Treasure 29 – All about innovation

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Howdy folks! Today I’ll host our 1Q18 innovation day, so that’s a good reason to load the treasure with three nuggets on innovation.

Nugget #1 has been authored by Reto Hofstetter et al. and published on HBR. The team researched crowdsourcing contests and compared the winner-takes-all approach with a multiple-prize approach. They found out that teams who didn’t win, didn’t participate in subsequent contents, showed lower effort or generated fewer ideas. I think this also applies to corporate innovation contents. While these are designed with good intentions, this might backfire just as other bonuses. For me the ideal reward is market success as this also eliminates the subjective measure of a panel. In some cases the feedback loop might be very long and the reward for the teams are taking a long time. I got some rough ideas for this problem. So stay tuned for an article on this in 1Q18.
The Hidden Pitfall of Innovation Prizes (5 minutes, text, English)

Nugget #2 is about innovation labs. It is an interview from Robert Tucker with Scott Kirsner. I fully agree to Robert’s assessment, that a lot of innovation labs that corporates and mid-sized companies open these days are a cargo cult. They hope to instill a similar startup culture and reach same levels of innovation by opening garages or copying practices from innovative companies. But crazy office furniture, foosball tables and a bag of money doesn’t necessarily bring market success. The first important point Robert and Scott make, is the distance (geographical and thematical) of the innovation lab to the company.
Incremental innovation can be closer, disruptive innovation needs to be more distant. But it still needs to support the company strategy and be supported by the core business. My favorite point is about open innovation. Innovation is about discovery and that’s why you shouldn’t limit the lab to your own folks. They often have their blenders on. I believe this will be a big success factor in the future and requires companies to master the art of collaboration.
Starting An Innovation Lab? Avoid These Pitfalls (10 minutes, text, English)

Nugget #3 is for the podcast lovers among you. I recently stumbled across digital kompakt, a magazine and podcast about digital business models, companies and trends. In episode „Digital by Design #2“ Joel Kaczmarek and Christopher Boehnke talk about HIPPOs. This is not the animal, but an acronym for the highest paid persons opinion. Their key point is to convince stakeholders of innovations by market feedback. Later Christopher introduces a decision making triangle. Vector #1 is how long the innovation will last (defend = 1-2 years, differentiate = 3-5 years, disrupt = decade). Vector #2 is impact (# of sales, efficiency, …). And vector #3 is buy-in of the organization, which translates into probability of success. They also discuss about the right organization model, if innovation should pushed tops-down or bottoms-up, the meaning of agility and much more.
Wie sich Entscheider von Innovationen überzeugen lassen (36 minutes, audio, German)

What problem are you trying to solve in the area of innovation? Let me know in the comments, via social media, email or personally. Enjoy your weekend!