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Stefan Lindegaard
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Stefan Lindegaard

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Stefan Lindegaard hung out. #hangoutsonair
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80% of Innovation Projects Fail – What Should We Do?

I had a recent discussion with a corporate innovation leader who would like to raise their innovation success rate. A staggering 80% of their projects fail. This sounds high, but I think this is very common for many companies and industries.

Whether it is common or not, the innovation failure rate is still too high and companies definitely have room for improvement.

Let’s have a discussion on how to do this. It is a broad topic, but here you get my starters.

First, I would say argue that companies need to apply some kind of pattern recognition mechanism in order to better understand why their innovation projects fail. Doblin, a consultancy company, touches on this in a paper from 2005; On Building an Innovation Competence. In particular, I like this snippet:

“Another key to innovation effectiveness is to track every concept with exceptional diligence and care. Doblin does this through a special digital dashboard, a secure, web-based, innovation tracking system. While we are not fans of central control of innovation, we are big fans of central monitoring, so that somebody knows what the innovation “hit rates” are—which projects succeed and which do not. Collectively these actions will move you to a handful of clear, compelling, valuable and strategic innovation candidates.”

Besides pattern recognition, I would advice companies to look into the very tricky challenge of stopping projects at the right time in order to be able to allocate resources to new or more promising existing projects. They need to find ways of addressing tough questions such as:

When is the right time to stop a project? How do you decide when to stop projects?

Who should make this decision? Should it be experts, executives only or a broader group? Should the decision be kept internally or should you ask external partners or even an external crowd?

How do you capture the insights already gained in the project so that you can use this for other projects? How can you hard-freeze a project without creating a “living dead” project that continues to drain valuable resources?

My starters. The topic is open for discussion.
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You gotta love LEGO! Not only is the company doing amazingly well during this ”crisis”; they are also constantly experimenting with new ways of working together with partners.

Their new thing is Lego Cuusoo. Here Lego has teamed up with Cuusoo, which is a Japanese pioneer of user innovative product design that introduced a design-to-order process already in 1998.

This image gives you a good explanation of the project:

http://www.15inno.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Screen-shot-2011-09-08-at-14.15.19.png

Sofar only 1 project has been realized, but once Lego Cuusoo expands beyond Japan and thus activates the huge international fan base, this could turn into an interesting vehicle for Lego.

I think this is a great example on how crowdsourcing/co-creation (users create projects, try to get support) mixes with open innovation (the partnership between Lego and Cuusoo).

It fits well into my thinking that terms such as open innovation, crowdsourcing and co-creation are becoming less relevant. It is “just” about getting more external input to an innovation process. Nice work, Lego and thanks for the inspiration!
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Well, as the post indicates this all happens within Lego's infrastructure using their products...
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Stefan Lindegaard originally shared:
 
In this post - http://www.jim-harvey.com/?p=1936 - Jim Harvey questioned whether Steve Jobs is a great speaker as a reaction to one of my recent blogs. Jim argued that Jobs talks might be better on paper (text) than in real life.

My reply is that Steve Jobs has great content (text). This is the key requirement for being a great speaker. He commands his audience and he is great at building up suspense and delivering key messages. He might not be a jump-around-full-of-energy guy, but do you really need this to be a great speaker? I don't think so.

By the way, if we are to judge him as a speaker by comparing to Apple's products (as Jim does), I have to say that he is the greatest - my iPads are the best gadgets I have ever had :-)
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Stefan Lindegaard

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Stefan Lindegaard hung out. #hangoutsonair
3 Tips on Innovation Careers
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Best Practices Are Stupid - A Great Book on Innovation

So many books, so little time. I think we all know this when it comes to reading – and reviewing – books. This was also my case when I got, Best Practices Are Stupid – 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, the new book by Stephen Shapiro a few months back.

I am glad I picked up this book. I used to read lots of innovation books, but I stopped a few years back as I find more value in blog posts when it comes to insights gained versus time spent. Books are too often too long while lacking new insights and ideas.

This is not the case with this book. It is not only inviting by being fairly short. It is also well written, well organized and full of good advice.

You have 40 short chapters that give you new ideas and insights on how to innovate the way you innovate. One chapter explains why asking for ideas is a bad idea. Here Shapiro gets into the signal-to-noise ratio, which for innovation means that the signal is composed of solutions that are implemented and create value. The noise is made up of all of the ideas and suggestions that really don’t matter and don’t create value.

Shapiro tells us that if you want to increase your innovation’s signal-to-noise ratio, the first thing you want to do is to stop asking for ideas. This might sound counter-intuitive to many people, but you will find good reasons for this advice as you read along.

Shapiro is a big fan of challenge driven, open innovation which Alph Bingham, founder of open innovation intermediary InnoCentive, calls a “massively parallel process where failures and successes happen at the same time.” Shapiro worked for InnoCentive for a few years and his insights on challenge-driven innovation are some of the best in the book. It helps you understand why framing challenges rather than just asking for ideas will give you better innovation output.

I also liked how Shapiro forces you to better understand your most important capability and how to apply this for innovation. It gets even better when he follows up with a simple framework called the Innovation Targeting Matrix, which can help you identify the right innovation strategy for your business. Shapiro explains how capabilities fall into three levels of strategic importance (from least to most strategic): “support”, “core” and “differentiating.” Good stuff!

I really found lots of value in this book and I like that I can recommend it to people who are new to innovation as well as to “experts” that have read it all.

Best Practices Are Stupid – 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition is simply a 5-star book! Enjoy it : -)
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Thanks for the review. The book relates to some remarks in our recent conversation. Just put it on my wishlist - will probably also include it in my sharelist :-)
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Free Agents, Free Minds in a New Decade

It has been almost 10 years since Daniel Pink wrote, Free Agent Nation, in which he looked into the seismic shift in attitudes about and patterns of work in the economy from the early 1950s era of William Whyte's The Organization Man to today's independent worker, the free agent.

I am a free agent myself and I plan to share my successes and failures, gains and pains as being a free agent here on Google+. I also plan to do lots of research on what it takes to become a successful free agent in what will be the decade of social media. It would be great if you would help on this research. First, we could look into what questions that we need to ask on this.

Here are some of my starters:

Free agents often live on knowledge. What does it take to become a "thought leader" or expert today?

How will social media impact the free agent idea?

Free agents is not just an American thing. It is global. What are the key differences here?

There are many other questions to be asked. What would you add?

I look forward to discussing this with you.
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Just tweeted some interesting reads:

"The more public an object or behavior is, the more likely it is to spread" + more insights on.wsj.com/ivUpgi

Trust the Evidence, Not Your Instincts says @work_matters bit.ly/nyexvX

Survey says innovating will be totally different, be about partnerships, driven by SME's bit.ly/ro5ZC6

@tomfishburne pokes fun with #gamification bit.ly/owWt5q - nice cartoon!
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Google+ looks interesting and I wonder how I will use this in my future communication. I even wondered whether it should replace my blog on www.15inno.com, but this will not happen.

Google+ will be a great way to stay in touch with a mix of friends and business contacts. I will probably focus mostly on my business activities and I see it as a good way to share thoughts and ideas and drive traffic to my blog. The sharing of thoughts and ideas will be more relevant here on Google+ than Twitter which is more about broadcasting and the sharing of relevant links (articles).

I think Google+ will become my most important "social place" after my blog - hey, they might even be aligned at some point - and I look forward to learn more about Google+ and build a network here that brings lots of conversation and discussion.
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