The surprising building block for innovating in the digital age

What if we could get our people and partners to work and innovate together as one global team towards digital transformation? And to do it seamlessly across functions, regions and job titles? The scene is set in the recent Arthur D. Little report on how digital technologies will transform the way companies innovate. The research found that one of the most fundamental pillars for digital transformation lies, perhaps unexpectedly, in people’s collective intelligence.

According to the study “Innovating in the digital age – a cross-industry exploration”, 93% of companies agree that digital innovation will transform their organisation and the way innovation gets done. Almost all the participants expect to fully digitalise their innovation engine or even their entire company, yet 89% feel that current strategies are insufficient and successful digital innovation will require a new approach to innovation management.


Remember the human factor in digital transformation

Given this reality, the firm identified 9 building blocks that can improve the way businesses innovate. They include Big data/advanced analytics, Connected things, Cognitive, self-learning systems, Augmented reality, Virtual modelling/simulation, Additive manufacturing, Virtual workplace and eLearning.

Beyond these more technological assets, Collective intelligence/crowd-sourcing stands out as one of the most fundamental pillars and sources of innovation management in the digital age. Innovation interactions must therefore be promoted, allowing people to work seamlessly and effortlessly with anyone, anywhere.

The message is clear: in the age of digital transformation, businesses mustn’t forget that one of their greatest assets isn’t just technology, but also the human side of their organisations.

Companies can and should make people more effective innovators through a clever design of their digital environment, to leverage all their expertise and collective knowledge.


How digital unleashes your untapped Human Resources potential

By uniting technology and the wisdom of the crowd, gaining insights from the collective intelligence of both internal and external individuals brings a distinct benefit to the way companies innovate. While the advantages of drawing on the collective intelligence of an organisation’s workforce are well-documented, broadening the reach to external individuals through technology has also proven results for businesses today.

Looking beyond corporate walls, businesses can increase customer satisfaction, improve quality, and reduce cost and risk by bringing in and connecting stakeholders, such as suppliers, universities, labs and entrepreneurs, throughout the development process. This open innovation approach, which is enabled by specifically designed idea management tools and platforms, allows organisations to tap into the knowledge, insights and viewpoints of important external actors, building further value in their innovation programmes.

Driven by the input of both internal and external individuals, the adoption of an end-to-end business platform leads to faster and more efficient development of novel solutions, and reduced production costs through improved production output. Platforms such as Exago innovation management software can help focus a company’s collective intelligence on key business challenges, aligned with digital transformation purposes – something that innovation leaders today are discovering to ensure continuous and sustained success.

For further reading into how businesses today can innovate, take a look at our Innovation Library.


Why innovation drives engagement among generations Y and Z

Exago 4.0 innovation software – The Eagle Edition release notes

Welcoming 2019, we are happy to present the latest Exago 4.0 innovation software release! In a world driven by data and information, the brand new dashboard is what really sets it apart.

The Exago Eagle Edition lets you closely watch the performance and evolution of your innovation programme. What’s more significant, it gives you a wider and more insightful vision to find meanings, results and real value in your innovation challenges.

But that’s not all. We introduce the Exago Eagle Release:


A new extensive dashboard offers a telescopic vision of what is happening and the true value of your programme

    • We’ve completely reworked the Exago dashboard, in a fully revamped version that also includes new top dashboards, so that you clearly see how your programme is evolving.
    • Offering a more thorough analysis, you can look at engagement results at different corporate levels, such as country or department, and dive deep into the innovation funnel to quickly identify the main bottlenecks in your process and get a ROI and qualitative impact assessment of the ideas you have implemented. You can either opt for a global overview of the initiative or target specific challenges or campaigns in your organisation.
    • Finally, you can now track the performance of each KPI in terms of engagement and idea progress speed, and act based on these indicators to improve your overall programme performance.


