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Many people start talking about entreprenuership without any own experiences. That’s interstesting. How do they get these ideas about enterpreneurship and how do they become so sure about what makes an enterpreneur so succesfully? It seems so that the more you talk about it the more you have a good reason not to start at all. Many myths are created around the topic of enterpreneurship. Daniel Isenberg illustrates through stories of real business builders the new rules of starting and growing a business.In his new book
Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value
He describes many of these myths. Watch the video explaning three of the myths.
Key message here is: start building your own myth of success!
Starting your own business is not just an option is needs to be the only option
Starting up a new business is hard to do and even more difficult to be a successful new business. Why is it that many people starting of? What makes the difference between a Winner and a Laggard?
Oké, one logic explanation to start is that I got fired and nobody wants to hire me and the only thing I can (not wanted to) do is put a sign in my front yard with my name and twitter account on it hoping for the best. I know I’m good (or at least I was good) but the problem is that nobody knows it, or even worse nobody needs my goodness anymore. Instead of being an entrepreneur I become a day-worker for hire. So just starting on your own doesn’t mean you are an entrepreneur?
What are the key characteristics of an entrepreneur? Much is well documented in the startup owner’s manual from Steve Blank and Bob Dorf.
Knowing to start with untested hypotheses. It starts with a vision of a missing job-to-be-done (something what customers need to get fulfilled but can’t find yet). Although he has clear ideas of product or service to get the job-done, the entrepreneur will start immediately checking his vision with real customers. The entrepreneur will spend more time with customers than inside his office.
Understanding the need for speed, learning and iteration. From the start you understand that the business plan will not survives the first contact with the customer. The first day, you will learn that the brutal facts in the market is different as will be the next day and you need to adjust your product, service and process to the willing customers.
Monitoring the cash-burn-rate, time (number of months cash in the bank). Understanding the key financial metric that only matter to do the job. In the time you have left, you need to find the right business model to survive. Understand (structured process for testing) what is absolutely necessary to spend time and money on to get your money machine up and running (business model hypotheses).
The motivation and courage to get into action. This is the most important internal driver for any entrepreneur to become a winner versus a laggard. Watch the nice clip of Tom Corson-Knowles explaining what I mean by that.
Innovation: Analyze & Design of complexity and Uncertainty
What differs Innovation from the running business? And does it require a different approach and tooling?
Working in the field of innovation will put you up with some typically challenges during the execution of innovation programs. How do you handle the high level of uncertainty in new technology and market developments? How do you manage complex decision making processes for innovation and business board members?
In a traditional program approach during the several stage gates of innovation a static business case is created and is one of the key tools to take decisions and used as an indication for future business value. Once a business case is approved in the start of the innovation program, it isn’t used in the next steps of the innovation process to take the complex decisions needed. The majority of the innovation programs delay in time in generating value compared to the original business case. Besides the delay you don’t know if possible alternative scenario’s can bring even higher value at all.
Decision makers for innovation programs and portfolio urge for better decision supporting tools on program and portfolio level. Once an innovation program is started a need for a more dynamic Track & Trace tool regarding the performance of the program is required. The lack of “speed of innovation” is one of the most critical business case “killers” which need to be monitored on a continue basis. Many organizations lack of the right capabilities and tools to do this. Working with our clients we experienced that doubling the future business value in your current innovation portfolio is likely to show up.
What do you need to double the future value in the portfolio?
It starts with installing the basic capabilities and tools of “scenario thinking” and “Dynamic Business Case” into your organization.
The Innovation Business Case Method is a Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) models, which help managers ask the right questions when judging projects and make better-founded decisions in complex and high uncertainty environment. A manager’s toolbox is not complete without this model and should be used throughout the life cycle of a product.
Free cash flow will fluctuate in the course of the project due to technical risks and market uncertainties. There are a number of possible scenarios, each with its own specific net present value and likelihood of occurring.
All these scenarios ought to be worked out and set against the likelihood that they may occur. This will be done using a Monte Carlo simulation. The various outcomes are presented as a distribution of NPV
A start-up company INPAQT developed an Innovation Management Suite and expertise support not only to install the tool but is focussed on the development of the capabilities of your organization. It’s one of the very few proposition in the market based on academic research and development of Monte Carlo scenario’s for innovation dynamic business cases.
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Innovation Management: it’s all about collaboration
Can Innovation be managed? What is it different from other business processes in your organization?
Innovation is in essence looking for new insights in a different way how to adapt to new technologies or new market needs. As Rob van Leen (Chief Innovation Officer at DSM) stated in his interview for The Innovators (Nov 2103) “for us innovation equals people thinking differently … I think DSM traditionally had more or less confused innovation and R&D, and for me, innovation is really bringing profitable products and services to the market. It is more a general management skill.”.
