Tag Archive | Company

Happy new year 2015 with the 777 wishes!

Happy new year 2015

During this first day of 2015, I would like to wish everyone: “happy new year 2015”.

777: 7 wishes for 7 days on 7

1. May this year be full of innovations

2. Creativity better released in businesses and companies

3. Error really allowed by the management

4. Failure an opportunity to learn

5. More people able to think out-of-the-box and start over

6. Digital age taken as an opportunity and not as a tragedy

7. Unthinkable ideas allowed to anybody anywhere…

I thank everyone who helps me every day with their creativity through their knowledge, their ability to go beyond the yellow line, to update this web site and to promote innovation whether technological, industrial, organizational , structural or moral.

I also thank the detractors, those who question our thoughts, our ideas, our views, and that helps me to see things differently, with a different angle or with new analyzes.

To all, a very good year 2015.

The third industrial revolution and the digital age

French version

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I had the chance, on Thursday December 4th 2014, to participate to a lunch, organised by a French consulting company named Weave. This lunch was led by Frédéric Simottel from BFM Business and Gilles Babinet invited to the lunch. Gilles Babinet is the Digital Champion, representing France to the European Commission. Gilles was the first president of the National Digital Council, French organization set up by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France at that time. As part of this lunch, Gilles Babinet, developed themes of his book “The digital era, a new age of humanity“.

Indeed, in the 18th century, the invention of the steam engine, starting with prototypes, produced in the 16th century, leads to the first industrial revolution. This revolution is characterized by the mass production of products, more and more sophisticated, and makes possible the industrialization of increasingly complex processes, in all sectors of activity (goods production, transport, …). In the 19th century, mining large quantities of oil, and the invention of internal combustion engines and electric motors using electricity produced from coal, results in the second industrial revolution, with power machines, which completely change the functioning of the economy and boosting the exchanges.

Gilles Babinet says that, in the 20th century, the advent of computers in 80-90 years causes the transition to the digital age, the third industrial revolution. The computer starts at the beginning of the 40s, with the radar and after the transistor in the 50s. But the revolution is actually happening 60 years later, in the 2000s, when every employee has a computer and a smartphone to communicate with his business. Again, all means of production are affected: there are no longer produced well without computers to manage production, to drive robots, to compute the accounts of the company or to boost innovation of them. No sector is spared: producing agricultural crops through computers (in tractors, for the weather forecast, for the accounts …) or producing goods through computers (to control robots, to communicate between people a company, to communicate by producing adverts…). Innovation, exponential, through simulation that allows the digital age, is totally boost by the third industrial revolution; This is why we hear so much of it after this revolution.

All sectors, all company departments, all people are affected. Gilles Babinet is exciting; these analyzes are very interesting. Summarizing the situation, we can estimate that currently there is an industrial revolution emerging each century. And it takes time between the emergence of the new revolution and its application in the industry at every level of the company.

It is interesting to imagine what could be the next industrial revolution. I have my idea about it … I think things will start to emerge within 30 years; and it will take 30 years for the fourth industrial revolution take shape. Until then enjoy the 3rd, transform our businesses to make maximum use of capacity through permissent this 3rd revolution and trying to anticipate the 4th.

Working together to enhance innovation

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Interoperability is increasingly seen as critical for business success, but what is it? Simply put, it is the ability to work together.
Interoperable organizations are those that can easily exchange information and subsequently make use of that information.
Interoperability allows organizations to work without barriers and without extra effort with other systems or organizations.

Individuals have already become highly interoperable, thanks to tools such as the social networks Facebook and Instagram, which both have hundreds of millions of users. These networks add value insofar as they promote communication and the exchange of information, making our lives feel more fulfilled. Without such tools, how would we keep in touch in a world where less time exists to socialize? Of course, connecting online shouldn’t be a substitute for face-to-face, but it does help us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves and to see other things happening around us more clearly.

In the business context, technologies that facilitate interoperability drive innovation. If businesses don’t innovate, they are doomed, even in the short term. Interoperability between enterprises is thus important, as it enhances collaboration and innovation.