Navigation for better UX ensures participants remain in the flow of ideas

  • Either to go on a commenting spree or an evaluation round, users want to navigate within and between ideas with no effort. To enable this fully, they can now find navigation buttons on the idea detail page to cruise ideas directly on the page, as well as a return anchor to go back to the same location on the idea’s list without losing the original reference. Simple tweaks with impact to keep users in the innovation flow.


Updates in management tasks make life easier for all managers

  • The previous Exago release saw a leap forward in the Key Tasks menu, but we’ve pushed it a little further to bring you extra features that simplify your job. With the idea track changes by status feature, reviewers and content managers can now know exactly when the idea was altered and which field was the focus of attention for the author. It saves reviewing time and smoothens the process.
  • In addition, if you are a reviewer and have no access to your computer or mobile for some time, you can hereafter export idea details to .pdf, to review ideas anytime and anywhere you like.
  • A new challenges manager role has also been created so that the initiative manager can attribute challenge management permissions to specific participants. This empowers the new managers to run their own challenges and associated prizes, thus being more deeply involved in the initiative.
  • Managers can now also access a refreshed news management back office that eases the management of publications and makes it possible to create news drafts.


Come see the Exago Eagle Edition live!

Get in touch or request your personalised demo here

Why innovation leaders should invest in collaboration in 2019

Leadership is undoubtedly a critical piece of the business innovation puzzle. In fact, a recent study showed that the highest performing companies centralise their innovation strategy in upper management, meaning it is often those at C-level who push for innovation within a company. But being a great leader isn’t enough if you hope to succeed this year.

It is argued that leadership must be rethought and refocused on harnessing the best of each individual (particularly considering the more interventive profile of the newest generations at work), while also creating collective genius.

Rather than getting people to follow you, leaders should look to encourage others to co-create alongside them, making full use of the power of collaboration to achieve their business goals.

So beyond the traditional role of a business leader, managers today must bring together different skillsets, mindsets and toolsets to innovate successfully. Only a good innovation leader can foster a culture of innovation and collaboration within their organisation’s walls, with collective efforts driving positive results and growth.


4 ways to master innovation leadership in the coming year

While many academics and entrepreneurs have dedicated their learning to leadership and innovation, not enough of them explore the connection between the two. In this day and age, thriving as an innovation leader requires relearning leadership roles, encouraging teamwork and assessing where you can add real value.

Here are four behaviours you should hone to ensure your organisation innovates routinely:


1. Strengthen your idea factory

CEOs ranked culture as the most important strategy to improve innovation performance in 2018. And it’s a growing trend. Fostering trust and collaboration, the building blocks to creating a culture of ongoing innovation, is a key part of the innovation leadership role.

By investing in your most valuable resource – your people and their insights –, you are stimulating the generation of valuable ideas. Diversity and inclusion are also fuel for the creative process, while methodologies such as gamification ensure continued engagement and enthusiasm towards achieving the goals of your company, in a collaborative way.


2. Create opportunities

Innovation leaders crave information and are always open to possibilities. They look to respond to unmet needs – often brought to their attention by involving the people on the ground – and see potential in every challenge. In short, it’s about assessing trends and getting feedback, on an ongoing basis, and always seeing the bigger picture.


3. Challenge the status quo

Teams or organisations may always have done something a certain way, or tried and failed in a specific approach. A good innovation leader doesn’t rely on what is comfortable, but instead challenges assumptions and envisions alternative possibilities. And when the workforce is encouraged to think for themselves, it opens up a world of possibilities and experimentation.


4. Move quickly

With studies showing that high-performing companies are more likely to strive for first-mover advantage, there seems to be a strong correlation between speed of execution and degree of innovation. Thinking ahead of the curve and looking to the future – by tracking emerging trends and connecting the dots – enables organisations to transform change into opportunity.

A good leader today is synonymous with transforming challenges into opportunities for the company and its people, by leveraging teamwork and collaboration. Rethinking the traditional leadership role (and mastering new skills) will enable managers and organisations to engage their people at a deeper level and ensure a sustainable and more brilliant future for their business.

Diana Neves de Carvalho, Exago’s CEO


Why innovation drives engagement among generations Y and Z paper