Monthly Archives: April 2009

Connectedness vs Openness

Open Innovation is an opportunity. It defines the potential for breaking down the barriers internally within an organization, and externally with that organization’s ecosystem.

In order to realize that potential, however, the entities in the ecosystem need to be connected. I call this Connected Innovation. Connected Innovation is what unlocks the potential of Open Innovation. However, connectedness in itself will deliver the result – its the frameworks that make Connected Innovation real that delivers the power. And technology delivers the scale.

This concept of connectedness has been reinforced just recently at the 3rd Annual Open Innovation Conference in Las Vegas when Jeff Bellairs, G-Win Director for General Mills, said: “Open Innovation is not about being external. It’s about being connected.” Jason Husk, Group Manager Technology Brokerage for Clorox, supported this stance and presented a relationship between technology, consumers, and business results as a model for connection. And Chris Thoen announced P&G’s launch of Connect + Develop 2.0 OI model through which the company will focus on collaborating with partners for mutual value creation.

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Charities use Social Networks for their Benefit

Interesting story about how not-for-profit organizations are using the power of social networks to benefit their cause. Makes good sense.

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The Perception that Collaboration enables Innovation

Recent research undertaken by Computer Weekly in the US as part of a project with BT found that over 67% of respondents expect collaboration to become an important driver of innovation over the next 12 months. This is significant. 83% have sufficient budget to facilitate collaboration within the organisation, and 80% say the collaborative technologies being used have not been impacted by any budgetary changes affecting the wider IT infrastructure. This is also significant in light of the GFC.

In terms of the benefits collaboration brings to the organisation, 93% of respondents said better communication, 83% more effective staff, and 73% improved productivity. Faster innovation was cited by 70%, and lower costs by a similar number. In terms of how collaborative tools and techniques positively benefit innovation, 23% said saving time, 20% said collaboration enables the sharing of ideas, 17% said saving money or reducing costs, and 17% said sharing information over a wider area.

The challenge for these organizations is to build frameworks that allow collaboration to actively facilitate innovation. Most organizations continue to struggle with how to facilitate effective collaboration – just throwing in a bunch of tools usually does not work. It’s the building of frameworks such as Connected Innovation that provides the way forward.

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Looks promising…….

Obama’s pick of the Chief Technology Officer for the USA looks promising from an innovation perspective:

“In choosing Aneesh Chopra to be federal chief technology officer, President Barack Obama tapped one of state government’s more innovative and energetic IT officials. The move, announced Saturday, offers more evidence that Obama is serious about using technology to change the way Washington works.”

…and…

“In Chopra, Obama picked a CTO with a track record of understanding both the power of innovation, and the relationship between technology, education and economic success. That’s not to say Chopra won’t be tested: The federal bureaucracy surely will try his patience. And crucial questions about the reporting relationships and synchronization among the Obama’s CIO, CTO and chief performance officer must be answered.”

Source http://www.govtech.com

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Innovation, Technology and Healthcare

Governments and private entities around the globs have long been struggling to keep healthcare delivery in step with the advances in technology that have occurred over the past years. Most visionaries realize that technology and connectedness are absolutely vital if we are to take healthcare delivery out of the dark ages into the 21st century. Recently the Obama administration has announced very significant funding for the healthcare industry, focussing specifically on the application of technology and the use of online medical records. Companies such as Microsoft and Google are leading the charge in the personal medical record race.

The Economist has just published a 14-page special on innovation, healthcare and technology. Makes for excellent reading. It’s tremendous that at least there is such a focus on how technology and innovation can be used to radically improve the delivery of services to an area that is so important to each of us – our health.

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Innovation Spending Holds Steady in Slump

Major U.S. companies are cutting jobs and wages. But many are still spending on innovation.

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal. If this is indeed true, it certainly bodes well for the future. While there obviously needs to be focus on the “here and now”, the reality is that the world economy will turn, and those companies that have continued to invest in innovation will be the ones to prosper.

Further, great interview with Professor Henry Chesbrough, the Father of Open Innovation. Worth reading.

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New 2009 BCG Report on Innovation

The Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG’s) sixth annual global survey and report on innovation, “Innovation 2009: Making Hard Decisions in the Downturn,” confirmed that innovation remains a key focus for the majority of companies. Sixty-four percent of the more than 2,700 executives who responded said they consider innovation a top-three strategic priority, one critical to their company’s long-term competitiveness. Consistent with that, more than half of the respondents said their company would increase innovation spending in 2009. The reason? In 2008, for the fourth consecutive year, innovative companies handily outperformed their industry peers in terms of stock market performance.

But the survey revealed that executives are growing increasingly anxious. The percentage of respondents who said their company would raise innovation spending in the year ahead was 58, down from 63 in 2008. And a significant number of respondents — 14 percent — said their company would reduce innovation spending in 2009. North American executives were particularly bearish: a sizable 21 percent said their company would lower spending.

Key findings of the report include the following:

1. The majority of companies (58 percent of survey respondents) will boost innovation spending in 2009. Asia-Pacific companies have the most aggressive plans.

2. Utilization of Rapidly Developing Economies: The percentage of companies that plan to make greater use of rapidly developing economies in their innovation activities in the year ahead jumped to 45 in 2009 from 37 in 2008, consistent with a growing sensitivity to costs.

3. Perceived Strengths and Weaknesses: Executives consider ensuring executive-level sponsorship of projects (66 percent of respondents) and developing a deep understanding of customers (65 percent) to be their companies’ greatest strengths in advancing their innovation efforts.

Companies’ biggest hurdle is speed, or the time it takes to move from idea generation to initial sales.

4. Measuring Innovation: Customer satisfaction (tracked by 44 percent of companies, according to survey respondents) and overall revenue growth (tracked by 41 percent) are the two main gauges that companies use to determine the success of their innovation efforts

5. Innovation Success and Stock Market Performance: Innovative companies generate vastly superior total returns for shareholders. Globally, on an annualized basis, innovators outperformed their industry peers by 430 basis points over three years; over ten years, they outperformed them by 260 basis points.

6. Differences in Perception Regarding Innovation Efforts Within Companies: C-level executives are more satisfied with the return on innovation spending than the rest of the company. Sixty-three percent of C-level respondents said they were satisfied, versus 50 percent of vice presidents and managers and 47 percent of other employees.

7. The Role of M&A Activity in Innovation Strategies: M&A activity plays a significant part in many companies’ innovation strategies.

8. The Most Innovative Companies: For the third straight year, respondents ranked the “evergreens” — Apple, Google, and Toyota — the most innovative companies, with Apple once again the hands-down winner.

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