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Gijs van Wulfen www.gijsvanwulfen.com

Frederik de Wal (1963) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, a Dutch academy for fine arts and design in Amsterdam, after which he started his own design studio. He specialized in (editorial) concepts, book design, corporate design and exhibition typography. He works for clients inland and abroad and has been a (guest) teacher at several art schools. Moreover he is a conceiver of special projects and book productions. studio frederik de wal www.frederikdewal.nl

Do you want to be innovative? ‘Inspiration for Innovation’ offers you practical insights, tips, and tools to become a great innovator. It teaches you how to innovate: pick the right moment, break your patterns, understand customers, come up with great ideas, find new business models, get to market fast, and get your colleagues, partners, and bosses on board. This book inspires, confronts and surprises you with more than 100 lessons to be learnt. Inspiration for Innovation is written for anyone who wants to be an innovator: students, start-up founders, inventors, managers, engineers, marketers, entrepreneurs, consultants, change agents, members of the board, and, of course, you. Innovation is learning by doing. Start the right way with these 101 lessons learned.

INSPIRATION FOR INNOVATION

Gijs van Wulfen (1960) is a worldwide authority on innovation. He is the founder of the FORTH innovation method, a scientifically proven methodology for the start of innovation, which is implemented on six continents. His fourth book on innovation, ‘The Innovation Maze’, was crowned recently as Management Book of the Year 2017. As a LinkedIn Influencer he has 310,000+ followers and travels all over the world as a speaker on innovation and design thinking to inspire people in a practical way to be great innovators. Reach out to him at gijs@gijsvanwulfen.com.

GIJS  VAN  WULFEN

INSPIRATION FOR INNOVATION GIJS  VAN  WULFEN BIS PUBLISHERS

101 LESSONS FOR INNOVATORS

YOU CAN INVENT ALONE BUT YOU CAN’T INNOVATE ALONE. IT SHOULD BE CALLED WE-NNOVATION NOT I-NNOVATION.


101 LESSONS FOR INNOVATORS

CONTENTS


HOW TO USE THIS BOOK INNOVATE LIKE AN EXPLORER 01 What Is Innovation? 02 Urgency led to Magellan to the West 03 Columbus Had the Courage to Lose Sight of the Shore 04 Preparation Brought Amundsen to Reach the South Pole First 05 Being First on Everest Is All About Teamwork 06 The Apollo program Was One Big Experiment 07 Ten Innovation Lessons From Famous Explorers 08 When Should You Not Innovate? Personal Reflection

INNOVATION MINDSET 09 Operational Excellence Alone Will Kill You 10 Why Most Managers Fear Innovation 11 Improving Is a Step. Innovation Is a Jump. 12 Create a Shared Vision of the Future 13 How to Get Rid of Old Ideas 14 Being Bored Makes You Innovative 15 Are You Really an Innovator? 16 Innovation Is of All Ages 17 Seven NO’s Real Innovators Never Accept 18 Successful Innovation Is a Matter of Willpower 19 Innovation Magic Occurs Outside Your Comfort Zone 20 Five Simple Exercises to Break Your Patterns 21 Three Habits to Help You Get Big Ideas 22 Innovation Failure Is a Badge of Honour 23 Tradition Can Help You Boost Innovation 24 The Most Important Quality of an Innovator 25 Innovators Are Equilibrists 26 Five Provocative Questions to Change the Mindset 27 The Journey to an Innovative Corporate Culture Personal Reflection


ORGANISING INNOVATION

STARTING INNOVATION

28 Fifty Dinosaur Products and How to Stay Off that List 29 Big Corporates: Stop Frustrating Innovators 30 Do You Hate Innovation Steering Committees, Too? 31 It’s not I-nnovation. It’s We-nnovation 32 Should We Have an Innovation Department? 33 The Perfect Innovation Team 34 How to Get Spontaneous Big Ideas Funded? 35 Nine Innovation Secrets of Successful Creative Teams 36 The Best Innovators Are Need Seekers 37 Free Employees to Work on Big Ideas 38 The Ideal Innovation Manager: an Insider or Outsider? 39 Be an Innovator in Six Steps Personal Reflection