Enterprise interoperability can be defined as a collaboration competence, occurring between business partners, and through which value is created. The oftentimes very close business relationships that result are supported by information technology, which acts as more than an enabler or a simple conduit, providing an efficient means whereby relationships can evolve to a higher level.Interoperability can focus on different aspects of these relationships, which organizations must leverage to the fullest in order to produce the innovation they need to survive:Communication—exchanging information.Coordination—aligning activities.
Cooperation—sharing.Collaboration—creating synergy.
Channeling—involving the Internet.
One should not only look to the Internet (channel interoperability) as a solution to organizational problems. We increasingly need to know how to share (cooperation interoperability) among individuals, teams, and organizations, as this fosters knowledge creation. We need to be aligned so as not to repeat activities that have already been performed, and not to forget to do other activities that cannot be left undone (coordination interoperability).

Collaborating in teams means that more can be accomplished. Teams are collections of individual talents, which need to be celebrated, but individual stars should not be seen as being more important than the team’s overall talent to produce innovation. The IDEO Design Thinking approach, building on teamwork and on the principle that “enlightened trial and error succeeds over the planning of the lone genius,” stresses the relevance of teamwork. Communicating effectively is a form of interoperability. Information needs to be exchanged and circulated if it is to be of value.

Companies are increasingly leveraging more interoperability types at their disposal, and this will lead to more forms of innovation.Innovation comes in several forms, such as products and services, processes, organizational structure, and marketing. Companies need to introduce as many forms of innovation as possible: New products and services increase sales, process innovations decrease costs, organizational innovations increase morale and motivation, and marketing innovations increase visibility.Interoperability may perhaps come more naturally to smaller entrepreneurial firms, which need to be innovative and to have alliances and partnerships in order to survive and gain market presence. Small entrepreneurial companies communicate based on trust, with an open attitude to the environment. However, larger firms like Apple and Samsung are also innovating, suggesting that they, too, are capable of being interoperable—even if mainly on an internal basis to avoid sharing knowledge and company secrets outside the firm.

In the decades ahead, accelerating technological innovation will lead to paradigm shifts in the economy, causing certain jobs to disappear. Continuous learning will be necessary to keep people competitive and employable. So individuals, much like companies, will also be leveraging as many interoperability types at their disposal as possible, in both their personal and professional networks, to stay ahead.
Never before will being connected mean so much. In a world where we are increasingly seen as personal brands of our capabilities and unique competencies, teamwork and the honest and earnest exchange of knowledge will be paramount to the success of the multiple teams in which we move. The world is increasingly mobile, and that actually means that the world is increasingly interoperable.

6 Tips For Building Innovation Into Your Company

Word Ball - Innovate

Innovation is a big corporate buzzword, and it’s one of the hottest topics on this blog. That’s because it’s one of the biggest mysteries to business leaders. A new study from Accenture, “Why Low Risk Innovation Is Costly,” revealed that fewer than one in five chief executives believes their company’s strategic investments in innovation are paying off. Because of the high percentage of failure, nearly half of the executives surveyed said their companies were less likely to risk implementing breakthrough ideas.

Innovation only happens in the right environment, one where everyone is not only allowed to innovate, but they are actively encouraged to speak up and bring new ideas to the table. This may sound like common sense, but it is far from common practice. How do you create an innovative environment?

  1. Innovation only comes by invitation. Invite people to bring forth their new ideas. True innovation takes place when people are free to raise ideas, take ownership of them, and then implement them. If people are required to ask permission for every step they take, they will stop asking permission.
  2. Innovation is not a solo sport, it requires a group of players with skills specific to the effort. Many companies appoint an innovation department or hire a chief innovation officer, which can make innovation just another stovepipe in the organization. The message this sends to your organization is that innovation is “their job” and “not mine” – siloed off. While an idea may come from one individual, it’s the cross-functional creativity, trust, and collaboration that bring innovation to life.
  3. Encourage everyone to put their ideas to test fast, fail fast, and then reiterate. If people wait for perfection before they put the idea to work, the effort will lose steam before it ever gets off the ground.
  4. Value the lessons taken from failure as much as your successes, and apply those lessons toward each new attempt. This makes it safe for everyone to innovate. The idea is not to encourage failure but to foster innovation that leads to winning success as rapidly as possible.
  5. Ensure this behavior gets modeled at every level, from the very top to individual contributor. That means the senior leaders must be actively involved, not just mandating the change.
  6. Resist the desire to project manage your way to innovation. It cannot be generated by focusing solely on budgets, resources, and timelines. If you try, you can guarantee your innovation investment will be wasted.

Creating an Innovative Organization

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Helping Frontline Workers Become Innovative

Innovative organizations do not miraculously come into existence. Rather, they are created by leaders who establish the conditions necessary to bring out the innovative ideas within everyone.

