Top 20 Most Influential Innovation Blogs from 2016

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Over the past few weeks we have done the analysis of all of the big innovation bloggers to find evidence of who really are the best innovation bloggers of 2016, and who you should look out for in 2017, ranked into the official Top 20 list.

This was a joint effort between three innovation focused blogs, namely Idea to Value (with Nick Skillicorn), InnovationManagement.se (with Amelia Johannsen) and Innoboard (with Manuel Kaiser).

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Industry 4.0 and the Internet-of-Things (IoT): Learning from the German Chemical Industry

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The keyword “Industry 4.0” is no longer an empty cliché or a black box; it is currently probably the most important topic within the German economy. Not only will existing processes be revolutionized – but also new businesses and business models will arise. More and more companies have already started to tap into its potential.

At the heart of Industry 4.0 is the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). What will the IoT mean for the chemical industry? A chemical company is naturally process oriented, with excellence in managing ultra-complex processes, and very strong in product and processes innovation in existing business models. But it may be less well prepared for a fast changing business environment and the emergence of new business models.

What future business models will arise through the avalanche of data becoming available and utilizable for the business? How will the IoT change supply and value chains? How will the expanded data integration change manufacturing capabilities and IT infrastructure? What should the chemical industry do to prepare for the IoT?

These and related questions were discussed from different perspectives by leading IT vendors and engineering companies focusing on implementing the IoT and first movers amongst the chemical industry on a conference organized by the VCW (Chemistry & Industry Section of the German Chemical Society) at Merck, Darmstadt, on September 1, 2016.

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“Startups are the lifeblood of creativity, yet they need focus and execution skills to convert that creativity into innovation.”

Peter Cook, lead of Human Dynamics and The Acadamy of Rock

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Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation with your vast experience in innovation?

Peter Cook: I would say there is a very clear definition of innovation: Whereas creativity is the thinking of novel and appropriate ideas, innovation is the successful implementation of a novel idea such that it produces sustainable advantage, whether that is a commercial business idea (for profit) or a public service / not for profit innovation (for some social good or for society in general). The potential for confusion comes once you define innovation further, but even here I think it’s simple.  In the book  ”Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise” I define innovation on three levels:

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“IT is collaborator and driver – we partake early in the blossoming of new ideas, as most have a digital root.”

Ralf Gernhold, CIO of Miles & More GmbH

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There is no consistent definition of digitization. Every industry and every department perceive it and react differently. What does digitization mean to the Miles & More GmbH?

Ralf Gernhold: Digitization has three dimensions: it includes (i) business models, (ii) processes, and (iii) products/services. Foremost concern, and at the same time the most challenging one, is determining the fit of our current business model to the changing environment in which we will be operating. This requires developing a deep understanding of the market dynamics we anticipate being confronted with – a task of utmost intellectual challenge. This is addressed at top management level. It is important to understand that the products we offer to our B2B partners is 100% digital. As also increasingly the services we offer to the Miles & More members. We are a digital company per definition.

Having laid out the road map in regards to the business model, we need to adjust our processes to reflect the new challenges. Customer-facing as well as B2B processes are scrutinized. Our goal here: to achieve a high level of efficiency while maintaining our flexibility. Balancing these dimensions is an art in itself, as they are negatively correlated. And finally, we are constantly looking for new products and services which can be delivered in digital form (“atoms to bits”) and generate more value to our customers.

Alongside this top-down approach, innovation and imitation is also spawned within the organization and need the suitable environment to percolate upwards. In addition to offering a fitting physical environment and appropriate working conditions, we are also addressing the cultural change necessary for innovation to come to fruition.

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“First of all we need to create awareness of the advance of digitization.”

Andrea Finkbeiner-Müller, Chairman of the Board at Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH

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Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of digitization. Every industry and every department perceive it and react differently. What does digitization mean for Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH?

Andrea Finkbeiner-Müller: Up until now, Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH has focused on tangible products such as car accessories and collection items. But, of course, digitization can be seen in every aspect of life today. And the trend towards digitization has not passed MBA by. As a result, we are beginning to look at digital products, such as apps and software solutions. These may include the area of e-mobility, but they could also involve the networking of vehicles. As a fictional example: picture a scenario where vehicles and road signs are connected with one another so that traffic is regulated. This could represent a step towards the digitization of traffic. At this point, however, we cannot say to what extent we would be able to add a service like this to our product portfolio.

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Interviews

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“Startups are the lifeblood of creativity, yet they need focus and execution skills to convert that creativity into innovation.”

Peter Cook, lead of Human Dynamics and The Acadamy of Rock

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation with your vast experience in innovation? Peter Cook: I…

innoboard-ralf-gernhold-miles-and-more-gmbh-lufthansa-innovation-it

“IT is collaborator and driver – we partake early in the blossoming of new ideas, as most have a digital root.”

Ralf Gernhold, CIO of Miles & More GmbH

Thursday, December 22, 2016

There is no consistent definition of digitization. Every industry and every department perceive it and react differently. What does digitization mean to the Miles & More GmbH? Ralf Gernhold: Digitization…

innoboard-Andrea-Finkbeiner-Mueller-mercedes-benz-accessories

“First of all we need to create awareness of the advance of digitization.”

Andrea Finkbeiner-Müller, Chairman of the Board at Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of digitization. Every industry and every department perceive it and react differently. What does digitization mean for Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH? Andrea Finkbeiner-Müller: Up…

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“Innovation is not limited to certain categories. Change needs to happen everywhere!”

Egon Steinkasserer, Head of Innovation at Swisscom AG

Friday, December 9, 2016

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Each industry and each department perceives it differently. How do you define innovation at Swisscom? Egon Steinkasserer: We, at Swisscom, define ‘innovation’…