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Designing the IdeaBooster; a competencies connector for major innovations

Designing the IdeaBooster a competencies connector for major innovations

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Graduation Report Clemence Simons

Graduation report Clemence Simons MSc Strategic Product Design & Science Communication March 2012


Designing the IdeaBooster a competencies connector for major innovations

Clemence Simons Student number 1214985 clemencesimons@gmail.com +31649319039 TU Delft Chair Dr. Ir. F.E.H.M. Smulders Product Innovation Management Industrial Design Engineering TU Delft Mentor Drs. C. Wehrmann Science Education and Communication Applied Sciences TU Delft Mentor Dr. M.C.A. van der Sanden Science Education and Communication Applied Sciences Company Mentor Dr. ir. A.G.M. van Asseldonk TVA developments Veldhoven

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5

Report structure

6

Executive Summary 1. Introduction

7 10

2.

Methodology

16

Problem Definition

24

Problem Analysis

42

1.1. Background 1.2. Graduation assignment 1.3. Relevance of this graduation project 1.4. Relation of this graduation project to masters SC and SPD

3.

4.

5.

2.1. Proposing an integrated SPD and SC design process 2.2. Applying the combined design process of SPD and SC

3.1. Methodology of problem definition 3.2. Exploration of the “problem as understood by client� 3.3. Problem Demarcation 3.4. Boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster 3.5. Research Question 3.6. Definitions 3.7. Conclusions

4.1. Methodology of problem analysis 4.2. Why major innovations are necessary 4.3. Uncertainties in major innovations 4.4. A revised model for major innovation capability 4.5. The DIA stages in the revised model 4.6. Overview of the management system criteria of MIC 4.7. Focus on the criteria relevant for the IdeaBooster 4.8. Exploratory activities 4.9. Broad & diverse set of competencies 4.10. Rich internal and external networks 4.11. Conclusions of problem analysis

Design brief

5.1. Methodology of design brief 5.2. Choosing the problems to be addressed by the IdeaBooster 5.3. Defining the IdeaBooster 5.4. Schedule of requirements 5.5. Conclusion

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10 12 13 13

16 21

24 27 35 35 36 36 40

43 49 50 51 55 57 58 59 67 84 93

102

102 103 106 109 110

Table of Contents

Preface


6.

7.

8.

9.

Conceptualisation

112

Evaluation

130

Discussion

142

Conclusion & recommendations

152

6.1. Methodology of Conceptualisation 6.2. The IdeaBooster process 6.3. The IdeaBooster tools 6.4. Implementation roadmap for the IdeaBooster 6.5. Conclusion

7.1. Process evaluation 7.2. Product evaluation

8.1. Reflection on theory 8.2. Contributions of this graduation project 8.3. The value of combining SC and SPD

9.1. Answer to research question 9.2. Answers to sub questions 9.3. Recommendations

112 114 117 124 127

130 136

142 144 147

152 152 159

Acknowledgments

161

References

162

Appendices

165


Preface

In 2004 I started my study in Delft, fascinated by the technological innovations that provide value to our daily lives. Through years of studying I have come to understand what it takes to design these technological innovations. Later I came to realise that (the process of) technological innovation should be accompanied by communication. I have finished my studies with an understanding on how companies can become capable of providing us with these technological innovations. But this is not the end of my learning and I will continue to learn and work on the intriguing world of major innovations. Hopefully this work provides you with similar enthusiasm on the topic and helps you to explore the wonderful and complex world of major innovations.

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Preface

This thesis encloses the result of my graduation project for the master degree of Strategic Product Design and Science Communication at the Delft University of Technology.


Report structure

Report structure This graduation report contains 9 chapters and is structured according to Table 1. Chapters 1 and 2 introduce the assignment and the methodology. Chapters 3-6 show the results of the research and design process. Chapter 7 evaluates the process and the product. Chapter 8 discusses the results. Chapter 9 answers the research question and contains recommendations. The reference list is provided after chapter 8. The appendices are provided on a CD-ROM and the table of contents for these appendices is provided at the end of this report. Table 1: Overview of the chapters of this graduation project and their main goal

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This graduation project has analysed the problems surrounding major innovations in large established companies. This analysis was performed to gain insights for the design of the IdeaBooster. The IdeaBooster addresses a selection of the problems that companies are facing in major innovations. Misinterpretations of maximizing shareholder value The causes that companies are ill-equipped to deal with major innovations can be led back to their misinterpretation of maximizing shareholder value. Maximizing shareholder value is a corporate governance measure that should be applied to “retain & reinvest”, however since the 90’s it was interpreted into the principle of “downsize & distribute”. Downsizing and distributing meant an overly focus on gaining efficiencies through cutbacks on people, reorganisation and less room for long term & uncertain projects. Companies are focused on their exploitative processes and have neglected to invest in explorative processes. Yet companies cannot be healthy innovative companies without involving and balancing the exploitative and explorative process, or in other words by becoming ambidextrous organisations. Not investing in explorative processes and long-term uncertain projects means that major innovations will be unlikely to happen. Need for major innovation capability The inability of companies to majorly innovate is a much discussed topic in literature and many different propositions are made on how companies can become capable of major innovations. This thesis proposes a model for major innovation capability, based on empirical and literature study (primary source is MIC model of O’Connor et al, 2008). This model prescribes how companies can organise to become capable of repeatedly commercialising major innovations. The model proposes three stages –discovery, incubation and acceleration- through which the major innovation should evolve. These stages need to be supported by a management system. The model prescribes 7 criteria that should be fulfilled: • Exploratory activities • Broad & diverse set of competencies • Rich internal & external networks • Interaction with mainstream organization • Appreciating management & leadership • Suitable decision-making metrics and rewards • Awareness of internal innovation capacity

Problems with a major innovation capability relevant for IdeaBooster Large established companies are encountering problems with fulfilling these criteria and applying them to the stages. The problems are complex and highly diverse and the IdeaBooster will not be able to address all these problems. The IdeaBooster will focus on resolving the problems found in the incubation stage. This stage is often underdeveloped in companies, a conclusion that can be made based on empiricism and literature. The stage is underdeveloped since there is a lack of patience to experiment with all the aspects of the opportunity.

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Executive Summary

Executive Summary


The IdeaBooster only focuses on the problems within the boundary conditions of the original idea. The following problems and causes are addressed: • Lack of activities to resolve uncertainties & experiment with opportunity; companies are not aware of uncertainties of an opportunity and choose the wrong uncertainties to resolve, because they can be unwilling or unable to resolve uncertainties outside core competencies. • Not involving necessary incubation competencies; the needed competencies are not present in companies or companies do not know what right competencies are (do not apply competencies/roles) or are not searched for (this takes up too much time and leads to high search costs). • Under leveraging internal and external networks; networks are not leveraged and made insightful, leading to a lack of knowledge on where to find the right people. Companies still see many obstacles for open / networked innovation that might inhibit leveraging networks to its fullest potential even if they are aware of the added value of involving outsiders. Solution of IdeaBooster The IdeaBooster will: Connect companies - with problems in a major innovation project- to the right solvers without increasing their search costs, with the final goal being to continually improve major innovation capability. The IdeaBooster makes this connection by articulating the problem of companies. The right solvers (the ones with the right competencies) and the means to reach these solvers are determined based on this articulation. The IdeaBooster supports companies in selecting the right solvers with tools that make the networks insightful and that help to keep search costs to a minimum. Contributions This graduation project contributes to theory by: evolving the MIC more into qualitative benchmark, demystifying “people with a talent for MI” and by integrating open innovation into the incubation stage of the MIC model. This graduation project contributes insights of how master programmes Science Communication and Strategic Product Design can benefit each other by reflecting on the value of this integration on a subject and methodology level. Recommendations For the client an implementation roadmap is provided to develop and implement the IdeaBooster. The client is advised to pay attention to integrating the needs of the solvers. The tools of the IdeaBooster should be tested to ensure that they keep the balance between a broad set of competencies and limited search costs.

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Chapter 1: Introduction

9


1.

Introduction

This chapter introduces the background of assignment for this graduation project in paragraph 1.1. The graduation assignment is described in paragraph 1.2. This graduation assignment is not only relevant for the client, but also in a broader perspective. The relevance of this graduation project is discussed in paragraph 1.3. The graduation project is carried out for the masters Strategic Product Design and Science Communication. The relation of this graduation project to these masters can be found in paragraph 1.4.

1.1. Background This graduation project is a collaborative effort between TVA Developments, the TU Delft and Clemence Simons. TVA Developments is a management consultancy founded by Ton van Asseldonk in 1990. The area of expertise is mass individualisation and complex systems. TVA Developments, the client, set up a graduation assignment for the IdeaBooster. The IdeaBooster is an opportunity recognised by the client and the client has put some effort in articulating this (a preliminary sketch of the IdeaBooster can be found in appendix 1.1. The client based this opportunity on problems observed in companies. The client wants to see how the IdeaBooster can be developed and this is the graduation assignment. This development also requires investments and therefore a group of (potential) investors has been brought together by TVA Developments. With this group of investors several meetings are held to discuss the outcomes of the research and the design. Problem as understood by client The problem as understood by the client is based on his expertise in the field of management consultancy and is depicted in Figure 1. MI talent not willing to work in companies

Focus on efficiency ; cutbacks on people & reorganisations

MI talented people not present in companies

Lack of major innovations Loss of collaborative networks in companies

People are not in connected (no idea or knowledge sharing)

Figure 1: Causal relations between the symptoms of the problem, as described by the client. The main problem is the lack of major innovations.

The main problem that the client mentioned is that companies are insufficiently coming up with major innovations (MI). According to the client this is caused: • By the lack of idea and knowledge sharing • The fact that people with a talent for MI are not present in the company.

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IdeaBooster as understood by client The IdeaBooster is believed to be a solution to the problematic situation of Figure 1 and specifically focuses on three issues of this problem. Figure 2 explains how the IdeaBooster wants to support companies in need of major innovation. The client has hypothesised a potential solution to these problems. Bringing companies into contact with networks MI talented independent professionals

MI talent not willing to work in companies

Focus on efficiency ; cutbacks on people & reorganisations

MI talented people not present in companies

Lack of major innovations Loss of collaborative networks in companies

People are not in connected (no idea or knowledge sharing)

Using online networked communities to form new networks without increasing search costs

IdeaBooster = External growing space for ideas, that supports companies in major innovations

Figure 2: The places where the IdeaBooster is believed to provide a solution to the problematic situation

Hypothesis for the IdeaBooster as formulated by the client The IdeaBooster can help companies to grow their ideas externally by providing them access to the right people. The client believes that recent developments towards online networked communities and crowdsourcing are a way to connect companies with the right people in an efficient manner. The right people with talent for MI, according to the client, are independent professionals, as this is a growing, flexible and entrepreneurial group that cannot find its own access to companies.

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1: Introduction

The lack of idea and knowledge sharing is believed to be caused by the destruction of collaborative networks through cutbacks. These cutbacks have led companies to reorganise and segment. This means that employees are not able to find one another. Because employees cannot locate the knowhow in their company, it takes them more time and energy. The search costs increase and this is undesirable. To limit search costs means that the right people are not always selected, because the search costs are too high. The cutbacks, mainly on major innovation projects, have led companies to lack MI talented people. This lack of MI talented people is also caused by the fact that the MI talented people are not keen to work in companies anymore. These MI talented people are a special type of people and are often not at home in companies that restrict them.


1.2. Graduation assignment From the previous paragraph it is clear how the client came from the problem to the IdeaBooster. The problem is based on expertise and based on this problem the opportunity for the IdeaBooster was recognised. This is also depicted in Figure 3. The original graduation assignment was to design the IdeaBooster based on the hypothesis that the IdeaBooster is a suitable solution for the problem recognised. However, the connection between the problem and the solution is not clear at this point. In order to come up with the concept this connection between problem and solution should be proven. Problem as understood by client

Based on expertise

? IdeaBooster as understood by client

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Original graduation assignment

Empirical world

Problem as is

Concept for IdeaBooster

Figure 3: The creation of the hypothesis for the IdeaBooster; connecting the problem to an opportunity (IdeaBooster). The original graduation assignment was to develop this opportunity into a concept. However the step from the “problem as is” to “the problem as understood by client” is not explicit. The link between the problem and the solution is neither explicit nor proven.

Proving and understanding this link is needed as a designer. A designer needs to have an understanding of the problem to make the right design choices. Figure 4 shows the extended graduation assignment. Problem as understood by client

Extended graduation assignment

IdeaBooster as understood by client

Extended graduation assignment

Original graduation assignment

Empirical world

Problem as is

Concept for IdeaBooster

Figure 4: The extension of the graduation assignment to prove and understand the problem formulation and the link between the problem and solution (shown in purple).

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The methodology for taking these steps is explained in chapter 2.

1.3. Relevance of this graduation project The need for companies to improve their capability to majorly innovate is not new and has been a topic of research for many years. During the last years it seems that an increased timeto-market and growing complexity of products has put even more emphasis on the topic. Many authors (Chesbrough, VanHaverbeke and West amongst other) believe that companies will need to open their innovation processes in order to gain access to the diverse knowledge needed for (major) innovations. Companies can simply not reside on the capabilities they possess. The attention to open innovation has certainly changed innovation processes and has, some even might say, caused a paradigm shift. Yet in this change from closed to open innovation most attention has been given to the fact that companies are lacking ideas. Opening up the innovation processes will provide companies with access to more ideas and possibilities to share their ideas outside. This assumed lack of ideas has also been put into practice and many products and services have been designed to help companies gain access to ideas of for example customers or students. And although this is a step forward, it is questionable whether providing companies with access to more ideas is improving their capability for major innovations. If companies are not equipped to absorb these ideas and commercialise them into true innovations providing companies with ideas might not be the right solution. Therefore this graduation project will systematically explore all the aspects that might lead to improved major innovation efforts. Based on this systematic exploration of the context of major innovation, suggestions will be made on how an open and networked innovation approach can truly benefit companies’ major innovation efforts.

1.4. Relation of this graduation project to masters SC and SPD This graduation project is the second integrated graduation project of the master programs Science Communication (SC) and Strategic Product Design (SPD) at the TU Delft. This graduation project aims to integrate the learning from both masters and so it is interesting to see how this graduation project is placed within the fields of both masters.

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1: Introduction

This graduation assignment’s goal is to design the IdeaBooster, based on thorough analysis of the problem; therefore the following steps will be taken: • Explore the “problem as understood by client” and see if it needs demarcation • Analyse the demarcated problem • Translate the problem into a need that fits the IdeaBooster • Develop a design brief for the IdeaBooster based on this need • Propose a concept for the IdeaBooster • Set up an implementation plan for the IdeaBooster


Strategic Product Design is a master at the faculty of Industrial Design and its focus is on the fuzzy front end of new product or service development. The emphasis is on translating corporate strategy into a product development portfolio through the analysis of market developments and opportunities. In this master programme there is also a great deal of attention for the process of achieving these new products and services; the master is concerned with innovation management. This is where this graduation project touches with SPD, as it is about how companies can improve their major innovation efforts through opening up their innovation processes. To improve this situation a design proposal for an innovation tool will be produced. Designing tools or methods that improve innovation processes is also part of the master SPD. Science Communication is a part of the master Science Education & Communication and, similar to SPD, this master is situated in an interdisciplinary field and is concerned with design. The field of science communication is relatively young, but there are two visions on what science communication is: • Communicating about science and technology • Communicating in science and technology. The master of Science communication has chosen to emphasise the last vision; communication in science and technology and is specifically interested in the design of communication products and processes. This graduation’s project topic revolves around innovation, which often takes place in the context of science and technology or by applying scientific and technological knowledge. For innovation it is important that knowledge is transferred, shared and new knowledge is created among people (an innovation is often the product of combining existing knowledge). This graduation project aims to come up with a design of an innovation tool to connect companies with problems to people who can provide them with solutions. One of the key elements will be how these two groups will be connected. In order to connect these groups, a communication process or product will have to be designed. Designing a communication process or product in the field of innovation, is therefore clearly related to this master. Both masters are connected to this graduation topic in their own way, but already many overlaps and possible connections between the two masters arise. The discussion (chapter 8) will provide further details on how this graduation project is related to the masters and what both masters have provided.

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Chapter 2: Methodology

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2.

Methodology

This chapter will explain the methodology applied in this graduation project. This graduation project is an integration of two masters and this reflects in the methodology used; it is an integration of common methodologies applied in the masters SPD and SC. In paragraph 2.1 an integrated design process of SPD and SC is proposed. Paragraph 2.2 uses this explanation to describe how this design process is used in this particular graduation project. The more in-depth methodology descriptions are provided in the first paragraphs of each chapter.

2.1. Proposing an integrated SPD and SC design process This paragraph proposes how both (SPD and SC) approaches to design can be integrated. First the commonalities and differences are highlighted. Second, the integrated design process of SPD and SC is explained. How this integrated design process was experienced by me as a graduate student is discussed in paragraph 7.1.3.

2.1.1. Finding common ground in design processes of SC and SPD Both SPD and SC are concerned with design (see Figure 5) and therefore both processes can be combined. SPD is concerned with the design of products and services. SC is concerned with the design of communication products and processes. Both masters combine research and design elements in their approaches. However the emphasis in this combination is different. SPD uses a research-based design approach, meaning that research helps to collect insights needed for the design; the emphasis is on the design. In SC a design based research (website DBR in SEC, 2012) is often employed, which means that design is used to formulate or improve research or theory, so the emphasis is on the research. An integrated SPD and SC design process Strategic Product Design Outcomes of design process

Emphasis within Design & Research

Heuristics in the design process

Science Communication

Products & Services

Communication products & processes

Research Based Design

Design Based Research

Divergent & Convergent Thinking

Iteration between theory & practice

Co-evolution of problem & solution Figure 5: The integrated design process of SPD and SC incorporates both the approaches to research & design as well as all of the design heuristics.

The integrated design process is based on the design methodology of both fields, but will take the design process of SPD as a base, because the design methodology is much more developed at this faculty than in the relatively new field of Science Communication.

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In the SPD design process two design heuristics are often applied (see Figure 5): • divergent and convergent thinking (Lawson, 1993) • co-evolution of problem and solution (Drost & Cross, 2001) These heuristics are complemented with a heuristic applied in the design process of Science Communication. This design process also contains divergent and convergent thinking, but emphasis is on: • Iteration between theory and practice (website DBR in SEC, 2012)

2.1.2. Combined design process of SC and SPD The basic design process is that of the faculty of industrial design (IDE). This basic design process is at the centre of the integrated design process and is depicted in Figure 6. Problem as theorised

Interpretation of data

Problem as felt

From problem to requirements

Design brief

From requirements to solutions

Data

Empirical world

Problem as is

Concept

Figure 6: Basic design process of SPD; extracting a problem from the empirical world, forming a theory of the problem, translating this problem into a need and a concept.

In this design process there is an upward and downward movement. Moving upwards suggests making abstractions of the problems to come to a “problem as theorised”. The downward movement suggests making concretisations and works to make the “problem as theorised” more concrete. Finally the concept should be on the same level of concreteness as the “problem as is”. This means that it should be clear to the problem owners how the concept will solve their problem. The design process can be divided into three phases (see Figure 7): 1. Problem analysis; the first step is to start from the problem as is and to investigate

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2: Metdhodology

The iteration between theory and practice also plays a part in the design process of SPD, yet is not so much emphasised as in SC. These heuristics are crucial in the design process as they shape the process and determine decisions on methods to use. The following section will explain how they shape the process. But first the basic design process is explained.


this problem to come to the “problem as felt”. This is already an abstraction of the real problem. By interpreting this problem further, it is more abstract and leads to a theory of the problem. 2.

Design brief; this starts from the “problem as theorised”. To formulate the design brief the “problem as theorised” has to be made more concrete, hence the downwards movement. This concretisation step translates the problem into requirements.

3.

Conceptualisation; the design brief is still quite abstract and therefore an additional movement towards the empirical world is made. This concretisation is made by generating ideas. These ideas are clustered and integrated into a concept. The concept is the final result of the design process. Problem Analysis

Design Brief

Problem as theorised

Interpretation of data

Problem as felt

From problem to requirements

Design brief

Conceptualisation

From requirements to solutions

Data

Empirical world

Problem as is

Concept

Figure 7: Basis phases in the design process; problem analysis, design brief and conceptualisation

The basic design process and the phases in this process have been explained. This design process is characterised by the divergent and convergent thinking, the co-evolution of problem and solution and the iteration between theory and practice. How these three heuristics shape the design process is explained in the following section. Divergent and convergent thinking The first heuristic for the design process is the divergent and convergent thinking. This is visualised in Figure 8 by placing diamonds in the design process. The divergent thinking resides in collecting insights for the design (often through research) or generation ideas. The convergent thinking resides in actions such as clustering, interpreting and deciding on the best ideas.

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Problem as theorised

Interpretation of data

From problem to requirements

Problem as felt

Design brief

From requirements to solutions

Data

Concept

Figure 8: Divergent and convergent thinking in the design process, shown by the diamonds

In the first diamond (from “problem as is” to “problem as theorised”) the divergence lies with collecting data from practice and theory. The convergence is about clustering these findings and coming up with a “theory of the problem”. In the second diamond the divergent thinking is in moving from the problem to the multiple possible requirements. The converging act is concerned with prioritising these requirements and in refining them. In the third diamond the requirements are transformed into many ideas are generated. The convergent step is to cluster, decide and integrate these ideas into one concept. Co-evolution of problem and solution The second design heuristic is that the problem and solution develop in a co-evolutionary manner. This means that the process of design is not a matter of first fixing the problem and then finding a solution for this problem. The design process is a process in which the formulation of Problem as theorised

Interpretation of data

Problem as felt

From problem to requirements

Design brief

From requirements to solutions

Data

Empirical world

Problem as is

Concept

Figure 9: Co-evolution of problem and solution in the design process; this means going back and forth between phases and refining problem by designing the solution and vice versa; shown by the double sided arrows & arrows between problem and solution side.

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2: Metdhodology

Empirical world

Problem as is


the problem and the ideas for the solution are developed and refined co-evolutionary (Drost & Cross, 2001). This co-evolutionary movement is constantly present in the design process, from beginning to end. The co-evolution of problem and solution is shown in Figure 9. This co-evolution of problem and solution means that a designer follows two directions in a design process; from problem to solution and from solution to problem. This co-evolution is depicted in Figure 9 by making the arrows double sided and by including arrows between the problem and solution side of the design process. Iteration between theory and practice The third design heuristic, taken from the SC design process, is the iteration between theory and practice (see figure 10). This iterative movement can be made in all the steps of the design process. However the theory might be less important in the downward movement (from problem as theorised to concept). The importance of theory decreases, because the problem has to be made concrete and theory often makes it more abstract. Therefore the theory circles are made lighter. The iteration between theory and practice leads to increased understanding on both sides. Theory can provide a framework for structuring findings from practice. Practice on the other hand provides more concrete insights to understand the abstract concepts used in theory.

Problem as theorised

Interpretation Theory of data

Practice

Problem as felt

TheoryData

Practice

Theory

From problem Practice to requirements

Design brief

Theory

From requirements Practice to solutions

Empirical world

Problem as is

Concept

Figure 10: Iteration between theory and practice in the design process; this iteration takes place in every phase of the design process, but theory might gain less importance in the design brief or conceptualisation (shown in lighter colour)

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2.2. Applying the combined design process of SPD and SC A proposal for what an integrated design process for SPD and SC is proposed in the previous paragraph. This paragraph describes how the integrated design process was applied in this graduation project. The design process for this graduation project included the following phases: 1. Problem definition 2. Problem analysis 3. Design Brief 4. Concept design Reflections on theory

Problem Analysis

Design Brief

Problem as felt

Schedule of requirements

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Concept Design for IdeaBooster

Conceptualisation

Empiricial world of focused problem

Problem Definition

Problem as understood by clients

Empirical world of total problem

Problem as is

Figure 11: Overview of the four phases of the design process for this graduation project. These four phases are: the problem definition, problem analysis, design brief and conceptualisation. From each of these phases the first and last step is shown.

Figure 11 gives an overview of these four phases. Compared to the basic phases of the design process of Figure 7 the design process of this graduation project included an additional phase, the problem definition. The problem definition was needed, because the problem could not be articulated to a sufficient level and deeper exploration of the problem was needed. Figure 11 only describes the first and last step of each phase, but in every phase there are many more steps in-between. These steps will be described in detail in the chapters (3, 4, 5 and 6).

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2: Metdhodology

Problem as theorised


Chapter 3: Problem Definition

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3.

Problem Definition

This chapter describes the findings of the exploration into the problems of companies and the reasons for the independent professionals to be a justified target group. The used methodology is described in paragraph 3.1. The results of the exploration of the problems are presented in paragraph 3.2. Paragraph 3.3 demarcates this problem. Paragraph 3.4 introduces the boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster. Paragraph 3.5 provides the research question and sub questions. Paragraph 3.6 defines the concepts used in the research question. This chapter concludes with remarks on the consequences for the (design brief of the) IdeaBooster in paragraph 3.7

3.1. Methodology of problem definition This paragraph explains the methodology of the problem definition and elaborates on how the three design heuristics (divergence and convergence, co-evolution of problem and solution and iteration between theory and practice) were incorporated. Figure 12 gives an overview of the steps taken to come to the demarcated problem and the boundary conditions for the solution. Reflections on theory

Problem as theorised

Problem Analysis

Design Brief

Problem as felt

Schedule of requirements

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Concept Design for IdeaBooster

Conceptualisation

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Empiricial world of focused problem

Problem Definition

Problem as understood by designer

Problem as understood by clients

Problem as is

Problem Definition Empirical world of total problem

Problem as understood by literature study

IdeaBooster as seen by designer

Problem as understood by empirical study

Problem as understood by clients

IdeaBooster as seen by interviewees

IdeaBooster as seen by clients

Figure 12: The steps taken in the problem definition to come from the “problem as understood by the client” to the demarcation of the problem and the solution.

The step in the problem definition was needed to collect more insights on the given problem (to diverge). Therefore a literature study was carried out in parallel with an empirical study (which is the iteration between theory and practice in this phase). The IdeaBooster was also discussed in the empirical study. So not only was this an exploration of the problem, it was also an elaboration of the solution (the co-evolution of problem and solution). The second step was to converge these findings into the “problem as understood by the designer” and the “IdeaBooster as seen by the designer”. The final step was made to demarcate

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the problem and set boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster to define the focus for this graduation project. Qualitative research methods for exploration was appropriate in this case, because it is important to find out what meaning is assigned to subjects, rather than gaining insight in frequencies of topics. The next subparagraphs will clarify how the empirical world and theory have been studied.

3.1.1. Empirical study Open and unstructured interviews were conducted, because it was needed to gain insights in how the interviewees perceive the problem and the solution. The interviews can be open and unstructured since there is no theoretical model set, but the “problem as understood by the client” provided an initial structure for the interview.

Snowball sampling was applied (Verhoeven, 2008, p.155); the first participants were chosen using the network of the client and the next participants were chosen based on the suggestions of the participants. The interviews were recorded. Summarising reports were made (an example can be found in Appendix 3.4). And the outcomes of these interviews were clustered in mind maps (appendix 3.5, 3.6 & 3.7). These outcomes for the problems are used in the problem description of this chapter. The outcomes of the needs for the IdeaBooster are partially used to formulate the boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster. Interviews with companies The interviews with company were conducted using a topic list, based on the problem description given by the client and the preliminary search in literature. The extensive topic list can be found in appendix 3.2. The topic list contained the following topics: • the loss of collaborative and intermediary structures in organisations • lack of major innovations • the opportunity of a growing group of independent professionals outside companies • proposal for the IdeaBooster Interviews with independent professionals The independent professional’s point of view was explored by questioning them about: • Asking them about their problems and needs in working together on major innovations with companies • Their first thoughts on the IdeaBooster. This topic list can be found in appendix 3.3.

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3: Problem Definition

Two different target groups were interviewed. Each of these groups could speak from a different perspective; either the company’s perspective or the independent professional’s perspective. In total 29 persons were interviewed. The interviews lasted 60-120 minutes. The list of participants and their expertise can be found in appendix 3.1.


Existing crowdsourcing and open innovation platforms Next to the interviews existing crowdsourcing and open innovation platforms were analysed, to see which comparable solutions are available. This is an on-going study in this graduation project and these results will be further discussed in chapter 6.