How can organizational leaders create these conditions? In particular, how can they create conditions that will encourage frontline workers to be innovative? This requires, I believe, that leaders fulfill two major conditions. They must convince frontline workers that the leadership supports the line; and, they must ensure that frontline workers understand the big picture.

In every effective organization, there is some kind of implicit contract between the leadership and the line. The line will produce what the leadership wants; in turn, the leadership produces what the line wants. The organization’s leadership wants to make this message as explicit as possible: “You produce for us, and we’ll produce for you”.

This implicit contract is needed by any organization that seeks to become innovative. Frontline workers will not help an organization’s leadership do a better job at achieving its mission unless they believe these leaders will help them.

Frontline workers: leadership on their side

But what should those frontline workers who have decided that being innovative is good for the organization attempt to accomplish? In what direction should they attempt to innovate? What are the constraints? How will an innovation fit within other efforts being made throughout the agency? What is the purpose of the agency and how will any specific innovation help to achieve that purpose? To be effective as innovators, frontline workers must understand what the organization is trying to accomplish, why it is trying to accomplish that, and how it might achieve that goal.

Frontline workers understand the big picture

Before frontline workers are going to become innovative, they have to believe that the organization’s leadership supports them, and they have to understand the big picture.

Be immediately responsive

When an executive first asks frontline workers or middle managers what should be done to improve the organization’s effectiveness, the responses will inevitably focus on working conditions. People will complain about the lack of a soft drink machine, the broken toilet, or the photocopier that barely reproduces the original. Obviously, workers will be more productive if they have the right tool.

The quicker that top management produces the new copier, the better its credibility will be.

In fact, before asking frontline workers what should be done to improve the organization, its leaders ought to know the answer they will hear. Before top management meets with the workers, leaders ought to find out what kind of improvements the workers will request. Before the meeting, they ought to check out exactly what they will have to do to produce the improvement and how long it will take. Then, when confronted with the request, they can commit to making the improvement and also state clearly whether the improvement will be completed in a day, a week, a month, or a year.

To identify the needs of frontline workers, the agency’s leadership ought to ask the union. In fact, in a unionized agency, if the organization’s leaders go straight to their frontline workers, the union will view this as a direct threat, an effort to undermine its role.

Support mistakes

Innovative organizations make mistakes, lots of mistakes. And how the organization treats these mistakes and those who make them sends important signals throughout the organization. If the mistaken innovators are punished in any way, even if they are just perceived to be punished, frontline workers will relearn a basic lesson of bureaucratic life: It does not pay to experiment with new ideas.

Unfortunately, a lot of people make their living catching mistaken innovations. These mistake catchers get their jollies and their professional recognition from uncovering and exposing mistakes. The moral fervor with which they take on this assignment combined with the well-known and easily implemented strategy for publicizing any mistake creates the

If frontline workers learn that no mistake, even an honest mistake, goes unpunished, they will certainly be reluctant to be innovative. Consequently, leaders who wish to create an innovative organization have to figure out ways to prevent those who make mistakes from being punished.

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IT Innovation: is outsourcing possible?

importance_of_innovation

1. Innovation as a corporate function

At a growing number of large organizations, innovation is now an identified organizational group, with a specific mandate, roles and responsibilities, metrics, processes, resources, and governance. According to a 2012 Capgemini study, 43% of large global companies now have a formally accountable innovation executive. Innovation has become a corporate function, and the trend is gaining steam.

2. Most leaders see Innovation as distraction

Yet despite the trend, today’s innovation leader has a very difficult mission, for two reasons. First, most corporate warriors in middle management persist in thinking of innovation as a management fad – a distraction from quarterly goals and core objectives. As a result, the innovation leader faces a constant uphill battle for legitimacy – unless he/she demonstrates clear, powerful business results from innovation’s efforts. And there is a limited time window before faith and confidence are lost permanently.

3. Innovation breaks operational excellence

Secondly, innovation has a distinct rhythm from the daily business. Instead of driving to efficiency and operational excellence, successful innovation requires space and time to create, tolerance of failure and a culture of open experimentation. In a corporate setting, individuals with ‘innovative’ personalities have long since learned to hide or downplay them, for the sake of career advancement. So the natural rhythm of innovation inevitably feels strange and foreign within a large organization.

4. Innovation as strategic axis for competition

Yet senior leaders increasingly view innovation as a strategic imperative, allowing the firm to adapt and respond to competitive pressures, customer needs and technology change in a rapidly changing, information-rich 21st century world. Most of the time, a great deal is riding on the success or failure of the Innovation Leader. In some cases, the C-suite has staked the company’s future on it.

