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ISPIM 2012: Business Leader Session

At ISPIM 2012, innovation experts from research industry and intermediary organizations reported from case studies of various industries. Following the conference’s theme “Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience” we present below quotes that underline important aspects for current and future innovation management, as described by participants.

Pascal Mignolet, International Marketing Intelligence Director, Sara Lee
  • Consumer is probably the most important partner in open innovation.
  • Aim at an "empathic understanding" of the consumer. Asking questions through questionnaires will not provide the insights you are looking for.
  • Observation and dialogue around real consumer behaviour are likely to be much more productive, especially when focused on atypical consumer profiles.
Kamel Chida, Associate Director, Open Innovation Europe, General Mills
  • When having to resolve a problem, organisations need to first know what they know and what they do not. This may sounds easy but it requires significant and diligent effort. This exercise will help create clear and specific needs to share externally that have a higher success rate.
  • OI 1.0 was about moving from a one to one relationship to one to many. As we migrate to OI  2.0, many to many, new tools, relationship and business models will need to be developed in order to build a manageable and fair win-win model that in turn can create trust in a highly networked system.
  • We should not underestimate the impact of company culture on the willingness to accept and adapt to novel innovation strategies like OI and others. In order to be successful in reaching out to the outside world and innovation we need to set up in parallel a culture change management program.
Shekhar Mitra, Senior VP R&D, Proctor & Gamble
  • As organisations think of conceiving and delivering change leading and disruptive innovation they should not be bogged down by ones they can deliver within their core competencies. Rather use open innovation experts ,SME's, institutions to bring new competencies to help achieve their breakthrough.
  • Second, watchout is when organisations suffer from  NIH and gripped by fear because of open innovation ie when creatives and ideas come from outside. That can slow down innovation agility. Leaders must think of reward systems that recognize people within their organisation that  lead and embrace  open innovation and create value.
  • The most meaningful and often disruptive innovations take place at seams of categories and when people with diversity of experiences and thoughts are brought together
Paulo Janeiro, CEO, Innabler SA & Inogate SA
  • To sustain innovation we need to move from “managers’-driven innovation” towards “everyone’s- driven innovation”, because everybody wants something.
  • Comprehending innovation as a sum of N personal and group dynamics is key to achieve collective innovation, making it work.
  • You need to have a strong innovation pipeline with short term results that are going to buy you time to explore true radical initiatives in the long term. Otherwise you won’t survive until there.
Jaspar Roos, Chief Inspiration Officer, ABN AMRO Dialogues Incubator
  • Humor is part of the innovator's DNA.
  • People (and maybe innovators as well) take themselves too seriously. Creating multiple paradigms requires a open mindset and humor is a great tool for opening up and making a fool of yourselves every now and then.
  • Implementing humor in your innovation process is fun to do and your team will be happy!
Philip Cullimore, Managing Director of EAMER & Chairman, Eastman Kodak Sarl
  • Innovation is invention with clear and added customer value.
  • Discovering the customer value could involve dismantling and disrupting current practice to reveal the true improvement.
  • Key to innovating is in the interface between research and development phases and often comes from enabling small and off-topic skunkworks projects.
Tim Jones, Founder & Programme Director, Future Agenda Programme
  • We now have clear proof of the link between innovation performance and creating value for shareholders.
  • Across all successful growth companies the role of the CEO in leading, a self belief that an organisation can grow are all common factors.
  • We also see the rise of the Asian conglomerate, a wider view of sustainability and the devaluing of intellectual property all having bigger impact in the future.
Sam Kogan, President & Chief Operating Officer, GEN3 Partners
  • There is no debating that sustainability is on agenda of every corporation today. However, while many companies aspire to develop more sustainable products, in reality these initiatives are often slow to take off.
  • There are several obstacles to meeting sustainability challenge; these include the perception that sustainability should be tackled differently from other innovation targets, an insufficient awareness of relevant and useful practical innovation tools and that “no benefits to sustainability”.
Matt Rosa, Head, Global Innovation Center, British American Tobacco
  • To create an innovative culture, you need everyone on the bus - so involve every function in the process, either as an idea generator,  voter, cross-functional steering committee, etc.
  • To create an innovative culture, you need top-down support; that only comes with concepts that have a positive ROI business case, quantified market opportunity, and proven (via research) consumer relevance.
  • Every day that you go to work, you should feel like you are on the edge of being fired!  If you don't feel that way, you probably aren't pushing yourself, or your organisation, far enough out of the standard norms already established within the company.