3.1.2. Literature study A literature study was necessary to get a grip on the concepts used in the problem description of the client. The literature was collected using snowball sampling; the references of books and articles were used as a point of departure for new searches. The literature study for the problem definition was performed up in two steps: 1. Gain a broad understanding of the concepts used by the client to have a thread of topics for the open and unstructured interviews 2. Analyse the chosen concepts (based on the interviews) thoroughly Step 1 Getting a broad understanding of the concepts started with searching grey literature. This understanding was sufficient to start open and unstructured interviews. In this first step an overview was made that represents the changes in how companies are organised for innovation. This is shown in appendix 3.8. The keywords used in the first steps were: maximizing shareholder value, closed vs. open innovation, networked intelligence, society 3.0, connectivity and complexity. The search engines used are: Google and Google Scholar. Step 2 During this step important concepts were further explored. The choice for these concepts was based on the interviews of the empirical study. Consolidated literature was used. The literature study was conducted using keywords such as: maximizing shareholder value, open innovation, major innovation (or radical, disruptive, breakthrough if they fit the definition of major innovation), major innovation capability, independent professionals and knowledge workers. The search engines used are: Google Scholar, Web of Knowledge and the online database of TU Delft Library. The results of the literature study were several key scientific publications and these are used in the problem description (paragraph 3.2). During the problem exploration it became clear that there are several propositions on how companies can enable their efforts at major innovations. For now the concept major innovation capability (from the Radical Innovation Group) is chosen as a starting point. This choice is not final. In the problem analysis an empirical study will have to point out whether this is a suitable model to structure the results.

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3.2. Exploration of the “problem as understood by client” This paragraph summarises the results of the empirical and theoretical study, which were performed to explore the companies, the independent professionals and the IdeaBooster. Figure 13 gives an overview of this situation. The companies are on one side and are the problem owners; their main problem is believed to be the lack of major innovations. The independent professionals, on the right, are the solution providers; they can provide companies with the knowhow needed for major innovations. IdeaBooster

Companies

Independent professionals

The IdeaBooster is hypothesized to be the ideal middleman and a connection between the problem of companies and the potential solution providers, the independent professionals. The following paragraphs will elaborate on: • the problems of companies with major innovations (paragraph 3.2.1) • the reasons why independent professionals might be a suitable solution (paragraph 3.2.2) • the needs of companies and independent professionals for the IdeaBooster (paragraph 3.2.3)

3.2.1. Companies The main problem of companies, according to the client, is the lack of major innovations. This is believed to be caused by the lack of MI talented people and the fact that people within the company are disconnected. This belief of the client was confirmed in the problem definition and the results of this deeper investigation can be found in Figure 14. When investigating the reasoning of the client, it became clear that the underlying movement that has caused these problems is related to maximizing shareholder value. The next section will describe how this, well-meant corporate governance, has led to many of the problems companies are facing today.

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3: Problem Definition

Figure 13: Visualisation of the hypothesis for the IdeaBooster. The companies, problem-owners on one site and the solution providers, the independent professionals, on the other. The IdeaBooster is the mean that connects them.


IdeaBooster

Companies

Independent professionals

Companies

Focus on maximizing shareholder value

Overly focus on exploitative processes; lack of explorative (MI processes) Need to improve major innovation capability

Figure 14: Summary of the causes of companies to lack major innovations

Misinterpretations of maximizing shareholder value The cause of many of the problems described in paragraph 1.1 can be led back to the overly focus on maximization of shareholder value of the last decades (see Figure 15).

Maximizing shareholder value “Downsize & distribute” (90’s - now)

Short term perspective; proving value to shareholders in short time span

No room for longterm & uncertain projects

Gaining efficiencies; improving status quo & exploiting core competencies

Cutbacks on people ; loss of human capital

Reorganisations; segmentations of departments

Figure 15: Causal representation of the problems caused by increased focus on maximizing shareholder value

During the last decades companies have increasingly focused on maximizing shareholder value (a term coined by Rappaport, 1986) as a corporate governance and as an ultimate measure of a company’s success (Lazonick& O’Sullivan, 2000). Since the nineties the maximization of shareholder value has misinterpreted into the principle “downsize and distribute” instead of the previously used “retain and reinvest” of the seventies and eighties. Companies have

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undergone many changes due to this reconsidered focus. Maximization of shareholder value under the principle of “downsize and distribute” has led to an increased focus on the short term perspective and on gaining efficiencies. This has led to many reorganisations, causing the loss of human capital and increased segmentation of departments within companies. The interviewees believe that these changes, have led to an increased focus on the core competencies and lack of room for long-term projects. Due to increased segmentation within companies the interviewees believe that employees are not aware of the knowhow present in the company or where and how to gain access to this knowledge. Lack of explorative processes The root of the problems that inhibit major innovations is found, however we are not only interested in findings out the causes of the problem. It is needed to come up with a solution to these problems and to understand what suggestions are made on how to overcome these problems and become a healthy innovative company.

Exploitation

Exploration

Figure 16: Ambidextrous organisations are well-suited for innovations and have incorporated exploitative and explorative processes

Although a balance between exploitation and exploration is what literature recommends, this balance is often disrupted in companies. The previously mentioned problems (Figure 15) caused by increasing attention to short-term profits and gaining efficiencies have caused an imbalance towards the more exploitative processed. Mainly established firms are proficient at refining and extending their existing competences (i.e. exploitation) and seem to struggle with major innovations (i.e. exploration) McDermott & O’Connor, 2002; Hill & Rothaermel, 2003; O’Reilly

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3: Problem Definition

According to many authors a healthy innovative company is ambidextrous (March, 1991, O’Reilly & Tushman, 2004, Castiaux, 2007. This means that a company engages in two types of innovative processes; exploitation and exploration (March, 1991). The essence of exploitation is the refinement and extension of existing competences, technologies, and paradigms. The essence of exploration is experimentation with new alternatives (March, 1991: p.85). These two different sets of processes are interdependent (see Figure 16); exploratory processes are needed to find new knowledge that on its turn feeds the exploitative processes. The new knowledge that is discovered in the explorative processes will need to be exploited. During this exploitation new exploration possibilities are found and the cycle starts over. Because of this interdependence the processes should be in balance. Not one of them should be neglected, as neglecting one process will affect the other negatively as well (March, 1991).


&Tushman, 2004). The processes are not aimed flexibility, experimenting and finding new ways of doing things, which is clearly needed for major innovation (Assink, 2006, p.220 using Cosier and Hughes, 2001; Tushman, 1997; Sharma, 1999). Figure 17 summarises the difference in the processes of the exploitation and exploration.

Exploitation

Exploration

“Doing what we always do”

“Doing things we normally don’t do”

Routinized operations & maintain current processes

Find new ways of doing things

Consistent and predictable (stage gate)

Flexibility and experimenting processes

Minimize uncertainty & risks

Deal with uncertainties and take risk

Exploit core competencies

Expand core competencies & develop new knowledge

Defend existing market positions

Enter new markets

Incremental innovation

Major innovation

(continuous improvements)

(disruptive improvements)

Figure 17: Differences between the exploitative and explorative processes. Exploitative is related to incremental of minor innovations and major innovations to the explorative activities (March, 1991, O’Reilly &Tushman, 2004, Castiaux, 2007

Not only are the processes unfit for major innovations, the short-term perspective that results from the need to show value to the shareholders on short term without many risks, also causes problems for major innovations. For major innovations, there are many uncertainties and it is difficult to predict the outcomes as these innovations have a high market and technological uncertainty (McDermott & O’Connor, 2001). Virtually nothing is known about their performance and financial value (Sorescu et al, 2003, p.82). Bringing back the balance between exploitation and exploration The reduced size of the exploration side leads to a reduced supply from exploration to exploitation. Therefore the explorative side should be enlarged to the same level as the exploitative side, so that it can provide the needed supply (see Figure 18).

Exploitation

Exploration

Figure 18: Reducing the imbalance and enlarging the supply to the right level by improving the explorative processes. This can be done by improving the major innovation capability

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A decreased explorative side is connected to a lack of major innovations is also proven and this brings a company in danger since major innovations are needed to sustain long-term competitiveness (Hamel, 2002). Therefore it is needed to find a solution for these problems and to bring back the balance. Literature provides abundant propositions on how companies can improve their explorative side, or in other words how they can become capable of majorly innovating. These propositions range from new management systems, new organisational spaces to developing new competencies. A few of the most prominent are collected in Table 2. Table 2: Overview of a few of the propositions provided in literature for improving major innovation efforts in companies

3: Problem Definition

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From all these different propositions, the major innovation capability (O’Connor et al, 2008) provides a good starting point for analysing the problems and potential solution in major innovations. The main reason for this is that the work of O’Connor et al (2008) is a “qualitative benchmark”. In this work “a set of prescriptions that can help speed the process by which companies institutionalise major innovation as an on-going, ever present business function” is devised (O’Connor et al, 2008, p. 273). In this work many different aspects are considered (such as people, organisational structure, and type of activities). This in contrast with some of the other propositions that only focus on some of the aspects needed in major innovations. Arguments for not focusing on the other propositions: • The open innovation approach mainly focuses on the first phases and on gaining ideas, and not on creating the right conditions. • The approach by Christensen and Raynor (2003) is dismissed because it puts a wall between the organisational space and the mainstream and because it is not specific for major innovations. • O’Reilly and Tushman (2004) is specific for major innovations, however as for Christensen and Raynor, the wall between the mainstream and major innovation space might be too thick. • Ahuja and Lampert (2001) is suitable for a part of innovation, but not for the total context that should be created, therefore it will be kept in mind. For now the concept major innovation capability of O’Connor et al (2008) will be used in the research question (paragraph 3.5). In the problem analysis (chapter 4) a choice will be made for a theory that best helps to structure the results of the empirical study.

3.2.2. Independent professionals The independent professionals are the potential solution providers. They might provide the companies with the knowhow that might be missing for major innovations (a summary of why they can provide a solution for companies and problems of independent professionals is depicted in Figure 19). Independent professionals are a growing group in the Netherlands (UWV, 2010) and an increasing number of people are choosing to become flexible workers (Rulersgroup, 2011). The independent professionals, considered to be suitable by the client, are knowledge workers which is “the man or woman who applies knowledge to productively work ideas, concepts, and information rather than manual skill or brawn.” (Drucker, 1968, p. 264). The independent professionals interviewed in this research are independent knowledge workers because they do not think that they can have enough freedom in companies. The independent professionals feel the need to make their own decisions about vision, strategy and developing ideas. This own vision and expertise, according to the interviewees, might be what companies are looking for. The independent professionals can work on a flexible basis, which is suitable for companies involved in major innovations since they need to explore different types of knowhow and this is easier and cheaper if this knowhow can be obtained in a flexible manner.

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IdeaBooster

Companies

Independent professionals

Independent professionals

Solution, because: Flexible, own vision and growing group

Figure 19: Overview of why independent professionals might be solutions to problems of companies and a summary of the problems that independent professionals experience.

Yet some of the independent professionals, which the interviewees was pointed out, struggle to come into contact with companies, because they can be disproportionally convinced of their product or might put too little energy in market positioning and acquisition. That the independent professionals are having their own problems is also made clear from recent research has shown that there is hidden unemployment (Verborgenwerkloosheid ZP’ers, 2011) among them. The group of highly educated knowledge workers will expect to grow, based on prognosis by governmental institutions (UWV, 2010) and interviews. Connecting to independent knowledge workers is a potential and suitable solution for companies, since they are highly diverse, flexible and the prognosis is that this group will grow in the future.

3.2.3. IdeaBooster The client’s hypothesis is that the IdeaBooster is a means to connect the problem owners (the companies) to the solution providers (the independent professionals), was also discussed in the interviews. During the interviews this idea was well received and the need to bring these two groups together was confirmed. The interviewees of the companies and independent professionals expressed their thoughts on what the IdeaBooster should do. According to the companies the IdeaBooster should help them to: • Find answers for fuzzy questions that arise in their company

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3: Problem Definition

Own problems: Not able to connect to companies Hidden unemployment


• • • • • •

Gather external views and insights Lower search costs for contacting outsiders Connect them to independent professionals that are: Innovators; who can think creatively, but who can also commercialise ideas Conceptual thinkers Not bounded by disciplines and are able to look beyond disciplines

For the independent professionals the IdeaBooster should provide them with: • Appreciation for their input (not necessarily money, might also be feedback) • Possibilities to collaborate with other independent professionals In the interviews the IdeaBooster as understood was also discussed. The discussions provided more arguments for the IdeaBooster, but also on what the goal of the IdeaBooster should be, which demands or properties are relevant, the types of processes that should be facilitated and what functions are required. These are depicted in Figure 20. Some of these outcomes will be used for the boundary conditions in paragraph 3.4. IdeaBooster

Companies

IdeaBooster

Independent professionals

Functions Brainstormrooms

Use of social media

Process

Reviews

Help with investment Innovation

Meeting

Planner

Publicity for independent professionals

Collaboration

Properties

Selection

Transparancy Independent Awareness

Contracts

Business model

Reliable Quality level

Goal

Added value

“a market where the needs of companeis and knowledge of independent professionals are connected to induce collaboration”

Figure 20: The outcomes of the interviews led to this summary regarding the goal, properties, process and functions of the IdeaBooster

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3.3. Problem Demarcation The previous paragraphs showed that the context of the problem is quite extensive and to be able to come up with a founded design that solves this problem, it is needed to narrow it down to a manageable graduation topic. In Figure 21 the problem demarcation is depicted. IdeaBooster

Companies

Independent professionals

Figure 21: Problem demarcation; the IdeaBooster will be designed based on the problems of companies

3.4. Boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster Through the empirical and literature study and meetings with the client, it has become much clearer what the IdeaBooster should do and what functions are outside the scope of the IdeaBooster. Table 3 shows the boundary conditions and why and by whom they are introduced. These boundary conditions are used to guide further decisions in focusing on which problems to address in this research and design. Table 3: Boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster

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3: Problem Definition

This graduation project will focus on the problem owners and design the IdeaBooster to address their problems. The independent professionals are left out of the scope, because it is not clear whether the independent professionals are the solution to the problems of the companies. In literature no direct proof for making this connection is found. It is possible that the independent professionals, which is a growing and diverse group, holds the potential solution, but this is not more than a hypothesis. The need of the companies to increase their solution space might also be addressed by various other target groups or alliances.


3.5. Research Question This paragraph introduces the research question and the sub questions. The concepts that are used are defined in paragraph 3.6. The IdeaBooster will be designed based on the needs of companies and to improve their major innovation capability, therefore the main research question is: What is a suitable design and implementation plan for the IdeaBooster that supports companies in improving their major innovation capability? The main research question can be divided into sub questions, which are shown in Table 4. The answers to the research question and the sub questions are summarised in chapter 9. Table 4: Sub research questions and the chapters in which they will be handled

3.6. Definitions This paragraph will give the definitions for the terms used in the research questions. . Suitable design This contains a design that fulfils the design requirements and that improves companies’ major innovation capability. Implementation plan A detailed formulation of a program of action to give practical effect to and ensure of actual fulfilment by concrete measures (Merriam Webster) IdeaBooster The IdeaBooster is the instrument that will be designed to fulfil the needs of companies in improving their major innovation capability. This design will be developed within the boundary conditions of paragraph 3.2.3.

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Companies “An association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise.� (Merriam Webster) Major Innovation capability This term includes three concepts that should be defined, namely innovation, major innovation and major innovation capability. Innovation An innovation is not an invention. An invention only becomes an innovation if it has passed through production and marketing tasks and is diffused to the market place (Trott, 2002, depicted in Figure 22 ). Thus the discovery should go further from the lab to production and will also add economic value to a company and is diffused to others than the discoverers (Garcia & Calantone, 2001).

Conversion of an idea into a tangible new artifact

Invention

Commercially succesful exploitation of an invention

Innovation Figure 22: Definition of innovation, taken from Trott, 2002. An innovation is not an idea or an invention. But has to pass through two steps before becoming an invention.

Major innovation Literature is not conclusive about the different types of innovation. There are many different typologies and an extensive elaboration on choosing the right typology for this graduation project is found in appendix 3.9. The typologies mostly lack coherence because they are defined using different perspectives. In this graduation project it is relevant to use the company’s perspective to see how a major innovation affects the company and the industry. Therefore the following definition will be used: Major innovations are innovations that challenge a company on macro and micro level for the technology or market. (Garcia and Calantone, 2002).

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3: Problem Definition

New idea (A concept, a thought, or a collection of thoughts)


The concept “major innovations” is used in this entire graduation report. The concept and definition was also used for the empirical and literature studies. When researching literature only literature that fits the definition of major innovation has been used. Table 5 shows some examples of definitions that are regarded to be similar to the major innovation definition. This table exemplifies which different definitions can be used that still fit the major innovations definition. It is most important that the definition includes a discontinuity from the company’s perspective and not only from the user’s perspective. Table 5: Definitions of types of innovations that are similar to the major innovation definition.

Major innovation capability The term major innovation capability (MIC) is a term coined and defined by O’Connor et al (2008, p.12): “A major innovation capability is the ability for a firm to commercialize breakthroughs repeatedly. It provides the foundation for a company’s on-going renewal and growth. A firm with this capability has more operating than reliance on hero scientists, strong champions, or mavericks for breakthroughs every once in a while. There is a system built into the company’s infrastructure that addresses uncertainty and risk. It is different from the mainstream management system that is focused on the relatively low - uncertainty world of operational excellence and maintaining customer loyalty. It is, in essence, a management system for innovation. “ The DIA building blocks are the basis for a major innovation capability. The building blocks are supported by a management system. The elements for this system are shown on the right. Each of these building blocks has its own “character”. This means that management system elements are changing with the differences in character throughout the building blocks. Figure 23 shows the main concepts regarding major innovation capability.

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Identifiable organization structure Exploratory processes Requisite skills and talent development

Management system elements

Interface mechanisms with the mainstream

Discovery

Incubation

Acceleration

Governance of the project, portfolio, and system levels Appropriate metrics and rewards Appropriate culture and leadership context

Creation, recognition, elaboration, articulation of opportunities

Evolving the opportunity into a business proposition

Ramping up the business to stand on its own

DIA building blocks

Figure 23: Overview of a major innovation capability system, which is a combination of the DIA, supported by a management system (O’Connor et al, 2008 & O’Connor, 2008)

A major innovation capability (MIC) requires the interaction of multiple elements of a management system that far exceeds the complexity of simple operating routines. The management system elements are a condition for the DIA system to work properly, are part of an integrated system and are interdependently related. The elements can be described on an overall level for the total major innovation capability, but also per stage of the DIA system. Here an overall description will be given: 1.

2. 3.

An identifiable organisation structure is needed to make sure that responsibility is shared among a certain group of people and experience is collected in one identifiable part of the organisation. Exploratory processes are needed to discover new knowledge and become learning oriented. Requisite skills should be identified and nurtured for the major innovation capability.

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3: Problem Definition

The DIA building blocks are the stages in the development of a major innovation: • The discovery is where opportunities are created, recognised, articulated and elaborated. Many activities take place during discovery, such as external scouting of technologies and hunting within the organisation for good ideas and scientific research. All with the goal of finding and generating ideas, this is why conceptualisation skills are needed. • Incubation is where experimental activities and skills are needed in order to evolve the opportunity into a business proposition. Experimenting takes place for the technical side of opportunities but also with the market, the possible economic models that a fledgling business could adopt, the business strategy, partners, value chains, and operations related options. • In acceleration the business is grown until it is able to stand on its own. Therefore commercialization skills are needed to take the results of the experiments in incubation and to leverage those to build businesses rapidly. The business will be developed into a new business platform to a point of maturity where it can survive as part of the mainstream company.


4.

5.

6. 7.

Interface mechanisms are needed to secure access to resources, these should be loosely coupled, but the major innovation system should be decoupled from mainstream operations. However the strategic intent should be tightly and reciprocally coupled to the major innovation systems. It is important to clearly communicate the major innovation’s system objectives throughout the organisation. Governance and decision-making mechanisms are different on project, portfolio and MI system level. On project level an options mentality is required and reconsideration of expired options is needed. On project level project-specific expertise is required to oversee projects in the portfolio. On portfolio level a specific and unique mechanism is needed to consider and govern the MI ventures. On a system level a mechanism for constant reflection and consideration is required. Appropriate performance metrics for the high risk and high uncertainty objectives of the MI system. An appropriate culture and leadership context that values and recognises the importance of the MI system.

Major innovation capability is limited by the major innovation capacity. This concept is “the context and conditions for major innovations in the company at a given time. This includes the ability and will to resource and pace major innovations” (O’Connor et al, 2008, p.26). This capacity can vary and is influenced by internal and external factors. Some factors can easily change and are fluid, others cannot.

3.7. Conclusions In this chapter the problems of companies and independent professionals have been explored. Based on this exploration the decision was made to design the IdeaBooster from the companies’ perspective and the IdeaBooster will be a solution that addresses their problems with MIC. The boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster were also stated and provide a bounded solution space for the design of the IdeaBooster.

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Chapter 4: Problem Analysis


4.

Problem Analysis

This chapter contains the results of the problem analysis. The problem analysis was performed to answer the sub question: “What are the problems that companies experience with major innovations and major innovation capability?” This is one of the main chapters of this thesis, since it will lay the groundwork for the design. This chapter is structured according to Figure 24. The first paragraph (4.1) will explain how the problems of major innovation were analysed. In the problem definition it was shown that companies are struggling with major innovations and it was assumed that investigating the problems of major innovation was worthwhile. In paragraph, 4.2, the necessity of major innovations and the need to find support in these innovations is confirmed with outcomes of the empirical study. Paragraph 4.3 explores the uncertain nature of major innovations and why these uncertainties pose problems.

Investigating major innovation capability Methodology

4.1

Why major innovations are necessary A confirmation of the need for MI & need for support in MI

4.2

The uncertainties in major innovations The underlying reasons for the trouble with major innovations

4.3

A revised model for major innovation capability Model of O’Connor et al (2008) changed by Simons (2012)

4.4

The DIA stages in MIC 4.5

Exploring Discovery, Incubation & Acceleration

Criteria for the management system 4.6

Describing the 7 criteria for MIC

Focus on the criteria relevant for the IdeaBooster 4.7

Focusing on the criteria that can be resolved by the IdeaBooster

A deeper exploration of the criteria relevant for the IdeaBooster 4.8 - 4.10

Description of how fulfill the criteria & the problems achieving this

Conclusion on major innovation capability 4.11

Summarising the problems in MIC & concluding what this means for the IdeaBooster

Figure 24: Structure of the problem analysis chapter

The main result of the problem analysis is a revised model for major innovation capability. This model is a revised version of the model of O’Connor et al (2008), which was introduced in chapter 3. This model will be introduced in paragraph 4.4 and this paragraph will also explain the revisions. The basis for the MIC model remains the same; including both the DIA stages and the criteria. However some revisions regarding the content were made. In paragraph 4.5

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the DIA stages of the revised model are described and paragraph 4.6 will describe the seven criteria for the management system. The total model of MIC was investigated in the empirical and literature study. However, it became clear that the IdeaBooster cannot support companies in meeting all these criteria, as the problems are highly complex and diverse. The focus that is applied is explained in paragraph 4.7. The chapter continues with explaining only the criteria that are within this focus. Paragraph 4.8, 4.9 and 4.10 will elaborate on how companies can fulfil these criteria and what problems are present. This chapter concludes with an answer to the sub question in paragraph 4.11. In this paragraph the findings of the problem analysis will be summarised and prioritised. The implications of these key problems for the IdeaBooster are also discussed in this paragraph.

4.1. Methodology of problem analysis The aim of the problem analysis phase in the design process was to analyse the demarcated problem from the problem definition (see Figure 25). Reflections on theory

Problem as theorised

Problem Analysis

Reflections on theory

Design Brief

Problem as felt

Schedule of requirements

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Concept Design for IdeaBooster

Conceptualisation

Empiricial world of focused problem

Problem as theorised

Problem as understood by clients

Empirical world of total problem

Problem as is

Problem as understood by designer Feedback discussions with companies

Problem Analysis

Problem as understood by literature study

Problem as felt by companies

Empirical world of focused problem

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Figure 25: Steps taken in the problem analysis to come from a demarcation of the problem and solution to a theory of the problem

This analysis was done by executing an empirical study. This empirical study was needed to make the nature of the problem more insightful. The empirical study was supported by a literature study and from these combined findings a “theory of the problem� was formed. When developing the problem as theorised (the MIC model), reflections on theory were gained and these are placed in the discussion (paragraph 8.1.). At the end of this graduation project

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4: Problem Analysis

Problem Definition


feedback discussions with the companies were held. The goal of these feedback discussions was to refine the theory of the problem. Divergent & convergent thinking First the demarcated problem was investigated by conducting interviews with companies. This step was clearly divergent as a large amount of data was collected. Second the outcomes of the empirical study were clustered and compared to literature. This led to a theory of the problem. In this step the convergent thinking was used, by clustering and interpreting the results. Iteration between theory & practice The theory of the problem was formulated based on multiple movements between theory and practice. First, the companies were interviewed. Secondly, the empirical data was collected and literature study was once again used to refine and order the findings. Thirdly, the theory of the problem was discussed with the companies at the end of this graduation project. Co-evolution of problem and solution The problem as theorised was revised multiple times based on insights gained in the design of the IdeaBooster. Qualitative research methods The goal of the problem analysis was to gain richer insights on major innovation capability based on the perceptions of companies. Qualitative research methods were chosen, because this type of research is suitable for such perceptions. The following subparagraphs elaborate on these qualitative research methods. The theory of the problem will be given in paragraph 3.2-3.10.

4.1.1. Empirical study The goal of the empirical study was to gain rich insights into major innovations in companies. This paragraph will explain how the empirical study was carried out. Semi-structured interviews To ensure that a broad and relevant range of insights were gathered, it was chosen to conduct semi-structured interviews. Semi-structured are a suitable mean to gain this freedom since “the interviewees have a great deal of freedom to contribute what they feel is relevant� (Verhoeven, 2008, p. 119). Conducting the semi structured interviews consisted of these steps: 1. Set up a topic list for the interviewees 2. Set up criteria for the participants based on this topic list 3. Contact and prepare participants 4. Conduct the interviews 5. Analyse the results All of these steps are explained in the followings sections. Topic list

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The interviews were structured using a topic list (found in appendix 4.1), based on the outcomes of the empirical and literature study of the problem definition. During the interviews, Figure 26 was used to guide the discussion. The interviews took 1.5-2.5 hours.

Discovery Generation Search Exploratory

Incubation

Development Selection Experimentation

Acceleration

Adaptation Implement Exploitation

Figure 26: Visualisation of the phases in a major innovation process, used to structure the interviews

Participants The goal of the semi-structured interviews was to increase the understanding of the challenges that companies are facing in major innovation and how they are dealing with these challenges. To answer questions regarding these challenges in major innovation, it was important that the interviewees had experience with more major innovations. Three criteria were used in selecting the participants: 1. Experience with different major innovation projects; having experience with multiple major innovations projects is needed in order to generalize the challenges. 2. (Project) managers of major innovations; it was needed that the participants had experience with projects from start to end, to have an overview of what conditions are required and what problems are arising. 3. Working in large established companies; the problems with major innovation are mainly described in literature to be present in larger and established firms. So this is thethird criterion: work in established companies of large or medium-size The interviewees were contacted and an additional check for the first two criteria was made by sending them an email with instructions. In these instructions information on what was

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4: Problem Analysis

This was the general set-up of the interviews: • Background information; what is your job, at what department do you work, how independent is your department and what company do you work for? • Case; what is an example of a major innovation project and can you describe why it was a major innovation and how the development took place? • Process; Can you place your process in the given figure and can you explain what activities took place during these phases? • People; What kind of people were involved in the project and did this change during the phases? What characterized these people, what competencies did they possess and what types were they? • Generalisation & Management; Do you make a difference between major and incremental innovations? Was this project hard to manage and why? • Link to graduation assignment; does your company apply open innovation? Would you be interested to have a platform on which you can place challenges?


expected of them and what they could expect from participation was included (see appendix 4.2). This email also included the request to think of one example project that suits the definition of a major innovation. Each of the participants was able to do so. Most questions have been asked regarding this case. As the participants were chosen based on specific characteristics, this means that the sampling method was purposive sampling (Verhoeven, 2008, p. 155). These three criteria were the only criteria used. This means that in contrast to common practice, no segmentations were made as one of the IdeaBooster’ s boundary conditions (see paragraph 2.2.3) is its general applicability, which implies that insights from all sorts of companies should be included in its design. An extensive list of the participants, the departments and the type of companies they worked in, is given in appendix 4.3. Table 6 is a summary of this list. Table 6: Participant list of the semi-structured interviews. The participants were chosen based on their experience with major innovation (preferably in a managing position) and on the size of the company (medium or large)

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Data analysis The approach used in the data analysis is similar to the one suggested by Verhoeven (2008). This approach for analysing the data included the following steps: 1. Make transcripts of the recorded interviews 2. Open coding 3. Group the codes 4. Sort groups and make families Summarise the results (no interpretation) 5. Conclusions; what does this mean for the IdeaBooster? (interpretation) All the interviews were recorded and transcribed (example found in appendix 4.4). The transcripts were imported into the qualitative data analysis software Atlas TI. The transcripts were coded and recoded multiple times. The coding list and classification of codes can be found in appendix 4.5 & 4.6.

