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Plan Your Most Innovative Year Yet

Plan Your Most Innovative Year Yet

Dec-02-10 By Aminda
With the end of the year rapidly approaching it’s a great time to start thinking ahead, setting goals and committing to education, networking and other ways to keep up the momentum of your innovation efforts.  To help you with those plans, here is calendar of the major Innovation conferences and events to be held around the world in 2011. One of these might be just what you need!
 








24-26 January, 2011
CoDev, Scottsdale Arizona
At the TENTH annual conference on Co-Development and Open Innovation: Accessing Networks & Knowledge to Create Business Value you can expect to hear from and network with top open innovation thought leaders and advanced practitioners across multiple industries on questions that are challenging early open innovation adopters.
Capitalizing on Internal Crowdsourcing

Capitalizing on Internal Crowdsourcing

Dec-01-10 By Aminda
A recent report on internal communications from UK-based Melcrum Publishing shares the findings of a company who asked all 100,000 of their workers 'what percentage of your intellectual capital do you use'. The results found that 70 percent of staff felt that only 15 to 20 percent of their intellectual capital was being used. 15 to 20 percent! How many other large corporations would find similar results? Probably a lot. Yet in a competitive business environment employers can’t afford to pay their staff 100 percent only to get 15 percent in return.
Fortunately, crowdsourcing practices offer some fresh ways to extract unused intellectual capital from within organizations. Here are some tips on how to build a solid foundation for utilizing this tool effectively.
New Social Network Based on Crowdsourcing

New Social Network Based on Crowdsourcing

Nov-30-10 By Aminda
"Power the crowd." That’s the slogan for evly.com, the first social network designed to launch new products, do market research, find funding and basically solve anything using the crowd. The site does so by enabling users to create and support custom web businesses, manage both open and closed networks, the ability to grow a network based around a particular interest or need and to integrate with other social media platforms.
Walmart Uses Crowdsourcing to Connect with Consumers, Contribute to a Cause

Walmart Uses Crowdsourcing to Connect with Consumers, Contribute to a Cause

Nov-29-10 By Aminda
As part of its 2010 holiday giving initiative, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have pledged $18 million to fight hunger in the U.S.  They will be using Facebook to engage and educate consumers about the program, allowing U.S. consumers to vote on which cities should receive $1.5 million in grants to fight hunger.  Between November 15 and December 31 participants can "like" a community on Facebook, selecting from 100 communities where hunger rates are the highest.  The city with the most support will receive $1 million in grants and the next five cities with the highest support will receive $100,000 each.
The Netherlands Knows How to Innovate

The Netherlands Knows How to Innovate

Nov-27-10 By Aminda
November 29 kicks off the third and largest Open Innovation Festival bringing together Dutch communities. According to the event’s website, the festival aims to innovate the public domain in order to showcase how governmental organizations, the profit sector and knowledge institutions can cooperate. Furthermore, it aims at showing that by working together we will create a more effective, more efficient and better government. The central theme of OIF2010 is working in communities.
Maximizing Your Open Innovation Project

Maximizing Your Open Innovation Project

Nov-25-10 By Aminda
A classic business leadership story tells of Tom Watson Jr.’s, former head of IBM, meeting with a Vice President who had lost $10 million on a failed experiment. The VP came into the meeting fully expecting to be reprimanded and fired. Instead, Watson asked “why would we want to lose you when we’ve just given you a $10 million education?”

Most leaders will agree that there are plenty of benefits to developing a culture of risk-taking and by fostering an environment where employees are not afraid of failure. However, those same people will probably also agree that they’d prefer that ideas be tested thoroughly enough that they fail early on rather than after sinking significant time and resources into them.

If your organization has been considering utilizing open innovation to solve a business problem but are concerned that it might be too risky, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Developing Open Innovation Talent

Developing Open Innovation Talent

Nov-24-10 By Aminda
While it has yet to appear on any lists of the year’s top jobs, the title of Open Innovation Manager is certainly an emerging career path as companies are no longer seeing open innovation as the next trend but as their next growth frontier. This leads one to ask how one qualifies for such a job and how can current college students and recent graduates position themselves to catch the wave of this business movement?  Here is an outline of how it might look.

Various tracks: innovation may often be centered around the development of technological advances however there are also plenty of opportunities in marketing & consumer research-based innovation.

Education: a specific degree in may be lacking but there are a number educational of tracks that could lead to a career in open innovation. The best options appear to be in a technical field or in business. Universities around the world are offering seminars, lectures and other forms of non-credit training on innovation that students should attend. Any innovation-focused education would best be supplemented by coursework in entrepreneurship and training in facilitation. Students should also take advantage of the many innovation competitions and challenges available like the Henkel Innovation Challenge or the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge.
Uniting Strangers to Solve Open Innovation Challenges: What’s It Like?

Uniting Strangers to Solve Open Innovation Challenges: What’s It Like?

Nov-23-10 By Stefan Lindegaard
In writing and making public presentations about open innovation, I often remind people that while process is important, in the end success comes down to having people with the right mindset and skills. So much can be accomplished when a good team comes together, even when that team consists of experts in various disciplines around the globe who are total strangers to one another.

This is an experience that, as yet, relatively few people have experienced. So the question naturally arises of what it’s like to join with a team of strangers to solve R&D challenges?

According to individuals who have participated in teams via IdeaConnection, such groups offer a rich opportunity for learning, for honing one’s own problem solving abilities, and to experience the satisfaction that comes with solving a difficult problem that might not have been solved if people were working individually.

Here’s what participants in IdeaConnection challenges report about their experience:
GE Sets the Bar for Open Innovation Reward

GE Sets the Bar for Open Innovation Reward

Nov-21-10 By Aminda
General Electric announced this week the first round of winners in the world's largest open innovation challenge. The 12 investments, totaling $55 million, represent the first dozen winners of its $200 million Ecomagination competition.  The challenge was launched in July as part of GE's commitment to creating a cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid, and accelerating the adoption of smart grid technologies.
The challenge is backed by four venture capital firms who collectively contributed $10 million with GE contributing $45 million.
An Historical Perspective on Innovation

An Historical Perspective on Innovation

Nov-20-10 By Aminda
The great inventor Leonardo Da Vinci contributed tremendously to advancements in the arts and sciences with his study and invention in fields including human anatomy, civil engineering and optics. His designs were so advanced that it was not even feasible to construct most of them during his lifetime.

Despite his great contribution, Da Vinci had the potential to be even more effective. The man was known for working in secret, writing and drawing in coded, unorganized notebooks most of which weren't even published until hundreds of years after his death.  In our modern society, where information moves in seconds, not decades, such research, requiring a team of project managers and linguists to sort and interpret, might likely end up in the trash. While big, future-oriented ideas certainly have their place, most companies would like to break through the many immediate challenges that are hindering them from progress.

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