So You Want To Be Innovative ?

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So you want to be innovative

May 2011A FUTURELAB ACTION GUIDESo You Want To Be Innovative?Alain Thys

PreludeFUTURELABChance favours the prepared mindSo you want to be innovative?Louis Pasteur3.

Let us start with a few questions:Why do the space shuttle engines have the diameter they have?FUTURELAB4.

Let us start with a few questions:OK, thats pragmatic, but why is the tunnel that width?FUTURELAB5.

Let us start with a few questions:That makes sense, but who decided on the width of tracks?

FUTURELAB6.Let us start with a few questions:Remarkable, but why choose this base for trams?

FUTURELAB7.Let us start with a few questions:OK, but then why make the axes this wide?


8.Let us start with a few questions:So if the ruts lead to the cart, what caused the ruts?


9.Let us start with a few questions:Standardised imperial chariots? Where did Ceasar get that idea?


10.Let us start with a few questions:OK, but some Egyptian must have had an original idea!


11.Let us start with a few questions:And so we find the answer: its all because of a horses ass.


Orthodoxies drive our behaviourWe copy and build on what we know to workFUTURELAB13.Orthodoxies drive our behaviourIn fact, its in our genes

... behaviour ...... ways of working ...... processes ....... organisational structures ...HUMANS COPYFUTURELAB

14.Orthodoxies drive our behaviourIt is the secret to human success and achievement

Reading and printIndustrial progress

AgricultureAppsFUTURELAB15.Orthodoxies drive our behaviourBut there is also a dark side

FUTURELAB16.Orthodoxies drive our behaviourThey can fail us if the world around us changesIllustration by ~Si2. Print can be purchased at www.deviantart.comMusic industry

EducationPersonal shame (1994/5)Browsing is for geeks.

Blockbuster CDs rule.No cheating.

FUTURELAB17.Orthodoxies drive our behaviourThey can be based on wrong assumptions

Earth is flat illustration by ~Si2. Print can be purchased at www.deviantart.comOur actions have always been driven by assumptions which everyone knows to be true.

God does not play dice with the universe

Albert Einstein on Quantum MechanicsIt can happen to the best of us:FUTURELAB18.Orthodoxies drive our behaviourWorst of all, they can close our mind to other options

Weve always done it that wayThis is best practiceThats what everyone doesOur world-view is rightFUTURELABPart 1: What orthodoxy does to innovationFUTURELABTradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors.So you want to be innovative?G.K. Chesterton

20.What orthodoxy does to innovation.No, Im not going to talk about orthodoxy versus creativityThink out of the box!

Wear a green hat!

Find your inner lightbulb!

FUTURELABImage Desi Walls20.FUTURELAB21.What orthodoxy does to innovation.I am going to talk about the orthodoxy of innovation itself

Why we make it harder than it needs to be?FUTURELAB22.Time for an innovation renaissanceWhich would be the easiest route to cross this desert?

Through the valleys?Over the mountains?FUTURELABImage Desi Walls22.FUTURELAB23.Time for an innovation renaissanceWeird, most corporate innovators seem to disagree.



UTILITIESSource: The Doblin Group, www.doblin.comFUTURELAB24.Why?

Time for an innovation renaissanceWeird, most corporate innovators seem to disagree.FUTURELAB


Industrial revolution

Invention mindsetBetter & more featuresLower costsMore volumeMass-production logicTime for an innovation renaissanceInnovation is driven by industrial mass production orthodoxiesFUTURELAB26.Time for an innovation renaissanceThis worked fine as long as we had room in our life for more

FUTURELAB27.Time for an innovation renaissanceBut our world has changed the tub is full

FUTURELAB28.Time for an innovation renaissanceMany of our innovation efforts are wastedProduct parityHypercompetitionCategory overload

Too much choice actually reduces the preparedness of customers to make a purchase.Barry Schwartz


29.Time for an innovation renaissanceWe consider massive failure as the norm (orthodoxy?) 50-90% percent of innovation projects [are] judged to have made little or no contribution to organizational goals Wikipedia, 2011FUTURELAB30.Time for an innovation renaissanceOur response: innovating even more

FUTURELAB31.Time for an innovation renaissanceAccepting collateral damage as it occurs

DemotivationStressWasted resourcesLost competitive positionComplexityFUTURELABPart 2: Time for an innovation renaissanceFUTURELABSo you want to be innovative?

Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success. Thomas A. Edison33.Time for an innovation renaissanceHow do these guys do it?

The industrialists nightmare:I sell overpriced, underspecd computers and people love them.I take a traditional industry like finance, travel or telco and slap a red logo on it.FUTURELAB34.Time for an innovation renaissanceOn innovation, they lead their people through the valleys

Experience innovationBusiness model innovationService innovationFUTURELABImage Desi Walls34.FUTURELAB

35.Time for an innovation renaissanceThey have let go of the old world orthodoxiesBetter & more featuresLower costsMore volumeAge of ScarcityInnovate for:FUTURELAB36.Time for an innovation renaissanceThey have recognised we live in a different era

Age of AbundanceIn mature markets

Its hard to get double-digit growth from finding new customers.