Feedback discussions with companies to refine the theory of the problem At the end of this graduation project feedback discussions were held with the interviewees of the semi-structured interviews. The interviewees were contacted and separate meeting were set up. In these meetings the outcomes of the problem analysis, the design brief and the concept were discussed. These discussions were held with 8 of the 11 interviewees and lasted 1.5 to 2 hours. For these feedback discussions a topic list was used (see appendix 4.8). The results were presented using a presentation in Prezi. This presentation was improved for every meeting, incorporating the outcomes of each discussion (the link to the last Prezi can be found in appendix 4.9). All the meetings were recorded and summarizing reports were made (an example report can be found in appendix 4.10).The summaries were clustered into mind maps (can be found in appendix 4.11). Finally this feedback was incorporated into this report. The outcomes of the problem analysis were well received and the companies agreed to most of the findings. This feedback was used to refine the outcomes of the problem analysis. The results of the outcomes for the design brief and the conceptualisation can be found in paragraph 5.1 and 6.1.

4.1.2. Literature study The literature study in this phase was used to find a theoretical model that could be used to structure the results of the empirical study. In the problem definition several propositions on

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4: Problem Analysis

The data analysis is always highly interpretative and therefore a coding check with fellow students was added to increase internal validity (instructions in appendix 4.7). Three fellow students, all with experience in coding transcripts, were contacted. Each of them received a different transcript with the code list. They had to place the codes in the transcript. If no suitable code was found a new code could be placed (with a remark on why the new codes was chosen). The coded transcripts of the fellow students corresponded to coded transcripts of the author. The codes that were added were mostly added, because the formulation of codes from the list was not clear. Therefore the formulation was improved.


how to improve companies’ major innovation efforts were provided. The conceptual model of O’Connor et al (2008) showed most resemblance to the results of the empirical study, therefore it was used as a primary source. This work laid the foundations for the model that will be presented in this chapter and was therefore further investigated in this phase. Justification for using O’Connor et al (2008) as a primary source Another reason for choosing O’Connor et al (2008) is that their work is part of the publications of the Radical Innovation Group (Website Radical Innovation Group). This research group has published scientific articles and books on the topic since 1995. These publications are based on two longitudinal studies at 20 Fortune 1000 companies that each lasted five years. The first study (conducted from 1995-2000) identified seven management challenges for radical innovation and has led to the development of a model for managing radical innovation, the transition readiness assessment and the learning plan tools. This study has resulted in the “Radical Innovation: How Mature Firms can Outsmart Upstarts” (Leifer et al, 2000) and numerous academic papers. The second study (conducted from 2001-2005) is most interesting for this graduation project. This study has led to the publication of the book “Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation” (O’Connor et al, 2008) and numerous academic papers. This study resulted, amongst others, in the definition of the elements for a major innovation capability system and identification of the discovery, incubation and acceleration competencies. The publications are placed in journals such as: Technology Management, R&D management, Product Innovation Management and California Management Review. Their publications have often been cited in the work of others, mainly in the discussion of the need for a systematic approach to major/radical/breakthrough innovation. These publications are therefore a robust base for the conceptual model. Many publications of the research group were studied, but the main base is the book “Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation”, because this book combined the most crucial and relevant sources for this graduation project. Additional literature Although this work provides a robust base, not all of the findings could be placed within this model. The conceptual model of O’Connor et al (2008) lacked clarification or details on some topics. And some topics were not mentioned at all. Therefore additional literature was searched. The main key words that were used are: open major innovation, processes for major innovation, networks in major innovation, and people in major innovation. All of the articles fitted the definition of major innovation (given in paragraph 2.5). The search engines that have been used are Google Scholar, Web of Knowledge and the online database of TU Delft Library. Reflections in theory The outcomes of the empirical study and additional literature study led to a new conceptual model. During the development of this conceptual model many reflections and thoughts were produced on the used literature. All of these reflections are collected and discussed in chapter 8. They are not discussed in the problem analysis, because they are not relevant for the design, but do provide starting points for further research on the topic.

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4.2. Why major innovations are necessary This paragraph confirms the necessity of major innovations in companies and the concern that some companies have for major innovations in their companies. The necessity of major innovation was already discussed in paragraph 3.2.1; however paragraph 4.2.1 uses the outcomes of the semi-structured interviews to confirm this. The concern for ‘not having sufficient major innovations’ was also discussed in paragraph 3.2.1. This concern was confirmed in the interviews and can be found in paragraph 4.2.2.

4.2.1. Necessity of major innovations for companies The necessity of major innovations in companies was clear to all the interviewees. The necessity of major innovations is crucial to ensure future growth. The major innovations are platforms from which a multitude of smaller innovations can arise: Want met dit soort producten (aftakkingen van “basis” innovatie red.) moet je uiteindelijk het geld verdienen. Het eerste ding wat je produceert dat valt altijd te verbeteren, want je doet zoveel concessie omdat je risico’s hebt. Dat kun je dan later weer terugstoppen in die projecten. (JG)

4.2.2. Concern about not having sufficient major innovations The interviewees also share the concern (expressed in the problem definition) that companies are not coming up with sufficient major innovations. The interviewees were unsure whether their companies were having sufficient major innovations. And they did not seem to be satisfied with the amounts: No, unfortunately not. I would love to have more of these. But this one is probably the number one innovation that we had during the last 6-7 years. But normally we have many innovations, but it is more like new perfume ingredients. Breakthrough innovation is something else. (LS) This concern was also caused by the fact that some of the interviewees thought that not enough ideas make it through the funnel: Er beginnen een hoop disruptieve innovaties, maar er eindigen er maar weinig. Mijn opbrengst (een van de beste jobs die je kunt bedenken) is naar vermoeden 10%. Mijn la ligt vol met spullen waarvan ik denk: wat een stomme rukkers dat ze dat niet hebben opgepikt. Maar er is veel meer dat strandt dan dat er uiteindelijk doorheen komt, dus we hebben veel zaadjes maar een paar komen tot bloei. (TvdP) This last concern about not enough ideas being picked up is a big frustration for some. However, in the feedback discussions with the companies it was mentioned that this frustration cannot be avoided. There is always a high churn rate in major innovations. The necessity of major innovations and the concern for not having sufficient major innovations

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4: Problem Analysis

Securing future growth is also in keeping competitors at a distance and major innovations are believed to be a way to differentiate from competitors: “If you look at different companies like Colgate and Unilever they all have similar products, but the difference is that they are all trying to differentiate towards each other. Therefore if you ask these companies they will all say that they need breakthrough innovation and that it is the only way to survive. (LS)”


is confirmed. The next paragraph will move onto the source of many challenges in major innovations and this has everything to do with the uncertain nature of major innovation projects.

4.3. Uncertainties in major innovations Companies are uncomfortable with major innovations, because it forces them to use a different approach and some companies simply do not how to handle innovations that are this far from what is known and comfortable: “Ja, en nee, want als ik ze vroeg dan zeiden ze allemaal “ja, maar hij is heel anders, daar kunnen we niks mee”. Dus wel zagen ze dat hij anders is en dat ze er niks mee konden. En een van de kenmerken van een radicale innovatie is dat ze niet zo goed weten wat ze ermee moeten. (MR)” This inability to handle major innovations is not only related to doing things outside the comfort zone. Companies are pulled out of their comfort zone due to the many uncertainties of major innovations. The high degrees of uncertainties that characterize major innovations are unseen for incremental innovations (O’Connor, 2008). These uncertainties are confirmed in the interviews and are the result of moving into the exploration side and therefore moving outside “doing what we always did”. This means that the company has to explore unknown territories for the company or even for the industry and has to take all the risks: En dat was uniek. Want wat is een innovatie, als je als eerste op de markt komt met zoiets, dan kun je nergens afkijken. Dus je moet alles intern doen en alle risico’s intern nemen. (JG)

4.3.1. Four types of uncertainties Leifer et al (2000) mention four uncertainty dimensions in major innovation: technical, market, organisational and resources. Other authors have only pointed out the market and technological uncertainties, but Leifer et al (2000) observed that the two dimensions of technical and market uncertainties failed to capture the complex, dynamic, and shifting uncertainties that surround radical projects. Project teams had to contend not only with challenging technical and market uncertainties, but with organisational and resource uncertainties as well. The findings of Leifer et al (2000) are similar to the findings in this graduation project and therefore these four will be explained: • Technical uncertainties “Can we make it work” The technical uncertainties are caused by the fact that the companies are working in an area of which they might have no or not sufficient knowledge or experience with a technology. That is why they doubt the assumptions and correctness of underlying scientific knowledge, technical feasibility and technical specifications. (Leifer et al, 2000). When the technical details are too ambitious, this might become a showstopper for the project: “So for me the timing was not right, the technology was extremely ambitious. (LS)” • Market uncertainties “Who will buy it?” A major innovation targets an unfamiliar market or provides a familiar market with a totally

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new product. A company can lack knowledge about, among others, the customers’ needs and wants, their existing or latent forms of interaction with the product, the value propositions of a product and the relationship to competitors’ product (Leifer et al, 2000) The interviewees indicate that the knowledge is i.e. needed to get the timing right for your product: “Soms is voor een bepaald product geen markt, dan is het nog te vroeg. Zelf meegemaakt met glasvezel samen met woningbouwcorporaties, maar de markt pakte het nog niet. Het heeft met timing te maken, je bent vaak te vroeg.(HH)” • Organisational uncertainties “How can we defuse organisational resistance?” The organisational uncertainties are the many changes in the organisation caused by the major innovation and how the innovation has to survive these changes (Leifer et al, 2000) explain. One of the interviewees clearly saw this uncertainty as a characteristic of a major innovation: “Maar ook dat het de wereld intern op zijn kop zet. Voor mij is de maat voor een innovatief product dat verandert ook R&D. Want in de veranderingen die zo’n product tot stand brengt, kan ervoor zorgen dat je zaken gaat doen die we nog nooit hebben gedaan.” (JG)

4.3.2. Companies not willing or able to take on risks Since the uncertainties are high, the risk perception of companies is also high. Companies mostly tend to push towards lower risk, immediate reward and incremental projects (McDermott & O’Connor, 2002). The concern that companies are not willing or able to take on risks, was a concern shared by the interviewees as well: “Ja, want die zijn helemaal kapot bezuinigd. Die zijn zo efficiënt geworden dat ze geen risico meer kunnen dragen. Ze kunnen niet meer investeren en dat is wel heel erg lastig hoor.(JK)” The following paragraphs will explain how companies can learn to survive in the uncertain world of major innovations by explaining the revised model of major innovation capability.

4.4. A revised model for major innovation capability Companies are aware of the fact that they need major innovations to survive and are concerned that they might not have sufficient major innovations to secure their companies’ future. The uncertain nature of major innovations makes them hard to deal with, since a company prefers low risk projects over high risk problems. In order to deal with these high risk projects, ambidexterity in an organisation is key. Companies should set up different systems for major innovations. The companies that were interviewed

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4: Problem Analysis

• Resource uncertainties “How can we get enough support?” The resource uncertainty is the financial support that is provided and that can fluctuate throughout the project (Leifer et al, 2000). The investments for these major innovations can be high, especially for technological innovations in large companies: “However with breakthrough innovation you have a high level of risk, because of everything we discussed. And these companies they target mass markets, so millions and millions of customers and they are usually not very good at taking risks. (LS)”.


were not always equipped with a different organisational path or system to deal with major innovations. One of the interviewees, who worked closely with a company on an innovation project, did not believe that the company would ever be able to deal with them, simply because they lacked the infrastructure to deal with these types of innovations: Nee, en dat gaan ze denk ik ook niet meer doen. Ons bedrijf is, denk ik, ook niet in staat om dit soort projecten te voeren op dit moment. Ze hebben niet de organisatie om dat te doen. Het advies wat ik gaf was ook niet zozeer wat ze nou met die spier zouden moeten, maar gewoon ze moeten heel erg bewust zijn van het feit dat sommige innovaties niet op de goede oude wijze geïnnoveerd kunnen worden. Hun hele informatiestroom is daar onwijs goed op afgestemd. Maar op het moment dat iets heel raars gebeurt, dan is hun systeem daar niet op ingericht.(MR) In other words helping companies equip themselves for major innovations is needed. Chapter 3 introduced multiple perspectives on how companies can improve their major innovation efforts. One of these perspectives was the model of major innovation capability by O’Connor et al (2008). This solution was carefully placed forward as a suitable perspective, because it merges several of these perspectives into one model and takes a systematic approach. No definitive choice for a model to use was chosen, because the problem analysis still needed to reveal what model is best suited to structure the problems that exist in companies. After conducting the semi-structured interviews with the companies, it has become clear that the results showed much resemblance to the model of O’Connor et al (2008). That is why the model of O’Connor et al (2008) is used to structure the results. However some revisions were needed, but no changes were made to the main structure of the model. The model still consists of the DIA stages and 7 interrelated and interdependent management system criteria. The terminology and the content of parts O’Connor et al (2008) were revised. Figure 27 shows the revised model of major innovation capability.

Exploratory activities

Broad & diverse set of competencies

Rich internal & external networks

Criteria for the management system

Interaction with mainstream organization

Discovery

Incubation

Acceleration

Appreciating management & leadership Suitable decision-making metrics and rewards

Creation, recognition, elaboration, articulation of opportunities

Evolving the opportunity into a business proposition

Ramping up the business to stand on its own

Awareness of internal innovation capacity

DIA stages

Revised version of O’Connor et al, 2008, by Simons (2012)

Figure 27: The revised major innovation capability model (mainly: O’Connor et al, 2008 & Simons, 2012). Revisions were made based on the findings from the empirical study.

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The revisions that were made are due to the fact that: • Not all results from the empirical study could be placed in the model of O’Connor et al (2008) • Some concepts became redundant • Concepts needed further clarification There were no revisions for the DIA stages, since the use of the DIA terms was clear to the interviewees and seemed to cover the subject. The DIA stages are also similar to other process models from literature. There were some revisions to the composition of the criteria for the management system. These revisions are visualised in Figure 28. Exploratory activities

Exploratory processes

Broad & diverse set of competencies

Requisite skills and talent development

Rich internal & external networks

Interface mechanisms with the mainstream

Interaction with mainstream organization

Governance of the project, portfolio, and system levels

Appreciating management & leadership

Appropriate metrics and rewards

Suitable decision-making metrics and rewards

Appropriate culture and leadership context

Awareness of internal innovation capacity

Figure 28: The main revisions in the MIC model in the composition of the criteria set. “Identifiable organisation structure” was dismissed as a criterion and “rich internal and external networks” was added.

All the revisions regarding the composition of the set of criteria are collected in Table 7. The changes regarding the terminology are explained in Table 7. Table 7: Changes to the composition of the criteria for MIC

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4: Problem Analysis

Identifiable organization structure


Table 8: Changes in terminology and in the composition of the criteria for management systems in MIC

The revisions that are made are not only on a superficial level. The revisions in terminology are the result of bigger changes with regard to the content. The changes with regard to the content will be discussed in the next paragraphs. From now on this revised model and its terminology will be used to describe the results of the problem analysis.

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4.5. The DIA stages in the revised model This paragraph describes the discovery, incubation and acceleration stages for the revised model. This description is an integration of outcomes from the empirical study and the literature study in the problem analysis. Table 9 specifies the outcomes and how they have been integrated. Overall there are many commonalities between the findings of both studies. Table 9: Overview of the integration of theory and practice for the new DIA stages.

4: Problem Analysis

4.5.1. Discovery stage The discovery stage is where major innovation opportunities are created and identified. These opportunities may have a major impact on the company and the market. They can secure a company’s future by delivering greatly improved performance or new ways of doing business. It is the starting point for searching ideas and clarifying their link to the company’s strategic intent. The nature of discovery is very conceptual, open and explorative. Discovery is not the same as invention as the opportunities can also arise outside the company’s boundaries. The discovery stage is also not similar to R&D, because it encompasses many more activities than science and technology exploration. The search for new opportunities is not open to all, and it was emphasised in the interviews

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that it is bounded to a phase preliminary to discovery. Many of the interviewees referred to this as the “define stage”. In the define phase a strategic field is defined by an internal and/or external analysis. This field fits the company’s vision and strategy. In one company the strategic fields were taken a step further to decide on type of products and services: Het is gebaseerd op mensen die kijken wat er met het bedrijf moet, dus een stuk strategie en wat willen we voor markten en hoe willen we die bedienen. En aan de hand daarvan definieer je wat voor type producten en services je zou moeten hebben. (JG) In the ideal situation the innovation manager should be involved in the discussion about the strategic fields, because the link to the strategic intent should be reciprocal. However in some companies this was not the case and there is a push model from marketing to R&D: It was basically marketing telling R&D that they needed a fabric conditioner that was transparent as opposed to opaque like milk. So they were briefing us and said that they needed transparent conditioner and asked what we could do. (LS) The mandate for discovery cannot be too tight and should leave room for serendipity or opportunism, such as the following: Dus dat is hele open opdracht, dus zoek technologieën, zoek processen waarmee dit bedrijf over tien jaar nog steeds leuke dingen kan bouwen. (JG) Companies that have a well-developed discovery stage are involved in “constant questioning the company’s potential role in emerging industries” and not only in seeking opportunities, but also in creating them.

4.5.2. Incubation stage The aim of incubation stage is to experiment with the given opportunities from discovery to reduce the uncertainties on a technical, market, resources and organisational dimensions to the possibilities they have for a company’s future business. At first many opportunities might look promising, but during the experimental activities many of the opportunities are churned. A rate of 60 to 70 percent, such as Google (O’Connor et al, 2008, p. 84) is quite normal for the incubation stage. In the incubation stage opportunities should be investigated on more levels than just the technology, many activities have to be undertaken to filter out the real business opportunities. These activities are of experimental nature and should follow a probe and learn approach (Lynn, Morone & Paulson, 1996). Experimenting with many different options takes up a lot of the time and energy. This is why O’Connor et al (2008) refers to incubation as the long and winding road. In the interviews the feasibility check was emphasized as the main goal of the incubation stage: Yes, basically at that stage you have to do a reality check and have to show that your ideas are workable. (LS) The focus is on learning about the opportunities and enlarging the set of applications mentioned in the discovery stage. O’Connor et al (2008) suggest that this learning can take place using a learning plan. This learning plan helps to identify, assess, hypothesize and handle

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the uncertainties. In the incubation choices have to be made which opportunities are to be transferred to the next stage, which is where investments will really rise. The portfolio of opportunities should be varied and only the true game changers should be moved along. The churned opportunities are often kept in an inventory and the interviewees explained that they often search through their drawer of “unused ideas� to use it again years later.

4.5.3. Acceleration stage In the acceleration stage heavy investments are made for the major opportunities. This is not the stage where it is moved towards operations just yet. It is the stage in which it is prepared to be moved. The interviewees indicate that this stage takes the longest, but is not the most difficult as most of the uncertainties have been reduced to such a level that it is more about working out the details: Dat is letterlijk het zoeken naar nieuwe pompen, pijpen en tanken, dus het handen- en voetenwerk van R&D. (TvdP) This detailing is needed because the opportunities cannot meet the criteria for operations (such as a clear set of market segments, predictable sales forecast or supplier’s agreement). The opportunities need to mature towards more predictability and acceptability.

4.6. Overview of the management system criteria of MIC The revised model for MIC also contains different criteria for the management system. Figure 29 summarises these criteria(see next page). The thumbs up prescribe what a company should do to fulfil these criteria. The thumbs down summarise the problems and obstacles in fulfilling these criteria. These outcomes are an integration of findings from empirical and literature studies. Not all of these criteria are important for the development of the IdeaBooster, therefore the following paragraph describes what criteria are important and why.

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4: Problem Analysis

In the acceleration stage the mainstream organisation is also prepared. Many discussions take place to make sure that the major innovation is accepted and that all the knowledge is transferred. The interviewees mentioned that the receiving unit often has to be educated and persuaded to understand and take on the project.


Exploratory activities

Be able to deal with little predictability Leave room for multiple iterations Be probing and learning oriented Facilitate interactions

Companies do not use processes and activities that deal with the characteristiscs of a major innovation process. Not involved in resolving uncertainties on all four dimensions

Broad & diverse set of competencies

MI talent = entrepeneurial, creative problem solvers Six roles (pursuer, market friend, creative thinker, realist, opportunity seeker, acceptance finders)

Lacking entrepreneurial talent Missing roles: market friends and opportunity seekers All these missing people are the incubation talent

Broaden beyond the core competencies Gain access to otherwise inaccessible markets To gain influence and power

Internal networks: organisational structure & time pressures External networks: setting up appropriate agreement terms, exclusiveness issues, allocation responsibility

Interaction with mainstream organization

Tightly & reciprocally coupled to strategic intent Coupled to mainstream resources & networks Unlinked from mainstream operations

Not reciprocally coupled to strategy, idea push instead of push & pull Not invented here syndrom in transfers Transfers takes up a lot of time due to discussions

Appreciating management & leadership

Facilitating leadership (create conditions and trust employees) Long term and broad vision Encourage and support idea and knowledge sharing activities

Inhibiting leadership (too much control and pressure Short term focus & Short sighted Lack of knowledge and idea sharing activities

Boards for decision-making On project, portfolio and system level Rewards suitable for major innovation; value learning

Minor innovation decision-making metrics and rewards Personally dependent Contribution is hard to measure

Culture that is supportive and appreciative of major innovation Bottom-up ideas Not only focused on core competencies or restricted by company identity

No belief that major innovations are needed for survival Hierarchy in companies Culture in sector is conservative Stuck in company identity

Rich internal & external networks

Suitable decision-making metrics and rewards Awareness of internal innovation capacity

Figure 29: The do’s and don’ts in fulfilling the criteria of a major innovation capability management system

4.7. Focus on the criteria relevant for the IdeaBooster All the aspects of major innovation capability were investigated in the empirical study of the problem analysis. This thorough analysis of all the elements that play a part in major innovations was needed, because all the criteria are interrelated and studying one specific subject would not lead to sufficient overview of the problems at hand. During the problem analysis it became clear that the IdeaBooster cannot solve all the problems that companies deal with in major innovations as these are highly diverse and complex. The diversity and complexity of the problems makes it impossible to force fit solutions for all problems into the concept of IdeaBooster. And the client’s original idea would have to be adapted to such a great extent that it would not be able to act within the boundary conditions set in paragraph 3.4. That is why the IdeaBooster will focus on supporting companies in improving the criteria: (see Figure 30) • Exploratory activities • Broad & diverse set of competencies • Rich internal & external networks

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Exploratory activities

Broad & diverse set of competencies

Rich internal & external networks Interaction with mainstream organization

Discovery

Incubation

Acceleration

Appreciating management & leadership Suitable decision-making metrics and rewards Awareness of internal innovation capacity

Creation, recognition, elaboration, articulation of opportunities

Evolving the opportunity into a business proposition

Ramping up the business to stand on its own

Figure 30: Division between the red and green criteria. Green is relevant for the development of the IdeaBooster and will be further explored. The red criteria are not relevant for further design. They describe the conditions that should be present in a company for the IdeaBooster to be effective.

This choice was discussed in the feedback discussions with the companies and the choice was confirmed. The interviewees in the feedback discussions did however comment that the red criteria are conditions for working on the green criteria. It might be that a company will not contribute to an improvement if the red criteria are not in order. The companies believe that when the red criteria are not fulfilled in a company, this can prohibit the actual realisation of an idea. As the green criteria are relevant for the design of the IdeaBooster, the rest of this chapter will focus on these criteria. In paragraph 4.8, 4.9 and 4.10 the green criteria are the topic of further elaboration. The description of each of the criteria is split up in: • A prescription of how companies can fulfil the criteria (highlighted by the thumbs up icon) • A description of the problem that can arise in fulfilling these criteria (highlighted by the thumbs down icon) The red criteria were also described based on the outcomes of the interviews and the interested reader can find the descriptions of the red criteria in appendix 4.12.

4.8. Exploratory activities This paragraph will focus on the criterion “exploratory activities”. The do’s and don’ts for the criterion “exploratory activities” are summarised in Figure 31 and this paragraph will elaborate on this by: • Explaining the “do’s” in paragraphs 4.8.1 & 4.8.2. Paragraph 4.8.1 elaborates on this

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4: Problem Analysis

Division between green and red criteria A division between green and red criteria is made. The green criteria are relevant for the development of the IdeaBooster and will be further explored. The green criteria are believed not to be company specific and therefore they can be dealt with in a general and open innovation type solution. The red criteria are not relevant for further design and describe the conditions that should be present in a company for the IdeaBooster to be effective.


criterion. Paragraph 4.8.2 will discuss how this criterion changes across the DIA stages. • Describing the “don’ts” in paragraph 4.8.3 concludes with the problems in fulfilling this criterion. The criterion for the exploratory activities is one of the three criteria that will receive more specification in this report. This criterion is of particular interest because the IdeaBooster will deliver an external process and should connect to or simulate a major innovation process. General

Exploratory activities

Major innovation process should: Be able to deal with little predictability Leave room for multiple iterations Be probing and learning oriented Facilitate interactions

Discovery Foundational knowledge Hunting for opportunities Generating opportunities Articulating opportunities

Incubation Resolving technical uncertainties Resolving market uncertainties Dealing with organisational & resource uncertainties Influence decision making

Companies do not use processes and The search field might be too limited to Uncertainties are overlooked or activities that deal with the characteris- find major innovations neglected due to unawareness or tiscs of a major innovation process. tendency to resolve “familiar” uncertainties first

Acceleration Preparing concept to transfer Stakeholder involvement

A lot of discussions have to take place and these take up a lot of time Knowledge is not all transferred correctly

Figure 31: Exploratory activities; desired situation overall, for the DIA stages and the problems

This paragraph is an integration of the findings from empirical and literature study. Table 10 specifies how this integration took place. Table 10: Overview of the to the meaning of the criterion “exploratory activities”

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4.8.1. Desired situation for exploratory activities The activities for a major innovation should be different from those of incremental innovations. This difference should be made, because in contrary to incremental innovation, it is bound to be marked by multiple discontinuities to be bridged, caused by many stops and starts. The changes in the trajectory can be in unexpected directions due to unforeseen events, outcomes and discoveries. (Leifer et al, 2000). That is why different processes should be adopted when dealing with major innovations, which are able to deal with the uncertain nature of major innovations and are more flexible. The process of a major innovation should: 1. Be able to deal with little predictability 2. Leave room for multiple iterations 3. Be probing and learning oriented 4. Facilitate interactions

2. Leave room for multiple iterations The process is filled with many iterations and feedback loops. This means that the process is more “like spiral or circular development process of continuous fast feed-forward and feedback loops� (Assink, 2006, p. 218). These spiral or circular movements were drawn by one the interviewees, as can be seen in Figure 32. A major innovation process should be able to deal with these iterations.

Figure 32: Sketch of an innovation process by interviewee, notice the circular movements to suggest feedback loops.

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4: Problem Analysis

1. Ability to deal with little predictability Major innovations are filled with uncertainties and due to these many uncertainties, the outcomes are hard to predict. The processes therefore should be able to deal with little predictability. In the interviews and the feedback sessions, it became clear that the processes used for incremental innovations are unsuited for major innovations and might work against major innovations. These incremental innovation processes, such as a stage-gate process (Cooper, 2002) contain many decision moments to be made whether or not to continue. The process is quite strict and linear and cannot deal with little predictability and many unknowns. The activities in major innovations should be aimed to deal with these unpredictable outcomes and be flexible in adapting to them.


