Author Archives: Stefan Lindegaard

The CFO and Innovation

Can it work? by Stefan Lindegaard I ask whether CFO’s can make innovation happen, but in reality this should not even be a question of whether it can be done but rather a question of how to do it. The reason for turning this a how-to question is the increasing role of the CFO in many companies. Their influence keeps growing and this includes influence on innovation and in particular on the funding that goes to innovation. The problem is that these executives often have a hard time understanding innovation as this discipline is full of risk and uncertainty, which is somewhat different from their corporate world. I have no clear-cut answers on how to make this work, but let me share some thoughts and hopefully others can join in with more advice. First, I believe you need to better understand the focus of such top executives. Their world is … Continue reading

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Apple - The Open Innovation Exception

Ben Verleg recently asked about my views on Apple and innovation. The short version is that I am big fan of Apple products and if you can make such great products, you obviously also do well with regards to innovation. One thing I really like about Apple is that they seem to understand that innovation goes beyond the product itself. Think iTunes, other services, design and marketing. They execute very well on this. Apple is a very unique company and innovation is in their corporate DNA. This is the highest level of innovation maturity a company can reach and it is a very strong asset that other companies have a hard time competing against. Such a strong innovation culture is the envy of many companies and they try hard to achieve a similar position. I have no doubt that they can find much inspiration at Apple. However, innovation DNA is … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Open Innovation | 5 Comments
P&G and the Future of (Open) Innovation

In this post, I am pleased to be able to share some insights on what Chris Thoen, Managing Director of Open Innovation at P&G believes will drive and/or impact the future of (open) innovation. Developing regions: There will be a tremendous amount of innovation in and from developing regions which is driven by population as well as capability growth in countries such as India, China and Brazil. Consumers/communities: Innovation will be driven by consumers and communities with the keywords being co-creation, “wisdom of crowds”, crowdsourcing and social media. Societal bets: Societies will drive more innovation through their bets on alternative/renewable energy, communications technology and software/networks/smart grid, etc. Dramatic changes in “where to look” for innovation: P&G believes there will be much more innovation coming from small and medium enterprises, governments and NGO’s. Challenges for future: The complexity of open innovation requires a mindset shift for leaders. Teamwork will not just … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Open Innovation | 1 Comment
Innovation at IBM - Open and Global

Anders Quitzau, an Innovation Executive at IBM forwarded an interesting presentation that gives a good overview of the many innovation activities that take place at IBM. How IBM Innovates (PDF) – Anders Quitzau Some keywords are open and global as summed up by this quote by Sam Palmisano (CEO): “We opened up our labs, said to the world, ‘Here are our crown jewels, have at them’. The Jam – and programs like it – are greatly accelerating our ability to innovate in meaningful ways for business and society” Anders, thanks for sharing this… Don’t miss an article – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Continuous Innovation group! Stefan Lindegaard is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation.

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Open Innovation + Rapid Incubation = Power

Recently, I have read several interesting articles on how companies develop new projects based on rapid incubation or fast prototyping practices. Anthony Townsend, Director of Technology Development at the Institute for the Future wrote about rapid incubation and lightweight innovation models in this article, Moving Beyond Open Innovation. I agree with Townsend that the approaches he touches upon seem to work best for smaller web or software-based companies, but the potential is intriguing for almost any kind of company. In the article, What Start-Ups Can Teach Big Companies, Steve Lohr looks into the concept of “lean start-ups”. He describes this as: “The lean start-up model exploits the inexpensive, nimble technologies of open-source software and the Web to accelerate the pace of testing new ideas, finding customers and learning from mistakes, through constant trial and error.” Companies will encounter many challenges in order to make these approaches work (Townsend lists several … Continue reading

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Why Talent Needs External Connections

The May issue of Fast Company had an interesting column by Dan and Chip Heath. They looked into the thinking of Boris Groysberg, a Harvard Business School professor who is due with a new book, Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance. In this book, Groysberg argues that talents and star performers – the case in the column focuses on Wall Street analysts – do not only rely solely on their own skills and capabilities, but also on resources made available to them inside their firms in order to make great things happen. These Wall Street analysts were not as portable as expected. They could not just switch to another firm and perform as they used to since they are more dependent than initially expected on the internal infrastructure. Groysberg did find an exception; women. The reasoning is that as Wall Street is an alpha-male culture, … Continue reading

Posted in Management, Open Innovation, Psychology | Leave a comment
Why Top-Down is a Better Approach for Open Innovation

Imagine a company that is taking a different approach on innovation. They want to be more pro-active and they want to work with external partners. So they identify 10 companies they have not yet worked with, they research on these companies and then they get ready to approach these companies in order to present and discuss potential ways of making innovation happen together. This is a real case and the next question is important: Where should the first contact take place? One option is with the people on the ground as such a bottom-up approach gives you better access to the people who actually do the work. Another option is a top-down approach where you go as high as you can. I think most will agree that the latter is the best approach. Let me share a few reason for this. Getting in touch with lower-ranked employees can get you … Continue reading

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