This company realized in order to create, deliver and capture new business value an end-to-end process is needed throughout the organization. Not only is collaboration of all functions within the organization necessary but working together with the outside world becomes vital for continuity. Innovation management is not just at business process level (operating model) but also includes Strategy and Leadership. Rob van Leen mentioned the importance of the role of the CEO: “The first key point is that you need a Managing Board that also believes in this and truly are aligned. It is critical that the CEO is backing up that innovation executive…Our CEO is sometimes the only person in the whole company who supports me when I come up with some daring proposal. Our CEO is my first and last ally.”
If you looking for a nice simple animated explanation for a complex concept such as Innovation Management, please watch this well done clip: Innovation Management at Rutgers Business School
Why is it so hard as an entrepreneur to survive in corporate environment
Entrepreneurship means acting in a special modus: experimental, connected to the outside, being authentic and looking for mastery. How does this fit into the typical corporate culture of global organization?
The drive for Innovations in often described in strong marketing language in order to invite employees to come with new business opportunities. But what will happen if you really want to go for this new opportunities? Experimental is oke as long as it fits into our company compliances rules. Connected to the outside world is good but as long as we can protect our knowledge and ideas. Being authentic is fantastic as long as it fits in with our personal development plan template. Mastery is important but needs to be profitable on short notice. As we experience so often, there is a huge gap between the (marketing) company values and the daily practice of balancing between freedom to take risks (entrepreneurship) and the security of our environment (hold on to your job and material benefits).
In the great story of Eric Ries’s Lean Start-up we can learn how to practice entrepreneurial skills in a hostile corporate environment.
Again, a fantastic new book has seen the light “Innovation as Usual”.
In the Sunday Times, Hannah Prevett Published (24 March 2013) a strong article based on the outcome of the book. She summarized the book with the key message that is that focus beats freedom. See the following parts of the article:
When organisations urge their teams to think creatively, employees are often given no guidelines — they are simply told to “think outside the box”. But sometimes a little direction is much more useful in creating a culture of innovation, the book argues.
“There are these perceptions that if you want people to be creative, it’s just about giving them all the freedom in the world. That might work in some settings — if you are an R&D company, for example. But my experience is that, if you give people total freedom in a regular company, that’s paralysing.”
In the book, the authors explain that employees are used to making micro-decisions as part of their day-to-day duties. But when they are taken out of that environment, they will come face to face with choices that are unfamiliar and make them feel uncomfortable. This can lead to inertia.
The theory has been borne out by empirical research. A study undertaken by the authors in 2011 with Koen Klokgieters, vice president of strategy and innovation at the consultant Capgemini, found that the failure of companies to direct people’s search for new ideas may be the most widespread barrier to innovation.
The researchers solicited the views of 260 executives worldwide, most of whom had the word “innovation” in their job title. Only 42% of the companies surveyed had an explicit innovation strategy, and just 55% of the executives demonstrated an awareness of any systems they had in place to help employees innovate.
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg gives you a snapshot of the six key steps to getting more creativity and innnovation from your employees as presented in his book via several videos:
1.Focus, 2.Connect, 3.Tweak, 4.Filter, 5.Stealthstorm and 6.Persist.
A new book of Evolution of Innovation management will be published on the 15th of February 2013, edited by Alexander Brem and Eric Viardot. The book is about the fact that Innovation is seen as a key driver for performance and growth in business. It provides a strong competitive advantage and is one of the best ways to speed up the rate of change and adaptation to the global environment. Concurrently, the topic of innovation is also gaining increased visibility and interest among academic communities worldwide.
However, some of the challenges of innovating are remarkably consistent and recent times have shown the emergence of new ways for stimulating and
managing the innovation process, especially from an international perspective. Even if these processes are taking place in very different industries, there are many parallels in successfully managing them.