3. Be probing and learning-oriented The activities in a major innovation process should be probing and learning oriented. This was confirmed by the interviewees, certainly for the first phases by describing activities to be experiments or testing with prototypes. These exploratory activities are needed to discover new knowledge and become learningoriented (O’Connor et al, 2008). This orientation towards learning is also confirmed by Assink (2006) who summarises a major innovation process to be “guided by searching and selecting, exploring and experimenting, learning and unlearning and divergent and convergent thinking. It is a complex and interactive process of probing and learning”. (Assink, 2006, p.218). 4. Facilitate interactions During the interviews it was stressed by multiple interviewees that the processes and activities should mainly facilitate interaction between people. They all agreed that the best ideas are generated in the interaction between people, instead by a lonely genius: Maar de meest brekende dingen gebeuren als mensen met elkaar aan het stoeien zijn en dat is dus iets waar ik driftig aan mee doe. Maar ook specialist tegen specialist, want als die eenmaal open minded zijn en even met elkaar willen spelen, daar komt vaak heel veel leuk spul uit. (TvdP) This was also confirmed in the feedback discussions. One of the interviewees compared a major innovation process to be like stepping stones in a river. The stepping stones are not in sight before starting, but are created through people building upon each other’s ideas. Through this “pingpong” of ideas, many different shapes and sizes for an idea are considered in a quick process.

4.8.2. Exploratory activities in the DIA stages The general characteristics of the activities in major innovations are known and now it is time to move onto how these activities differ over the DIA stages. These findings are outlined in Figure 33.

Discovery Creation, recognition, elaboration, articulation of opportunities

Incubation

Acceleration

Evolving the opportunity into a business proposition

Ramping up the business to stand on its own

Building and/or connecting to foundational knowledge

Resolving technical uncertainties

Prepare concept to transfer

Hunting for opportunies

Resolving market uncertainties

Stakeholder involvement

Generating opportunities

Dealing with organisational & resource uncertainties

Articulating opportunities. Influencing decision making

Figure 33: Activities throughout the discovery, incubation and acceleration stages

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Exploratory activities in the discovery stage In the discovery stage the mandate is “to create a pipeline of possible opportunities and clarify them in accordance with company strategic intent” (O’Connor et al, 2008, p. 295). In order to answer to this mandate, the activities are: a) Building and/or connecting to foundational knowledge b) Hunting for opportunities c) Generating opportunities d) Articulating opportunities. The exploration of the discovery phase is bounded by the strategic search fields. This was mentioned by the interviewees to be an important selection of opportunities, yet it also might prevent some opportunities from begin spotted. The exploration of the discovery phase is bounded by the strategic search fields. This was mentioned by the interviewees to be an important selection of opportunities, yet it also might prevent some opportunities from begin spotted.

b) Hunting for opportunities The hunt for ideas or opportunities should take place inside and outside the company. Many of the ideas can come from within strange parts of the organisation and therefore active searching is sometimes needed: Ik probeer me met zoveel mogelijk dingen te bemoeien ook door te kijken naar wat iedereen aan het uitspoken is. Dus door intern veel te delen met elkaar en dat ik ook bij bijeenkomsten aanwezig ben, de helft snap ik dan vaak niet maar ik kan wel zien waar ze mee bezig zijn als ze een nieuwe vinding gedaan hebben. Dat probeer ik dan als inspiratie te gebruiken. (TvdP). The movement of companies towards a more open innovation approach is noticeable. One of the reasons of this shift is that many companies are convinced that there are many opportunities that arise outside the company. This is why external hunting should not be neglected: Het rare is dat heel veel mensen nooit geen kijk hebben op alle processen die al plaatsgevonden hebben. Ik vind het essentieel dat je kijkt naar wat er in de wereld al gebeurd is en dat je dan gaat kijken wat je al aan elkaar kan koppelen.(RG)

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4: Problem Analysis

a) Building and/or connecting to foundational knowledge Many of the companies that were interviewed have a vast knowledge base, mostly located in R&D. This knowledge base makes it possible for them to look into new technologies and come up with new inventions. Companies that do not have a vast knowledge base or wish to enlarge their knowledge base should build strong relationships to the owners of the foundational knowledge they need, such as universities, or are exploring the field themselves by looking into scientific work and by talking to experts: “I am always busy searching for ideas in articles, internet, books, patents and by talking to experts.” (LS)


c) Generating opportunities Not all ideas come from a hunt; some opportunities have to be generated. For this goal many activities are undertaken, such as workshops, brainstorms, (inside) symposia. These activities are not only performed with employees from within the company, but also with suppliers, customers, scientists or consultancies. Generating opportunities it is often about: “challenging presuppositions, expanding boundaries, spotting the “white spaces”, discovering the ‘as yet unrealised needs’ of customers, setting challenging targets, thinking the unthinkable and challenging our underlying mental models (Coulson-Thomas, 2001; Wind and Crook, 2005). According to all of the interviewees, opportunities are often generated through making strange combinations. This is related to thinking the unthinkable and challenging a mental model. One example given was that of a new working principle in shaping ice, taken from a working principle known in the aircraft industry. It is not only important to make strange combinations. Coulson-Thomas (2001) also suggest that revealing the latent needs of customers might lead to generating new opportunities. In order to find these latent needs, one should not ask the customer, but should indulge in other methods: Maar een echt doorbraak project hebben we nooit aan de klant gevraagd, maar door ons te verdiepen in wat het probleem van de klant is. (JG) d) Articulating opportunities The opportunities can only survive if they can be articulated and if the link to the strategic intent can be made clear. In other words, this means that the act of opportunity recognition with the decision-makers should be stimulated. Opportunity recognition is “the bridge that connects a breakthrough idea to the initial evaluation process-which in turn leads to the formulation of a formally established commercialization effort (O’Connor & Rice, 2001). In the discovery stage this act has to be stimulated for the first time, but many more times will follow. Recognising the opportunity throughout many individuals is needed because someone has to feel the need to pursue this idea and think it is worthwhile to further explore the possibilities of an opportunity: We beginnen met een vorm van verkenning, dus vijf dagen doorlooptijd. Dan kijken we of het iets is en of het binnen de strategie past en of we denken of het succesvol wordt. Gewoon heel kort en is het de moeite waard om er echt goed naar te kennen. Die verkenning wordt afgestemd binnen CBusinez en pas als ik hem heel spannend vind, dan loop ik even naar mijn collega “ik vind dat het ene leuk idee is, vind jij het iets?”. (JdG) Exploratory activities in the incubation stage After the discovery stage a pipeline of opportunities with high uncertainties levels is moved to the incubation stage. In the incubation stage these uncertainty levels should be reduced. The type of activities for this stage should be aimed at experimenting. The goal of these

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experimenting activities is to reduce uncertainties on four levels (market, technical, resources and organisational). O’Connor et al (2008) prescribe experiments on all those levels, but in the interviews emphasis was on proving the market and technical feasibility, or in other words only reducing the market and technical uncertainties. The resources and organisational uncertainties were present in the companies of the interviewees, but clearly they did not recognise these uncertainties to be dealt with explicitly. O’Connor et al (2008) also describes a learning plan to map and rank the uncertainties, yet no specific tool or activity for this has been mentioned by the interviewees. Incubation is also the stage where projects for which uncertainties cannot be reduced must be killed and therefore the activity should also be aimed at influencing decision-making. The activities in the incubation stage are aimed at: a) Resolving technical uncertainties b) Resolving market uncertainties c) Dealing with organisational & resource uncertainties d) Influencing decision making

b) Resolving market uncertainties To resolve the market uncertainties it is important that one interacts with the market in an extensive manner. This is critical to understand what the best value proposition is, to whom this is of value and by what mechanisms this value can be best delivered (Lynn, Morone and Paulson 1996, O’Connor 1998). Resolving the market uncertainties or testing the market feasibility was quite different during the interviews than from what O’Connor et al (2008) suggest. The interviewees of the companies involved in technological innovations mostly looked into one or two markets and did not heavily invest time and money into experimenting with different markets. They argued that looking into several markets was too expensive. Activities for early market participation are advised by some of the interviewees. This can be done by holding round table meetings or by using contextual inquiry (visiting customers and observing them). c) Dealing with organisational & resource uncertainties The organisational and resource uncertainties were implicitly mentioned in the interviews. In contrary to what O’Connor et al (2008) suggest a company should set up a plan to tackle these uncertainties as well. All, except one of the interviewees, did not mention a plan for dealing with these uncertainties; they mainly expressed their frustrations with these types of uncertainties.

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4: Problem Analysis

a) Resolving technical uncertainties The main goal of these activities is to ensure an acceptable level of technical feasibility. To ensure the technical feasibility one would set up experiments or build prototypes. Dus samen met die mensen heb ik op wit papier zitten schrijven en ik heb zelf een douche gordijn gekocht bij de Gamma en heb hem letterlijk gemaakt. Maar dat werkt dan wel als je daar gewoon aan het spelen bent. (TvdP)


One way to deal with these uncertainties, which also fits the learning plan, is to map which people can enable the development of your major innovation and which people might disable the development. The interviewee suggested that all of these people are kept in mind. d) Influence decision making The incubation stage is where the pipeline of opportunities is reviewed. Many of the opportunities will not survive. Hence activities should also incorporate finding the right stakeholder to fund the rest of the process, as development costs tend to rise. Not only stakeholders, but also decision-makers should be located and persuaded. Exploratory activities in the acceleration stage In this phase the innovation is often prepared to transfer to the rest of the organisation. Therefore the concept should be further detailed, infrastructure should be set up and stakeholder involvement should be high. The processes and activities in the acceleration stage are: a) Preparing concept to transfer b) Stakeholder involvement a) Preparing concept to transfer The last details have to be worked out, before the concept can be moved towards a business unit. The goal is to reduce uncertainties to the lowest level by prototyping, testing and discussing: Dan wordt het gedetailleerd in termen van het moet maakbaar zijn, dus bijvoorbeeld tolerantie analyses. En kijken of dingen wel seriematig geproduceerd kunnen worden. Als zij aan de hand van drie of vier prototypes tonen dat is haalbaar is (development), dan wil dat nog niet zeggen dat het tegen een bepaalde prijs haalbaar is. (JG) b) Stakeholder involvement Involving the stakeholders is important in the transfers between the DIA stages. When the concept moves towards operations, this importance further increases. When transferring from acceleration to operations the company has to make sure that it will be produced, sold or executed in the right way. Attention has to be given to transfer the knowledge that was gained in the rest of the process. For this purpose many discussion and meetings should be held to assure that this knowledge transfer takes place.

4.8.3. Problems with exploratory activities The problems for exploratory activities mostly lie with companies setting up unsuitable activities for major innovations as they use the activities known from minor innovation processes. Companies are not aware of the fact that these major innovations need different processes and activities. The processes should be adaptable and flexible to cope with unpredicted outcomes. The process is bound to have more stops due to acceptance finding and decision-making. Whether this is a true problem or just a characteristic of a major innovation is not clear. Yet it might help if a company realises that for a major innovation many roadblocks exist and that it is not only important to find the enhancers, but also the degraders of a major innovation.

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When looking at the DIA stages most problems occur in the incubation stage. In the incubation stage a big difference was observed between what O’Connor et al (2008) prescribes and what the interviewees described. The four uncertainties, for which experimenting activities should be set up, were not all explicitly mentioned by the interviewees. The interviewees emphasized the importance of market and technology uncertainties. The resources and organisational uncertainties are not dealt with consciously and are seen as inhibitors, but not always as uncertainties that they can resolve. Not consciously dealing with the uncertainties and not setting up plans to deal with them, might lead companies to choose the right activities to perform. Not only is this caused by overlooking uncertainties, it is also caused by a tendency to resolve uncertainties that are comfortable, i.e. a technological company is inclined to resolve technological uncertainties first (confirmed by O’Connor et al (2008)). The amounts of experimenting activities tend to be limited and not a lot of different markets or different applications are tested. In one of the interviews this lack of exploring other markets led to an innovation being positioned in an unsuitable market, as this quote shows: Q: Omdat ze die marktkennis niet hebben? A: Ja, ze weten gewoon niks daarvan. Ze proberen al die dingen weer te proppen in de markt die ze al hebben. En dat is een van de kenmerken van een radicale innovatie, dat de markt niet hetzelfde is als je gewend bent.(MR)

4.9. Broad & diverse set of competencies Both literature and empirical study have shown that in major innovations a broad and diverse set of competencies is necessary. This criterion changed from “skills and talent” to “competencies” in the revised model of MIC. This choice was made to do justice to the amount of attention that this topic received in the interviews. This topic is also highly interesting for the development of the IdeaBooster, since the hypothesis is that companies are lacking people with a talent for major innovations. That is why this deeper investigation of this topic is justified. This extensive focus on competencies requires a definition of the concept; this is provided in paragraph 4.9.1. Paragraph 4.9.2 introduces the common characteristics of people involved in major innovations. However not all people involved in MI are similar. Major innovations require broad and diverse sets of competencies. The different sets of competencies needed for major innovations are discussed in the paragraph 4.9.3. Each of the DIA stages requires different competencies and this is discussed in paragraph 4.9.4. Similar to the client’s hypothesis many companies struggle with finding the right people for major innovations and these problems are summarised in paragraph 4.9.5.

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4: Problem Analysis

The experimenting activities are also limited, as there is a constant pressure in companies to come up with short-term results. And the resources for experimenting are lacking. The next paragraph continues with the competencies needed in major innovations.


This paragraph is concerned with the competencies involved in a major innovation team. The people involved at the system level, the leaders of major innovation capability, are part of the description of the red criteria, to be found in appendix 4.12. Figure 34 summarises the do’s and don’ts for companies wanting to fulfil the criterion of broad and diverse set of competencies. The following paragraphs will elaborate on this summary.

Broad & diverse set of competencies

General

Discovery

Incubation

Acceleration

Common characteristics; entrepeneurial thinkers and creative problem solvers Team changes and grows Proposed roles in a MI team

Importance of roles: High: Creative thinkers, Opportunity seekers, Pursuers Medium: Acceptance finders Low: Market friends, Realists

Importance of roles: High: , Opportunity seekers, Pursuers, Market friends, Realists Medium: Acceptance finders, Creative thinkers

Importance of roles: High: Market friends, Realists, Acceptance finders Low: Creative thinkers, Opportunity seekers, Pursuers

Lacking entrepreneurial talent Missing roles: market friends and opportunity seekers All these missing people are the incubation talent

When realists take overhand, the exploration is limited.

Missing the entrepeneurial thinkers. Roles missing: opportunity seekers and market friends

The people who initiated the project are not always the best finishers.

Figure 34: Overview of the findings on broad and diverse set of competencies for general and DIA system

As with the previous criterion, this paragraph is also an integration of both empirical and literature studies. Table 11 shows how this integration was made. Table 11: Overview of the changes to the meaning of the criterion “broad and diverse set of competencies”

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4.9.1. Defining competencies There are two types of competencies that can be distinguished: • Competencies related to the person; these are needed to be able to take on challenges in different situations with a successful result. • Competencies related to a specific role; these are needed to execute one specific task. In major innovations the task are often not specified and the situations and challenges can differ. This is why the competencies related to the person are the ones in our interest. There are many different views to perceive competencies, such as: • Competencies as effective perceived behaviour (Spencer & Spencer, 1993) • Competencies as an ability to perform (Mulder, 2001) • Competencies as an ability to achieve a certain goal (Vermeylen & Heene, 1999) In this study the perspective “competency as effective perceived behaviour” best suits the purpose, since this perspective takes the perception as a starting point. This is similar to what is done in this problem analysis, as the perspective of the company is taken to describe the competencies needed in MI.

Spencer and Spencer (1993) derive five different characteristics that define someone’s competencies: 1. Motives; this encourages, steers and selects behaviour towards action or goals. These are things a person is constantly thinking about or needs to have. 2. Personal characteristics; physical characteristics and consistent responses with regard to information and situation (i.e. reaction time and sense of sight) 3. Concept of self; the attitude, values and the concept one has of him or herself; this can be the self-confidence and perceived trust in own abilities 4. Knowledge; the information that a person possesses in certain fields 5. Skills; the ability to deliver a physical or mental performance In this graduation project a common way to operationalize these characteristics is used (i.e. Competentiewijzer Provincie Limburg, 2008) is used. In this operationalization four characteristics are used, see Figure 35. Personality is the combination of personal characteristics and concept of self. Similar to the iceberg metaphor of Spencer & Spencer (1993) the characteristics above the line are visible and the characteristics under the line are invisible.

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4: Problem Analysis

Spencer & Spencer (1993, p.9) define a competency as “an underlying characteristic of an individual that is causally related to criterion-referenced effective and/or superior performance in a job or situation.” In this definition “underlying characteristic” means that the competency is deeply rooted in someone’s personality and that it can predict the behaviour in multiple situations. The “causally related” means that the competency is the cause of certain behaviour or performance. With “criterion referenced” means that the competency indicates whether how someone is performing, based on a certain criterion or standard.


to be able to

Personality

Motivation

to be

to want

Visible

Skills

to know

Unvisible

Knowledge

Figure 35: Operationalization of the concept competencies used throughout this graduation projects, based on Spencer & Spencer, 1993. A competency is usually a combination of several squares.

4.9.2. Common competencies for the people needed in major innovations The client already referred to people with a talent for major innovations, insinuating that these people possess some special characteristics. In the problem analysis some of these special characteristics came forward. The commonalities in competencies people involved in major innovations are that they are “people interested in being pioneers rather than implementing someone else’s plan. They are creative problem solvers, they are learning and doing oriented, and they love charting their own course.” (O’Connor et al 2008, p. 302). Through the interviews and the feedback discussions, combined with the literature the commonalities are: • Entrepreneurial thinkers or pioneers, which means are willing to take on risky projects • Creative problems solves; are not bothered with or limited by current ways of doing things This last competency is nicely illustrated with the following quote: Dus gaan ballen rond een bepaald concept of rond ene bepaald idee. Dan heb je lui nodig die denken “nou, dat gaan we eens even mooi oplossen”. Dus meer hoe zouden we dit kunnen aanpakken zodat het toch gaat werken? Je moet niet in de verdediging gaan staan, dat zijn de besten die er zijn om echt nieuwe dingen te bedenken. (TvdP)

4.9.3. Proposed roles in a major innovation team The members of a major innovation team share some competencies. However the team can only tackle a major innovation when it consists of a broad and diverse set of competencies. In the interviews competencies were described in sets: Er zat er eentje bij, een arts, nou heel visionair. <..> Maar wel in zijn hoofd daar komt van alles uit. Hij had heel erg veel drive en heel erg analytisch, als je die hier in de kamer zet dan spat het van de energie, nou positief (JdG) And therefore I have developed the roles. A role is a set of competencies. A role is not necessarily one person; one person can have many roles. In the feedback discussions the interviewees agreed with the roles and confirmed that these roles are often needed in major innovation projects.

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These competencies can be divided over six different roles within a team. From the semistructured interviews 6 roles have been distinguished that should be present. 1. Pursuer 2. Market friend 3. Creative Thinker 4. Realist 5. Opportunity seeker 6. Acceptance finder Figure 36 gives an overview of what competencies are needed in a major innovation team. At the core are the competencies that are common to all team members. Surrounding this core are the six different roles that should all be present.

Pursuer

Acceptance Finder

Market Friend

Entrepreneurial thinkers/pioneers Creative problems solvers

Opportunity Seeker

Creative Thinker

Realist

Figure 36: Overview of the common competencies of the people involved in major innovation and the roles (in the coloured parts)

It is important that the roles in a team are in balance. It is important that not one role has the upper hand, specifically the balance between the pursuers and realists is mentioned a couple of times: Dus als je allemaal mensen hebt die alleen maar vragen stellen, dan komen ze niet vooruit, want dan zitten ze elkaar alleen maar vragen te stellen. Dus je hebt een opportunist nodig, je hebt een vragensteller nodig. Zo probeer je dus een team te maken. En voor een paar technologieĂŤn, die problemen zijn, daar probeer je dan deskundigen bij te krijgen. (JG) The roles are sets of competencies. Table 12 gives an overview of the roles and their sets of competencies. The following pages will explain these roles based on Table 12 and will use supporting quotes to clarify them.

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4: Problem Analysis

Common competencies involved in major innovations:


Table 12: Roles and competencies overview

Pursuer

1. Pursuer This role is needed to start an innovation and to drive and pursue it along the whole process. This role contains the competencies: • Carrying out a vision • Feeling a drive • Taking initiative • Showing courage In literature this role is often referred to as the champion, founding father, the pursuer or killer (i.e. Roberts and Fusfeld, 1982, O’Connor & McDermott, 2004) and in the interviews this character also came up. Often this role makes sure that the project stays alive in difficult times and that other people, like financial managers, will not shut the project down. En je hebt ook mensen nodig die wel een soort, hoe moet ik het zeggen, “founding father” zijn van het product of van de innovatie, die wel op het moment dat allerlei financiële mensen proberen het idee onderuit te zagen, en daar zie ik mijn rol in, wel doorgaan. Dus die zeggen blijf eraf en we gaan hiermee door en we gaan goed bekijken wat er al wel is, maar ga nou niet afhaken. We gaan niet het boompje wat aan het groeien meteen omkappen. (EvS) As can be seen in this quote this role is often closely linked to power as it has to be someone with the ability to make decisions on the livelihood of a project or someone closely connected to someone with this power. During the feedback discussion there was a suggestion to include the sponsor role. This is someone, not part of the team (in contrary to the pursuer), who is in a higher position and works on the acceptance of the idea. • Carrying out a vision The pursuers are not just pursuing a random idea. Their idea stems from a vision or a belief in a product or a way of doing things: En dat ik wel een heel charmant want hij heeft wel een bepaalde visie. Hij heeft gewoon een visie en hij gaat dat gewoon doen en dat is ook een beetje dom natuurlijk, maar het geeft wel aan dat hij risico durft te nemen en dat hij wel buiten de bestaande paden kan denken.(MR) • Feeling a drive There are many things that drive a pursuer to follow his vision. Next to ‘a drive’ it is also described

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as ambition, enthusiasm and a need for challenge. Persons who have these characteristics are often involved in the beginning of a process: In het begin zoek ik bijvoorbeeld mensen die een beetje ambitie hebben, die er zin in hebben, want waar begin ik anders aan. Als iemand geen ambitie uitstraalt, dan krijgt hij geen volgers. (PH) In some cases having a drive can also backfire, because it can lead to stubborn behaviour. It t is hard to let things go, because they need to follow their own ideas. En wat die andere mannen deden van “ja, dit is een briljant plan en het moet en jullie moeten gewoon snappen dat het goed en als je het niet snapt, dan ben je gewoon dom”. Aan de ene kant is dat gaaf, want er zit veel drive in, maar aan de andere kant loop je wel heel veel kans dat mensen zeggen van “joh, effe dimmen”. (JdG) • Taking initiative A pursuer also contains the competency of taking initiative: to take on new things and to dare to come up with new ideas: Vrijheid van handelen, dat is initiatief nemen. Niet alleen maar achter je bureau blijven zitten, van wat zouden we allemaal kunnen doen, als de anderen wat gaan doen. Nee, verkoop het maar, ga ermee naar de raad van bestuur, passeer je R&D directeur. Dat is bepaalde durf en lef. En ook verantwoordelijkheid nemen. (JdM)

This courage should also be used to show ideas no matter how strange or silly they might seem. Maar gewoon eruit knallen, want vaak door zes keer idiote dingen te zeggen dan kom je of zelf of iemand waarmee je bezig bent tot een idee. Het interesseert me niet wat anderen van me denken. (TvdP) And in the end it is all about keeping your head high and not caring too much about what others might think and put in your way: Want het gekke is dat je bijna niet kunt overschatten hoeveel gezeik zij hebben gehad. Mensen die gewoon uit het land belden en subsidies niet meer kregen. Dus die hoogleraren hebben echt best veel lef gehad. Maar ze hadden ook mensen om zich heen die lef hadden en het gewoon wilden doen. (JdG)

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4: Problem Analysis

• Showing courage Major innovations are bound to have many uncertainties and failures might be more present than successes, which is why courage is needed to overcome these: Maar innovaties mislukken wel eens. Als het goed is, dan mislukken ze vaak want dan ben je moedig. (HH)


Market Friend

2. Market friend This role is concerned with the insight one has to have in the market and the target group, or in other words their customers, users or client. It is built upon two competencies: • Customer empathy • Market or commercial insight. • Customer Empathy Customer empathy is about being able to investigate what an existing or future customer might want and to empathize with them. All of the interviewees shared the opinion that customer empathy is an important competency. This is even more necessary for companies that are tightly connected to their customer in the service sector: Ik denk altijd dat je moet proberen teams samen te stellen waar in ieder geval ook mensen in zitten die dicht bij de klant staan, omdat ik al zei dat je een klant nodig hebt voor innovatie.(EvS) Empathy is a competency that can be developed and should be used in the right way: Dus je gaat niet vragen wat je wilt hebben, maar aan de hand van wat er gebeurd ga je kijken waar nou zijn echte problemen zitten. Die spreek je dan door met de klant en ook met het projectteam. Op zo’n manier probeer je dus te leren door naar het proces te kijken met jouw kennis en kijken hoe je dat kan verbeteren. (JG) • Market and commercial insight Another competency that the market friend needs to have is market and commercial insights. This is more about seeing where market will move in the future and where possibilities are for your company or what types of business models might be of interest.

Creative Thinker

3. Creative thinkers This role is not necessarily about creativity, but more about an approach that some people have when dealing with problems or challenges. It is about people who keep wondering how things can become better or questioning why things are the way they are. The role of creative thinker is based on the competencies: • Open-minded • Out of the box Open-minded and out-of-the box are terms often used in describing suitable people for innovations. This was also the case in our interviews. When trying to make these vague terms more concrete, companies often found it difficult to explicate this. An effort is made in the description below. • Open-minded Most commonly heard was that having an open mind means that you should not limit your thinking and should be able to think in solutions instead of obstacles or problems: Vrijheid van denken heeft te maken met mensen moeten niet teveel zichzelf laten inperken tot

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“dat wordt hem nooit”. Maar juist gekke dingen verzinnen en kijk of je daar wat mee kan.(JdM) • Out of the box Out of the box is another competency used that was also hard to explicate by the interviewees, how hard it this can be is shown in this quote: Want ik vaak probeert te zeggen is: je hebt een box, maar je kan ook wel eens wild zijn en er helemaal uit stappen en eromheen lopen en de box van een andere manier benaderen.(TvdP) It was also explained as someone who can think out of their own discipline or expertise: Maar dat je eigenlijk mensen wil hebben die niet alleen die expertise beheersen, maar dat ze ook oog hebben voor andere expertises. Dus dat ze boven hun vakgebied kunnen uitstijgen en dat ze zich kunnen inleven dat als je er vanuit een technische wereld naar kijkt dat het dan zo en zo in elkaar zit.(JK) This was also referred as the ability to create a helicopter view to basically look why things are done in a specific way. This can be done by someone who is not used to a certain way of working and is not part of the process, or in other words does not share the dominant logic: Helikopter view over een proces heen te fietsen en te kijken waarom je dat zo doet en vooral geen onderdeel te zijn van dat proces, want dan zie je sommige dingen over het hoofd. (RG)

4: Problem Analysis

The role of the creative thinker can be sensitive to the context in which it has to work and if something is going on like reorganisation, it might be creative: Maar ik heb er moeite mee als het privé niet goed gaat om jezelf er dan toe te zetten om helemaal relaxed en open uit de box te denken. Want op het moment dat ze daaraan gaan zitten morrelen, want er komt weer een reorganisatie en ze weten nog niet wat ze met mij gaan doen. Of de helft van de lui waarmee je veel werkt, die worden er uitgeflikkerd. Dat hakt er best wel in moet ik zeggen. Dat kun je niet uitzetten als je aan het werk bent. (TvdP) This also means that time pressure or being pressured to come up with new ideas from nine to five is not suitable for this role: Dat is hetzelfde als met dat ik tussen negen en vijf het ook niet kan laten gebeuren, het komt op de meest rare momenten. Ik zie ook geen duidelijke scheiding tussen werk en privé, maar dat is een glijdende schaal tussen die twee. (TvdP) 4. Realists The realist is an assimilation of the competencies: • Reality checking • Deeper expertise This role is needed to keep the pursuers and creative thinkers balanced. The pursuers and creative thinkers are often prominent in the start of the project and sometimes have to be limited in their enthusiasm in order not to forget certain things and think things through. The need for the realists, people who have deeper knowhow on certain topics and/or are able to do a reality check is necessary.