5. Innovation Project Outsourcing

In this environment, outsourcing is a critical enabler of success. Experienced innovation firms use proven methods and tools to produce those crucial early-stage results, while also injecting the DNA of innovation process into the organization. Typically this outsourcing takes one of two forms.

When the need for a specific innovation is clear – breakthrough new product designs, for example – the innovation leader may outsource the entirety of an innovation project. This is called Innovation Project Outsourcing – in which an innovation firm acts like a design agency, working independently and producing ready-made innovations as deliverables. These projects can range from R&D and engineering work, product and/or industrial design, to innovation process design.

6. Innovation Process Outsourcing

Ultimately, however, the innovation leader cannot be wholly dependent on an outsourcer to produce innovation. Innovation Process Outsourcing is a critical step in embedding innovation habits into an organisation’s DNA. An experienced innovation firm will be intimately familiar with the difficulties of involving broad sets of enterprise stakeholders in a collaborative process. Working underneath the innovation leader, outsourced programme managers can be embedded into the organization as change agents and campaign managers. Through careful scoping of innovation initiatives, combined with skilful management of the campaigns themselves, dramatic results can be achieved while also socializing the behaviors and rhythms of successful enterprise innovation.

7. Innovation Skill Transfert

The end goal of these outsourcing efforts is innovation skill transfer and discipline-building within the corporation. Over time, the outsourcer trains its client on the core Innovation Management skills and methods, which allows the innovation programme to achieve sustainable scale as an enterprise program. As a result, the organisation begins to treat ideas as valuable intellectual capital – and consistently collect, vet and leverage this capital for business benefit.

8. Permanent home for innovation outsourcing

In the longer term, there is a permanent home for innovation outsourcing in most companies. Innovation strategy is a core competence any organisation needs to build, refine and invest in – it’s the future of the company. But aspects of how innovation is built and executed may be outsourced, as external parties have skills and competencies which the company may not have or even need to be in-house.

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6 Ways to Unleash Creativity in the Workplace

Creativity

The demand for creativity from employees is rising in this age of rapid technological advancement. This is evident when we see multinational companies like Google setting up something known as a the 20 percent program or policy where Google developers get to spend 20 percent of their working hours (a day at work) on side projects. It was an attempt to give employees the time and space to think innovatively. Indeed, the policy works well, with some of the best products of Google (e.g. Google News) originating from the program.

Some of you may think that creativity is an inborn trait rather than something that can be learned and developed. This may be so, but without a conducive environment for creativity to be expressed, how can we expect to see ideas arising from creative employees? This is precisely what this article is about, to show you ways which you can adopt in the workplace to encourage employees to seek innovation in their work.

1. Reward Creativity

If you want to get employees to think out-of-the-box, you need to motivate them with some form of rewards. Moreover, suggestions have to be taken seriously so that employees are willing to come up with more creative ways of improving the workplace. Otherwise, everyone will think it’s a waste of time to squeeze out creative juices for suggestions that won’t be implemented anyway.

To kick-start things up, you can set goals for your employees to think up of some ways of making work processes more efficient. Encourage them to think more about concrete target to be reached with innovation that solution.  From the ideas proposed by some employees, you’ll assess which idea is the best. This will be followed with a reward for the employee and equally important, implementation. The reward can be tangible ones like giving monetary incentives, or intangible ones like recognition from the organization by announcing the winner to the rest.

2. Anonymity & Confidentiality

Your employees may already be motivated to be creative but have no outlets to voice out their wonderful ideas. While the outspoken ones can always speak to the management about some suggestions they have in mind, others may be too shy or afraid to do so in this manner. Providing a suggestion box or anything similar would grant these employees the anonymity and confidentiality they crave, thereby inspiring the creative spirit that you wish to instill as part of the organization culture.

However, some of the most creative ideas are born out of brainstorming sessions where a group of people discuss and debate about possible solutions to a problem. Having such a private channel for employees to contribute ideas may thus hinder the creative process. Moreover, those who provide the effective ideas won’t get identified and get the recognition they need. It will be wise to balance both private and public mediums for employees to propose their suggestions.

3. Innovation Teams

A more systematic way of promoting creativity in the workplace is to set up innovation teams. Each innovation team will be tasked to come up with ideas on how to improve the work process of a particular aspect. Deadlines are to be set to ensure that the teams present their ideas and be rewarded if they are excellent. When done properly, this will signal to everyone that the organization values work-related creativity.

