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Über dieses Buch

This book presents unique insights and advice on defining and managing the innovation transformation journey. Using novel ideas, examples and best practices, it empowers management executives at all levels to drive cultural, technological and organizational changes toward innovation.

Covering modern innovation techniques, tools, programs and strategies, it focuses on the role of the latest technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence to discover, handle and manage ideas), methodologies (including Agile Engineering and Rapid Prototyping) and combinations of these (like hackathons or gamification). At the same time, it highlights the importance of culture and provides suggestions on how to build it.

In the era of AI and the unprecedented pace of technology evolution, companies need to become truly innovative in order to survive. The transformation toward an innovation-led company is difficult – it requires a strong leadership and culture, advanced technologies and well-designed programs. The book is based on the author’s long-term experience and novel ideas, and reflects two decades of startup, consulting and corporate leadership experience. It is intended for business, technology, and innovation leaders.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

The Fundamentals of Innovation

Frontmatter

1. Innovation (Re) Defined

Abstract
Innovation is an overused term. There are hundreds of definitions available, coming from various angles and different disciplines; some refer to the process; others focus on the outcome. This chapter examines the meaning of the term “innovation” from various standpoints and explains its relationship with novelty and invention. It presents how innovation can be classified based on its purpose, intensity, and style and introduces new definitions to describe innovation as it happens—seen from within the corporation.
George Krasadakis

2. The Culture of InnovationInnovation culture

Abstract
A healthy culture is one of the most crucial success factors for corporate innovation: it unites people through a system of shared values and inspires them to innovate and collaborate effectively toward a bold purpose. This chapter defines the innovation culture and presents its core values, namely trust, safety, openness, purposefulness, curiosity, and healthy competition. It explains how they set the basis for the formation of a collective innovation mindset and then presents the most frequent innovation blockers—what prevents people from engaging with innovation.
George Krasadakis

3. Fixing the Innovation CultureInnovation culture

Abstract
Improving the culture of innovation is not easy as it usually reflects the organizational structure and attitude, the leadership style along with certain perceptions, and established behaviors—elements that cannot be easily controlled or influenced. This chapter provides practical guidance on how to bootstrap the cultural transformation through a series of small, inexpensive improvements targeting popular innovation blockers such as bureaucracy and insufficient communication patterns. The proposed approach is based on cycles that measure the state of innovation in the organization, inspire people to engage, demonstrate the value of innovation, and provide the right enablers.
George Krasadakis

4. A Framework for InnovationInnovation framework

Abstract
Innovative corporations are distinguished by their enhanced ability to listen to the market, spot problems worth solving, and respond fast, by pursuing validated ideas and innovation opportunities. This chapter introduces the innovation framework as a set of foundational capabilities that empower the organization to enter this continuous innovation mode. It presents the key components—the technologies, services, teams, and artifacts—and explains their importance as part of the foundation of a modern innovation function.
George Krasadakis

Managing Ideas

Frontmatter

5. A Universal Model for IdeasUniversal idea model

Abstract
Ideas are essential resources for the innovation function. To be effective, though, ideas need solid articulation, based on a flexible, standardized model. This chapter introduces the universal idea model as a unified way to capture business ideas and explains how it can be used as the basis of a graph—a network of semantically connected ideas evolving as a new form of knowledge for the organization.
George Krasadakis

6. Managing Ideas

Abstract
A modern innovation function is powered by a stream of ideas. The ability of the organization to properly handle ideas—spot the high-potential ones and act upon—can bring competitive advantages and opportunities for differentiation – in the form of products, features, services, or business models and monetization strategies. This chapter introduces an agile approach in idea management—a process that treats ideas as everlasting, reusable innovation assets. It also presents a scoring model for assessing ideas—a set of criteria that can be used to quantify the potential of business ideas for the organization.
George Krasadakis

7. The Always-On Ideas ChannelIdeas channel

Abstract
The innovation function needs to be always-on, able to capture signals, and react with opportunities. In this mode, innovators are encouraged to submit ideas regardless of their relevance to predefined innovation paths. Innovation consumers, such as product, client, and project teams, simply discover ideas, just-in-time in alignment with their context. This chapter introduces a blueprint of a modern ideation channel that introduces automation and various improvements. It describes how advanced technologies such as natural language processing and AI-powered recommender systems can make ideation more efficient and impactful—through effective evaluation, distribution, and discovery of ideas.
George Krasadakis

Innovation Opportunities

Frontmatter

8. BrainstormingBrainstorming

Abstract
Brainstorming sessions, in a business context, often become noisy and prove to be less actionable. This chapter provides practical guidance on how to host effective and productive brainstorming sessions. It describes the typical brainstorming format used in business environments and then proposes an enhanced version powered by the always-on ideas channel. It also introduces a variation, the data-driven brainstorming, which instead of a problem is guided by interesting data patterns.
George Krasadakis

9. Hackathons

Abstract
A series of well-organized corporate hackathons enrich the stream of ideas within the organization and bring significant cultural improvement—they promote collaboration, sharing, and a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving. Organizing a successful corporate hackathon though can be challenging and costly. This chapter presents the options and provides guidance, best practices, and ideas on how to define and run great hackathons in a streamlined fashion. It explains how to make them more inclusive and describes how to measure success.
George Krasadakis

10. From Ideas to Opportunities

Abstract
The ability of an organization to efficiently validate ideas is a success factor for innovation—it increases the chances of finding high-potential innovation opportunities. This chapter introduces the notion of rapid prototyping as the means for testing promising business ideas. It presents the rapid prototyping toolkit and the makerspace as the base for ad hoc prototyping and experimentation initiatives and introduces the concept of the prototype factory as a streamlined, prototype development and validation service.
George Krasadakis

11. From Opportunities to Products

Abstract
Agile engineering brings a major change in how companies build digital products and services; it is based on fast iterations and a continuous improvement process, which naturally supports the exploration and testing of new ideas. This chapter explains how innovation and agile product development interlink. It introduces the agile way of developing products and explains how it benefits from the capabilities of the innovation framework. The chapter continues with a process for converting high-potential ideas to mature product definitions and then presents how to create, populate, and prioritize a full product backlog. It explains how agile improves both the process of product development and its output—the resulting products.
George Krasadakis

Towards the Innovation Mode

Frontmatter

12. Measuring Innovation

Abstract
Measuring corporate innovation is not straightforward—it requires a holistic view and a deep understanding of the performance of every major component of the innovation function. This chapter introduces an analytical framework aiming to provide a consistent and accurate measurement of innovation and its performance. With this framework, corporate leaders obtain instant insights regarding the current state of the innovation function through a single performance scorecard consisting of just five scores.
George Krasadakis

13. The Innovation Transformation ProgramInnovation transformation program

Abstract
Innovation tansformation programs are complex as they attempt to bring multiple changes across the layers and the foundations of the organization. This chapter assembles all the work streams, projects, communication initiatives, and events into a single plan reflecting their importance and internal dependencies. It explains how to design and execute an ambitious innovation transformation program, which allows starting “small” but also iterating fast, in an agile way. Every iteration enhances the innovation capability of the organization, improves its culture, and measures the impact and the progress of the program.
George Krasadakis

Backmatter

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