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Checklist

Realist


• Reality check The reality check is needed to make sure that everything is truly feasible. These people are often referred to as naggers, nay sayers or critical questioners and are involved in the process for the purpose of locating the obstacles and difficulties in a project: Ik haalde er altijd ook zeg maar een “zeikerd” bij, die overal beren op de weg zag en overal zag wat er mis kon gaan. En soms zelfs wel drie en soms ook hoe moeilijk is het en wat kan er misgaan etc. Er komt zoveel enthousiasme vrij bij de zoekfase en daar moet je tegengewicht aan kunnen bieden. (HH) The reality check not only involves checking if it is feasible, but also to check if things are not overlooked or finished too quickly. Ja, en dat is ook gaaf, maar daarbij vergeet je als je het over informatiesystemen hebt, dat het ook onderhoudbaar moet zijn en dat je design processen na het prototype wel zodanig rustig moeten zijn dat het de kwaliteit matcht. Daar hadden zij te weinig oog voor. (JdG) • Deeper expertise In the interviews there was not a specific expertise that every company was looking for. There should be a combination of broad expertise and deeper expertise. The realists are often the ones with deeper expertise in a specific subject. Ik zit er eigenlijk veel breder in, zij zijn dieper, want zij weten wel waar ze het over hebben op hun vakgebied en ik niet. (TvdP) The people with deeper expertise can function as realists.

Opportunity Seeker

5. Opportunity Seekers The opportunity seekers are keen to look for new possibilities; the scanning and hunting for ideas inside and outside the organisation. The opportunity seeker is a role for someone that is good: • Making non-obvious new combinations • Scanning & hunting The opportunity seekers are quick in making combinations between existing technologies and new market and vice versa and might be a key person in performing the opportunity recognition (O’Connor & Rice, 2001). • Making non-obvious new combinations Many of the major innovations discussed in the interviews existed from making a new combination of an existing technologies or by coming up with a new market for existing technologies. The original inspiration for an opportunity is not always found in obvious situation and can come from an unexpected angle, such as this example from a fragrance producer: The idea was from us. But what we did was look at something else. If you look in a magazine you something have the paper that you have to scratch and then the fragrance comes out. The capsules then break and you smell it. And we used the technology to see how this could work for our cause. So we took a technology from a different application and we made it work for the application that we knew we had relevant foresight in terms of business and consumer need. (LS) Many of the interviewees found it important to look at existing technologies or processes so

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that you do not reinvent the wheel for that specific technology, but also to see what you can connect to it. In this way it is actually applying your knowledge about one discipline to a new one. Looking for strange combinations also stems from the ability to see parallels between disciplines. This is why it is also linked to an open mind: Maar je ziet dus dat zo’n Homecare domotica en telematica oplossing die heeft eigenlijk erg veel parallellen met industriële automatisering, waar we al 20 jaar allerlei productieplants op afstand worden bestuurd. Dus het bestaat eigenlijk al, maar voor die markt is het wel nieuw. (EvS) • Scanning & hunting The joy and ability to scan and hunt is much needed, because there are many more options to look outside instead of developing it all by yourself: En je hebt natuurlijk ook mensen nodig die de techniek begrijpen. De techniek begrijpen was vroeger mensen die heel goed dingen konden uitzoeken, maar dat wordt nu ook steeds meer mensen die weten wat er te koop is. (EvS) Je moet wel heel goed kunnen scannen, ik heb vooral mensen nodig, die heel goed in de breedte kunnen kijken. (EvS)

It is important that the acceptance finder is good at: • Translation ability • Stakeholder involvement The acceptance finder often has to make sure that the opportunity is continually recognised throughout the company to ensure funding and decisions in favour of the development of the major innovation. • Translation ability Not only needs one to be able to locate and involve the stakeholder, but one also needs to be able to sell their idea to convince them of it. This often means to be able to translate a technological concept: En of we het concept op zo’n manier konden uitleggen dat het aanslaat bij de mensen en van wie we dat dan willen vragen. Anders blijft het in hun beleving, bijvoorbeeld bij de projectontwikkelaar “wat is dat dan, dat smart grids?” en dan heb ik uitgelegd dat het eigenlijk een heel slim wasmachine apparaat aan het ontwikkelen zijn. (JK) Sometimes this can be difficult, because someone is enthusiastic about the project. Therefore it is not only ability of the sender, but also of the receiver and might be seen as a shared responsibility: Ik ben te gauw dat ik rauwe of halve ideeën eruit gooi. En soms werkt het ook voordelig dat anderen daaraan mee kunnen doen, maar soms werkt het ook van het principe als je eenmaal

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Acceptance Finder

4: Problem Analysis

6. Acceptance Finders This role contains the competency to translate ideas into a “sellable” story and to involve the stakeholders. This role is highly important as a major innovation needs to be accepted by the company to gain access to i.e. resources. However, due to the “newness to the company” they might not be willing to accept it.


iets vertelt aan iemand dan “that’s it”. Veel mensen hebben dan moeite om dat dan weer los te laten en om het dan weer te verbouwen zodat het toch iets anders wordt. Ik zie het vaak als een gedeelde verantwoordelijkheid, het is mijn verantwoordelijkheid om dingen op een duidelijke manier uit te leggen en ik verwacht ook van de ontvangende kant dat ze proberen te snappen wat er is. Dat je dan zo’n vent voor je hebt die dan alleen maar zegt dat het er niet uit ziet. (TvdP) • Stakeholder Involvement To find acceptance one needs to be able to search, locate and involve the stakeholders: Dus als ik denk dat het interessant is, dus op mijn schaal het zoeken en selecteren heb gedaan, dan probeer ik het te implementeren door het aan te brengen bij de desbetreffende stakeholder. (TvdP) Finding the right stakeholder has to be done at the right time and one needs to be able handle frustration that comes with rejection or negative comments: Dus je moet maar net die verlichte geest hebben die het ziet. Dus eerst de juiste stakeholder vinden bij jouw idee en of het nou een rauw idee of dat je er al iets aan gedaan hebt waarmee je kunt aantonen dat het al technisch “feasible” is. (TvdP)

4.9.4. Broad and diverse set of competencies across the DIA stages Each of the stages of the DIA requires different people. This was strongly confirmed by the interviewees, who referred to as a necessity to have a multi-disciplinary and multi-functional team: Je hebt allerlei verschillende soorten mensen nodig. Dat vind ik niet belangrijk, dat vind ik per definitie een voorwaarde. Ik gebruik de term cross-functioneel; ook nog van verschillende lagen. Het tweede het moet altijd een groep zijn die vanuit verschillende invalshoeken naar hetzelfde onderwerp kijkt en dat mogen ook hele vreemde zijn. Daar zit hem ook de “fun” in. (PH) The size of the group involved in a major innovation does not remain the same during the process; it starts out quite small in discovery and only grows from that point forward. The composition of a team changes and often those part of the team in discovery are not involved in the acceleration stage: Van die 8 zit bijvoorbeeld niemand meer hier als het op zijn top is (wijst op 200 red). (JG) In the interviews it also became clear that the roles throughout the DIA stages are different in importance. Figure 37 gives an overview of the changing importance of the roles throughout the project (based on the outcomes of empirical study, strengthened by literature). In the following section the roles per stage will be described in further detail.

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Discovery

Creation, recognition, elaboration, articulation of opportunities

Evolving the opportunity Incubation into a business proposition

Discovery

Importance

High

Opportunity seekers Creative thinkers Pursuers

Medium

Low

Incubation

Acceleration

Ramping up the business to stand on its own

Acceleration

Market friends

Acceptance finders Realists

Figure 37: Roles for major innovations and their importance according to the stages of the DIA system

Discovery

Creation, recognition, elaboration, articulation of opportunities

Importance

High

Opportunity seekers Creative thinkers Pursuers

Medium

Low

Market friends

Acceptance finders Realists

Figure 38: Importance of roles in the discovery stage

• High importance: creative thinkers, opportunity seekers and pursuers During discovery there is a high need for people that are able to look beyond their discipline and look at problems in many ways (referred to by O’Connor et al (2008) as the “ability to restart and look at problems in many different ways”), as has been found in literature and in the interviews:

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4: Problem Analysis

Roles involved in the discovery stage In the discovery stage all kinds of backgrounds are needed, yet the team is not very large, because the idea still has to grow and be developed. Figure 38 shows the importance of the six roles in the discovery stage.


In the search you have 90% people that are thinking out of the box and 10% that are down to earth.(LS) One of the interviewees mentioned that the team members are judged by their ability to look outside and to be able to come up with ideas outside the known: Maar over het algemeen heerste daar wel een atmosfeer en werden mensen afgerekend ook op kijken, naar buiten kijken. Het is niet alleen maar een technisch specialisme, maar kijk ook eens wat je ermee kan doen. En kom dan ook met goede ideeën.(JdM) But as O’Connor et al (2008) also state, it is not only about looking upon things differently but also an ability to endure failure and rejection: Ze hadden kennis en veel hoogleraren om hen heen die ook de ballen hadden om het te doen, want het gekke is dat je bijna niet kunt overschatten hoeveel gezeik zij hebben gehad. (JdG) Deep knowledge on specific topics is not yet needed in these phases, but it is more necessary to think strategically and on a broader level (or have penchant towards strategic thinking, as O’Connor et al (2008) refer to it): Hiervoor zoek ik mensen die strategisch kunnen denken, die verstand hebben van de gezondheidszorg en die weten wat we zouden moeten oppakken om het beter te gaan doen, dus hoe kunnen we de markt openbreken met bestaande diensten of producten die er al of niet zijn, maar door allerlei belemmeringen niet worden toegepast.(PH) • Medium importance: market friends The market friend is needed to make sure that the opportunity is recognised and articulated. But the market friend is not as pertinently needed as the more creative and pursuing roles. • Low importance: acceptance finders and realists Acceptance finders and realists are of low importance, because the search is still very broad and the company does not need to be much involved just yet. Roles involved in the incubation stage O’Connor et al (2008) mention that the people involved should be “comfortable with uncertainty, can move into experimentation, and are willing to be flexible in pursuing opportunities as they emerge.” But during our interviews these characteristics of the people involved in incubation were not mentioned. In the interviews emphasis was put on broadening and deepening the knowledge base and finding the right balance in a team, in contrary to the findings of O’Connor et al (2008) who have stated that the incubation talent should encompass people of entrepreneurial sort and people with high degree of interpersonal skill. O’Connor et al (2008) focus less on the broadening the knowledge base as the interviewees do. This clear difference between the outcomes of the interviews and literature will be reflected upon in paragraph 4.9.5. The set of expertise in incubation needs to increase, because every aspect of the concept has to be looked into. But it is not only a broader set; on some expertise it is also much deeper than in the previous phase. Therefore it is also needed that one knows to locate the right people to

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help them in the development: Als hij dan zegt dat hij het ziet zitten, dan krijg ik lui die wel weten waar ze het over hebben en die mee helpen in experimenten. Ik zit er eigenlijk veel breder in, zij zijn dieper, want zij weten wel waar ze het over hebben op hun vakgebied en ik niet. (TvdP) Figure 39 shows the importance of the six roles in the incubation stage.

Incubation

Evolving the opportunity into a business proposition

Importance

High

Market friends Pursuers Realists Opportunity seekers

Medium

Creative thinkers Acceptance finders

Low

Figure 39: Importance of roles in the incubation stage

In the interviews it was explained as: Dus we hebben een projectmanager geselecteerd die de zwakke plekken van die stuiterballen wel even kon compenseren. De projectmanager die we daar neer hebben gezet, was een hele stevige persoon, een complete Achterhoeker zo van “ze maken mij de pis niet lauw”. Dus ook van dat gestuiter daarbij had hij zoiets van ik zorg er gewoon dat het goed gaat en ik zal luisteren naar wat je zegt, maar ik zal wel zorgen dat de techniek helemaal goed gaat. (JdG) The reality check and the involvement of a broader set of expertise was also needed to make sure that the beginners would not be finishers, as one expected that they would just want to finish the project really fast. The reality check is therefore not only to make the technology and market feasible, but also to put a brake on the driving forces that were so important in the discovery phase. Eigenlijk interesseert het ze niet dat die dingen straks onderhoudbaar zijn. Ze willen zorgen dat er een prototype komt en ze willen hun ideeën realiseren. (JdG)

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4: Problem Analysis

• High importance: realist, market friend and pursuer According to the interviewees in this phase the balance in a team is important, as one has to do a reality check for the opportunities of discovery. This can also be seen in Figure 37 where the acceptance finders and realists become more important and the creative thinkers and opportunity seekers are reduced to medium importance. The pursuer remains highly important, as well as the market friend, because experimenting with the market is important.


• Medium importance: creative thinkers, opportunity seekers and acceptance finder The importance of the creative thinkers and the opportunity seeker is reduced, however is still needed as O’Connor et al (2008) described that in incubation people are needed who are: Creative and able to chart a direction without experience in that domain, opportunistic, flexible, and willing to experiment and adjust as they learn. The acceptance finder gains importance as it is needed to get the idea accepted and not to get it churned. However this importance is limited compared to the acceptance finder’s importance in acceleration. Roles involved in the acceleration stage The acceleration stage requires further detailing of the concept as well as preparing the organisation for the major innovation. Figure 40 shows the importance levels of the roles in acceleration.

Acceleration

Ramping up the business to stand on its own

Acceleration

Market friends Acceptance finders Realists

Importance

High

Medium

Low

Opportunity seekers Pursuers Creative thinkers

Figure 40: Importance of the roles in the acceleration stage

• High importance: acceptance finder, market friend and realist The people involved in acceleration are still searching for solutions, but not on a conceptual or solution level, but on a detail level to make things cheaper or smarter. For the detailing “downto- earth” people are needed: And in implementation you make it 100% people of down to earth and who can make it happen. These are people who know how to build things.(LS) This is why the realist is also highly important as this role is focused on details and often has deeper expertise. This might also be the one that can get control on the process: Want nu moet er eigenlijk iemand komen die vooral de processen heel erg onder controle brengt, veel meer een beheerder. Dus iemand die precies weet waar de kosten zitten, dus nu weer een ander type en die gaan we nu selecteren. (JdG) In this stage the acceptance finder is most important as it is needed to make sure that the idea gets accepted in the organisation. It is needed to have someone who senses the situation and

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is open to opinions of others/can play the political game: Dus de volgende man die kwam had veel meer team gevoel en die mocht ook de organisatie opbouwen, dus we kregen opeens een IT manager en die kreeg het ook voor mekaar om klanten gewoon mee te nemen en om iets minder ruzie te maken met de branchevereniging.(JdG) Getting the idea accepted is also why the market friend is still highly important. The market friend needs to provide his/her insights on how to position the idea and how to, if needed, implement it with the customers in a customer friendly manner. • Low importance: creative thinkers, opportunity seekers and pursuers In this phase the idea is already selected to be detailed, so the pursuer’s perseverance can be low. The creative thinkers and opportunity seeker are also less important, because many of creative steps have been taken.

4.9.5. Problems with broad and diverse set of competencies

Finding the right competencies is based on “who knows who”, which can be time consuming, leading to high search costs: Ja, klopt inderdaad, dat is absoluut noodzakelijk. Die selectie of dat zoeken naar die verschillende competenties dat kost ons de meeste tijd. Dat is heel veel met mensen praten, een gevoel krijgen, kijken of het klikt of je er vertrouwen in hebt. Dat heeft eigenlijk veel meer met de sociale vaardigheden die je hebt te maken dan dat je ene lijstje af kan gaan. (JK) Missing incubation talent In paragraph 4.8.3 it has already been shown that companies lack the right activities for the incubation stage, the same is true for the competencies needed for this stage. This lack of incubation talent is shown by O’Connor et al (2008). They mention that, for incubation, people are needed that do not need closure and clarity and what to expect from actions. The incubation type of people should be keen to experiment and people are needed that like dealing with uncertainty and that do not adopt a stage-gate kind of mentality. The people, who like to experiment and do not need closure or clarity, are in short the: entrepreneurial thinkers, the market friends and the opportunity seekers. O’Connor et al (2008) does not mention the lack of realist and pursuer type or people. In the feedback discussion it was also added that the people suitable for incubation are hard to locate; one because they are scarce and second because it is hard to articulate what “incubation talent” is.

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4: Problem Analysis

As is proposed in this paragraph, six different roles are needed. These roles can be possessed by many different people and can be hard to locate, because these roles are not related to an educational background or a function that one has, but to competencies. Therefore locating the right people and coming up with the right balance in a team might be a challenge. In the feedback discussions with the companies some confirmed that they use different competency management tools to form teams. However this is mostly applied when a team is formed and done sporadically instead of systematically or before the formation of the team.


Lacking entrepreneurial talent Not only can people be hard to locate, they can also be absent, which is the case for the entrepreneurial talent. This lack is confirmed by O’Connor et al (2008) and is also confirmed in the interviews and feedback discussions. One interviewee clearly stated that these people are hard to retain in a company for they feel the need to pursue their own ideas: Dat soort mensen gingen ook wel bovengemiddeld weg bij Siemens om voor zichzelf te beginnen. En die willen dus echt hun eigen ideeën volgen. (HH) Missing roles: market friends and opportunity seekers The roles that might be missing in companies are the market friends and the opportunity seekers (which was also confirmed in the feedback discussions). A clear symptom of missing a market friend is that some companies stated to have trouble thinking outside their own frame of reference: Maar daar zijn we in het algemeen niet goed in. Dat is toch te snel je eigen referentiekader gebruiken en dat toepassen. Dat doen we nu dus ook heel anders, we halen overal de gebruikers bij. Dus hoe ze hiermee omgaan en dan laten we ze hiermee spelen. (PH)

4.10. Rich internal and external networks This paragraph describes the relevance of rich internal and external networks in major innovations and is a combination on insights on open and networked innovations. This criteria is added to the original model of O’Connor et al (2008) for the reason that the importance was proven by the results of the empirical study and because there is other work of O’Connor that does suggest the importance and need to integrate the two models (i.e. chapter in Chesbrough, 2006). The further details of this criterion and the problem that companies run into in trying to fulfil this criterion, is relevant for the IdeaBooster as well. Particularly because the client believes that the IdeaBooster should help companies to improve their networks. A summary of the outcomes is shown in Figure 41 and this paragraph will elaborate on these outcomes in the following pages. General

Rich internal & external networks

Broaden beyond the core competencies Gain access to otherwise inaccessible markets To gain influence and power Internal networks: organisational structure & time pressures External networks: setting up appropriate agreement terms, exclusiveness issues, allocation responsibility

Discovery

Incubation

Putting “eyes and ears” investments in Partners for probing and learning small companies Select the right amount of partners, Setting up hunters and gatherers without increasing search costs team that look outside as well Attract external inventors and participate in research labs or universities. Current partners limited to suppliers and universities Unsure whether gathering more ideas is needed

What are partners for probing and learning? Unclear how to select the right partners and hindered by obstacles

Acceleration Less pertinent to open innovation Looking for learning markets

Not clear whether open innovation can be applied and how in this stage

Figure 41: Overview of the requirements and problems on general and for the DIA stages for internal and external networks

As the work of O’Connor et al (2008) did not provide as much structure for this topic, other work was used (such as chapter of O’Connor in Chesbrough, 2006). The empirical study did not provide many insights on the topic as they had just acknowledged the importance of open innovation or were in their first trials.

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This paragraph will not go into detail on the many possibilities for structuring an open innovation approach (such as venturing units etc.). It will go into the increased awareness of the need to leverage and create internal and external networks in paragraph 4.10.1. The reasons companies that are engaging in networks and why companies should leverage their networks is explained in paragraph 4.10.2. The reasons and ways to involve in networks change throughout the DIA stages and this will be explained in paragraph 4.10.3. The problems in opening up the innovation process and leveraging the networks are discussed in paragraph 4.10.4. The results that are presented in this paragraph are an integration of the empirical and literature findings. How this integration took place is described in Table 13. Table 13: Overview of the changes to the meaning of the criterion â&#x20AC;&#x153;rich internal and external networksâ&#x20AC;?

4: Problem Analysis

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4.10.1. Increased awareness of the need to leverage rich internal and external networks In the past, companies operated on the assumption that they must develop everything internally to maintain competitive advantage. According to Chesbrough (2003) during the last years a paradigm shift occurred. Companies moved from closed to open innovation. This paradigm shift was noticed because some of the principles of innovation changed. The difference in principles between the closed and the open innovation paradigm are summarised in Table 14. Table 14: The change in principle in moving from closed to open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003)

This paradigm shift is also acknowledged by some of the interviewees who noticed that in the past companies were trying to develop everything themselves and now it is more about trying to see who can help and who should be involved: Dus steeds meer mensen kennen, terwijl het vroeger steeds meer was dingen zelf uitzoeken, nu ben ik veel meer bezig met anderen om aan te voelen wat zou moeten kunnen en wie ik daar bij zou moeten betrekken. (EvS) The largest part of the companies in the interviews, as well as in the research of Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor et al (2008), is applying some of the principles of open innovation. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor (in Chesbrough, 2006) proposes that the model for major innovation capability and open innovation should be integrated into one approach. One of the main reasons for integrating the major innovation capability with the open innovation approach is that it offers the possibility to speed up the arduous lifecycle of major innovations; this was also confirmed by an interviewee: So the broader your network the better you can manage your innovation process. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a big enough network it will take you ten years instead of six. (LS) The companies interviewed are gaining awareness of the importance of opening up the innovation process and leveraging the networks and one of the interviewees mentioned that they are consciously managing and mapping the networks needed: Bij het business plan en de opstartfase gaan we gewoon heel goed kijken naar welke netwerken we nodig hebben en welke partijen daar in zitten en dan maken we tekeningen van hoe dat eruit ziet. En we vragen ons ook af wat voor type mensen we nodig hebben en wat voor type netwerken

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we nodig hebben.(JdG) Balance leveraging internal and external networks However an open innovation approach does not mean that everything can be found outside, one has to find a “balance of open innovation and internal competency that best enables the large organisation to constantly renew itself through game-changing innovation.” (O’Connor in Chesbrough (2006), p. 66). Therefore it is important to not only leverage external, but also internal networks. Emphasising on leveraging internal and external networks seems to be dependent of the size of the company. The larger companies depend more heavily on rich, powerful internal networks to answer questions, gain contacts and get technical and market related questions answered (Kelley, Peters and O’Connor 2005). This is because they have a vast knowledge, talent and resources base. For smaller companies this base might be less broad, which is why external networks gain importance over internal networks. This has also been noticed in the interviews where the medium-sized companies tend to have a pragmatic view on open innovation, because they can see that they do not have all the competencies needed. The larger companies were more reserved towards open innovation.

A few of the interviewed companies have set up a specific open innovation group that is concerned with the task of looking for opportunities and to flag unused opportunities or outside: Open innovatie is een begrip en wij hebben een aparte club binnen ons bedrijf die zich bezighoudt met open innovatie. Die lui die daar zitten en als een soort gatekeeper functioneren, dat zijn de champions in verschillende gebieden. Zij houden zich bezig met een nieuwe wens binnen ons bedrijf en zij zoeken dan in het externe netwerk dan wat ze daar in kunnen vinden en andersom. (TvdP) One of the interviews was at a venturing unit and the goal of this unit was to filter out the good ideas for the company and pass them on to the company or set up ventures: Sommige spelen we door aan private equity of venture. Sommige spelen we ook door naar bestaande organisatie. JdG) Different partners The partners involved are often from scientific fields, like universities and research institutes and the goal is to access more knowledge, since universities are sometimes further in development and had a better overview of a certain field: Dat zat heel sterk in de sfeer van “tegen het universitaire wereldje aan”. Het vak user interface

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4: Problem Analysis

Different approaches There are many approaches to implementing open or networked innovation in a company. And although O’Connor (2006, in Chesbrough) does not advise one approach, it is good to see that companies are not only aware of the necessity of involving in open and networked innovation, but are also acting accordingly.


wat zich in die tijd heeft ontwikkeld en dat zat vooral in universiteiten. Daar wilden wij bij zijn en de universiteiten die op die gebieden een rol speelden waren ook vaak meer universiteiten die meer naar buiten keken. (JdM) Next to the scientific partners, there is also open innovation with suppliers, who are often involved to deliver knowledge, but sometimes even something different: Zoek ik iedere fase andere mensen en als ik ze niet kan vinden, zoals bijvoorbeeld die stuiterballen, dan ga ik kijken met bijvoorbeeld een sleutelleverancier van kunnen we er weer andere mensen tegenaan plakken. (JdG) This paragraph has proven that companies have a growing awareness of the open innovation principles and the necessity of leveraging internal and external networks. Some companies are even starting to have formalized approaches to act according to these principles. The following paragraph will explain what the reasons are for involving internal and external networks.

4.10.2. Reasons for involving in internal and external networks There are many reasons to consider why companies should involve in open and networked innovation. O’Connor (in Chesbrough, 2006) summarises three reasons for companies to involve in major innovations: • Learn quickly and inexpensively • Develop or co-opt new capabilities that radical innovation spaces require • Actually begin to create new markets. Similar reasons were found in our interviews, except that an addition was made that engaging in networks is also to gain influence and power. The first two were collectively mentioned in the reason for broadening the core competencies. The reasons used are therefore: a) b) c)

Broaden beyond the core competencies (learn quickly and inexpensively and develop or co-opt new capabilities that radical innovation spaces require) Gain access to otherwise inaccessible markets (actually begin to create new markets) To gain influence and power

These reasons are explained here with some quotes to illustrate how these reasons are interpreted and applied. a) Broaden beyond the core competencies A company involved in major innovations is stretching the boundaries of what they already know and do best or in other words is stretching their core competencies, which are a central to the way a company works and fulfils three key criteria (Prahalad& Hamel, 1990) • It is not easy for competitors to imitate. • It can be re-used widely for many products and markets. • It must contribute to the end consumer’s experienced benefits. Open and networked innovation is a way to stretch these core competencies. The core

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competencies can be expanded by “accessing technologies, market partners, and expertise in arenas that are dramatically different from the company’s core and this enables creativity, opportunity recognition, and connectivity into new domains (O’Connor, 2005, p.79). In the interviews it was also confirmed that when knowledge is missing one should try to access or develop it outside: Mijns inziens als het gaat om missen van kennis dat dat voor elke fase geldt, dat je voor elke fase je kennis kunt verbreden. Dus ik zoek bij elke stap de juiste mensen en als je ze niet in huis hebt, dan moet je ze ergens vandaan halen. (PH) It is easier and cheaper to hire this knowledge than to incorporate it into the company, when it is unsure if the new knowledge will need to be part of the core competencies: Our company is not looking into it, but should be according to my opinion. But I think that people will move towards open innovation, because you don’t have to recruit the people with the skills that you need, so it’s cheaper. So I think it’s going to carry on going. (LS)

c) Find access to power and influence decision-making The reason for networking is not only about broadening the core competencies and accessing new markets. In many occasions the networks are used to find access to those with power and to influence decision-making. O’Connor & Rice (2001) refer to these types of networks as the upward networks who provide protection and access to pockets of money. O’Connor, Paulson & DeMartino (2008) discuss the networks as a powerful tool to remove managerial uncertainty and risk. The same reasons for using the networks are also pointed out by one of the interviewees: Terwijl als we het netwerk er beter bij betrokken hadden dan was het wel nog steeds gehad dat we gelijk hadden maar dan hadden we grotere kans gehad om gelijk te krijgen. (JdG) Not only is this access to power and to influence decision-making needed internally. For some companies they need to influence regulations or need to collaborate to make a collective impact: Nee, dat doen we niet. Ik snap namelijk gesloten innovatie niet. Een hele hoop van onze takken van sport zijn gebaseerd op standaardisatie en samenwerking en anders krijg je je zin niet. Dus wij moeten wel open innoveren vaak.(JdG)

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4: Problem Analysis

b) Gain access to otherwise inaccessible markets Another characteristic of a major innovation is that it may involve markets far outside the known. In one case a company developed a new washing detergent for the BoP market. In order to access this market, cooperation with a producer of washing machines was needed. The company could not have accessed this market without this collaboration: Het samendoen met bedrijven, dat we over het gehele proces gaan en we willen ook echt geen eigen wasmachines ontwikkelen. Maar we hebben wel dat speciale wasmiddel wat alleen met die wasmachine werkt en dan doe je dat hele proces met zijn tweeën en daar heeft iedereen zo zijn voordeel van. (TvdP)


4.10.3. Rich internal and external networks in the DIA stages The reasons why companies should involve in networks and open innovation are clarified and as for the other two criteria, for this criterion it is also important to see how it should change throughout the DIA stages. This paragraph will discuss how networks can change for discovery, incubation and acceleration. In the interviews the importance of the networks was highlighted, yet it was not discussed how this importance changes over the DIA stages; therefore little data is available and this paragraph will primarily deal with literature findings and interpretation of the data instead of quotes. Rich internal and external networks in the discovery stage In the discovery stage it is important to recognise opportunities and as companies are realising that these opportunities do not only arise within the boundaries of their company, many are investing in (O’Connor in Chesbrough, 2006): • Putting “eyes and ears” investments in small companies • Setting up hunters and gatherers team that look outside as well • Attract external inventors and participate in research labs or universities. These means were also observed in the companies of the interviewees that were starting to develop an open innovation approach. The hunters and gatherers team and the participation in research labs or universities were mentioned (see 4.10.2). For open innovation in discovery it is important to create the “development partnerships”. However setting up these development partnerships are often inhibited by the obstacles that many companies perceive (the obstacles are further discussed paragraph 4.10.4). Rich internal and external networks in the incubation stage In the incubation stage the scope broadens and experimenting with the opportunities that have been articulated in the discovery is necessary. That is why O’Connor et al (2008, p. 84) point out that incubation is the stage where there is “a constant focus on enriching and extending internal and external networks to enlarge the scope of the company’s knowledge base and commercial opportunity space”. The incubation needs to be filled with probe and learn activities and so the right partners or customers for these activities should be located. But these partners to work with are often not the current ones (even though these might be chosen by marketing people etc.), because for creating new markets, current partners can be a bad choice (Christensen, 1997). O’Connor (in Chesbrough, 2006) also states that companies do not know the right methodology to probe and learn for market creation; questions arise whether the probes should be done in a parallel or serial way. This is why external partners might also be searched to help with these activities. The amount of partners is fit for purpose, because having too many partners at once requires many resources (in Chesbrough, 2006). This same issue was addressed by the client and the IdeaBooster is seen as a way to resolve this issue of high search costs.