Simon Minderhoud, Senior Innovation Consultant, Philips Innovation Services
  • Consistently balance your innovation efforts from the strategic level down to the hands-on level.
  • Equally divide your innovation attention between innovation effectiveness and innovation efficiency, and manage it!
  • Start improving your innovation process today, because the world is changing rapidly.
Robert Kirschbaum, Vice President Open Innovation, Royal DSM
  • Invention is like a flower; Innovation is the weeding process.
  • R&D turns money into know-how and intellectual property; Innovation turns know-how and intellectual property into money again.
  • Open Innovation works best in the “Fuzzy Front End” of the funnel”
  • Open Innovation needs a mindset based on TRUST.
Rafael García Escarré, Partner & General Manager, Orbita97
  • The magical formula to achieve a successful innovation culture? - A committed leadership, a motivated organization and an easy to use resource system.
  • A short-cut to achieve results? - Raise people awareness, explore challenging projects, diffuse these practices inside the firm.
Ricardo Baeza-Yates, VP, EMELA, Yahoo! Research
  • The wisdom of the crowd behind the Web has a popular part and a long & heavy tail.
  • The long tail comes from the long tail of each of us, as we are part of the time similar to each other and other times we are unique and special.
  • To have more data and avoid privacy issues, it is better to contextualize a Web service using the wisdom of all the people doing the same, rather than trying to personalize the experience of a single user.
Matthias Kaiserswerth, Director & Vice President, IBM Research – Zurich
  • IBM Research has transformed its engagement model as the company and its competitive environment changed: from closed, to internal partnering, to opening our labs to clients and partners, to making the world our lab.
  • IBM Research pursues a balanced research agenda: from short term to long term, from small bottom up innovation to top down driven big bet.
  • Through its annual Global Technology Outlook, IBM Research directly influences IBM's technical and business strategy for future success.
Kirsten Kuehl, Head of Community Innovation, Nokia
  • Building a community and sustaining engagement through Open Innovation is a challenging yet inspiring initiative.
  • Nokia engages with the consumer through the launch of IdeasProject.
  • IdeasProject has been highly successful and continues to evolve with the rapidly growing changes of the innovative smartphone industry.
  • Invitation to participate on www.ideasproject.com
Jonathan Hague
, VP Open Innovation, Unilever R&D
  • The world in which we are all trying to innovate in - is changing dramatically.
  • We are innovating into a resource constrained planet, and corporate resources are finite.
  • We must move beyond the open model to a seamless model where borders to collaboration are much lower and we can collectively drive more sustainable businesses.
Amy Geschke, Open Innovation Director, Crown Holdings
  • Being open isn't easy for most development resource - find fun ways to encourage culture change and identify passionate people in the team to help drive simple initiatives to encourage collaboration both internally as well as externally.
  • Not all OI tools may be appropriate in a B2B environment - be prepared to try things out and adapt your processes.
  • OI can be particularly powerful when used to support a road mapping process  - align the source of your find with the timescales of your wants.
José Fernando Esteban Lauzán
José Fernando Esteban Lauzán, Head of Innovation, Atos Iberia
  • Effective and efficient Open Innovation requires constant improvements (“innovate innovation”).
  • Most major Open Innovation challenges derive from the differences among the organizations: culture, size, pace, cash flow, risk aversion, etc.
  • Good access to technology by people (outside and inside the organizations) is quickly eroding organizational frontiers. Even “closed organizations” are becoming more permeable. Social networks break silos within and between organizations.
Sri Kameswaran, Head of Global R&D, Tata Global Beverages
  • Ensure your External Collaboration is aligned with the organizational context and strategy. One size does not fit all! Be creative about how you set your program up, but start experimenting at the earliest.
  • Carefully look within your organization (or broader group) for insights and best practices before you spend a lot of time externally. You will be surprised to find all the great work that you were unaware of!
  • Find the right balance between speed and process that will work for your organization. Celebrate your small wins as you get your organization ready for bigger successes in the future. Critically assess your internal capabilities for gaps vs. future business needs.
  • Failure is a great learning opportunity. Ensure culture enables learning and prudent risk taking. Failure is an opportunity to learn – share the failures / learnings!
Paul Isherwood, Director of Innovation, GlaxoSmithKline Nutrition
  • It's all about connectivity - the collision of people and ideas generates energy and passion, the energy needed for radical and disruptive innovations.
  • Looking outside your sector for inspiration and fresh perspectives is fundamental to successful innovation and business growth.