From Bankruptcy to Industry Leading Success – The LEGO Story

the-best-tools-to-derisk-innovation

LEGO has earned the right to celebrate. Not only are kids playing with more mini LEGO people than there are human beings on the planet (Delingpole J, 2009) but in 2015, they were nominated by Forbes as the most powerful brand in the world. For a company which was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, the toy maker has made an amazing turnaround. They restructured, hired a new CEO, and forged more licensing partnerships than ever before. Most importantly, they discovered the secret to some of the world’s most successful, low risk innovation strategies.

These strategies helped LEGO create a powerful brand envied by every other company in the world. However, successes like these are not, and need not be, restricted to global companies with billions in revenue. The point of low risk innovation tools is that one can use them to test ideas in any setting and with any budget. Whether you are a cash strapped startup or a Forbes 500 firm, sustainable innovation can be your ticket to success.

Out of LEGO’s lessons and that of hundreds of other companies, I have distilled the most successful techniques to innovate cheaply and effectively. They are all contained in the book Innovation Tools and, as an additional bonus, the readers of the Innovation Management community can get it for free this week. Among others, my book answers questions regarding how strategies used by companies like LEGO are able to turn companies around from looming bankruptcy to industry leading success.

Read the full blog about From Bankruptcy to Industry Leading Success – The LEGO Story at Innovation Management.

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Innovation Challenge Design and Management for the Crowd

In this Roundtable Discussion we explore the leading benefits, challenges and techniques for engaging public crowds. Using key success stories we examine the extent to which we can overcome key pain points and harness the general public to support innovation.

 

Truly reaching out to the public can prove an intimidating moment for any organization. Brand protection, possibility of negative press and time commitment of managing the crowd all provide significant points of fear for organization when contemplating undertaking a broad, public crowdsourcing project. These projects differ significantly from employee or partner-focused initiatives in the extent to which these fears can outweigh the perceived benefits.

 

Case studies

The presenters draw on direct experience with the following programs:

US Department of Energy – In 2014 The Department of Energy began running its Sunshot Catalyst Initiative to contribute to its goal of making solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity.

Ushahidi – The Making All Voices Count initiative aims to engage the public in the creation of technology that is conceived and designed for the developing world.

 

Here is not the end.. To read the full blog about Innovation Challenge Design and Management for the Crowd please visit Innovation Management. Also have a look on our latest articles and our various programs of Online Learning Innovation Programs and Innovation Process.

 

Sound Judgment and Strategic Partnerships

Business alliances remain a tricky thing. On the one hand, alliances allow companies to tap into new markets and growth platforms. At the same time, forming alliances is risky, as it demands trust building and deep knowledge sharing with external parties. This article provides a pathway for successfully managing business alliance formation.

Business alliances remain a tricky thing. On the one hand, alliances allow companies to tap into new markets and growth platforms. At the same time, forming alliances is risky, as it demands trust building and deep knowledge sharing with external parties. In an uncertain business environment, today’s friend may be tomorrow’s enemy.

Nonetheless, the rise of open innovation has led many to believe that collaboration has become a key way of securing future innovation management and creativity —blurring the traditional lines between corporations and institutions within and across sectors. This provides new incentives to turn outwards and form business alliances.

Always consider new alliances carefully, without basing your judgment on past experiences only.

A real skill

The first step is to realize that business alliance formation is a real skill to be built and developed. Alliance building is similar to M&A –mergers and acquisitions. There are a lot of statistics about the rate of success of this type of business development. Most research indicates that M&A activity has an overall success rate of about 50%.

Purpose, people and prenups

Many consultants and business schools stress the importance of diligent post-deal execution of alliance, and integration of acquisitions. This is crucial in cases of very clear cost synergies, however, in cases of entrepreneurial endeavors this can be unnecessary limiting.

Read here about>> Sound Judgment and Strategic Partnerships

Four Tools to Support Creativity and Innovation

There are four different types of innovation tools that we’ll describe here, including the design of the work place itself, practices that encourage and even enable effective collaboration, open innovation approach to connect inside innovation teams with outside partners and experts, and online learning tools that constitute the virtual work place. Separately and especially together, these can make a tremendous enhancement in the performance and the satisfaction of individuals, teams, and your entire organization.

The last element of the innovation formula is the tools that enable you, or support you, to produce better innovation outcomes more quickly. This is often a sensitive topic for small businesses, which generally don’t have the resources to provide innovation teams with big work spaces, generous travel budgets, and fancy prototyping tools.

As we were wrapping up the tour, however, one of the facilities leaders who had been our tour guide, and who had been with the company for decades, mentioned that while the new labs were certainly lovely, he noticed that something had been lost over the years. He remembered the early days of the company, which was started in left over Quonset huts from World War II.

The work place

The qualities and characteristics that make Quonset huts and skunkworks so useful is that they’re open, flexible, and no one is inhibited about messing around in them and trying something new.

Unfortunately, the architecture profession and office furniture manufacturers have standardized on this utterly drab and uninspiring concept of what “the physical space” ought to be.

Tom Allen and Gunter Henn address this issue in their lively book about the design of offices: “Most managers will likely acknowledge the critical role played by organizational structure in the innovation process, but few understand that physical space is equally important. It has tremendous influence on how and where communication takes place, on the quality of that communication, and on the movements – and hence, all interactions – of people within an organization. In fact, some of the most prevalent design elements of buildings nearly shut down the opportunities for the organizations that work within their walls to thrive and innovate.

Effective collaboration

To create innovation requires that people engage in exploring new topics, understanding, diagnosing, analyzing, modeling, creating, inventing, solving, communicating, and implementing concepts, ideas, insights, and projects. These attributes are all facets of “learning,” and any organization that thrives in a rapidly changing environment has surely encouraged its members to learn and to apply active learning results to keep up with external changes. Read more at >>

4 Tricks to Building a Successful Open Innovation Program

One of the most critical professional challenges that employees face today is being able to successfully manage positive change within their organization. Innovation is has become a watch word, with so many divisions not being able to find enough valuable ideas and then successfully manage those ideas into a commercial offering that sometimes companies even respond to customer tickets and bugs and simply label those results as “innovation.”

However, many organizations are still in an experimental phase and need help reaching innovation maturity. For those folks that want to get started, but aren’t sure where to begin we offer these four tips:

Start small

Many departments and organizations are intimidated at the prospect of opening up brainstorming. They worry about the value of ideas and intellectual property .

Build in some room to fail

Not every new project can knock it out of the park. 70% of startups never get out of their first eighteen months, 68% of IT projects aren’t delivered.

Generate some early wins

Not every new idea is complex or disruptive. Some changes are easy to evaluate and easy to implement with big impacts.

Expand

Once an innovation team has proven even some measurable value, it is much easier to apply those same processes and goals to other projects.

For full article visit http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2015/05/20/4-tricks-to-building-a-successful-open-innovation-program/