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Rich internal and external networks in the acceleration stage The acceleration is less pertinent to open innovation (O’Connor, 2006) and this has also been mentioned in the interviews. Current open innovation literature focuses mostly on discovery and incubation. In O’Connor’s (2006) research, she did notice one company hiring opportunity brokers to find development partners and these brokers might also be useful to look for “learning markets” as the markets where the major innovation will be introduced is usually not the biggest one where it makes most profit, but more niche and unknown.

4.10.4. Problems with rich internal and external networks Companies are aware of the need to leverage internal and external networks, but are just starting to incorporate the open innovation principles. Due to the many (perceived) obstacles many companies are still resistant to heavily invest in open innovation. Companies are only slowly moving from awareness to taking appropriate actions: Jawel, en dat is ook wat ik bedoelde met dat ze wel weten wat open innovatie is en ze weten wel dat het de toekomst en ze weten eigenlijk ook wel dat het is wat ze moeten doen, alleen zijn ze niet in staat om de stap te nemen om dat te doen.(MR) Companies are willing to gain access to knowledge, but are sometimes resistant to collaborate to explore further possibilities: Wel informatie halen om daar zelf iets mee te doen, maar niet om met iemand anders om tafel te gaan zitten om te kijken wat we samen zouden kunnen doen.(JdM)

Obstacles for internal networks The internal networks are important to influence decision-making, but also to fully use internal competencies. However, organisational structures and pressures hinder the full optimal use of the internal networks. One example is the complexity of an organisational structure: En dan moet je dus heel veel clubs van buiten aan het werk zetten en die mensen zijn weer allemaal verbonden aan een groep die allemaal weer een plasje moeten doen. En het zijn allemaal veertjes en het is een groot systeem en dat moet werken.(JG) These highly complex and hierarchical organisational structures can be inhibiting to finding the right competencies. In the feedback discussions it was also added that pressures for showing results on the short term also meant that internal networks were not optimally used to involve the right people, since this would take too much time and effort (or in words too high search costs). Obstacles for external networks The obstacles for leveraging the external networks optimal are abundantly described in the interviews. And O’Connor (in Chesbrough, 2006) also states that it is necessary to get a better understanding on how to get appropriate agreement terms, since intellectual property issues, agency theory and balance of power issues are stalling progress. The obstacles mentioned in the interviews are similar:

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4: Problem Analysis

The obstacles can be split up in the obstacles for internal and for external networks. These are described here.


a) b) c)

Setting up appropriate agreement terms (shared goals, investments and risks) Exclusiveness issues (intellectual property) Allocation of responsibility and letting go of control

a) Setting up appropriate agreement terms In order to reach a common ground between two partners it can be difficult to reach a commonality on matters such as these: But if you go outside it can be extremely difficult to work on a long term, they have different expectations and different constraints; finances, budgets etc. It can be very difficult to have people focusing on the same thing for more than a year. (LS) b) Exclusiveness issues Next to the need to share goals or at least be aware of each other’s goals, there are still many things that companies do not like to share, hence exclusiveness, which is still present in the mind of many companies: They don’t share the concept with people outside. They fear that as soon as you show your concept outside, people will run away with your innovation. It is too much of a risk. The nature of the search is very generic. (LS) It can be very difficult for companies not too send out “non-disclosure agreements”, because there is a lot at stake, even if these measures slow things down: Want als we te makkelijk dingen op tafel leggen naar andere bedrijven en we verliezen prior art daarmee, dan kan ik worden opgehangen aan de hoogste boom. Want de belangen van sommige dingen kunnen uitgroeien tot een multimiljoen project. We proberen open innovatie wel goed te managen, maar het is eieren lopen en dat haalt wel veel van de snelheid eruit. (TvdP) c) Allocation of responsibility and letting go of control Shared responsibility is difficult due to the fear caused by intellectual property issues and not trusting the other partner to be as invested in the project. Some of the interviews mentioned that they feel the need that someone takes the responsibility, because shared responsibility is too risky: Ik zie zelf ook wat meer in de hiërarchische innovatie, dus dat er iemand uiteindelijk verantwoordelijk is voor het eindproduct, dan wat meer in de netwerkinnovatie en dat je met een aantal gelijkwaardige partners iets probeert te maken. Iemand moet toch wel die eindverantwoordelijkheid hebben. (EvS) This might be because they feel the need to control the process, which is a remark, made in one of the feedback discussions. All of these obstacles were confirmed in the feedback discussions as well, although some of the interviewees agreed that companies have to rethink if they should continue to perceive these obstacles. They suggested that companies should reconsider the importance of having the right agreement terms and strict non-disclosure agreements. Conclusions The rich internal and external networks are not fully leveraged and this has to do with many

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obstacles that occur, which might be why some companies are just slowly moving from awareness to implementation. Underleveraging the internal and external networks might reduce the possibilities of fully exploring a major innovation, as the people that provide competencies or access to power are not located. It is important that a way is found to overcome these obstacles as this might also broaden the partner set included in major innovations (which is now mostly limited to suppliers and universities).

4.11. Conclusions of problem analysis This paragraph will summarise the findings, will highlight the most important ones and does this to answer the sub question: What are the reasons that companies are lacking major innovation capability and what should be done to improve this? Answering this sub question is needed to get a deeper understanding of the problems that the IdeaBooster should address. In paragraph 4.7 the choice was made only to elaborate on the criteria that can be resolved by the IdeaBooster. This conclusion will only go into these (green) criteria. Figure 42 gives an overview of all the findings. This is divided into what this criterion in general implies and for every stage. For each criteria the prescriptions (thumbs up) and the problems (thumbs up) are listed.

Exploratory activities

Broad & diverse set of competencies

Rich internal & external networks

Incubation

Acceleration

Major innovation process should: Able to deal with little predictability Leave room for multiple iterations Be probing and learning oriented Facilitate interactions

Foundational knowledge Hunting for opportunities Generating opportunities Articulating opportunities

Resolving technical uncertainties Resolving market uncertainties Dealing with organisational & resource uncertainties Influence decision making

Preparing concept to transfer Stakeholder involvement

Companies do not use processes and activities that deal with the characteristiscs of a major innovation process.

The search field might be too limited to find major innovations

Uncertainties are overlooked or neglected due to unawareness or tendency to resolve “familiar” uncertainties first

A lot of discussions have to take place and these take up a lot of time Knowledge is not all transferred correctly

Common characteristics; entrepeneurial thinkers and creative problem solvers Team changes and grows Proposed roles in a MI team

Importance of roles: High: Creative thinkers, Opportunity seekers, Pursuers Medium: Acceptance finders Low: Market friends, Realists

Importance of roles: High: , Opportunity seekers, Pursuers, Market friends, Realists Medium: Acceptance finders, Creative thinkers

Importance of roles: High: Market friends, Realists, Acceptance finders Low: Creative thinkers, Opportunity seekers, Pursuers

Lacking entrepreneurial talent Missing roles: market friends and opportunity seekers All these missing people are the incubation talent

When realists take overhand, the exploration is limited.

Missing the entrepeneurial thinkers. Roles missing: opportunity seekers and market friends

The people who initiated the project are not always the best finishers.

Broaden beyond the core competencies Gain access to otherwise inaccessible markets To gain influence and power

Putting “eyes and ears” investments in small companies Setting up hunters and gatherers team that look outside as well Attract external inventors and participate in research labs or universities.

Partners for probing and learning Select the right amount of partners, without increasing search costs

Less pertinent to open innovation Looking for learning markets

Internal networks: organisational structure & time pressures External networks: setting up appropriate agreement terms, exclusiveness issues, allocation responsibility

Current partners limited to suppliers and universities Unsure whether gathering more ideas is needed

What are partners for probing and learning? Unclear how to select the right partners and hindered by obstacles

Not clear whether open innovation can be applied and how in this stage

Figure 42: Overview of the findings for the green criteria; in general and for the discovery, incubation and acceleration stage. This overview shows the prescriptions for each criterion and the problems

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4: Problem Analysis

Discovery


First the key problems with MIC will be described in paragraph 4.11.1. Based on the formulation of the key problems, there are consequences for the IdeaBooster; these will be considered in paragraph 4.11.2. These conclusions are the main starting point for chapter 5, where the design brief for the IdeaBooster is composed.

4.11.1. Key problems with major innovation capability This paragraph discusses the key problems of companies in building up major innovation capability and does this by: I. Deciding on the stage with most urgent problems II. Describing the problems in this stage. The DIA stages differ greatly in the nature of the activities, of people and the use of networks. That is why this paragraph will first decide in which phase key problems are arising and later what these problems are. I. Deciding on the stage with most urgent problems This choice for one single stage is made, since one of the stages is clearly more underdeveloped and since the IdeaBooster will not be able to deal with all of the differences throughout the stages. This section will give an overview of the problems for each of the stages to argument the focus on one of these stages. Problems in the discovery stage The discovery stage is not filled with many problems, according to the interviewees. Companies think that there are sufficient opportunities in discovery recognised or generated. However the quality of the opportunities in discovery was not discussed in the interviews. So it might be that as O’Connor et al (2008) mention, these ideas are too few and are not articulated in a way that they can flow into the major innovation system. Another problem that might occur is that the search space is limited by the strategic intent of a company. In some companies the strategic intent was not reciprocally coupled to the major innovation system and there was a push model at work. The major innovation manager needed to follow a specific request or mandate from, for instance, marketing. This disconnection can lead to major opportunities outside these requests being overlooked. O’Connor et al (2008) also discuss some other problems that are only partially or not discussed in the interviews, however this does not mean that these problems are not present; they might just be overlooked by the interviewees. These problems are: • A lack of deep and foundational knowledge needed for major innovation or not being organised to leverage the foundational knowledge; it seemed that the companies of the interviewees were not struggling with this issue: they either had deep and foundational knowledge inside the company or were connecting to this knowledge outside company boundaries. Whether they are sufficiently leveraging this knowledge cannot be concluded. • The desire of companies to have major innovation in businesses that they have been involved in for decades. In the interviews the desire for major innovations was not always

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in current business, although this might be comfortable for many companies. • Focus on discovery without considering incubation and acceleration. This problem was not articulated in the interviews. They did express that a multitude of opportunities are found and it might be that they do not realise the consequences for the next stages. Problems in the incubation stage O’Connor et al (2008, p. 82) describe the incubation stage as the “long and winding road since it takes the most time and is the riskiest of the three stages.” This characterisation of the incubation stage matches the description given by the interviewees and in the feedback discussions. O’Connor et al (2008) argue that the incubation is most underdeveloped stage and state that this is caused by the fact that companies are not providing sufficient resources and are oriented towards fast decision making. This underdevelopment was not expressed by the interviewees, however some symptoms of this underdevelopment were found. Most of the companies admitted to not extensively experiment with an opportunity, meaning that they did not experiment with different markets and technologies. They seemed to quickly choose one application or market to start proving the feasibility. A choice seemed to be made based on what was familiar or most comfortable.

Discovery

Discovery

Implemntation

Desired situation

Acceleration

Current situation

Incubation

Incubation

Figure 43: Visualisation of the different experimental paths that should be followed by a company

In this figure there is a current situation for incubation on the left and a desired situation on the right. The incubation starts with an opportunity from discovery. In incubation this opportunity goes through an experimentation process. In the current situation there is not a lot

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4: Problem Analysis

This lack of experimentation might be due to the fact that it is not recognised as a necessary activity, which leads to companies not being systematically engaged in these types of activities (O’Connor et al, 2008). Not engaging in incubation leads to not leveraging the full value of an opportunity, because the opportunity is “force-fitted” into the current business, which is pointed out by one of the interviewees and by literature (Rice, Leifer and O’Connor 2002).This can lead to major opportunities being incrementally executed or being force fitted into existing markets. This is visualized in Figure 43.


of experimenting and the idea is not explored in many directions. In the desired situation the opportunity is shaped in many ways and different paths are explored, which leads to exploring full potential of an opportunity. Problems in the acceleration stage The acceleration stage is not perceived by the interviewees to be very problematic. The interviewees and O’Connor et al (2008) explain that this phase is filled with many discussions in order for the idea to be transferred to the mainstream organisation. These discussions take up a lot of time and can be frustrating as the opportunity that is very clear to the major innovation team, has to be recognised by the rest of the organisation as well. This time and energy cannot be avoided and is simply “as it is”, according to the feedback discussions. The amount of discussions and frustration might be slightly improved by involving the “receiving” departments early on. Another way to make sure that the opportunity is recognised early on is by using the sponsor, which is a person not part of the MI team, but in a higher position in the company that helps to get the opportunity recognised and accepted. In the acceleration most time and effort goes into preparing the idea for transfer. This means that all uncertainties have to be resolved to a level that they are more predictable. Choice of incubation stage According to the research performed in this graduation project, the incubation stage is the most problematic. This conclusion corresponds to O’Connor et al (2008) who also found that the incubation stage is most underdeveloped in large companies. This conclusion was confirmed in the feedback discussions as well. The following section will explore the problems of the incubation stage further II. Problems in incubation stage for activities, competencies and networks The problems of an underdeveloped incubation stage are caused because companies are not involving in experimenting with an opportunity. When zooming into the three selected criteria: • exploratory activities • broad & diverse set of competencies • rich internal & external networks) It becomes even more apparent what the causes are for the underdeveloped incubation stage. Figure 44 gives an overview of the problems for these three criteria and their causal relationships. The problems are explained in-depth after this figure. Lack of experimenting with opportunities to resolve uncertainties

Underleveraging internal and external networks

Not involving necessary incubation competencies

Idea does not receive enough richness & critical mass

Major opportunity is not recognised or incrementally executed

No access to influence and power

Figure 44: Overview of the main problems and causal relations for processes & activities, competencies and networks in the incubation stage

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Problems in setting up exploratory activities in the incubation stage The activities in the incubation stage should be aimed at experimenting with the opportunities in order to resolve uncertainties on all four dimensions. The experimenting activities are used for probing and learning (Lynn, Morone and Paulson, 1996). This probing and learning is aimed at simultaneously and interconnectedly moving between technology development and new market creation. It means that multiple applications of the technology and multiple markets are tried and tested simultaneously. The companies in our interviews were not living up to the prescription for and activities in the incubation stage, shown in the overview of Figure 45. Companies are not aware of uncertainties of an opportunity

Companies are not able or willing to resolve uncertainties outside the “known”

No resources, due to unawareness of necessity of experimenting

Lack of experimenting with opportunities to resolve uncertainties

Underleveraging internal and external networks

Not involving necessary incubation competencies

Idea does not receive enough richness & critical mass

Major opportunity is not recognised or incrementally executed

Figure 45: In-depth overview of the problems arising in setting up exploratory activities in the incubation stage; shown in the orange box.

One of the problems is that many of the companies did not describe the activities in the incubation to be aimed at “probing and learning oriented” and referred to incubation activities as being aimed at proving feasibility. These feasibility studies were mostly performed for one market or one application of technology. Therefore the companies seemed to lack experimenting activities to try multiple applications and markets. This might be caused because of the lack of resources to find these experimental activities and the lack of awareness on the need to experiment. In contrary to what O’Connor et al (2008) prescribe in the learning plan, companies in our interviews did not apply a systematic approach to mapping, ranking and setting up actions for all four uncertainties. They mostly focused on reducing the technical and/or the market uncertainties and on the uncertainties that are most comfortable and familiar to them. For instance; several interviewees working in technological companies mentioned that they are reluctant and not equipped to explore the market. This means that the activities are not based at resolving the most urgent uncertainties of an opportunity. Problems in finding and applying broad and diverse set of competencies for the incubation stage The incubation stage should be filled with people who like to be challenged and are able to deal with uncertain environments and unexpected outcomes. This is why the people with an

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4: Problem Analysis

No access to influence and power


entrepreneurial mind-set (which is one of the common characteristics of people involved in MI) are even more necessary in incubation than in the other stages. Such persons are generally missing in companies, according to literature and empirical study. In incubation two roles with high importance are also not present, which are the market friends and opportunity seekers. These competencies needed for incubation are hard to locate; one because they are scarce and second because companies are not aware what the competencies needed in incubation are. When a company does not know what they are precisely looking for it is hard to find and involve the right competencies. These reasons are visualized in Figure 46. Companies do notknow what incubation competencies are

Underleveraging internal and external networks

Companies do not have the right competencies for the incubation stage

Not involving necessary incubation competencies

Lack of experimenting with opportunities to resolve uncertainties

Idea does not receive enough richness & critical mass

Major opportunity is not recognised or incrementally executed

No access to influence and power

Figure 46: In-depth overview of the problems arising in involving broad & diverse set of competencies in the incubation stage; shown in the orange box.

Problems of leveraging and building rich internal and external networks in the incubation stage In the incubation stage it is needed to: â&#x20AC;˘ involve a broader set of competencies to experiment with the idea â&#x20AC;˘ gain access to influence and power for decision-making and resources This can be done by building and leveraging rich internal and external networks. The companies in the interviews were aware of these reasons and the necessity of leveraging networks, but were not always acting upon these reasons. The problems behind this underleveraging are shown in Figure 47. Lack of experimenting with opportunities to resolve uncertainties

Companies perceive many obstacles for leveraging their networks

Companies lack insight of their networks

Underleveraging internal and external networks

Not involving necessary incubation competencies

Idea does not receive enough richness & critical mass

Major opportunity is not recognised or incrementally executed

No access to influence and power

Figure 47: In-depth overview of the problems arising in leveraging rich internal & external networks in the incubation stage; shown in the orange box.

Companies perceive many obstacles that inhibit them from fully leveraging both internal and external networks. For internal networks these are: â&#x20AC;˘ The complexity of the organisational structure

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• Pressures to quickly show results instead of putting energy in roaming around the organisation searching for the right person. For external networks the perceived obstacles are: • Coming to agreements • Protecting intellectual property • Letting go of control. The obstacles are not the only inhibitor of optimally leveraging the networks. Companies also do not have sufficient insight in what competencies are present in their internal and external networks and where to find these competencies. This makes these competencies hard to locate and involve, which means that the necessary and broad set of competencies for incubation are not organised. The second reason for leveraging the networks (gaining access to influence and power) is also a cumbersome undertaking. For example: it might be hard to find the right stakeholder or decision-maker for a major innovation opportunity, since this opportunity might not be aligned to current business and therefore does not fit one business unit neatly.

4.11.2. Implications for the IdeaBooster The total problems and underlying causes are collected in Figure 48. It is now important to decide on what this implies for further development of the IdeaBooster.

Companies do not know what incubation competencies are

Companies perceive many obstacles for leveraging their networks

Companies lack insight of their networks

Underleveraging internal and external networks

Companies do not have the right competencies for the incubation stage

Not involving necessary incubation competencies

Companies are not able or willing to resolve uncertainties outside the “known”

No resources, due to unawareness of necessity of experimenting

Lack of experimenting with opportunities to resolve uncertainties

Idea does not receive enough richness & critical mass

Major opportunity is not recognised or incrementally executed

No access to influence and power

Figure 48: Overview of the main problems and the underlying for which the IdeaBooster can be a solution

The fact that most problems are within the incubation stage means that the IdeaBooster should be developed to be of support in this stage. In this stage many improvements can be made to support companies to: • Engage in experimenting activities to resolve uncertainties • Involve the necessary and diverse set of (incubation) competencies • Leverage the internal and external networks In the design brief the choice will be made, by using the boundary conditions, in what way the IdeaBooster will support companies in resolving these problems.

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4: Problem Analysis

Companies are not aware of uncertainties of an opportunity


Chapter 5: Design Brief

101


5.

Design brief

This chapter will provide the design brief that is needed to start the conceptualisation. Based on the findings from the previous chapter, which ended with implying the problems that need support of the IdeaBooster, this chapter will: • Explain the methodological steps taken to formulate the design brief in paragraph 5.1. • Elaborate on the problem to limit it down to those problems that should be addressed by the IdeaBooster in paragraph 5.2. • Formulate main functions for the IdeaBooster in paragraph 5.3 • Set up a schedule of requirements in paragraph 5.4. • Conclude on the implications for the IdeaBooster in paragraph 5.5. All this is done to answer the sub questions of the main research questions: • What problems of major innovation capability can be addressed by the IdeaBooster and how can they be addressed? • What is the schedule of requirements for the IdeaBooster to address these problems?

5.1. Methodology of design brief The phase to formulate the design brief was carried out, using the steps depicted in Figure 49. And although this seems a linear process, the design brief was a phase that ran in parallel with all the other phases. The steps in the design brief were under constant change or “coevolution”, because of the iteration between the design brief and the other phases.

Reflections on theory

Problem as theorised

Problem Analysis

Design Brief

Problem as felt

Schedule of requirements

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Concept Design for IdeaBooster

Conceptualisation

Problem as theorised

Empiricial world of focused problem

Problem Definition

Problem as understood by clients

Problem as is

Problem inside the scope of the IdeaBooster

Empirical world of total problem

Design Brief Feedback discussions with companies

Goal & functions of IdeaBooster

Schedule of requirements

Figure 49: The steps that lead from the problem as theorised to the schedule of requirements

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The first step in the design brief was to decide which problems are inside the scope of the IdeaBooster. This decision was based on the boundary conditions formulated in paragraph 2.2.3. In the second step the relations between the chosen problems and how the IdeaBooster could address these problems led to the main goal and functions on the IdeaBooster. This was the basis for the schedule of requirements. These steps were all reviewed and reformulated several times. The design brief phase was quite chaotic as most of the steps took place at the same time and redefinitions were carried out continually. Due to this, not all heuristics used in the design process can be appointed clearly in the steps. Divergent & convergent thinking Divergent thinking was applied to generate different design briefs and convergent thinking was applied in constantly adapting these to the outcomes of the other phases. Co-evolution of problem and solution As the design brief constantly changed due to changes on the problem and the solution side, this phase is the result of a strong co-evolution of the problem and the solution. Iteration between theory & practice In the design brief theory was not explicitly used and there was no explicit iteration between theories and practice, except that the results of the design brief led to better understanding of the literature that was used in previous phases.

5.2. Choosing the problems to be addressed by the IdeaBooster In the previous chapter the key problems and the causes of these problems were explained. Now it is time to combine the knowledge of the key problems and how they are interrelated to choose those problems that can be resolved by the IdeaBooster. Therefore the boundary conditions of paragraph 3.4 are once again used, these are: 1. The IdeaBooster will focus on large established companies (not industry specific) 2. The IdeaBooster is a general applicable solution and will not tackle company specific problems. 3. The IdeaBooster uses the power of networks to connect people

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5: Design Brief

Feedback discussions The elaboration of the problem for the IdeaBooster, the functions and the schedule of requirements was the second topic in the feedback discussion with the companies (first is mentioned in paragraph 2.2.1 third is mentioned in paragraph 2.4.2). The outcomes can be found in appendix 5.1. The outcomes were used to improve the design brief in-between the feedback discussions. The feedback was quite useful for the design brief; because the design brief was not finished and clear to the designer. By gaining practical insights through the discussions with the companies, the designer quickly gained a feeling of what would really solve the problems and made the design brief more concrete.


4. 5. 6. 7.

The IdeaBooster does not increase search costs The IdeaBooster uses crowdsourcing mechanisms The IdeaBooster works on project basis and does not offer long-term and intensive support The IdeaBooster improves the major innovation capability

The first two boundary conditions were already used in the problem analysis. This led to investigating the problems of large and established companies and choosing the participants based and to deciding on the focus of the IdeaBooster and selecting 3 out of 7 criteria to further explore. The other five boundary conditions will be applied in this paragraph to select the problems and provide descriptions of how the IdeaBooster will contribute to these problems. The use of the boundary conditions is shown after each section between the brackets [boundary conditions x & y]. Figure 50 shows for which problems the IdeaBooster will provide a solution. Fully & directly supported by the IdeaBooster

IdeaBooster suppports companies to resolve uncertainties

Partially & directly supported by the IdeaBooster

by creating awareness and linking them to right competencies

Indirectly supported by the IdeaBooster

IdeaBooster = Competencies Connector makes companies aware of the right competencies helps them to locate these competencies (with limited search costs)

Companies do not know what incubation competencies are

Companies perceive many obstacles for leveraging their networks

Companies lack insight of their networks

Underleveraging internal and external networks

Companies are not aware of uncertainties of an opportunity

Companies do not have the right competencies for the incubation stage

Not involving necessary incubation competencies

Companies are not able or willing to resolve uncertainties outside the â&#x20AC;&#x153;knownâ&#x20AC;?

No resources, due to unawareness of necessity of experimenting

Lack of experimenting with opportunities to resolve uncertainties

Idea does not receive enough richness & critical mass

Major opportunity is not recognised or incrementally executed

No access to influence and power

IdeaBooster suppports companies to leverage their networks by making networks more insightfuland letting them expand their networks

Figure 50: The focus of the IdeaBooster for the key problems of companies. The contribution of the IdeaBooster to solve these problems is depicted in the circles. The differences in contributions are given by different outlines, explained in the legend.

How the IdeaBooster contributes to the problems The IdeaBooster will not deal with the key problems directly, but will tackle the underlying causes. The IdeaBooster addresses to some sub problems fully and to one only partially. These differences in contributions are visualised in Figure 50 by using different outlines and these are explained in the legend. How the IdeaBooster addresses these underlying causes is shown in the circles.

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Main goal; competencies connector The Idea Booster’s main goal is connecting companies to the necessary competencies for a specific problem in a major innovation project. This has to be done by resolving the unawareness that companies have on what competencies are needed and by helping them to locate these competencies. All this is done without increasing the search costs. This goal fits well within the boundaries of the IdeaBooster. [Boundary conditions 3, 4, and 7]

Resolve uncertainties of an opportunity The IdeaBooster supports companies to resolve the uncertainties of an opportunity. This is done by making them aware of these uncertainties and by connecting them to the competencies that help to resolve these uncertainties. Notice here that the IdeaBooster will not fully provide companies with the activities needed for resolving these uncertainties. This is because it is assumed that the people with the competencies are equipped with the skills necessary to come up with these activities. However, the IdeaBooster might facilitate this, but this is not a “must do” but more a “can do”. The IdeaBooster also does not tackle the resources problem. This is because the IdeaBooster needs to be based on crowdsourcing mechanisms and not on crowd funding (this is explicitly expressed by the client, because there already was a crowd funding project in development). [Boundary conditions 5, 6] Leverage networks The IdeaBooster supports companies to leverage their networks by making the networks more insightful and by helping them grow their networks. Helping them grow their networks is so that the company keeps improving and indirectly improves the major innovation capability. This support mechanism fits well into the continually improving major innovation capability and leveraging the power of networks. [Boundary conditions 3, 8]

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5: Design Brief

In summary the main goal of the IdeaBooster is to support the process of: Connecting companies with problems in major innovation projects to the right competencies without increasing their search costs with the final goal being to continually improve their major innovation capability This is done by: • Making companies aware of the uncertainties of an opportunity and finding competencies to resolve these • Helping companies to leverage their networks.