40 Six Rookie Mistakes in Innovation 41 Depressing Facts on Innovation 42 Why Do Incremental Innovations Dominate? 43 Ten Problems Launching Innovation 44 Create Momentum by Making People Nervous 45 How Do You Pick the Right Moment to Innovate? 46 It’s Not Always Wise to Start Innovation with an Idea 47 Workplace Politics Kills Innovation 48 How Can You Focus Innovation? 49 How to Understand Customers Deeply for Innovation? 50 Create an IKEA-Effect 51 The Main Reasons Start-ups Fail 52 How to Convince Your Conservative Boss to Innovate? 53 Ten Activities to Guide You Through the Innovation Maze 54 Start Innovation by Asking ‘What If?’ 55 Be Innovative and Act Conservative 56 The Technology Route to Starting Innovation 57 How to Create a Convincing New Business Case 58 Ten Ways to Reduce Innovation Failures Personal Reflection


IDEATING

IMPLEMENTING INNOVATION

59 Top Nine Eureka Moments 60 Great Ideas Have the X-factor 61 How Customers Lead You to Big Ideas 62 Twenty-eight Idea Killers 63 Seven Ways to Prevent Your Idea from Being Killed 64 The Tesla of Bikes Got a Brilliant Idea 65 How Can You Get 1414 New Ideas in a Brainstorm? 66 Choosing the Right Idea 67 How to Create a New Business Model 68 Big Ideas are Relevant, Feasible, and Viable 69 Big Companies should Operate StartUps, too 70 Five Tips to Get Great Ideas Accepted 71 The Best Way to Protect Your Idea Personal Reflection

72 World Famous Innovation Failures 73 Why Experimenting Is Crucial in Innovation 74 Test Innovations Like Tesla 75 How The Hippo Water Roller Impacts Lives in Africa 76 Zumba’s Success: Two Simple Innovation Rules 77 How The Trash-Eating WasteShark Cleans the Water 78 The Freemium Journey of Spotify 79 How Inside-the-Box Innovations Saved LEGO 80 Start-Up Turns Plants into Batteries 81 Airbnb Took Off When They Really Understood Their Customer Needs 82 What Can You Learn from the Story of the First Invisible Bicycle Helmet? 83 The origin of ‘Liter of Light’ 84 The Google Glass Experiment 85 How to Upscale a Radical Initiative Personal Reflection


WHA


INNOVATE LIKE AN EXPLORER

01

WHAT IS INNOVATION?

AT? Let’s clarify what I mean by innovation as the term has been defined in so many ways. Be aware I like to oversimplify it to make it clear for anyone — and not only for business professionals. In my view, innovation is ‘doing new things or doing things in a new way’. Let me exemplify the three keywords in this definition. New: Innovation comes from the Latin word innovat, which means to renew or alter. The combination of in and novare suggests, ‘to come up with something entirely new’.1 The question is, new for whom? In my view, a product or service is only new when the (internal) customer perceives it as new.

of organizing yourself, etcetera. In this way, the meaning of innovation applies to companies, healthcare institutions, non-profit organizations, and even governmental organisations.

Doing: Innovation has a concrete outcome and it is only successful when it is adopted by customers, (internal) users, clients, or whatever you may call them. Effective innovators, therefore, have a process in place to transform ideas into concrete outcomes. Be sure to use one. My own favourite definition of innovation comes from Lewis Duncan: ‘Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices.’

