Exago and Enconcreto hold ‘Innovation Lab Bogota’ for top executives

Executives from top companies have gathered in Bogota, Colombia, 17 and 18 September, to get to know and better understand the latest tools available to make innovation tangible. This Innovation Lab, ‘From ideas into results: Building an innovative engine in your organisation through new digital processes and tools’, is offered by Enconcreto, one of Exago’s partners in South America.

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder, is addressing central topics of both disruptive and incremental innovation – including ‘Tendencies and disruptions’, ‘Insights from the consumer’, ‘Orthodoxies and breaking the rules’ and ‘From ideas into business propositions’. Pedro is also conducting the workshop ‘Involve and engage your organisation through digital platforms’, on how digital media are evolving as key tools to support innovation and business itself.

Putting innovation to work
Applying the concepts, methods and tools presented, participants are addressing a challenge: build ideas for Juan Valdez Café, a multinational coffeehouse chain based in Colombia, specialising in coffee retail. Step by step, they have to understand the chain’s specific goals and business concepts and look for new insights and perspectives – to create new ideas and possibilities.

‘Our main goal is that participants feel confident enough to embrace their own challenges, translating innovation efforts into measurable results and improved indicators for their organisations’, says Isabel Espinosa of Enconcreto.

Enconcreto is a Colombia-based innovation consulting firm helping large organisations structure their innovation initiatives. Enconcreto focuses its attention on the backend of the innovation process, namely prototyping, experimenting, launching businesses and accelerating opportunities.

Innovation is execution: going beyond ideas

One of the most important facts about innovation is that it reduces risk. This is contrary to what is commonly believed but since markets are in constant flux the implementation of innovative ideas is a definite way to reduce risks from competitors and market changes.

Since the late 90s innovation has become a trendy concept but still a very theoretical one. It is not always evident how to materialize new projects because in order to achieve this, organizations must provide resources, time, people, commitment, an innovative culture, strategy, and structure. It’s a highly complex field of management.

Companies can’t necessarily use a traditional implementation methodology or model for innovation. As such, it is imperative to design and implement an Innovative Project Management model (IPM) tailored to each company and industry in order to help achieve an innovative culture and generate tangible results.

The IPM model guarantees a successful implementation of innovation projects. The stages of this process are as follows:

  • Sensitization and ideation.
  • Filtering and the selection of ideas.
  • Structuring winning ideas based on alignment to company strategy, which includes the definition of objectives (general and specific), project stages, and a timeline.
  • Implementation:
    // Structuring work teams based on an analysis of the skills required and defining an organizational chart with roles and responsibilities;
    // Definition of strategic partners, operators and suppliers;
    // Definition of work methodology, meeting frequency planning, communication media, etc. (work rules);
    // Definition of KPIs;
    // Financial modeling;
    // Follow-up meetings and “Unlock” sessions to make adjustments and overcome barriers;
    // Prototyping or pilot design plans (as applicable);
    // Definition of deployment and communication plans (definition of go-to-market strategy if it is a product or service, for example);
  • Project launch.

Organizations that implement innovative projects create tangible value and reinforce their competitive positioning in the market. Exago’s and Enconcreto’s models are highly complementary and have already been combined so that companies get the most from their people and create a culture of innovation that delivers value and establishes differentiation.

Being able to transform ideas into value is – more than ever – the best definition of innovation where engagement and execution are the abilities that separate those who talk from those who deliver.

Article written by Enconcreto, a Value Added Reseller of Exago for the Colombian Market

How collaboration is creating differentiation in Russian companies

Innovation is not new to Russian companies and the local business community. There is however something new in how this word is being applied. A growing number of Russian based organizations have realized that innovation can be created as a result of voluntary collaboration of their employees. Based on long-time socialistic traditions, Russians are fine when working together and the word “collaboration” is not new at all. What is different is the idea that collaboration can be voluntary.
Russia stepped into the world of global business competition not so long ago. Accordingly, business leaders are seeking new approaches to their businesses’ development. This applies not only to intensifying business processes and increasing the effectiveness of each business unit, but also to how management and employees think of themselves and of the goals their companies are aiming for.

People understand that in a fast-changing world where information spreads instantly, competition becomes stronger. Brainstorming business solutions and submitting ideas on how to solve a real-life problem can be both inspiring and yield results at the same time. Moreover, it can also be fun to employees. Additionally, the way people collaborate and enhance the business processes can let the company stand out among their peers and competitors. Bringing together the knowledge and experience of many people provides competitive advantage and lets a company move ahead. In brief, differentiation makes a difference for the company itself and for the country – Russia – it operates in.

Being a bit more specific on how collaboration is being performed online, I’d like to share the vision of a large auto-manufacturing company’s managing director who states that, “Today’s level of digital penetration into people’s everyday life makes for many of them “being online” almost as essential as breathing oxygen.” His employees, especially the ones from Generation Y, are:

  • used to playing with their gadgets and enjoying games (satisfying the “need for gamification” of any process)
  • driven not only by money but also by sense of purpose and mastery (satisfying the need for “doing good” and “doing it well”)

By being active online, sharing knowledge, and creating value based on their experiences people achieve results for themselves and simultaneously build value for the organization they are working for (this applies in many different areas, from cost-cutting to building new products and services). Simply put, this is a “win-win” situation.

By Leonid Feoktistov
Managing Director of Invector, a Value Added Reseller of Exago for the Russian Market

Announcement: new UK partnership

Exago has signed a partnership with F2X Group, an innovative London-based consultancy specialized in technology and business processes. This is yet another sign of Exago’s expansion into this key global business center.

Innovation management is becoming increasingly important to organizations and together with F2X Group we’re excited to begin assisting new clients with their innovation needs.

For more information about F2X Group visit www.f2xgroup.co.uk or check their LinkedIn page.

To know more about Exago’s alliances, visit our partnerships’ webpage.

Announcement: new partnership in India

Today our global presence in international markets marks another notable expansion. This is very important to us, once developing partnerships with local organizations is a primary strategy regarding worldwide expansion.

By partnering with Albion, Exago has started its entry into the Indian market. Given Albion’s knowledge of our solutions and their versatility in multiple environments we’re confident they can successfully meet the unique needs of this market.

Our goal is to always consider localization when diversifying internationally. It’s critically important to use that we adapt and are sensitive to the demands of global markets.