One catch is that such innovation teams may be seen as too ‘deliberate’ to some employees. Creativity is supposed to be spontaneous; ideas arising from the strokes of genius. Having such teams may make it seem like an extra chore for those assigned to them, and the systematic approach (i.e. the focus on a single topic) may come across as too rigid for creativity to flourish.

4. Support Creativity

Employees may be unwilling to take risks because they do not know whether the organization supports creativity. This is when you need to guide the organization in the right direction, and show that creativity is highly valued. This has a lot to do with how receptive you are to their ideas, and how you make known your intention to be a more creative company.

One reason why employees are not thinking out-of-the-box or coming up with solution that are vastly different from how things used to be done is that they may be afraid of the repercussions of making mistakes. Risk-taking has to be encouraged and be seen as a norm in the organization. Developing a creative culture takes time, but it starts off with management being more open-minded and less judgmental to the suggestions by employees.

5. Diversity Among Employees

How can different ideas exchange if everyone thinks in a similar manner? Employees with comparable backgrounds, qualifications, experience, etc creates a homogeneous working environment. Perhaps having such homogeneity between the employees will facilitate team-bonding and such, but when it comes to workplace creativity, a uniform and agreeable crowd leaves little room for ideas to flourish.

Rather than setting stringent recruitment prerequisites, you might consider giving more allowance in your criteria. Hire staffs from different knowledge and background and get them to mingle around in projects and even company events. Organize more informal settings between employees with dissimilar profiles for the interchanging of thoughts.

6. Positive Working Environment

Sometimes, too serious a mindset can hinder creativity. Having fun during work allows one to be relaxed and that’s where one tends to get inspired with wonderful ideas. Needless to say, a stressful or even depressing work environment doesn’t give one the mood to think of doing things differently. The employee would only look forward to the end of the day.

Psychological studies have revealed that positive mood can spur creativity. The idea is that positive mood awards us with greater flexibility in thinking because our perspectives are widened. We become more open-minded in that sense and are willing to explore alternatives. Knowing such findings now, incorporating fun into the work through team-bonding activities or retreats every once in a while can be a crucial element in injecting creativity in the workplace.

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6 Ways to Encourage Creation and Innovation

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What is creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognised expert in education, leadership and innovation, has described creativity in an easy to understand and succinct way. He wrote that creativity is “the process of having original ideas that add value”.

That is a straightforward definition, but the real difficulty comes in actually being able to think differently or “out of the box”. It is a very rare and valuable skill to be able to come up with ideas that are truly original and different to anything currently out there on the market.

Creativity always has to be relevant but it is crucial to the success of any business. Without originality, businesses have no way of differentiating themselves from their competitors in the market place. Being different from rivals has become increasingly important in the modern business environment.

Ways to encourage staff to think differently

Taking all of this into account, it is vital to encourage staff to think differently and this can be done in several ways.

  • Give your staff the time and the space to be imaginative and creative. Apple is a great example of a company which has benefited enormously from this. Up to a fifth of their working day is given to creative thinking sessions. Innovation is a key characteristic of the company so it is vital for Apple to inspire staff and to give them the space to be original.
  • Constantly question yourself and your working practices. Instead of sticking with tried and tested methods, business leaders should always be thinking of alternative approaches when it comes to solving issues and problems. Simply posing the question can lead to new ideas and projects, which opens up valuable income streams.
  • Encourage people to work in groups. That way, ideas can be shared along with responsibility and the credit for success. A company which has an overly competitive and individualistic culture can stifle creativity.
  • Do not to ridicule people who are brave enough to think differently from the rest of us. If people are scared of being mocked then they are going to be reluctant to step forward with new ideas.
  • Creative process needs to be fun. Even if running a business and hitting targets is serious as people’s livelihoods rely on the success of a company. If you want to inspire people to think differently then you have to create the right culture and environment to allow them to do just that.
  • Focus on attractive targets. An usual mistake done by managers is to ask their staff to devise concrete innovations. Before thinking solutions, firstly it is important to reflect the desired goals, need before profit.

Creativity not enough to guarantee success

However it is important to remember that creativity on its own is not enough to guarantee success. The focus should always remain on how to use innovative thinking to make the company financially successful. Stick to these rules and there is every chance you will have a success story on your hands.

Article used

http://robyscar.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/5-ways-to-encourage-creative-thinking/

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