The new book explores these new routes and assesses their value both for markets and companies. More specifically, the book is organized around three themes:
• Innovation Strategies
• Innovation Management Tools
• International Perspectives
Together with Robin Chu (team member in my Business Innovation team and one of our top strategic analyst) I wrote chapter 15: “Creating an Environment for Successful Innovation – A Management Consultant’s Perspective”
To view detailed content of the book, please visit Palgrave
Notes on Contributors
Symbiotic Innovation: Getting the Most Out of Collaboration; R.J.Thomas & Y.Wind
Performance Measurement of Co-Creation Initiatives – A Conceptual Framework for Measuring the Value of Idea Contests; V.Bilgram
Measuring the Success of Open Innovation; E.Brau, R.Reinhardt & S.Gurtner
Can SMEs in Traditional Industries be Creative?; J.M.Zabala-Iturriagagoitia
Scenario-based Learning Architectures as a Management Tool; N.Pfeffermann & H.Breuer
Social Network Analysis – an Important Tool for Innovation Management; G.Drexler & B.Janse
The Evolution of Mobile Social Networks through Technological Innovation; V.Ratten
Exploring the Role of Early Customers in the Commercialization of Innovation; F.Frattini, G.Colombo & C.Dell’Era
Managing Communities of Practice to Support Innovation; S.Borzillo & R.Kaminska
Joining Innovation Efforts using both Feed-forward and Feedback Learning: the Case of Japanese and Korean Universities; I.Oh
Innovation Management Reflections: a Brazilian Market Perspective; F.A.Salum, R.S.Reis & H.Ferreira Braga Tadeu
The Global Importance of Innovation Champions: Insights from China; A.Kriz, C.Molloy & B.Dennes
Frugal Innovation; P.M.Banerjee
Flexible Working, Mobility and IT Innovation and ICT in 2012 – The Case of Flexible Working; R.Costa-i-Pujol
Creating an Environment for Successful Innovation – A Management Consultant’s Perspective; K.Klokgieters & R.Chu
Conclusion; A.Brem & E.Viardot
Co-Creation: a new profession becomes mature
In 2010 Capgemini Consulting together with several co-creation promoters, started the Co-Creation Association.
‘It aims to further develop and enrich the knowledge on co-creation, in order to boost the development and professionalization of the discipline, both in business as in scientific research. It has recently become a Special Interest Group of the PDMA. Co-creation is defined as the act of involving customers and/or stakeholders in the innovation, marketing or value creation processes of private or public organizations. Co-creation has become increasingly popular with brands and organizations looking to source fresh ideas for developing new products or creating more engaging and authentic communication’. (source)
For the third year in the row, at November 8th 2012 the Co-Creation Awards will be announced. The 2012 edition of the Co-Creation Awards is set to benchmark excellence in co-creation for businesses and non-profit organizations, on a global scale. The Co-Creation Awards will celebrate successful implementation of co-creation projects and will reward the best use of co-creation for product, service or process innovation as well as marketing & communication in the private and public sectors. (source)
Winners of the first two years are: (2011) NikeID, Heineken Open Design Explorations, Philips Mediasuite and Share an Idea (video); (2010) DSB – The Movie, Sara Lee’s Open Innovation efforts, Ontwikkelzelf Lab by Verzekeruzelf, and Second Bloom by Heijmans.
The jury members of 2012 are:
Jeroen de Kempenaer (PDMA NL – Chair of the Co-Creation Awards 2012 jury); Frank Piller (professor of management and the director of the Technology & Innovation Management Group at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology); Gaurav Bhalla (an innovation, strategy, and marketing professional with global experience as a multinational executive, business consultant, entrepreneur, and educator, author of the book “Collaboration and Co-Creation: New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation”); Jaco van Zijll Langhout (Principal Consultant Digital Transformation & Innovation at Capgemini Consulting. He is one of the founding fathers of the Co-creation Association and last year he has chaired the award).
Co-Creation Awards 2012
Date: 8th of November
Where: Capgemini Utrecht Netherlands
Time: 14.30 – 18.30
Click here to register
At 17:00 CET the awards will be granted. You can follow this via livestream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/co-creation-forum
Digital Transformation: a new Industrial Revolution will boost Innovation
Capgemini Consulting, the global strategy and transformation consulting brand of the Capgemini Group, has announced that its study conducted with the MIT Center for Digital Business — ‘Digital Transformation: A road-map for billion-dollar organizations’ — was ranked among the top 5 thought leadership publications of the last decade by Source*, following a thorough analysis of some 22,000 consulting reports globally.
Source, a leading market analyst firm for the consulting industry, assesses firms’ Thought Leadership performance through its White Space initiative. To celebrate 10 years of White Space, Source has identified five pieces of thought leadership from the last decade which have stood out and have been rated particularly highly. Capgemini Consulting was selected for a thought leadership research study revealing that only one third of large companies are succeeding in reshaping their business through digital technologies. The first phase of the study was published in November last year and phase two is due for launch later this year.
Didier Bonnet, one of the co-authors of the report and sponsor of Capgemini Consulting’s Digital Transformation programme, said: “We strongly believe that understanding the business implications of the new digital economy is at the top of the transformation agenda of business leaders. It is therefore very pleasing that Source has recognized the quality of our thinking on this critical topic.”
Fiona Czerniawska, Joint Managing Director, Source and Founder of White Space, said: “Capgemini Consulting’s work on digital transformation stands head-and-shoulders above other material in this space and will help put the firm in a strong position in this key market.”
White Space includes thought leadership from about 30 of the world’s leading consulting firms and provides detailed analysis. This analysis is updated regularly, giving up-to-date market intelligence on the state of the thought leadership market.