Things: Innovation can appear in many forms. People associate innovation with new technological inventions. But it can also be services, business models, markets, processes, customer experiences, ways

Max McKeown, The Innovation Book, Pearson, Harlow, United Kingdom, 2014, p. xxix. 1


INNOVATION MINDSET

15

ARE YOU REALLY AN INNOVATOR? It is highly fashionable to call yourself an innovator these days. It makes me wonder how it’s possible, with all these innovators around, that our world isn’t much more innovative than it is. Six out of seven (so-called) innovative ideas never even reach the market. Would this happen when so many of us are real innovators? Wikipedia defines an innovator in a general sense, as a person who is one of the first to introduce into reality something better than before. Based on this definition and my personal experience meeting real innovators, I invite you to answer the following five questions to check if you are really an innovator:

1. Are you curious and able to come up with original ideas while the rest is stuck in creativity? 2. Do you have the courage to take real risks in everyday life with your career, reputation, and money? 3. Are other people prepared to follow you when you take them on a path no one ever took before?

4. Do you change your mind and pivot your idea when it doesn’t work and is proven wrong? 5. Do you persist and make your idea become a reality, even when everybody tells you it can’t be done and you failed the first seven times? 

A real innovator is a curious, creative, courageous, convincing, ­persistent, open-minded human being. Are you?


INNOVATION MINDSET

20

FIVE SIMPLE EXERCISES TO BREAK YOUR PATTERNS It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. This wonderful quote of Leon C. Megginson is still so relevant. That’s why it’s important for you to become aware of, and to break your routines. Learning to break your own patterns is essential in leading your organization to change. I like to suggest five simple practical exercises:

1. Try to write with your other hand, just for one minute. Do you notice how strange this is? 2. Take a different daily route to work. You will be amazed what you discover on your way. 3. Wear your watch on your other hand for a day. It will feel strange, which is a great reminder for you to be more flexible.

4. Go to your favourite restaurant. Now really look around and observe the place for thirty seconds. You will see things you never noticed before. 5. Reach out to one new person per day at work during a week and ask them what’s on their mind. Once you become aware of your patterns, your mind is open for change.


BOO ‘Without tradition no innovation. Without innovation no tradition.’ This saying popped into my mind when I was reflecting on my first visit to Russia. There I saw how traditional Russian lifestyle blends with modern, trendy Moscow. And I remembered there from my early working days how historical breakthroughs of a company can help it innovate today.

All companies once started small and innovative. As companies grow older, though, they tend to become more riskaverse. Entrepreneurs leave and managers come in. All the bureaucratic processes and policies put in place become impediments to innovation. This is not an immediate problem, not until the rate of change outside the company drastically outpaces the rate of change inside. Then ‘a big old tanker’

will realize it has to innovate. As innovation facilitator, I learned that challenging company traditions, respectfully, increases the acceptance of innovation. Violating traditions leads to resistance.

So how do you get traditionalists to be more innovative? Every company was once a rulebreaker. I advise you as innovator to go far back in time to find some great innovative cases in the history of your own company, when the big old tanker still was a speedboat. Look into the company archives and talk to ‘the old guys’ at work and ask them about ‘how they broke the rules’ in the old days. The first company where I worked, as a junior product manager, was Honig, in The Netherlands. It started in 1867 and is a familiar producer of dried food products,


INNOVATION MINDSET

23

TRADITION CAN HELP YOU BOOST INNOVATION

OST like pasta, soups, and cake mixes. Once started as an entrepreneurial family company, 120 years later it became a rather large, conservative working company. The former speedboat was then a big tanker in a huge fleet and consequently lost a lot of innovation speed. Honig was the market leader in a lot of product categories and was focused on maintaining the equilibrium. How would they be able to create momentum for innovation? In the company archives, I found that Honig, in fact, was the creator of the market for dried soups in The Netherlands. The first package of dried soup was called Honig’s Vermicellisoep and was introduced in 1930. Luckily, in those days, it was not known in The Netherlands that in Italian vermicelli means little worms. The story of ‘How Honig

Created a Totally New Market’ in 1930 helped me as a marketer sixty years later to create new momentum for innovation. As soon as the naysayers at Honig heard the story that innovation was part of their tradition, they were personally touched and became supporters of new initiatives. Can tradition help you boost innovation? Yes. Go out there and talk to ‘the old guys’ and dig into your archives. I am pretty sure you will come up with some great stories of breakthrough innovations buried in the history of your organization. Find them and tell their stories. It really helps in creating momentum for new breakthroughs.


