Generating market-oriented ideas systematically and leading them to success
The successful and prompt launching of innovative technologies, products and business models requires a systematic innovation management from the generation of ideas right up to the market launch.
Those who would like to be successful on a sustainable basis are challenged to assert themselves continuously over the competition through innovations. The focus is not on ingenious or inspired ideas but the design of a management system that puts your company in a position to generate a continuous flow of innovations. Practice has demonstrated that innovative companies are characterised by six properties:
- The innovations have a strategic focus
- The innovation portfolio is controlled actively
- The innovation process is designed efficiently
- The innovation sources are highly diversified
- The innovation is consciously generated with third parties in the sense of combinatorics
- The spirit of innovation is anchored in the organisation hierarchy
Strategic focus of innovation management
The innovation strategy determines the thrust area regarding the business divisions and the scope of strategic sales gaps that need to be closed by innovations. In order to be able to specify this orientation, what is required is a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics in your own industry and the factors determining the competitive edge. Essentially, it is a matter of establishing the significance that needs to be attached to incremental, radical, disruptive and architectural innovations for the development of the company.
A second element of the innovation strategy is the positioning of your own company in the innovation supply chain: What is the contribution to innovation that your own company should make in innovation networks?
The innovation strategy defines the search fields for novel ideas, sets the framework for portfolio planning and provides the basis for the selection of innovation projects.
A special focus of ROI in its consulting is formed by the strategic analysis of networking options of products and processes with digitalization (IoT / Internet of Things, Industry 4.0) and its impact on the innovation needs of your company.
ROI Consulting supports you in developing your innovation strategy with:
- Strategy reviews
- Innovation audits
- IoT audits
- Business division analyses
- Design of strategy processes
- Analyses of market and technology trends
- Scenario planning
- Delphi surveys
Controlling the innovation portfolio
Active portfolio control focuses on the effective deployment of the resources at your disposal (personnel, capital etc.) in the innovation fields determined by the strategy. The focus is on an agile portfolio management that deals single-mindedly and flexibly with the continuous flow of new ideas, their evaluation and selection as well as their project-specific implementation. The aim of portfolio management is to achieve a balanced project portfolio with respect to risk, opportunities and implementation timeline that enables the implementation of the strategy while ensuring on-going financial performance.
ROI Consulting offers the following services to your company in the course of consulting projects:
- Innovations inventory
- Establishing an innovation roadmap
- Portfolio mapping of the projects
- Determining the risk/return exposure
- Designing agile control processes
- Designing selection processes and criteria for innovation projects
- Targeted involvement of other companies and external agencies in the process of combinational innovation
Designing efficient innovation processes
Innovation processes are efficient if they avoid waste. In the early stages of the innovation, creative approaches for generating ideas and agile process models take precedence that rely on quick feedback for avoiding waste (e.g. rapid prototyping, set-based engineering and minimum viable products). In the later stages of innovation, the emphasis is on more stringent process models in accordance with the plan (e.g. industrialisation processes).
Increasing intelligence and networking of the products form a special challenge in the design of efficient innovation processes. If innovation processes were previously primarily driven by hardware, it is nowadays software that characterises the innovation process in several industries. For many companies, this means the need to adapt the innovation processes: Away from the one-time supply of a finished product and instead to a "Performance package" that changes continuously with software releases.
ROI Consulting supports you in developing your innovation processes with:
- Creativity techniques
- Design thinking
- Agile product evolution processes
- Agile software development (SCRUM)
- Spiral development approaches
Diversity of the innovation sources
Innovation in successful global companies no longer takes place in central research facilities, but is distributed internationally within your own company ("Innovation footprint") and integrates external sources of innovation ("Open innovation"). The diversity of the innovation sources poses the question to companies regarding their contribution in terms of value to the innovation networks or the question of the competitive edge that can be generated from this diversity. The organisational distribution of the sources of innovation is increasingly leading to stringent requirements for the design and control of the processes that are new for several companies.
A company must answer two questions:
- How can I use "Open Innovation" approaches?
- How do I design the global "Innovation footprint"?
Responding to these questions requires a profound evaluation of the product and service hierarchies with respect to their suitability for distributed innovation models: Integral product concepts, for example, are less suitable for distributed innovation approaches than modular concepts. The knowledge and awareness of the skills required and their availability (internal/external, geographical, etc.) are a primary requirement for positioning your own company.
ROI Consulting supports you with:
- Product hierarchy analyses
- Skills analyses
- Development of modular platform concepts
- Open innovation models
- Flexible partnership models for development and manufacture (e.g. Joint development manufacturing)
- Role models for R&D locations
Achieving an innovative organisation culture
Innovations are made by human beings who are characterised by curiosity, willing to take risks, are patient and ready to transcend existing boundaries. These are attributes that are not necessarily considered to be conducive for organisations trimmed for profitability. This is ultimately the reason why special attention needs to be paid to the development of innovative organisation hierarchies. An innovative innovation culture is promoted by designing organisational hierarchies, processes and right up to incentive systems. The response to four questions has been shown to be helpful in practice:
- Do innovators get support for their ideas?
- Is there time available for creativity?
- Are ideas being made visible and known in the company?
- Is the rejection of innovation projects being handled in a trustworthy manner?
The development of an innovative organisation hierarchy is a long-term process that starts with the top management which develops the various innovation roles (Innovation leaders, innovation champions etc.) and then ultimately characterises the entire organisation. This process is supported by selecting an organisation hierarchy that takes the various requirements with respect to the radicalism of the innovations into consideration.
ROI supports you with the analysis of the status quo of your innovation hierarchy and the development of a programme that drives your company to the path of an innovative organisation culture. ROI Consulting offers:
- Culture analysis
- Support programmes for innovation roles
- Training & Coaching
- Innovation-promoting organisation models (e.g. Incubator models)
- Change management programmes
Transformation through Smart Products Development
A strong development team had solid successes with a manufacturer of household appliances. But now customers want to network kitchen machines, refrigerators and mixers in the "Smart Home". ROI established an "I-Team" with the fresh view of "Digital Natives" and accompanied the internal change.