5.3. Defining the IdeaBooster This paragraph elaborates on the previously mentioned goal of the IdeaBooster. In this goal some terms need more clarification. A summary of the terms that need clarification and their definition is shown Figure 51.

Large established companies

Seekers

?

Define: Define companies that need companies to be connected

Solvers

Grow new networks

Define: right competencies

Connecting companies with problems in major innovation projects to the right competencies without increasing their search costs with the final goal being to continually improve major innovation capability

In & outside the company

Work in teams

Four different types of opportunities

Define:

Define: without increasing search costs

Define problems in major companies innovation projects

Concrete

Making networks searchable

Main goal IdeaBooster =

Abstract

Define: continually improve major innovation capability

“We recognised the opportunity that we need to look into smart grids, because that is the future in our industry. We have little clue what is important.”

Level of abstraction

Leverage existing networks

“We recognised the opportunity of big money savings if we can find a new way to shape ice 3D We have been shaping ice for long times, but need different views. ”

“We are an ICT company used to working in industrial settings. We believe that our deep knowledge in ICT is can be applied to the growing field of e-health.”

“In our lab the opportunity for a major improvement by using rubber is recognized. However we are in the steel market and need to know how to apply this.”

Aligned

Making networks insightful

Stretches boundaries of core competencies

Unaligned

Aligned with the company’s core competencies

Figure 51: Defining the companies, the right competencies, the problems of companies, and not increasing search costs are the four terms that need clarification to limit it down or decide on functions

This paragraph will elaborate on this figure to determine who need to be connected, what problems in major innovation projects needs to be solved and how this will be done in a way that limits search costs and continually improves major innovation capability.

5.3.1. Defining the companies that need to be connected – seekers The companies that need to be connected are large established companies. No specific target group is chosen, because the first boundary condition of the IdeaBooster is to provide a general solution for companies from different industries and sizes. These companies are those struggling with major innovations and are in need to experiment with their opportunities. The companies like to expand their competencies set, however are not willing to increase their search costs. The companies will be referred to as “seekers” from now on.

5.3.2. Define right competencies - solvers The companies, seekers, need to be connected to the right competencies. The people with the right competencies will be called “solvers”. These solvers might be working in the company or outside the company. The choice for making it open to employees of the companies as

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to outsiders is made based on the finding that especially large companies (for which the IdeaBooster will be designed at first) have a vast knowledge base. Therefore internal as well as external people should be involved. The solvers can be a very diverse set of people, it might be the independent professionals that the client has suggested, but can be anyone until now. The solvers need to match the companies’ needs and should: • Fit the opportunity (see previous section) and fill the gaps that a company has with resolving this opportunity • Be of a certain quality and trustworthiness (this is taken from the demands of the companies expressed in the problem definition, see paragraph 3.2.3). The solvers will work in teams as there needs to be a “stepping stone process” to build upon and enrich the ideas quickly.

5.3.3. Defining problems in major innovation projects The IdeaBooster will provide help for problems in major innovation projects. These problems are situated in the incubation stage. In the discovery stage some opportunities were recognised or generated and in the incubation stage these opportunities have to be further explored. Yet the companies do not know how to provide the right competencies for this opportunity, because it is not clear to them what the uncertainties are. The companies will come to the IdeaBooster with an opportunity, which might be formulated as a question, a problem or an idea. The IdeaBooster needs to help to clarify this opportunity to see what type of opportunity needs to be dealt with. O’Connor et al (2008) define different opportunities based on how they are aligned with the core competencies. They have identified aligned, multi-aligned and unaligned opportunities and emphasize the importance to apply different approaches for each type of opportunity.

The IdeaBooster should be able to deal with these different opportunities. The focus area of the IdeaBooster is shown in Figure 52 with some examples of opportunities.

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5: Design Brief

In the interviews similar differences were found. Each of the interviewees had followed the request to think of one example of a major innovation project and was asked from what opportunity this major innovation arised. These opportunities were, similar to the ones described by O’Connor et al (2008), also ranged from aligned to unaligned to the core competencies. In the opportunities that the interviewees described there was also a difference in the abstraction level of the questions. Some of the opportunities were quite concrete, others were abstract.


Abstract

“We are an ICT company used to working in industrial settings. We believe that our deep knowledge in ICT is can be applied to the growing field of e-health.”

“We recognised the opportunity of big money savings if we can find a new way to shape ice 3D We have been shaping ice for long times, but need different views. ”

“In our lab the opportunity for a major improvement by using rubber is recognized. However we are in the steel market and need to know how to apply this.”

oncrete

Level of abstraction

“We recognised the opportunity that we need to look into smart grids, because that is the future in our industry. We have little clue what is important.”

Figure 52: Types of opportunities that the IdeaBooster should deal with

The IdeaBooster should support opportunities that are aligned with the core competencies and those that stretch the core competencies. The IdeaBooster will not support the opportunities that are not linked to the core competencies at all, as this requires a very different approach. The opportunities can also be concrete or abstract. Therefore the IdeaBooster will deal with the four types of opportunities: a) Concrete opportunity + aligned to the core competencies This opportunity is closely linked to the core competencies and for these opportunities it is quite clear what needs to be done. The FMCG company with this opportunity sees potential benefit if they can only find an improved way of shaping ice. They are known with shaping ice and the opportunity is aligned and it is concrete what needs to be done. b) Concrete opportunity + stretches the boundaries of the core competencies This opportunity is concrete, however might stretch the boundaries of what is known. In this case a company (accidentally) has come up with an invention. They know what is lacking, that is knowledge of the market, but this market is not part of their core competencies. Therefore the opportunity stretches their boundaries. c)

Abstract opportunity + stretches the boundaries of the core competencies

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This opportunity is abstract and stretches the boundaries of the company. In this case the ICT company believes that it can broaden their competencies by entering a totally new market. It stretches what is known and the opportunity is quite abstract. d) Abstract opportunity + closely aligned to the core competencies These opportunities are closely aligned to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s core competencies. The opportunity is not concretely formulated. In this case it is an energy grid operator that noticed that the movement towards sustainable energy means that they should learn how to deal with smart grids. Therefore it is aligned to their core competencies; however they are unsure what to do with it. In the interviews and in literature different ways of dealing with these different opportunities are suggested, this also needs to be incorporated in the design of the IdeaBooster.

5.3.4. Define without increasing search costs The IdeaBooster is a competencies connector however this connecting to competencies should not mean that the search costs are increased. Networks are a productive way of organizing and might provide a way to limit the search costs. Providing access to networks means that the company will have a broad competencies set to access. This broad set of competencies needs to be insightful and easily navigable to limit the search costs; otherwise the company cannot limit search costs. The IdeaBooster should therefore make sure that the companies are supported in leveraging their networks, by making networks insightful and searchable.

5.3.5. Define â&#x20AC;&#x153;continually improve major innovation capabilityâ&#x20AC;?

5.4. Schedule of requirements This paragraph introduces the schedule of requirements for the further design of the IdeaBooster. The requirements are set up to fulfil the goal of the IdeaBooster, which is: Connecting seekers with unarticulated opportunities to the right solvers without increasing their search costs to continually improve major innovation capability. The requirements for the IdeaBooster are, based on the previous paragraph are: The IdeaBooster should connect seekers (large established companies) 1) with unarticulated opportunities; to articulate the type of opportunity to articulate the uncertainties.

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5: Design Brief

The networks are also a way to provide a continual improvement to the major innovation capability. Therefore the companies should be able to include their existing networks and expand these networks. By growing these networks the companies will gain an enduring possibility of easy access to competencies for future opportunities.


2)

to the right solvers; that fit the opportunity and fill the gaps that a company has with resolving this opportunity are of high quality and trustworthy

3)

without increasing the search costs By making networks more insightful and better navigable.

4)

to continually improve major innovation capability, by letting companies be able to : include existing networks expand the current networks

5.5. Conclusion In this design brief the key problems for which the IdeaBooster is a solution were chosen. This choice was made by using the boundary conditions of the IdeaBooster. This selection of problems to focus on led to the main goal formulation of the IdeaBooster and based on this the users and the functions were defined. The schedule of requirements was provided and the concept will be based on these requirements.

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Chapter 6: Conceptualisation

111


6.

Conceptualisation

This chapter presents the concept for the IdeaBooster and answers the sub questions: â&#x20AC;˘ What is the process that the IdeaBooster should facilitate and what are the tools that can facilitate this process? â&#x20AC;˘ How can the design for the IdeaBooster be further developed and implemented by the client of this graduation project? This chapter starts with explaining the methodology used to come to this concept in paragraph 6.1. Paragraph 6.2 will explain how the main functions, outlined in the previous chapter, can be fulfilled and are part of the IdeaBooster process. Paragraph 6.3 will describe the tools that are used in this process. The concept that is presented in this chapter is a utopian description. The client should take more steps to implement this design; these steps are described in 6.4. The chapter concludes with the answers to the sub questions in paragraph 6.5.

6.1. Methodology of Conceptualisation The methodological steps for the conceptualisation are depicted in figure 53. The start for this phase was the schedule of requirements, from which many possible functions and tools were generated. Reflections on theory

Problem as theorised

Problem Analysis

Design Brief

Problem as felt

Schedule of requirements

Demarcated problem & boundary conditions

Concept Design for IdeaBooster

Schedule of requirements

Conceptualisation ion

Empiricial world of focused problem

Problem Definition

Problem as understood by clients

Problem as is

Process & tools that fulfill the requirements

Empirical world of total problem

Feedback discussions with companies

Conceptualisation

Concept design IdeaBooster

Figure 53: Steps taken in the conceptualisation to come from the schedule of requirements to the concept design for the IdeaBooster.

The first step in the conceptualisation was to generate ideas for the functions and tools of the IdeaBooster. In generating these ideas inspiration from the comparative analysis was used. The ideas that best suited the requirements were quickly integrated and collected into one concept design. This concept design was optimised in the feedback sessions at the companies. The revised concept for the IdeaBooster is the end-result and also contains an implementation plan.

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Divergent & convergent thinking In the conceptualisation the diverging and converging steps can be clearly pointed out. The divergent thinking was in generating many ideas and the convergent thinking in choosing and integrating these ideas. Making the choices for possible functions and tools was different from other steps in the process. In these steps the interpretation of the designer played a bigger part. The choices were made based on the knowledge on the topic that was obtained throughout the graduation process. These choices were not simply based on logic, but more on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;intuitionâ&#x20AC;? that was obtained during the research. Iteration between theory & practice Theory, as expected in the methodology description in chapter 2, was not as present as in the previous phases. There was a need for practical insights and these were collected in the feedback discussions. Indirectly the concept design shed a new light on the theory as well. Co-evolution of problem and solution The co-evolution between problem and solution was clearly present between the concept and the outcomes of the problem analysis. Many times both sides complemented each other. For instance the design choices that were intuitively made in this phase, led to new understanding of the problem and this understanding had to be made explicit in the problem analysis.

6.1.1. Comparative analysis During the whole graduation project comparable solutions to the IdeaBooster were investigated to get a grip on the solution that the client have in mind. This comparison was done by analysing different open innovation platforms based on a set of characteristics. The main goal of this comparative analysis is to gain insights on what other platforms are out there and be inspired by them, but also to analyse the best positioning for the IdeaBooster. The overview of the comparison is given in Appendix 6.1. The results of this method are indirectly used for the design and will be more directly used in the implementation plan.

6.1.2. Feedback discussions with companies

The feedback used to optimise the design is summarised in Figure 54. The form of a spiral is used, because the feedback of the companies rapidly helped to improve the unfinished design and approximate the optimal design. The feedback discussions led to a better fit of the IdeaBooster to the needs of the companies. The mind maps with the outcomes for the design are found in appendix 6.2.

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6: Conceptualisation

Two of the goals of the feedback discussions with the companies were previously described; the feedback discussions were used to refine the theory of the problem and to improve the design brief. But more importantly the feedback discussions were used to improve the unfinished concept for the IdeaBooster. The feedback on the concept gained in one discussion was directly used to improve the design. This was only done for the feedback that was useful and that fitted the original idea of the IdeaBooster. The feedback that did not fit the original idea and that could not be incorporated in the design will be used in the evaluation of the product.


The feedback discussions clarified for what problems the IdeaBooster provides added value. The added value should be in providing companies access to a broader set of people and providing them with the support in searching and selecting the right people to connect to. This added value is not in the collaboration tools, as I suggested in some of the first feedback discussions. Investors IdeaBooster

Seekers should use criteria to make the decisions Make it accessible to everyone, but add functionalities later Introduce team leaders to split the money etc Use extrinsic and intrinsic motivations

Company session 4 IB= interaction & dialogue Make it more tangible Question articulation is important feature Brokersystem or speed up networks

Company session 3

Company session 1

Question articulation very important Linking questions to the right competencies = good Make scores objective

Optimum design for IdeaBooster

Company session 7

IB will support in MI and will not lead to MI It is interesting for second order problems Similar to Syntens?

IB is not ideagenerator Offline is needed to build relation Value = searching and selecting best partners to work with Value = not in collaboration tools

Company session 8

In incubation you challenge your networks Competencies > expertise is interesting Need a facilitator?

Gamedesigners & developers

IP agreements determined by seekers For what type of assignment? Can teams get rewards as well? IdeaBooster is different from competitors because it focuses on interaction and incubation and not on idea generation only

IB = ideaconcentrator and make ideas more tangible Explore different directions and learn Help with business models

Company session 6

Company session 5

Is competencies connecting not too limiting? Is it not more about creating a mindset? What type of problems? Only second order too limiting? Why online? Need to build trust The IdeaBooster should set the example for dealing with intellectual property What are other means that could help? Make this choice clearer

Company session 2

Figure 54: Spiral figure that shows the optimising steps in between the different meetings with the developing team, the investors and the companies

6.2. The IdeaBooster process This paragraph outlines the process of the IdeaBooster and sketches what tools should be developed, these tools are introduced in the next paragraph. The IdeaBooster process contains two phases. The overview of the process is shown in Figure 55.

A. Articulating the opportunity

Search direction

B. Attract & select the right solvers

Figure 55: Phases in the IdeaBooster process (circles are phases, arrows outcomes)

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Suitable solvers team to work on the opportunity


A. Articulating the opportunity This phase is to build the basis for the search of the right competencies and sets boundaries for this search. This phase is necessary to decide on a search direction and strategy that helps companies to experiment and resolve the uncertainties of their opportunity. This phase consists of the following steps: i. Formulate the opportunity The problems of companies in major innovation projects lead to the formulation of an opportunity. However many companies might not be able to formulate the opportunity as such and are more likely to use “problem type” or “idea like” formulations. Therefore the IdeaBooster will need to support in formulating the opportunity in a “universal” way, so that the other steps can be performed. ii. Identify the type of opportunity When the opportunity is formulated, the type of the opportunity should be identified. Is it a closely aligned opportunity or does it stretch company boundaries? Is it a concrete request or is it abstract? This is needed as different approaches are needed for different opportunities. iii. Identify the uncertainties The goal of the IdeaBooster is to help companies resolve the uncertainties of an opportunity; therefore the uncertainties of an opportunity should be identified. The four uncertainty dimensions (technical, market, organisational and resources), mentioned in paragraph 4.3, will be used for this. iv. List the needed competencies From this opportunity articulation the needed competencies have become clear. The needed competencies are defined as: What roles (sets of competencies) are needed What expertise is advisable Phase B will continue with the articulated opportunity and the needed competencies. In this phase the right competencies will be selected.

i. Decide on a suitable communication strategy The four different types of opportunities each need their own communication strategy to attract the right solvers. Each opportunity needs a different approach regarding the: The openness of the communication; closed versus open Communication to people inside or outside the company.

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6: Conceptualisation

B. Attracting and selecting the right solvers The previous phase ended with an articulated opportunity. It is clear what type of opportunity is being dealt with, where the main uncertainties lie and what competencies are needed. But the IdeaBooster is about connecting companies to the right competencies; therefore it needs be clear how to communicate to the solvers. This is decided in part B and the following steps are taken:


For the opportunities that are closely aligned to the core competencies of the seeker mostly internal solvers (employees) can be involved, as most competencies will reside in the company. For the opportunities that stretch the core competencies, external solvers should be involved as the competencies might not be present within the company. For the concrete opportunities it is clear what is searched for, and the right solvers with the right competencies can be communicated to with a closed call (meaning by invite). For the more abstract and unclear opportunities it is less clear what is searched for, therefore the group to which is communicated can be broader and an open call can be made. Figure 56 shows the relation of the four different types of opportunities together with the suggestions for the communication strategy. Internal or external communication

External & open

Level of abstraction

“We recognised the opportunity that we need to look into smart grids, because that is the future in our industry. We have little clue what is important.”

“We are an ICT company used to working in industrial settings. We believe that our deep knowledge in ICT is can be applied to the growing field of e-health.”

Internal & closed

External & closed

“In our lab the opportunity for a major improvement by using rubber is recognized. However we are in the steel market and need to know how to apply this.”

Concrete

Closed call (invite)

“We recognised the opportunity of big money savings if we can find a new way to shape ice 3D We have been shaping ice for long times, but need different views. ”

Open call (spread the word)

Internal & open

External

Openness of the communication

Abstract

Internal

Closely aligned to core competencies

Aligned with the company’s core competencies

Stretches core competencies

Figure 56: The difference in the opportunities defines the communication strategy. The axis for deciding on the communication strategies are added in grey (based on openness of communication and communication to internal or external)

ii. Selecting the solvers The right solvers have to be selected by the seekers. The solvers are selected directly by invitation based on the suggestions of the previous steps, in case of a closed call. Or they need to be selected after the solvers have applied themselves in teams or individually. In case of a closed call the company needs to select the right competencies themselves and it is key for a company to get information on (ranked by importance to seeker): What roles (sets of competencies) a solver possesses

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-

What expertise a solver possesses Whether the solver is trustworthy and of high-quality

Information on these three elements is crucial to select the right one and needs to be accessible in the IdeaBooster. The roles are most important since in the interviews the roles were described to be of more significance than the expertise of someone. This information is valuable; however when there are many solvers to choose from, this leads to high search costs. The IdeaBooster should prove its value by accommodating a tool to select the right solvers without increasing search costs.

6.3. The IdeaBooster tools This paragraph describes the tools that are needed in the IdeaBooster process.

6.3.1. IdeaBooster; combining online and offline tools The central point of the IdeaBooster will be a website. This website contains the information and is where seekers and solvers can be connected. Not everything will be dealt with online and there will offline contacts as well. Offline contact is suggested by the interviewees of the feedback discussions. The main reason is that they feel that an online environment will not satisfy their need to build a certain trust level. Secondly they think that articulating the opportunity should be done offline as well. And lastly they do not think that the interaction for working on ideas is optimal in an online environment. Therefore a combination of both environments will be used. For each tool it will be made clear what the environment is.

6.3.2. Tools for the IdeaBooster process The tools are linked to the phases of the process described in the previous paragraph. Figure 57 shows an overview of this.

A. Articulating the opportunity A2. Project description

Search direction

B1. Attracting the right solvers

B2. Solvers & team selector

Suitable solvers team to work on the opportunity

Figure 57: Overview of the process phases and the corresponding tools

A. Articulating the opportunity This phase aims to articulate the opportunity in order to define the type of opportunity, the uncertainties and the competencies needed. All this is done in order to know where and how to start looking in the next phase.

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6: Conceptualisation

A1. Opportunity articulation sessions

B. Attract & select the right solvers


A1. Opportunity articulation sessions The opportunity articulation sessions are highly important since a potential major innovation might be lost if the true value of an opportunity is not discovered or not attended to. The opportunity articulation sessions should be held with experts, who are familiar with question articulation (i.e. experts of the IdeaBooster community) and who are known for their lateral thinking ability and for extracting latent needs. These are referred to as the articulators (see Figure 58). According to the feedback discussions, these sessions cannot be held online as there is a need to quickly interact and react upon each other.

Figure 58: Icon for the articulator, used from now on.

The articulator will follow these steps: i. Formulate the opportunity This is where the articulators try to formulate the seekerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opportunity. The original reason for engaging with the IdeaBooster might not be that they have observed a problem, but that they are experiencing problems. Therefore the articulators have to support the companies in formulating these opportunities and extracting the real possibility of an opportunity. ii. Identify the type of opportunity For this the articulators can use the model with the 2 axes; level of concreteness and level of alignedness (previously discussed figure 52 & 56) to decide on what type of opportunity is being dealt with. iii. Identify the uncertainties To identify the uncertainties the learning plan of Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor et al (2008) can be used. This learning plan helps companies to map and rank the uncertainties on the technical, market, organisational and resources dimension. iv. List the competencies Based on the opportunity articulations the list of needed competencies can be composed. This list contains the: What roles (sets of competencies) are needed What types of expertise is advisable For deciding on the roles the articulators can use this graduation projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s explanation on the different types of roles, see Figure 59. A2. Project description The phase for opportunity articulation ends with a project description. This project description is an agreement that summarises the assignment (based on the opportunity), the list of competencies, and some agreements on intellectual property protection and payment. When

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this project description is agreed upon the search for the solvers can begin.

Pursuer

Acceptance Finder

Market Friend

Common competencies involved in major innovations: Entrepreneurial thinkers/pioneers Creative problems solvers

Opportunity Seeker

Creative Thinker

Realist

Figure 59: Tool that can be used to define the right solvers

B. Attracting & selecting the right solvers Based on the previous phase it is known what the right solvers are. In this phase the communication strategy for the seeker is set up to contact these solvers. Later the right solvers are selected. B1. Attracting the right people Based on the type of opportunity it is advised to involve internal and/or external people and to place a closed or open call. It is also possible to combine open and closed calls or to attract internal and external solvers. Based on the needs of a company the IdeaBooster provides the tools to make an open call, i.e. by posting it on the main page of the website, or to make a closed call (i.e. send personalised invitations to join or encouraging to join a team). Some examples are shown in Figure 60.

Openness of the search

no criteria for invite

Open to selected group of solvers based on criteria

â&#x20AC;&#x153;New assignment for company X, check it out and applyâ&#x20AC;?

You fit the bill for our newest project by company X, go check it out!

Closed to solvers Company invites the solvers to the team

You have been invited to work on a project by company X.

Figure 60: Different types of calls, depending on the openness of the search.

The company can access all user profiles The IdeaBooster also provides an option for seekers to load their internal and external networks (i.e. by loading LinkedIn), so that all internal and external contacts are directly accessible. This is needed because companies will be inclined

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6: Conceptualisation

Open to all solvers


to contact their own network first, as this contains the more trusted contacts seekers to start looking in first. Connecting to current social networks also increases the user base quite quickly. B2. Solvers & team selector tools In the previous paragraph, the right solvers were defined as the people who: Can fulfil the right role (have the right set of competencies) Have a suitable expertise are trustworthy and of high-quality User profile The IdeaBooster contains information on all of these elements for every solver, collected in the user profile. Figure 61 shows an example of a user profile.

User Profile General information Username: Seeker Profession: Industrial Designer

Roles & Quality: Roles & Scoring: Pursuer

500

Opportunity seeker

800

Market Friend

400

Realist

300

Member since: 20-11-2011

Creative Thinker

More info?

Points:

Acceptance Finder

Earned so far:

Total:

1000 200

Expertise & interests Interested in: Bio Inspired Design Available for challenges? Yes Experience with: Lifecycle analysis, brainstorming, systems thinking

15.000

Recommendations: Solver X: “This solver is a very pleasant person to work with, during our project he came up with many ideas and made the strangest combinations, which led to really surprising insights.”

Seeker Y: “I have worked with this solver in many projects and always have been very fond of this, because this solver can really think outside the box and challenges our assumptions.”

18.600

Figure 61: Example of a user profile that has information on the criteria to search the right people

The roles are the six roles from paragraph 4.9.2. A solver has a score for how well he performs on each role. The solver can get better by getting ranked by other solvers and seekers with whom they have collaborated. This scoring also indicates someone’s quality. The trustworthiness can be enhanced by showing recommendations of other solvers and seekers. In the beginning none of the solvers has a score for the roles and by using an assessment the beginning scores can be set. The expertise is more difficult to categorise and this list of expertise can be filled by the solvers themselves. Solver’s Connector The seeker that needs to form a team or send selected invitations needs to find these solvers without high search costs (also true for a solver seeking team mates). However search costs are not kept to a limit if it is needed to go through a whole bunch of user profile. The “solver’s connector” (see Figure 62) is a search engine for the direct and indirect network of a user. In this tool several filters can be used to find the right solvers efficiently.

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Search for people Type your search....

Filter(s) Roles

Expertise

You Scoring

Proximity

Availability

Figure 62: The solver’s connector to help seekers and solvers to find the right solvers. This tool provides insight into the direct and indirect network and makes it searchable by being able to apply search filters. In this case the different colours are related to the roles and the sizes to the scorings.

6.3.3. Storyboards for the IdeaBooster The previous paragraphs have generally explained the IdeaBooster process and tools. This paragraph contains storyboards for how this process and tools can work out for an example case. The case taken is “We are an ICT company used to working in industrial settings. We believe that our deep knowledge in ICT can be applied to the growing field of e-health.” Figure 63 shows the storyboard for phase A. Figure 64 shows the storyboard for phase B.

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6: Conceptualisation

Team selector When a company sends out a request to many solvers many teams can apply to be the potential solvers team for the challenge. Although many teams might be a good thing, since the seeker likes to have as much ideas as possible. The amount of teams should be limited, once again to limit search costs. The IdeaBooster provides support in this. The company can decide whether to make this selection themselves, let them be helped by the computer or by the users of the IdeaBooster. Means that can help in selecting the right teams are: Teams send a pitch (written, video, in person). This can be open to other users and based on their rankings ideas proposals can also be selected. Set up a speed dating session Provide them with a top three or ten, based on the scores of the team members.


A. Articulating the opportunity A1. Opportunity articulation sessions (1-5) At the ICT company..

I met with articulators of the IdeaBooster..

Maybe we can use our ICT knowledge to enter the market of e-health

I believe we need to focus on e-health. This emerging market is just what we need

Luckily I do not have to search long to find out if this is a good idea, I can go to the IdeaBooster

?

2. Unraveling the true opportunity

Who categorised the opportunity...

Abstract

Level of abstraction

“We recognised the opportunity that we need to look into smart grids, because that is the future in our industry. We have little clue what is important.”

Who helped us locate the uncertainties...

Technology is our core business, the market is totally new. For the other two, I don’t know

Is there an understanding of what you need?

Your question still has many uncertainties, what are the lan ing P biggest? Learn

“In our lab the opportunity for a major improvement by using rubber is recognized. However we are in the steel market and need to know how to apply this.”

“We recognised the opportunity of big money savings if we can find a new way to shape ice 3D We have been shaping ice for long times, but need different views. ”

Aligned

Stretches boundaries of core competencies

al

ologic

Techn

“We are an ICT company used to working in industrial settings. We believe that our deep knowledge in ICT is can be applied to the growing field of e-health.”

?

Concrete

?

Does this move towards a new market stretch your boundaries?

Why enter a market far from known?

?

1. Recognising the opportunity

We think that it is interesting, but it is far from our core and we do not know wat hwe need.

Why would e-health need you?

Why do you think that you can do this?

Unaligned

Aligned with the company’s core competencies

3. Defining the type of problem

rces

Resou

Can you prioritise these uncertainties? Which should be resolved first?

t

Marke

l

isationa

Organ

inties uncerta p your and ma uncertainties alyse 1. An itise your or 2. Pr

A2. Project description 4. Mapping the uncertainties A2. Project description

They suggested me a list of criteria for the solvers I believe your suggestions are correct. I will use them. Let’s set up a project desciption

We believe you need creative thinkers, opportunity seekers and market friends

“Help to define the right applications for an ICT company moving into e-health” Type of opportunity:

It might be interesting to involve some with experience in health

Opportunity is is unaligned and abstract. The main uncertainties lie in the market dimension.

List of suggested solvers

Pursuer

Acceptance Finder

?

Market Friend

Common competencies involved in major innovations:

Roles: Opportunity seekers, Market Friends & Creative Thinkers Expertise: Not necesarily in a specific direction, health is obviusly interesting

Entrepreneurial thinkers/pioneers Creative problems solvers

Opportunity Seeker

Creative Thinker

Realist

5. List of criteria for solvers

6. Project description

Figure 63: Storyboard for phase A of the IdeaBooster

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B. Attract and select the right solvers B1: Attracthing he right people Announcing the project...

At the ICT company..

Based on my type of opportunity the articulators have suggested me a search strategy

I’m going to form a really nice team for this!

