What do the best innovation programs have in common?

An in-house innovation program is becoming a common fixture in the most competitive organizations. However, in a recessed economy, these research & development programs can sometimes get eliminated, because they struggle to prove or articulate value.  

Every year, the Innovation Management Awards invite innovation teams to share their best practices for their internal innovation programs: best practices about how to engage the workplace in the innovation process, how to refine and select the best ideas, and how to identify and prototype meaningful innovations.

The 2016 winners shared a few key qualities that help define a successful innovation management program:

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“The acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate, even for the best connected and most well informed.”

Andrey Berdichevskiy, Automotive Lead at the World Economic Forum

Innoboard: There is no universal definition of innovation. Every organization and every department perceive it differently. In your opinion, what characterizes innovation at international institutions that focus on public-private collaboration, such as The World Economic Forum?

Andrey Berdichevskiy: The World Economic Forum helps advancing innovation in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technological revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.  The response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society. An underlying theme in ongoing discussions with global CEOs and senior business executives is that the acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate and that these drivers constitute a source of constant surprise, even for the best connected and most well informed. Indeed, across all industries, there is clear evidence that the technologies that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution are having a major impact on businesses. The ongoing transformation has a major impact on new business models, technology governance, demand for new leadership models as well as solutions to ethical issues, values and regulation.

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How to succeed in digital transformation

I would like to invite you to walk across the “Valley of Tech Death” – a technology wasteland where many businesses have poured millions of dollars, culled irreplaceable human energy and capital and extracted thousands of hours of time only to produce a failed business outcome.

This real estate of technology waste is not a figment of imagination – it is real and many businesses have been through it if not created it. It is also the place of many ruined business and technology careers, not to mention endless disputes and protracted litigation.

You know what I am talking about – those technology investments that failed to deliver their anticipated business value and ROI. The large manufacturing ERP initiative. The corporate Knowledge Management investment. The multi-site global Data Center project. It seems that the adage: “if we build it and they will come” is just no longer true.”

What are the lessons learned here? Why did these small to medium to large scale technology initiatives fail? What is the common thread that runs across these expensive projects?

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“Digital technologies are offering new ways of performing joint industry projects.”

Dr. Steffen Knodt, Member of the Board, German Association for Marine Technology GMT

Digitization. Every industry and every company perceive it and react differently. What impact does digitization have on the maritime industry?

The ocean is covering more than 70% of the earth and thereby all maritime industries related to the ocean space are very important for the global economy. About 95% of all goods are transported by shipping and the enormous marine resources on energy and food are essential for the entire world. Offshore oil & gas with related subsea production systems are already high-tech industries. Offshore wind is a major contributor to the “Energiewende” in Germany. However, in the recent years, the maritime industry was impacted heavily both by low freight rates in container shipping as well the low oil price.

This situation increases the need to reduce significantly the investment cost for new projects and for operational cost of existing assets. Digitization offers a huge opportunity to significantly increase the efficiency by introducing new digital technologies and new business models. As in maritime it takes relatively long and it is costly to qualify new equipment, a technology transfer could take place for digital innovations from other industries and some of the existing markets might even be disrupted by new players or technologies.

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“My mission is to combine Silicon Valley’s and Europe’s innovation DNA to enable constructive disruption.“

Manuel Kaiser about ILI LABS

Innoboard: At ILI LABS, your claim is “Constructive Disruption“. What do you mean with it?

Manuel Kaiser: The term Constructive Disruption is based on Clayton Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation, the process in which a market entrant, starting at lower market segments, eventually replaces the traditional incumbent in the market. Digitization manifests that level of upheaval and is already shifting the value creation model of entire industries. Digital innovations thus represent the inescapable challenge of the near future.

However, major players do not need to be victims, as long as they can make the strengths of the new players their own. If they can succeed in combining market power, networks and expertise with openness, agility and aggressiveness. If they are willing to reinvent themselves.

We understand Constructive Disruption as a way of innovating from the perspective of an external, extremely versatile attacker.

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Interviews

“The acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate, even for the best connected and most well informed.”

Andrey Berdichevskiy, Automotive Lead at the World Economic Forum

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Innoboard: There is no universal definition of innovation. Every organization and every department perceive it differently. In your opinion, what characterizes innovation at international institutions that focus on…

“Digital technologies are offering new ways of performing joint industry projects.”

Dr. Steffen Knodt, Member of the Board, German Association for Marine Technology GMT

Friday, April 7, 2017

Digitization. Every industry and every company perceive it and react differently. What impact does digitization have on the maritime industry? The ocean is covering more than 70% of the earth…

“My mission is to combine Silicon Valley’s and Europe’s innovation DNA to enable constructive disruption.“

Manuel Kaiser about ILI LABS

Friday, March 24, 2017

Innoboard: At ILI LABS, your claim is “Constructive Disruption“. What do you mean with it? Manuel Kaiser: The term Constructive Disruption is based on Clayton Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation,…

“The best way to predict the future is to shape it.“

Thomas Höfer, Senior Vice President Business Development & Strategy at maxdome GmbH

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How would you define innovation at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and maxdome GmbH? Thomas…