Nowadays, consumers tend to look for ethical and sustainable products. This gives rise to responsible brands, such as Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, which offers 100 per cent vegetarian cosmetics, or Fairphone, who offers phones with responsible sourcing, or Patagonia, which focuses on ethical production of their products (Gursawska et al. 2017). Examples from Finland could include plastic-free beverage cup manufacturer Kotkamills as well as biomaterial company Sulapac.
This can also work in a reverse manner, when many customers abandon companies which have acted in an unethical or unsustainable way, like in the cases of British Petroleum and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 or the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015. Another example can be found from a Miltton study from 2017, that included surveys from Sweden, Finland and Estonia. The results showcase that majority of the people think that companies should participate in solving societal problems.
Topics: Research & Development
Succeeding in innovation is crucial for the competitiveness of organizations of all sizes. Organizing innovation challenges (also known as innovation contest, innovation competition, idea contest and idea competition) is a widely used method for collecting innovative ideas that help companies reach their strategic goals.
Why some organizations can over and over again succeed in attracting contributors to participate in their challenges? Why some teams exceed their objectives consistently? What sets successful ones apart from mediocre ones? The answer is simple: thoughtful challenge design.
An effective innovation challenge attracts the right minds to work on a well-defined problem. Successful challenge design hits the mark in three core components: defining a suitable challenge question, brief and evaluation criteria. Let’s take a look at what latest trends in challenges are and how the best ones are designed.
Topics: Innovation Challenge
|Table of contents|
|Base for design thinking|
|Front-end of innovation|
|Design push for new innovations|
|Service design and design thinking|
|Service design process vs service innovation process|
|10 tips for success|
New requirements for products and services are guided by megatrends, such as climate change, digitalization, urbanization, and growing middle class. Today, also the complexity of business and technology is increasing, and people and companies need to make sense of it. This is a clear trend in business that drives people to use methodologies like design thinking. Big companies like IBM and GE are using design thinking as a core competence for simplifying and humanizing their services. Large consulting organizations are also attending the design thinking journey by acquiring smaller design firms.
Front-end of innovation is often fuzzy and unstructured and the uncertainty is making it hard to push ideas further and make implementation decisions. To make things easier, I have gathered my top ten tips to make use of design thinking in a front-end of innovation process. I will first share some background and theory on the topic and then share tips based on my own research and hands-on experience.
Base for design thinking mindset comes from service-dominant logic
Traditionally the more goods you can produce and sell the better. The same is probably still valid but there are new ways of defining value instead of counting the sold items. Newer ways of thinking are defining the value as value in use. The focus of firms is shifting from product and service features to value. The value is co-created with the firm and the customer when the innovation or other resource is used. Therefore, service design and understanding of users and customers are hot topics in today’s business and many companies advertise that they are customer-centric. In 2004, Vargo and Lusch suggested a new dominant logic for marketing which emphasizes the individual service experience and co-creation of value.
Table of contents
|What is innovation?|
|Types of innovation|
|Benefits of innovation|
|Measuring innovation performance|
What is innovation?
“The actions required to create new ideas, processes or products which when implemented lead to positive effective change.”
– Marc Chason, Motorola LabsThis simple definition of innovation captures very well the key attributes of it
- execution turns ideas and inventions to innovations
- results in positive change and value
Here is how Marc Chason continues to explore the topic:
“While invention requires the creation of new ideas, processes or products, innovation moves one step further and requires implementation of the inventive act. Innovation also implies a value system which seeks to derive a positive outcome from the inventive act. For example, actions which lead to a negative performance metric would not be considered innovative, even if they met the requirements of novelty and enabling actions.”
Engaging your staff to improve the operations is one of today's hot trends and one way to do it by suggestion box. It is a method widely used in both public sector and companies. Painfully often the activity which was launched years ago has been let to fade. In situations like these the relaunch of suggestion box to staff is needed.
Good planning is the cornerstone of kicking off any activity. Successful kick-off and the benefits of active participation are secured by following these tips. These tips are based on a research conducted by Lappeenranta University of Technology and the best practices of Orchidea Innovations.
Topics: suggestion box
Have you felt that people in the company have good ideas or potential that is not being utilized? Have you struggled with how ideas should be collected and implemented? Innovation doesn’t happen just because you implement an innovation funnel or start using a tool for collecting ideas. Processes and tools are often required to support innovation, but the work of changing how people think and act remains. We will focus on three typical challenges companies face when seeking good concepts to implement:
- getting useful ideas from the organization,
- idea development, and
- a note on idea process discipline.
You want to reinvent the world, but you do not know where to start? No worries, leading consulting companies spend big bucks to find out the silver bullets for you. Here is the 11 innovation best practice list which is based on the latest research from Boston Consulting Group, strategy& and PwC.
1. Capture Customer Insights Directly from the Customers
According to strategy& strong focus on capturing customer insights directly from customers had strong impact on financial results. Companies which capture insights directly from customers had three times the growth in operating income and twice the return on assets of industry peers that captured customer insights indirectly, as well as 65 percent higher total shareholder returns (strategy&, 2014).
Many of the clients I meet are struggling to collect enough ideas in the fuzzy front end of their innovation process. At the same time in many organization the only way to submit an idea to the organization is by submitting invention disclosure report. This is very counterproductive from the point of view of innovation.
Do you want to know why?
1) The Bar is Raised Unnecessarily
It is widely accepted truth that in innovation quantity leads to quality. If the only way for the employees to submit their ideas is inventions, the organization is messaging that they are only looking for something unique or novel. This is again leads to smaller ideas not being submitted which affects idea quantity.