Tag Archives | innovation

Innovation @ Home

Digital revolution is not the result of new tools. It’s driven by a fundamentally changed information behavior. Always connected, always moving around in a digitally contextually enriched augmented reality, always present in two different worlds – the physical and digital. We’re taking the tools for granted, it’s not about them.

It’s about the behavior the new tools enable. See below. I couldn’t resist but pull out some screenshots from various “Internet of Things”- and “connected home”-related sites. Look beyond the tool. In your mind, connect what you see with your location, your interests, your friends, your insurance, your bank… and see digital hitting home and hitting business. Buckle up.

smarthome1 smarthome2 Smart house flat illustration concept smarthome4 smarthome5 smarthome6 smarthome7 smarthome8 smarthome9

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Philips proves Internet of Things isn’t just for startups

Philips was founded more than 120 years ago and is one of the companies proving that you don’t have to be a startup to be a digital leader. FastCompany recently put together a list of the world’s top 10 most innovative companions in the Internet of Things, and the Dutch company is appropriately listed (among a number of mostly small startups).

I recently met Philip’s CIO, Jeroen Tas, at last year’s Sogeti International Executive Council event. He openly discussed the tremendously exciting journey his company is on, in which everything changes including market positioning, products and business model. Don’t miss these short video clips from an interview with Jeroen at the event… Philips strategy goes far beyond the obvious interactivity of LEDs and its innovative Hue system, we’ll soon see their connected technology throughout consumer and workplace environments.

… and if you didn’t know already why everyone is raving about connected things, the following projection (from Business Insider) of global Internet devices represents a fair view of what most analysts and companies believe is likely. It’s going to impact us and businesses much more than smartphones and tablets ever have.

deviceforecast

For more reading about business aspects relating to the Internet of Things, check out these articles:

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Technology injected into your body

Do you think that wearable technology, like wristbands and glasses, is leading edge? Maybe it is but we are already seeing the next step, and it’s literally bleeding edge.

The trend is called “body modification” and it’s not the kind where people have surgery to change the shape of body parts (yes, that exists too). The digital version of “body modification” involves injecting sensors and connected technology into your body. In many ways, it’s about adding new senses and body capabilities just as wearable technology although without the risk of losing or forgetting external devices. Some current applications include identification (RFID/NFC – no more need of passwords or keys), blood pressure/temperature sensors, hearing colors, and absolute direction (compass).

A few months ago I met Tim Cannon, a biohacker with (at the time) two implants of technology in his body. He explained: “We know already that technology can improve our bodies, so why not be proactive about it and start testing this?” Tim had one sensor in his finger for detecting magnetic fields and an RFID tag in his hand.

I don’t think we’ll see this go mainstream in the next three years, but give wearable technology ten years to create an ecosystem foundation and it will start to make sense to insert technology into your body. Check out the articles “5 Body Modifications That Can Give You A Sixth Sense” and  The man with a digital tattoo for some real-life examples.

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Success factors in innovation management

In the old days it was common to have “Ideas”-boxes around the office. Staff contributed with new ideas on how to do stuff more efficiently or even suggested new products or services. Today, given the rapid pace of digital innovation, it is even more important to making sure that the company leverages ideas from staff, partners and customers. Here are two reflections on this:

  • Make sure you have a team in your organization that is responsible for the innovation management-process. The team in itself is not responsible for coming up with the ideas, but it’s responsible for facilitating the gathering, consolidation and prioritization of the ideas. Put online tools in their hands, such as idea-sites with support for voting and collaboration, make sure the team meets at least bi-monthly in workshops, invite external “movers and shakers” and equip the team with access to key analysts. Connect with both internal and external users.
  • Empower the team to decide what goes into proof-of-concept-paths and what goes directly into a broadening of the scope of existing products and services.

Recently I wrote a post about establishing an innovation lab… and my latest video is on this topic:

Success factors in innovation management
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An Innovation Lab for Ideas that Matter

The past few days I’ve been trying out the new innovative Leap Motion controller. It’s a device that enables the you to manipulate the computer’s user interface with both hands, in 3D and without touch. There is a companion Leap Motion app store in which I recognize much of the creative experimentation that happened in Apple’s App Store in 2008 and onwards. I am now bringing this controller to several of our customers, to experiment and explore new solutions that may drive value to their respective customers.

The key point of this post is not the Leap Motion controller. It could have been any new type of solution architecture including wearable technology, NFC based payments or connected micro objects. The key point is asking the question: “How do you identify potential innovation and how do you reduce the time from when you identified a potentially business relevant innovation to delivering it into the hands of your customers?”
In other words,

How do you gain true value from ideas that matter?

The answer for your company could be to setup your own Innovation Lab. As we are engaged in setting up, facilitating and supporting Innovation Labs of several of our customers, I would like to share the top seven points relevant in succeeding with accelerating innovation through the use of an Innovation Lab.

  1. Charter and steering group – Make sure you clearly define the lab’s charter, goals and purpose, and get senior level executive support and make the Innovation Lab accountable in front of a relevant steering group with key business owners represented.
  2. Process – Describe and communicate a basic innovation management process starting with inception and then all the way to setting up new pilot projects or the scope change in existing projects.
  3. Representatives – Name the Innovation Lab Core Team, and aim for a handful of members with the responsibility to drive workshops, consolidate background information, invite speakers and industry movers and shakers, and interact with all of the company’s organization.
  4. Workshop agenda – Keep a static basic structure for innovation workshops including a statement about its purpose, new market and sector trends, external speakers and contributors, demonstrations, prioritization and next steps. An Innovation workshop is the most efficient with 6-10 participants in a 4-6 hour workshop.
  5. Workshop frequency – Plan innovation workshops to occur at least bi-monthly. That way keep the Innovation Lab Core Team active, on the hunt and in touch with trends.
  6. Internal visibility – The most meaningful innovative ideas often come from places least expected. Make sure everyone in your company know where to turn with great ideas. Create a place on the intranet where everyone can submit ideas, vote, and discuss. Interact with your customers on your web site in the same way! Highlight the Innovation Lab Core Team here and make the team accountable for taking action on new ideas.
  7. External visibility – Connect with your marketing and PR department, and make sure that you showcase at least one new innovation or idea every quarter. It doesn’t need to be a production level, globally deployed solution. It may be enough to demonstrate a prototype, publish a short Youtube-video on the topic, put the prototype in the hands of key customers… the list of things you can do drive branding and marketing value from your Innovation Lab is endless, just go external.

So, if you haven’t already, put together a team of innovation heroes and provide some structure and thought into your innovation process. The results will show quickly.

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