Applied Innovation: A How-to Guide

Entry points and practical advice on how to inspire innovation and reshape your team: from Culture and Product development, to Hackathons, Ideation and Gamification

photo: pixabay

How to establish an ‘Innovation culture’

The mindset, the components, the tools

The culture of innovation is a key ingredient of a really innovative company. This special culture needs to be there across all levels and functions of the corporation. To get there, companies need to invest in transformation programmes introducing new ways of thinking, including Experimentation, Ideation, Innovation tools and Gamification.

The level of innovation of a corporation, heavily depends on the readiness and will of its employees to experiment with novel ideas and concepts, to build prototypes, to investigate opportunities for novel products and services; It depends on the level of support this ‘experimentation culture’ receives from the leadership of the corporation.

Both employees and leadership need to adapt and inherit a new attitude for experimentation, risk taking and failure: failure, in an innovation context, is perfectly acceptable

In fact, failure is part of the overall innovation process, since it can feedback significant insights, results, metrics and findings for the idea itself, the prototype or even the process. Following practices like ‘rapid prototyping’ and ‘fail fast’, ideas can be quickly tested from real users, in order to make informed decisions, as soon as possible and at minimum cost. For instance, in a rapid prototyping scenario, the team might realize early enough that, although the prototype looks good and is working fine, the predefined success criteria and/or user expectations are not met. Hence, the team has enough information to make good product development decisions, like to evaluate if this gap can be fixed under acceptable cost and thus continue iterating or ‘kill’ the product. Read more here

How to establish an ‘Innovation culture’ — pixabay

How to setup the ‘Innovation dream team’

Roles, profiles and responsibilities for setting up your ‘innovation machine’

Companies need a driving force from within — a solid team to naturally diffuse the innovation spirit, to introduce the right technologies and the best practices regarding innovation and creative thinking; to make sure the overall innovation program is also in alignment with the on-going business; to manage the noise and the risk of (internal) disruption from the ‘innovation machine’. This special team needs to be strategic, tactical, agile and fast. Read more here


How to establish a Stream of Ideas

An unsupervised ideation framework at the core of innovation culture

Modern corporations need to embrace real innovation as part of their day-to-day business. They need to operate in an ‘actionable innovation’ mode where, on one hand, employees actively participate in the idea generation process and on the other hand, executives constantly evaluate ideas and business opportunities in an experimentation-driven setup. Read more here


How to select an ideation platform

15 points to consider before you buy or build an ideation platform

Sticky notes are great to quickly capture ‘ideas’- they also help the team look busy and productive. But, when it comes to an ideation channel, you need some serious technology to capture, process, and diffuse ideas within your corporation. What makes a good ideation platform? What are the key principles and components that need to be there? Read more here


How to make the most of your ideas

An ‘ideas backlog’ and other methods to manage your ideas

A stream of ideas is the energy of innovation; ideas inspire people, teams, companies. Great ideas can come at any moment regardless the context; and can be easily forgotten, fade out or miss-classified as ‘not-good enough’. This is why you need a single place where you can reflect your ideas and iterate to enrich, evaluate and prioritize them. You need a simple but consistent process to maintain your personal ideas backlog. Read practical advice here


How to define a Minimum Viable Product

Moving from a concept to a properly defined MVP

The Minimum Viable Product, although a properly defined term, means different things to different people. In fact, it is one of the most misused terms in the technology domain: it is often poorly referenced to describe a prototype, a demo or even the first deliverable of a project. Definitions and more here


How to win the hackathon: a practical guide

Is a great idea enough to win a hackathon?

No matter the type (corporate or public one) a hackathon is always a great opportunity to showcase your talent and skills: yes, hackathons are also about team spirit, innovation, collaboration and fun but the primary motivation of the typical participant is to win it and capitalize on that (reputation, opportunity, networking). Discover here how to win the next hackathon


How to run a successful corporate hackathon

How to define, execute and get value from hackathons

Corporate hackathons provide a great way to inspire your team. They can also promote creativity, collaboration, and innovative thinking. If run properly, a series of hackathons can establish a stream of valuable ideas. It can also have a significant cultural effect within your team, potentially awakening a experimentation and innovation mindset. Read a complete guide on setting up a hackathon here

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