Its much easier to extend the relationship with the customers you already have.FUTURELAB37.Time for an innovation renaissanceThey innovate for relationships

Enough to keep things fresh and interesting.But not too much.

FUTURELAB38.Time for an innovation renaissanceOr in business termsAge of AbundanceInnovate for:Stakeholder Lifetime ValueBetter relationships & reputationLower costs

A compass for your considerationFUTURELAB39.An innovation renaissanceSome remarkably good practices


One more thing


40.A not so best practiceEvery innovation poses a relationship risk. Innovate to keep your relationships fresh, but dont overdo it.Innovate for growthHow Planta almost lost me ... and still might.Risk relationshipsDODONTTime for an innovation renaissanceFUTURELAB5 Steps to transform yourselfFUTURELABSo you want to be innovative?

A leader is someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term.

Robert Reich4216/11/135 Steps to transform yourselfStep 1: Listen, Watch and LearnObvious? Test yourself:

If youre in B2C: when was the last time you really spoke to a consumer?

If youre in B2B: how actively do you manage all your stakeholders emotions?

Shop your own product.

By walking in customers shoes you understand how they see the world.Georges-Edouard DiasSVP, LOral GroupKey AdviceInsightsChoice DriversRecommendation triggersTake the customer perspective ... all the way.FUTURELAB43.Step 1: Listen, Watch and Learn

Asset leveraging

Bad profits

Global inspiration


Internal sensing

Market foresightFor most of usInnovation is not invention.

Most of what you need will exist in some shape or form.5 Steps to transform yourselfFUTURELAB44.Adaptation of The Innovation Radar 2.0 by J.Chen and M.Sawney of Kellogg School of Management, 2008.

The Innovation RadarThere are 12-15 types of innovation.

Which ones are your competitors missing?Step 2: Broaden your innovation horizon

5 Steps to transform yourselfFUTURELABOpportunities for meaningful differentiationAreas to keep up or stay ahead

Look at the nichesCopy when proven only

HighLowLowHighCustomer EngagementInnovation IntensityStep 2: Broaden your innovation horizon45.The Innovation Strategy MatrixDevelop a portfolio of innovation strategies depending on the situation.

5 Steps to transform yourselfFUTURELAB45FUTURELAB46.Innovation is a social, not a personal achievement. It does not belong in a department.Step 3: Involve your people

Engagement programmesDigital (open) platformsOrganisational flexibilityCorporate venturing projectsInnovation teams...5 Steps to transform yourselfFUTURELAB

47Make sure people understand what you aim to achieveProvide people with the innovation & design knowledge/tools to contributeBuild an innovation movement that rewards initiative rather than ask for instant ROI16/11/13* Based on Norton, D. Aligning your Strategy to the Customer Value Proposition, 13/9/2005.Only 5% of your workforce understands your strategy*Step 3: Involve your peopleSo how can they innovate upon it?5 Steps to transform yourselfFUTURELAB48Step 4: Make sure you got it rightFailing fast is no excuse for being sloppy.Implement a simple system that allows people to evaluate their own ideas and forces cross-functional co-operation.5 Steps to transform yourself

FUTURELAB4916/11/135 Steps to transform yourselfStep 4: Make sure you got it rightSimplify, so your business is able to execute. Then simplify again.

The Laws of SimplicityJohn MaedaReduceOrganiseTimeLearnDifferencesContextEmotionTrustFailureThe OneFood for thought:Can you appify your business?

FUTURELAB505 Steps to transform yourselfStep 5: Go to market to enhance relationshipsHow do your innovations strengthen your existing customer relationships?

The experience IS the product.Peter Merholz


Racing to market is no excuse for being sloppy.Align your business as if it were the only innovation youll ever launch.FUTURELABConclusionFUTURELABFinally, in conclusion, let me just say this.So you want to be innovative?Peter Sellers


CONCLUSIONBreak innovations orthodoxies.STEP 1 Listen, watch and learn.

STEP 2 Broaden your innovation horizon.

STEP 3Involve your people.

STEP 4Make sure you got it right.

STEP 5: Go to market to enhance existing relationships.


53.ConclusionFocus on the valleys that lead to customer successYou can innovate lessBecause no one is there, you make your life easier.Innovations have more meaningWith the same effort you can differentiate yourself more.

FUTURELAB54.ConclusionIn SummaryBut with More meaning.Innovate LessFUTURELAB

55.Alain Thys

Email: ath@futurelab.netTwitter: @FLB_alainthysFUTURELAB