What’s your ultimate innovation challenge?

How much time do you spend thinking about your company’s problems? Probably too much, you would say. Yet, when planning and developing your collaborative innovation initiatives, the way you identify, frame and share your organisation’s challenges with your targeted community is key to your initiatives’ success.

But what are your most relevant challenges? Which topics are more common or easily embraced by your employees? And what techniques can help you both choose and define your challenges?

At Exago, we’ve decided to revisit our clients’ challenges over past years, to understand what has and hasn’t worked in the field in different realities, as well as collecting wisdom from this experience. In our most recent videocast, Exago’s senior consultant Vânia Vargues, and Francisco Bernardes, our head of Innovation Services, tell you more on what we’ve learned. Check it out!

Are you also interested in?
– Main trends and industry best practices
– Real clients’ challenges data analysis
– Lessons learnt: What works best and what doesn’t work – six common mistakes
– A step-by-step guide to defining your challenges

We can share the related in-depth paper. Just reach us at enquiries@exago.com

Exago’s team puts creativity at play at Productized Conference

From 19 to 21 October, our services team is joining managers, designers and product leaders from around the world at Productized Conference, taking place at Lisbon Congress Centre. In three days of ‘insightful workshops and inspiring talks’, participants are working and discovering together what it means to create and manage cutting-edge products. David Fradin, former project management at Apple and HP, and Bruce Nussbaum, one of the world’s top Design Thinking advocates, are among the invited speakers.

‘Service Design Crash Course’, ‘Accelerating UX’, ‘Building insanely great products’ and ‘VCW – Value Creation Wheel®: Be the owner of the best solution’ are some of the workshops Exago’s team is taking part in. ‘We are here to shake up and challenge our creativity and get fully equipped to improve our services and product offer’, says Francisco Bernardes, Exago’s head of Innovation Services.

Know more on the conference here.

The first of 3 key success factors of innovation management

At Exago, we’ve worked with extraordinary clients, such as Fleury and others from pharmaceutical, banking, utilities and telecommunications industries – across four continents – to help them mobilise targeted communities to solve key business problems by learning from them and with them.

In this process, we’ve thoroughly examined each crucial element, testing and developing the best practices and solutions to make each innovation programme succeed. And, we can proudly say, we do it every time. Our success, our client’s report, is achieved by a combination of technologies and best practices focused on addressing each of these key success factors:

1. ENGAGEMENT
This is the emotional commitment made to your company and its objectives. It only comes when the people that make up your organisation believe they can have an impact on its ability to provide value and have a stake in the value produced.

First, we recommend you establish specific and relevant challenges. People must identify with these, and you need to align them with your business or strategic challenges. Remember to consider and capture your different stakeholders’ profiles. Give them the chance to contribute, not only with ideas but also with assessments of others’ ideas, and to activate the platform’s social components, such as leaderboards.

Platform accessibility and usability must be improved and game techniques used to make participation fun and continuous, developing more use and loyalty. Gamification, in particular, can play a leading role in motivating people and compelling them to jump in and bring value to your initiatives.

You also need to draw up a productive and appealing incentive plan – including prizes and recognition – and a strong, effective communication plan to guarantee community awareness, maximise participation and foster collaboration. The more individuals see the success of projects to which they’ve contributed, the more likely they are to continue to be mobilised.

READ MORE:
The 2nd key success factor of innovation management

FROM THE START:
Can you master the 3 key success factors of innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder
pcc@exago.com

The idea management challenge. How do they do it?

The Brazilian company Fleury – a leading provider of clinical analyses in Latin America – has currently more than 10,000 employees. All can participate in Fleury’s innovation efforts. In 2007, the company initiated a programme to encourage suggestions for how to improve its operations, allowing all employees to submit ideas on paper, which were then evaluated by an innovation committee. A software platform helped, in general, to collect ideas, supporting the programme.

But, the significant amount of work involved in evaluating these ideas led Fleury to consider an alternative. To optimise the process, in 2011, the Fleury group next adopted the Central de Ideias (Idea Market). Created by Exago, this innovation management solution is a software platform where all stakeholders can make their contributions – not only collecting and harnessing everyone’s ideas but also evaluating them.

Within a single year, the results overtook even the most ambitious targets:

  • Ideas submitted – escalating from 1,809, in 2011, to 7,269, in 2012, when the new model was implemented (an increase of more than 400%)
  • Ideas approved – more than doubling, from 443 to 946
  • Ideas implemented – increasing from 225 to 300
  • Stakeholders involved – growing from 712 to 3,309 people (and 15 months after implementing and disseminating Exago’s model, more than 70% of Fleury’s staff had actively joined in).

Fleury’s innovations have generated millions of reais in value. They’ve reduced operating costs and introduced more efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly processes. So far this year, almost 8,000 participants are still interconnected and actively participating, and 600 ideas have come to life. People have become the centre of Fleury’s culture of innovation.

In this way, the company has managed to tackle the three central challenges identified above: to create high levels of mobilisation and engagement, to be extremely efficient in the process of idea evaluation and to sustain high levels of participation over time (i.e. avoiding creating an initial peak followed by a drastic fall in participation).

At Exago, we’ve worked with extraordinary clients, such as Fleury, and others from pharmaceutical, banking, utilities and telecommunications industries – across four continents – to help them mobilise targeted communities to solve key business problems by learning from them and with them. What do we then believe to be the 3 key success factors of innovation management? We’ll see that next.

READ MORE:
The first of 3 key success factors of innovation management

FROM THE START:
Can you master the 3 key success factors of innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder
pcc@exago.com

If no magic formula exists for innovation, how could one exist for measuring it?

More than 88% of respondents indicate that innovation is a major element of their product development initiatives, according to ‘The 2015 Global Innovation Economy Survey’. However, less than 25% set innovation performance metrics, other studies found. How can we explain this incongruence?

To start with, if no magic formula exists for innovation, how could one exist for measuring it? There is no single universal indicator either. And, what works in one company may get confusing or even be counterproductive in another.

Yet, innovation is the way we do business today. From R&D to disruptive and incremental methods, companies have to find a way to measure the innovation process at hand and analyse its relevance.

At the end of the day, it comes down to accountability to leadership and shareholders, as well as your own teams. It comes down to your organisation’s survival. Innovation without results becomes useless.

Therefore, as you develop your innovation efforts, remember to adopt a set of priority metrics that allows you to monitor the process from its beginning and track major results. You need to understand what is worth following, what could be improved and what simply doesn’t work.

Finally, do not overlook vital outcomes such as higher levels of participation and engagement – your people’s collective intelligence is your most valuable asset. Take a look at our basic steps and innovation measurement framework when deciding which metrics to choose. You can learn, as you progress, how to readapt your strategy and, most importantly, how to get innovation done.

FROM THE START:
How can you measure innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder
pcc@exago.com