL and a discussion of a new Global Innovation Certification and the need for innovation training and certification. A BETA of the innovation certification was announced and I will be providing eLearning for the Global Innovation Certification BETA beginning November 24, 2013.

We then heard about the importance of branding your technical innovations and rationalizing your portfolio from Dee Slattery of Ansell and then of cocreation with Thomas Finkle of Passenger.

Mick Simonelli (formerly of USAA) then walked us through an innovation practicum during which there were several key nuggets, including:

  • A show of hands indicated that most people in the room at #bei13 are building innovation capability, while only a few are at event level of maturity or the system level
  • "It's sexy at the front end of innovation, but it's the sweat & toil in middle & back end that makes it happen."
  • "Innovation does not grow in a vacuum. You have to get your innovation approach into how people think about the way we do things around here."
  • We had a very positive impact by moving legal input from the front end of innovation to the back end.
  • "We had five different innovation processes at USAA and different integration points for each one for best impact."
  • "The HR people should be your best friends when it comes to infusing innovation into your performance management system."

Then there was a great comment from a gentleman from Boeing that captured the insight about innovation success coming from idea quality not idea quantity - "Ideas of Merit."

Ken Favaro of Booz & Co. focused on talking about why innovation doesn't work and had a few interesting tidbits, including:

  • "To think outside the box, you must look into other boxes." - Prof William Duggan of Columbia
  • For innovation success, involve people required for back end implementation in the front end - early buy-in & engagement

Mike Hess of Medtronic talked about how they balance between customer-led and economic-led innovation with tech-led innovation, and some of the logical traps organizations fall into, such as stealing resources from longer-term, higher-risk innovation projects to staff shorter-term, lower-risk ones.

Finally, the day closed with Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech (and soon UCLA) talking about the evolution of humanoid robots, and Vivek Wadhwa talking about women in innovation. Vivek Wadhwa talked about his women innovator's book project and the controversy he stirred up by pointing out that Twitter has an all male management team and all male board. Meanwhile, Dennis Hong focused on his philosophy for why robots in the home should have humanoid form and that is because robots in the home need to adapt to human-centered designs. So instead of asking why do we need humanoid robots, we should ask what robotic tasks require a humanoid form? This is leading them to focus on robots for firefighting and other hazardous situations, to help save human lives.

If you're at the conference, what did you take away from Day One?

I wonder what Day Two will bring?

P.S. I am at the Back End of Innovation conference if you have an innovation issue or need you'd like to discuss. Come find me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B inbound marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He has recently begun distributing Innovation eLearning and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Combinatorial Conversation at #BEI13 w Dr. Dennis Hong

True innovaition is nothing more...and nothing less...than a creative combination.


A strong view--which I share--is that innovation comes from a conscious and subconscious thought process of searching and combining.

Einstein and Jobs thought the same. As Jobs said about innovation, "Innovation is just connecting things together." Einstein called innovation, "combinatorial play."  Or as noted Columbia Business School professor William Duggan, a leading thinker on strategic intuition as the key to innovation asserts: "To think outside of the box, look into other boxes."

Over cocktails at Back End of Innovation, I had the privilege to speak to BEI Keynoter, Dr. Dennis Hong. Hong is the Associate Professor and the Founding Director of RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory) of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech.

A great raconteur and presenter, we were talking about his presentation about the development of Robots from game playing, soccer kicking use cases to life saving, nuclear meltdown correcting critical thinking machines.

Without purpose or intent, our conversation tilted towards a precise use case validation of combinatorial thinking. While describing the walking capabilities of his THOR (Tactical Operations Hazardous Robot) , he relayed the source of his inspiration to create a tripod robot, essentially a three legged walking robot. A tripedal gait. Watch it here.

His inspiration for innovation was seeded while sitting in a park observing how a mother was braiding the hair of her daughter. A process where three strands of hair are woven together, combining to form the braid.  He was fascinated with the mother's care and her process, sketching it out, not thinking how he would ever use it. But nonetheless sketched it. [I wonder else what this big brained guy, one of the leading robotics experts in the world, has in his notebook!]

After considering how robots could be more stable than bi-pedal walking, he had his "ah ha"moment. That's when the innovation spark occured, combining his recollection of the braiding of the young girl's hair and the technical challenge of robotics.

Amazing what you can discover and validate with great company over a glass of wine and good conversation at BEI.  Worth the admission ticket. 

Paul Ruppert is a senior executive in the mobile industry having been responsible for new product
innovation, development and launch; revenue driving and globilizing markets within startups, fast moving large service providers and Fortune 50 companies. He's driven over $300 million in revenues over the last decade, and is a co-author of a patent enabling SMS to go around the corner or across the globe. He blogs at www.globalpointview.com and tweets @mobilepointview .  He is one of the "Official Bloggers" for the Back End of Innovation conference.

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