PERSONAL DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE INÂ EVERYDAY CAREER,


REFLECTION TITEL SECTIE

THE COURAGE REAL RISKS LIFE WITH YOUR REPUTATION AND MONEY?


ORGANISING INNOVATION

37

THE IDEAL INNOVATION MANAGER: AN INSIDER OR OUTSIDER?

One of my clients — a family-owned building materials supplier producing concrete — wanted to innovate. First, we started a structured ideation journey with a multidisciplinary team to come up with appealing new ideas. During this journey, the CEO said they wanted to hire an innovation manager to transform their ideas into concrete products and services. He asked me if I knew an experienced outsider.

So, I advised them to appoint an internal guy, their marketing manager at that time. He was closely connected to the ideation process, a very friendly guy, and a real professional. And he just got practical training in innovation. It worked out wonderfully. With great internal support the company launched five innovative concepts over the last four years and are now leading innovation in their sector.

I had my doubts if an outsider would be the best choice. As the building supplies sector is so conservative, there are hardly any innovation professionals available. Secondly, their corporate culture was so closed that it would take an outsider ages to become ‘one of the guys’. The last point is essential: an innovation manager can’t innovate a company alone. He or she has to have great facilitation capabilities to grow a culture for innovation.

When you are looking for the ideal innovation manager, my tip is to looks inside your organisation first.


40-58 STARTING INNOVATION


STARTING INNOVATION

58

TEN WAYS TO REDUCE INNOVATION FAILURES As I mentioned earlier, Innovation expert Robert Cooper shows that of every seven new product/service projects, about four enter development, one-and-a-half are launched, and only one succeeds. Innovation is difficult to master. I’d like to inspire you with ten practical ways to reduce innovation failures.

1. Create momentum for your innovation project. There must be urgency; otherwise, nobody will be prepared to go outside the box. 2. It is essential to start your innovation project with a clear and concrete innovation assignment. It forces top management from the start to be concrete, as well, and serves as your compass. 3. Use a team approach to get both better innovation results and internal supporters for the innovative outcomes. 4. Let the internal top problem-owner (vicepresident) and important influencers (CFO) participate part-time in the innovation team. 5. Use a structured approach. It helps you to connect the dots.

6. When you ideate unprepared, hardly ­anything new appears. That’s why it is ­essential to get fresh insights before you start creating ideas. 7. Start discovering relevant customer frictions to solve. 8. Check the strength of the new concepts among potential customers at the front end of innovation. 9. Draft new business cases instead of ­coming up with post-its or mood boards. 10. Keep the pace of your innovation ­process going, as it gets killed when it takes too long without any progress.


IMPLEMENTING INNOVATION

73

WHY EXPERIMENTING IS CRUCIAL IN INNOVATION

What’s the worst possible nightmare you could have as an innovator? It’s launching an innovation nobody wants, making it an instant failure. The sooner you know your innovation is attractive and you are able show it to be so, the better. This does not mean rushing an immature/ valueless prototype, but rather strategic experimenting. Did you know that the inventor James Dyson had made 5,127 prototypes of his famous Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner before settling on the model that would make him a billionaire?

Experimenting means testing your new concept to learn if it really delivers value to your customer and if the business model you came up with is valid. By doing so, you validate the future business potential of your new concept. The goal of experimentation at the start of innovation is simply to learn and improve. I totally agree with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn who said, ‘If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.’ The more realistic your experiment is, the more you will learn and the better you can assess the validity and attractiveness of your new concept.


INNOVATION PIONEERS

92

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT – AT ANY AGE

Moziah (Mo) Bridges decided that he wanted to start making his own bow ties at the age of nine. He’d had a great sense of style and love of fashion, and his grandmother, a retired seamstress, taught him how to cut and sew fabric. His mom started to help him build a business around his creations and they started to sell colourful and expressive bowties online and across Memphis, Tennessee.

Mo started his company because he needed an accessory to help me look sharp but didn’t see anything that fit his style or personality. Now, his dream is to become a fashion mogul. When he graduates high school in 2020, he plans to go to college and study fashion design. He’s already begun adding new clothing and apparel to Mo’s Bows, including neck ties, pocket squares, T-shirts, and hats.

From 2011 to 2017, Mo’s Bows, as the brand is called, has brought in $600,000 in sales. The company has seven full-time employees, and the company’s ties are hand-made in Memphis. You can find Mo’s bowties in stores like Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus in the US. You can also buy his ‘Go Mo’ bowtie online, to support his non-profit, which provides opportunities to send Memphis children to summer camps (mosbowsmemphis.com).

The lesson for innovators from Mo Bridges’s example is: You can be anything you want — at any age.


INNOVATION PIONEERS

96

THE CHALLENGE IS TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON A GREAT IDEA

Richard Branson dropped out of school at age sixteen, a decision that ultimately led to the creation of Virgin Records. He expanded his entrepreneurial ventures beyond music to other sectors, including the space-tourism venture Virgin Galactic, making him a billionaire. The Virgin Group holds more than three hundred fifty companies in thirty-five countries around the world, with nearly seventy thousand employees.

passengers and/or cargo at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel — a service introduced and named by Elon Musk in August 2013.

Branson embraces breakthrough technology. In 2004, he started Virgin Galactic to develop and operate a new generation of space vehicles to open outer-space to everyone. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity is designed to fly six paying passengers and two pilots to suborbital space and back for $250,000 a ticket. And in 2017, Virgin Group invested in Hyperloop One to commercialize Hyperloop in moving

Richard Branson wrote in his autobiography, ‘My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them ... from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.’

Of course, Richard Branson has been involved in many failed business projects too, like Virgin Cola, Virgin Cars, Virgin Publishing, Virgin Clothing, and Virgin Brides.

The lesson for innovators from Richard Branson is, ‘The challenge is to follow through on a great idea.’


Gijs van Wulfen www.gijsvanwulfen.com

Frederik de Wal (1963) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, a Dutch academy for fine arts and design in Amsterdam, after which he started his own design studio. He specialized in (editorial) concepts, book design, corporate design and exhibition typography. He works for clients inland and abroad and has been a (guest) teacher at several art schools. Moreover he is a conceiver of special projects and book productions. studio frederik de wal www.frederikdewal.nl

Do you want to be innovative? ‘Inspiration for Innovation’ offers you practical insights, tips, and tools to become a great innovator. It teaches you how to innovate: pick the right moment, break your patterns, understand customers, come up with great ideas, find new business models, get to market fast, and get your colleagues, partners, and bosses on board. This book inspires, confronts and surprises you with more than 100 lessons to be learnt. Inspiration for Innovation is written for anyone who wants to be an innovator: students, start-up founders, inventors, managers, engineers, marketers, entrepreneurs, consultants, change agents, members of the board, and, of course, you. Innovation is learning by doing. Start the right way with these 101 lessons learned.

INSPIRATION FOR INNOVATION

Gijs van Wulfen (1960) is a worldwide authority on innovation. He is the founder of the FORTH innovation method, a scientifically proven methodology for the start of innovation, which is implemented on six continents. His fourth book on innovation, ‘The Innovation Maze’, was crowned recently as Management Book of the Year 2017. As a LinkedIn Influencer he has 310,000+ followers and travels all over the world as a speaker on innovation and design thinking to inspire people in a practical way to be great innovators. Reach out to him at gijs@gijsvanwulfen.com.

GIJS  VAN  WULFEN

INSPIRATION FOR INNOVATION GIJS  VAN  WULFEN BIS PUBLISHERS

101 LESSONS FOR INNOVATORS

YOU CAN INVENT ALONE BUT YOU CAN’T INNOVATE ALONE. IT SHOULD BE CALLED WE-NNOVATION NOT I-NNOVATION.

Inspiration for Innovation  

The 101 lessons in this book make you dream, think and act like a successful innovator

Inspiration for Innovation  

The 101 lessons in this book make you dream, think and act like a successful innovator