“Help to define the right applications for an ICT company moving into e-health” Type of opportunity: Opportunity is is unaligned and abstract. The main uncertainties lie in the market dimension.

List of suggested solvers Roles: Opportunity seekers, Market Friends & Creative Thinkers Expertise: Not necesarily in a specific direction, health is obviously interesting

?

I know that I should place an open call for external solvers

7. Attracting the right solvers

I’d love to, let’s get started looking for other team mates

Challenging, I want to form a team. Interested?

8. Attract people to your project

B2. Selecting the right people User profiles...

Dreamteam search

I can get great and transparant insights into a person, who has recommended him and what his wualities are.

I can look for challenges in my direct and indirect network and look for specific roles, expertise and scores to form my team

Search for people Type your search....

Filter(s) Roles

User Profile General information

Expertise

You

Username: Seeker Profession: Industrial Designer

Scoring

Proximity

Roles & Quality: Roles & Scoring: Pursuer

500

Opportunity seeker

800

Market Friend

400

Realist

Member since: 20-11-2011

Creative Thinker

More info?

Points:

Acceptance Finder

Earned so far:

Total:

300 1000 200

15.000

Expertise & interests Interested in: Bio Inspired Design Available for challenges? Yes Experience with: Lifecycle analysis, brainstorming, systems thinking

Recommendations: Solver X: “This solver is a very pleasant person to work with, during our project he came up with many ideas and made the strangest combinations, which led to really surprising insights.”

Seeker Y: “I have worked with this solver in many projects and always have been very fond of this, because this solver can really think outside the box and challenges our assumptions.”

18.600

Availability

9. Connecting to right solvers

10. Look into solvers

B3: Selecting the right team

Our plan to tackle your question is to look into solutions from supply chain, as this can provide you with good examples.

Many teams applied, luckily the users of IB helped me in making my choice

? 10. Select the right teams

? 11. Decide on the right teams

Figure 64: Storyboard for phase B of the IdeaBooster

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6: Conceptualisation

Every team has prepared a video pitch with their plan of approach, based on this I will make my decision


6.4. Implementation roadmap for the IdeaBooster The previous paragraphs presented the IdeaBooster process and tools. This presentation is a conceptual description from a utopian perspective. This description did not go into the functional and pre-operational details, like i.e. the need to build a crowd of sufficient size. In this paragraph the implementation roadmap is shown that contains the steps that need to be taken before the IdeaBooster can be launched. These steps are depicted in Figure 65 and each of these steps will be explained in the next pages. 5a. Receive feedback & improve IdeaBooster

1.

2. Incorporate all needs of the solvers & seekers

Attract development & investing partners

3.

4.

Set up a marketing plan for the IdeaBooster

6.

Attract & test with launching customers

Expand the user set and functionalities

5b. Plan for growth & extension

Figure 65: Implementation roadmap for further development and launch of the IdeaBooster

1. Incorporate all needs of the solvers and seekers In the problem demarcation (paragraph 3.3) it was decided that this graduation project would look into the problems of companies to base the design on the IdeaBooster on. The needs of the solvers have not been incorporated in this design. That is why the first step in this implementation roadmap is to incorporate the needs of the solvers. The client should decide whether the solvers will be the independent professionals, which are an interesting target group as they are flexible, entrepreneurial and eager to work with others. The employees of companies can also be solvers. The IdeaBooster concept should be evaluated to find out how the potential solvers perceive the IdeaBooster. This can be done for instance in focus groups by playing out scenarios. It will be interesting to see whether the solvers see the added value and are willing to contribute their knowhow to work in groups. In the interviews held in the problem definition phase the companies and independent professionals also uttered two needs which were not included in the concept. These are the intellectual property issues and the payment/reward system. The intellectual property rights will be an issue for most companies (this was also confirmed in the feedback discussions) in working with the IdeaBooster. The IdeaBooster can set an example for open innovation in companies by supporting as much openness as possible, however the issue should not be overlooked. Therefore the client should try to find different possibilities in this area that are easily applied, like for instance Creative Commons (website). The reward and payment system is mainly important for the solvers. The independent professionals, interviewed in the problem definition, expressed that they like to work on assignment, but would like to get â&#x20AC;&#x153;somethingâ&#x20AC;? in return. This something does not necessarily have to be money, as the interviewees mentioned, but can also be a learning experience for

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instance. The client should look into different possibilities for payment and reward systems that suit both the seekers and the solvers. 2. Attract development &investing partners Once the main needs of the solvers and seekers have been incorporated into the concept, development and investing partners can be selected. Development partners have to be searched for, because the client does not have the capabilities to design this idea further. During this graduation project some development partners were involved; Cognito Concepts for the online possibilities and development of the website and Seats2Meet Strijp-S for offline possibilities. With these partners agreements still need to be set up. The development will need investors. As mentioned from the beginning there was a group of potential investors involved. Some people of this group have been convinced to invest in the idea. Furthermore the client is also searching for subsidies from (semi)governmental institutions that support innovations, knowledge sharing and entrepreneurship, like Brainport, Chamber of Commerce and ministry of Economics, Agriculture and Innovation. Most of these investors are located in the area of Eindhoven and are specifically interesting in boosting innovation in this area. 3. Develop and set up a marketing plan for the IdeaBooster At this point in the roadmap the development of the IdeaBooster has been started and it is time to decide on how the solvers and seekers will be attracted. Suggestions for this will be given based on the 4 P’s. Product Describe the characteristics of the product and especially think of what the added value is for the seekers and the solvers. Summarise the unique selling points of the products, which are: • The reduced search costs for collaboration • Insight into competencies and quality of people • Possibility to extend the networks.

Price The IdeaBooster needs to bring a return on investments and become profitable. This can be done by letting the seekers and solvers pay a subscription fee. The seekers pay to get help for their opportunity and to be able to select the right solvers. The solvers pay because the IdeaBooster provides them with work (for which they can get paid). The client and the investors have to work on a suitable business model that fits both the seekers and the solvers.

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6: Conceptualisation

Also think about possible extensions that can be introduced for the years to come. Use the needs of the seekers and solvers to set up the main functions first, but also think about additional functions and how these would fit the product.


Promotion The promotion of the IdeaBooster to attract many seekers and the solvers is necessary, as the value of the IdeaBooster grows with the size of the crowd; the larger the crowd, the more projects for the solvers. More solvers on their turn mean a larger group to choose from for the seekers. • Positioning; it is of high significance to decide on the right positioning for the IdeaBooster. The IdeaBooster also moves within the field of open innovation and crowdsourcing platforms and these are abundant. Most of these platforms (as was clear from the comparative analysis) focus on opportunity and idea generation. The IdeaBooster does not focus on generating opportunities, but works to enrich the ideas and make them mature enough to “survive” and flourish (within) the company. • Attracting seekers and solvers; some of the interviewees in the problem analysis were interested to become seekers. This can be a good point to start with. The seekers will firstly be contacted through the networks of the client and investors; in a later stage active acquisition means can be used. Other seekers and solvers can be convinced by the first showcases that the launching customers have provided. The solvers are either inside the seeker’s company or can be the independent professionals. This last group is organised in some networks and be reached through for instance the Chamber of Commerce. Place The main investing partners are located in Eindhoven. This is a region where many large established companies (i.e. Philips and ASML) and independent professionals are located and therefore is a good region to start. In later stages other “innovative” regions in the Netherlands can be targeted. 4. Test with launching customers When the concept is in a further stage it has to be tested with the launching customers, this can be done by using a paper prototype and later by using the IdeaBooster for a real case. In these tests the last working details need to be worked out. As the IdeaBooster starts with a “small” crowd, it is important to see how functions work under these circumstances. A start up issue is that the crowd is less insightful when the scoring has not been filled by other users. This only proves its value after multiple uses. These start-up problems have to be worked out. For the roles it means that every new solver might have to do an online assessment to determine the starting scores for instance. Another start up issue that should be resolved is to decide on who will be the articulators for the first projects. In a later stage this can be the experts (solvers with high scores; make it a way of proving status), however for the first projects these need to be appointed.

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5a. Improve and prepare for launch The feedback from the test with the launching customers should be used to improve the IdeaBooster and prepare it for market launch. In this stage everything is set to work out the last details. 5b. Plan for growth and extension In parallel with these preparations one has to make plans for the future growth and extensions. The client should think about how to attract more users to extend the user database. It might be interesting to extend the seeker’s group to small companies, although the demands might be different for them. The client can also plan for some additional functionality to be added. Possible extensions for the IdeaBooster are: • Support in experimenting activities; the assumption that people with right competencies know the right activities can be true; however some tools to facilitate are never redundant. • Collaboration tools for working online; the teams need to work together and for collaborating many tools are available and these can integrated in the IdeaBooster (i.e. Google Apps) • Integrate the crowd funding project of the client; to make sure that project does not get killed through a lack of funding • Make it possible for solvers to work on ideas as well (i.e. an entrepreneur has a brilliant idea and likes to work on it with others) • Set up a “ministry of beautiful failures” for the ideas that were not selected • Set up a knowledge/education centre where solvers and seekers can find more in-depth information on topics or in which activities are organised 6. Expand the Idea Booster’s user set and functionalities The IdeaBooster is now ready to be launched and in the beginning there should be a close monitoring of the projects. The organisation behind the IdeaBooster can be quite small: an administrator that monitors the problems and that forwards problems to the right people. There should also be a representative that acquires the seekers and solvers.

6.5. Conclusion This chapter has provided answers to the sub question “What are the process and tools that the IdeaBooster should facilitate?” The answer is that the Idea Booster’s process is divided into two phases; the articulation of the opportunity and the attraction and selection of the right solvers. For each of these phases different tools were presented. For the first phase the tools mainly support articulating and categorising the opportunity in order to come up with a search direction for the solvers. The second phase is supported by tools that facilitate the attracting of solvers, by applying suitable communication means and by tools that facilitate and limit the search costs in the selection process.

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6: Conceptualisation

Throughout the later stages feedback needs to be obtained and the IdeaBooster needs to be continually improved and new tools should be added to keep it interesting.


The sub question â&#x20AC;&#x153;How can the concept for the IdeaBooster be further developed and implemented by the client of this graduation project?â&#x20AC;? was also discussed. For this a roadmap is set up that explains the necessary steps to be taken to develop and launch the IdeaBooster. In paragraph 7.1.2 an evaluation of this product will be given and in paragraph 9.3.1 further recommendations for the client is provided.

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Chapter 7: Evaluation

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7.

Evaluation

This chapter evaluates this graduation project’s process in paragraph 7.1 and the product (the concept of the IdeaBooster) in paragraph 7.2.

7.1. Process evaluation This paragraph evaluates the methodology used in this graduation project, in which the design processes of two master programmes were integrated. The goal of this graduation project was to design the IdeaBooster. However, research elements were present and functioned as a means to gather the insights to come to this design. Paragraph 7.1.1 will reflect on the used research elements and will discuss the reliability, validity and usability of the research. Paragraph 7.1.2 will discuss the quality of the design process. Paragraph 7.1.3 reflects on how this combined SPD and SC design process was experienced.

7.1.1. Evaluation of the research This graduation project contained research elements to gain insights for the design, which is why a pragmatic approach to research was taken. The research methods applied in this graduation project are qualitative. This type of research is often criticized for not being valid or reliable. However, Verhoeven (2008, p. 248) argues that qualitative research can be reliable and valid. The quality of a research is not only based on reliability and validity; the usability is equally (if not more) important and will be discussed as well. I. Reliability The reliability of a research project is the extent to which a project is free of random errors (Verhoeven, 2008, p. 157). This means that you are testing if the results are not based on coincidence; if replicating the research leads to similar results, the research is reliable. For the qualitative research methods used in this project the reliability is quite hard to prove as: • the results are hard to replicate • a small sample is used However there are ways to make sure that reliability is high for qualitative research. Verhoeven (2008, p. 248-249) has set up guidelines that a researcher should try to follow to keep the research reliable and of high quality. These guidelines were used to evaluate the reliability of the research. The elaborative evaluation can be found in appendix 7.1. The conclusion of this evaluation is that this graduation project incorporates most of these guidelines. The research is highly reliable, because: • the research design is proper and justified • triangulation has been used (both empirical and literature study) • there was an extensive contact with the company, supervisors and investors • peer consultation was performed in multiple occasions • there is a solid registration of the methods and the steps taken

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II. Validity Next to reliability, validity is another measure for assessing the quality of the research. This measure is considered after the research has been checked on whether it is free of random errors (reliability). “The validity of research determines the extent to which a research is free of bias (systematic error) (Verhoeven, 2008, p. 159)”. There is internal and external validity and both will be discussed in this section. Internal validity A research is internally valid if the researcher manages to answer the central question satisfactory, in other words, if the conclusions are free of bias. To keep biases at a minimum level in qualitative research, Verhoeven (2008, p. 251) provides a set of guidelines. These guidelines were used to evaluate the internal validity. An elaboration of this evaluation is found in appendix 7.2.

Therefore the internal validity is considered moderately high. Generalisability The generalisability (population validity) of the results for the population is often not the main goal of qualitative research (Verhoeven, 2008, p. 249). Generalisability only plays a role in qualitative research with regard to the content. This means the validity of the results in similar situations. • Diverse sample The outcomes of the research were used to design a concept that will serve a large and diverse group. Therefore a diverse group of companies was interviewed for which no specific choices regarding the industry were made. In formulating the outcomes of the research, the results that were industry specific have been tried to be filtered out. The results of this research were also validated with a highly generalisable research by O’Connor et al (2008). This increased the generalisability of the present results.

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7: Evaluation

Many of the internal validity guidelines have been applied in this research: • Most instruments used for data collection are tried and tested instruments; topic lists for the interviews were tried and tested. • Distortion has been prevented in this graduation project; notes regarding choices have been put in logs and many of the discussions with interviewees, supervisors and client were recorded in logs. • Theories were used in multiple occasions to define and analyse the problem. The graduation topic was deeply investigated and the context was not neglected. • Peer assessment is applied throughout the whole process to discuss and refine the results. Next to peers, the client, the investors and the interviewees (of the problem analysis) have also provided feedback on multiple occasions. • Triangulation was incorporated by using empirical and literature study in different phases. However all methods were qualitative, since this best fit the purpose of design. • The participant samples in this graduation project fitted their purpose


• Generalisability is fit for purpose The generalisability of this research is high enough for its purposes; to come up with the concept of the IdeaBooster. Whether the outcomes of the research are generalizable is also unsure, although the feedback sessions with the companies have led to believe that the outcomes are generalizable for other companies and contexts as well. • Reality is kept intact One guideline that is provided by Baarda et al (2001, p.100; quoted in Verhoeven, 2008) suggests that the generalisability in qualitative research can be improved by keeping reality intact. In this graduation project the quotes in the problem analysis chapter were cited to keep reality intact as much as possible. Overall the generalisability of this graduation project is sufficient for its purpose - the design of the IdeaBooster - but there are some doubts whether the results are generalizable to other situations. Construct validity The construct validity is defined as the degree to which you are “measuring what you want to measure” (Verhoeven, 2008, p. 250). Having a high construct validity means that the respondent is not giving socially desirable answers. Construct validity is hard to control, but can be controlled by using specific questioning techniques to reveal the genuine answers. In this graduation project the construct validity is hard to assess. The interviewees in both the problem definition and problem analysis phases were aware of the research being performed and might have been inclined to give socially desirable answers. • Avoiding socially desirable answers During the problem definition phase the interviewees were aware of the plans for the IdeaBooster and most of them were acquainted with the client. Therefore they may have been inclined to give socially desirable answers. However, this was kept in mind during the interviews, and by applying the ‘why question’ technique and by making sure the interviewee is comfortable (i.e. by using the tips from Verhoeven (2008) on page 186-188) this issue of socially desirable answers was sufficiently controlled. This is proven by the fact that some critical comments on the IdeaBooster and interesting new directions for the problem exploration were gathered. In the problem analysis the reason for conducting the interviews (to gather insights for the IdeaBooster) was not revealed until the end of each interview. The researcher did not directly ask them about the problems in dealing with major innovations, but was alert to ‘problem like’ statements. If such statements would be mentioned, many why questions were asked to resolve the nature of these problems. The same types of questions were asked when the interviewee gave abstract answers. By using many ‘why questions’ the interviewee were tended to formulate more concrete answers. • Not directly asking about the problems led to more interpretational steps

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The interviewees were not directly questioned about the problems at their companies, because this might have influenced them and put them in a defensive position. This choice still seems valid, however not asking the interviewees directly meant that the researcher had to interpret the findings multiple times. This was required to uncover the problems underneath the descriptive quotes. However, this can also lead to misinterpretations and distort uncovering the true problems. â&#x20AC;˘ Confirming interpretation in feedback discussions This is why the feedback sessions were organised. In these feedback sessions most of the misinterpretations were dealt with and nuanced. This has resulted into increased construct validity. The construct validity of this research was hard to control, but is has been a major topic of attention and suitable measures were taken to account for it. The external validity of this research is of a sufficient level to base the design of the IdeaBooster on, which is the main purpose of this graduation project. III. Usability The research should be usable for other people, i.e. to set up a company strategy for increasing major innovation capability.

However, after reading this graduation report the client might gain a deeper understanding of the problems that the IdeaBooster solves. This understanding will help them to build a strong case for the IdeaBooster. The client can use this to convince potential users of the IdeaBooster as they now know what problems the IdeaBooster can solve. Not only do they know the problems regarding the IdeaBooster case, but also what other problems could be at play in major innovations. This can help them to see future extensions for the IdeaBooster as well. Usability for the interviewees of the problem analysis The revised MIC model is very usable for the companies interviewed in the problem analysis and later involved in the feedback discussions. At the feedback sessions these companies have expressed that they would like to receive the outcomes of the research, because they could apply it in their innovation management. The interviewees identified with the need for

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7: Evaluation

Usability for the client First and foremost this research should be usable for the client of this graduation project. The original graduation assignment had to extended to include a problem definition and analysis. This was needed to gain enough insights for the design. The client had performed his own deduction of the problem and had hypothesised why the IdeaBooster was a solution for this. The problem definition and analysis led to a new problem formulation on which the IdeaBooster is later based. As this new problem formulation differed in some ways from that of the client, the outcome of the research and the design was also not quite as expected by the client. Therefore the client is not overly convinced of the usability of this research. This is mainly caused because there is an important difference in perspective. In the product evaluation (paragraph 7.1.2) the details of this difference in perspective will be explained.


developing the capability of major innovation and recognised the problems concerned with that. They expressed that the revised major innovation capability model provided a systematic description of major innovation capability. They could see this MIC model being used as a checklist that could benefit their company. The stories and examples from other companies helped to make the topic of major innovation more concrete, which made it easier to relate to it and understand it. Usability for other researchers The execution of the research was quite thorough and a deep understanding of the topic was gained. This deep understanding did not help to build a strong design, but was also applied to reflect on the theory (see paragraph 8.1). These reflections are proof of usability for other researchers as well. Conclusion on quality of the research The research done during this graduation project served one clear purpose; to gain insights on the problem in order to design the IdeaBooster. Therefore some pragmatic choices regarding the research methodology were made. These pragmatic choices have led to some small remarks about the reliability and validity of the research. However, many guidelines for keeping the reliability and validity up to standard were carefully applied. The usability of the research is high for the companies that were researched. Many of the interviewed companies have expressed their interest to receive the final results. The client, however, is unfortunately not as convinced on the usability. This is caused by some fundamentally different perspectives on the IdeaBooster concept. The outcomes of the research might also be of sufficient value, with some adaptations, to build future research on. It is at least interesting combination of and reflection on two theories (Major Innovation Capability of O’Connor and Open Innovation, Chesbrough). Why this is an interesting combination, will be further explored in paragraph 8.1. The quality of the research is considered to be of sufficient level for the designerly steps that were taken in subsequent stages of the project. It is difficult to define ‘sufficient’ in this regard. This difficulty will be discussed in paragraph 7.1.3.

7.1.2. Evaluation of the design process This subparagraph evaluates the design process, which consisted of both research and design elements. The research elements have been evaluated in the previous subparagraph. This paragraph will evaluate the design process by looking into how the designerly steps were taken. These designerly steps are, even though based on thorough research, highly interpretative. However, these interpretative steps can be justified by applying the three design heuristics: • divergent and convergent thinking • co-evolution of problem and solution • iteration between theory and practice In this evaluation I will use these three heuristics to decide whether the designerly steps were taken with enough consideration.

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Divergent and convergent thinking Both divergent and convergent thinking were exercised in this graduation project. For the divergent thinking I tried to keep an open mind and roam the solution space for insights and ideas throughout the whole project. From the start many different options for the IdeaBooster were considered and the design was revised multiple times, after gaining new insights. I tried to take the convergent thinking steps with as much consideration as possible, as these steps highly influence the outcomes. Therefore I recorded my choices and discussed them with the client, the supervisors and peers. I reconsidered the choices every now and then and adjusted them to new insights. I believe that I have incorporated both ways of thinking in this graduation project to a sufficient level. Co-evolution of problem and solution The co-evolution of problem and solution is a design heuristic constantly in the background of this design process. I was aware of this co-evolution and tried to apply this in my project by moving back and forth between problem-oriented activities and solution-oriented activities. The two â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sidesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the process complemented each other; I experienced this for instance at a point when I had been working on the solution and later moved back to the problem. When I moved back to the problem with insights from the solution space I was able to clarify some choices in the problem.

In the problem definition and problem analysis phases these iterations were quite apparent as both phases incorporated literature and empirical studies. In the design brief and the conceptualisation phases, I had to let go of theory, because the results had to be made more concrete and theory was not useful in arguing design choices. Therefore I reached out to collect more practical insights (in comparative analysis and feedback discussion). The practical insights did provide me with the arguments for the design and helped me to make some important design choices. Conclusion In this design process I tried to incorporate all three design heuristics in choosing and performing the design activities. I experienced that applying these three heuristics helped me to find and build argumentations for the design. Overall, I took many of the (interpretative) designerly steps with much care and consideration. I collected insights and ideas for the solution and the problem throughout the whole process. I collected these insights from both theory and practice and tried to complement both sides.

7.1.3. Personal reflections on a SPD and SC design process This graduation project has integrated the design processes of both SPD and SC. An integration of both design processes also meant that the approaches to research and design were

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7: Evaluation

Iteration between theory and practice In this design process I moved back and forth between theory and practice in order to come up with a design that optimally uses insights of both angles.


integrated. In the SPD master the research is done to feed the design; a Research Based Design approach is applied. In the SC master the focus is more on the research; the design functions as a way to obtain new insights for research. At first I tried to give both research and design the same emphasis in this combined approach, which obviously leads to a tension field. In the end it became clear that the research mostly had to feed the designerly steps. But at this point, some of the research steps were conducted quite thorough. This thorough research approach led to a deep understanding of the problem, to a strong conceptual model, and to many insights for the design. But having this deep understanding also meant an additional challenge: to let go of this deep understanding and to translate and concretise these research results for the design purpose. In order to make the results more concrete, a certain distance was required to start designing. When the distance was taken, the design took shape. In a later stage, choices in the design could be grounded by arguments from the deep understanding of the problem once more. This tension field is quite normal in design processes where research is required to gain an understanding of the needs. This experience in dealing with a complex design process was needed to come to such a well-argued “theory of the problem” and a concept that helps to resolve this problem.

7.2. Product evaluation In this paragraph I will evaluate how the concept of the IdeaBooster: • Resolves the problems of major innovations in companies and fits the schedule of requirements • Fulfils the client’s expectations

7.2.1. Addresses the problems and fits the schedule of requirements The IdeaBooster is meant to support companies in improving their major innovation capability. However, during the problem analysis phase I found out that the problems in major innovation capability are highly complex and diverse. Therefore I had to make decisions on which problems to focus. Focus on 3 out 7 criteria for MIC I divided the seven criteria of the management system for MIC based on relevance for the IdeaBooster. However, this choice potentially has consequences for the completeness of the solution as these seven criteria all have to be met for major innovation capability. The consequence is that the IdeaBooster partially resolves companies’ problems with major innovation capability. When the other four company-specific criteria are not met, they might be inhibiting the realisation of an idea, i.e. the outcome of an IdeaBooster project will not be accepted or provided with resources. Therefore the four company-specific criteria might be conditions for the IdeaBooster to be effective. It could also be that working on the three

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criteria with the IdeaBooster helps the other four criteria to be set right. This should be further considered when implementing the IdeaBooster. Focus on incubation stage I have chosen to design the IdeaBooster for problems that arise during the incubation stage, because this stage turned out to be most underdeveloped. However, part of this decision was made based on the finding that companies believe that they have sufficient ideas in the discovery phase to feed the opportunity. I did not go into whether these ideas are of significant value and can form a proper basis for major innovations. From problems to requirements The key problems of companies with major innovations were formulated, and based on the boundary conditions for the IdeaBooster I have chosen how the IdeaBooster can contribute to these problems. The IdeaBooster resolves these problems by articulating the opportunity, connecting competencies and leveraging networks. I have hypothesised that when the company is connected to the right competencies (through opportunity articulation) they will also perform the right activities. This hypothesis, although well-argued, is not proven yet.

The IdeaBooster should connect seekers (large established companies) 1) with unarticulated opportunities; to articulate the type of opportunity to articulate the uncertainties. 2) to the right solvers; that fit the opportunity and fill the gaps that a company has with resolving this opportunity are of high quality and trustworthy 3) without increasing the search costs By making networks more insightful and better navigable. 4) to continually improve major innovation capability, by letting companies be able to : include existing networks expand the current networks 1) From recognised to articulated opportunities (opportunity articulation) The IdeaBooster supports large established companies with opportunities that were recognised, yet not articulated. The IdeaBooster sends out articulators that help the company to define the type of opportunity and the main uncertainties. The articulators set up a list of competencies for this design. This need for articulating the opportunity is a choice made on my experience as an SPD student and was also confirmed by the interviewees during the feedback discussions. The articulation sessions play a crucial part in defining the search direction. The tools that are

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7: Evaluation

From schedule of requirements to the concept of the IdeaBooster In the schedule of requirements I elaborated on how the IdeaBooster should fulfil its goal of connecting companies to the right competencies. The requirements are (further elaborated in following sections):


suggested in the IdeaBooster concept can help to structure the articulation sessions, however if they are used in the wrong way they can limit the possible richness of an opportunity. Another issue regards the dependence on the quality of the articulators for the outcomes. I did not go into this topic much; however, there is much literature out there on what defines a “good” articulator. 2) Deciding on the right solvers The articulators also advise the company on which solvers (based on roles and expertise) should be involved. This advice has to limit the search but at the same time leave room for unexpected insights and for the companies’ wishes. At this point I believe the articulators might be of relevance to make sure that the company does not only select the most obvious solvers (i.e. only internal because that feels comfortable), but searches deeper into their networks for better and unexpected matches. 3) Limiting the search costs Providing the companies with access to a network filled with potential solvers can easily be set up, but the real challenge is to provide companies with this access without increasing their search costs. For this purpose several tools were designed that can support this process and make the search efficient. These tools are believed to be a solution, however it should be tested if they are not too limiting for the search direction. 4) Continually improving major innovation capability The IdeaBooster continually improves the companies’ major innovation capability as it is a product that gains more value through usage. The IdeaBooster does this by enhancing the networks of companies. These networks grow and become more insightful through time. A company is connected to more solvers, but also gets better information on these solvers (i.e. the score of solver gains reliability as it is a collective number based on multiple rankings). This is a good starting point for companies to improve their MIC. Conclusion The quality of the IdeaBooster is highly dependent on how it balances the broad set of competencies and the right amount of search costs. The process and tools have been designed to be able to balance the two. The articulator plays an important role in this balance.

7.2.2. Client view on the IdeaBooster The client of this graduation project has come up with the original idea for the IdeaBooster. Based on his expertise he recognised an opportunity to connect companies with the right competencies. This opportunity was deducted through years of experience of consulting management teams of companies. Different methods of extracting the problem from reality I started this design process with the notion of the IdeaBooster and the “problems as understood by the client”. The problem was deducted by me, based on scientific methods, and differed slightly from that of the client. This is due to our different approaches in deducting this

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problem from reality. The fundamentals stayed the same; our common vision still was that the IdeaBooster has to connect companies to the right people to increase their major innovation capabilities and that this can be efficiently done by using networks. Value proposition for the IdeaBooster Our views on the process and tools of the IdeaBooster do differ. I based the process and the tools on my research findings. Through these findings I was able to conclude that the added value of the IdeaBooster lies with providing the articulation and selection processes. However, the client believes that the added value of the IdeaBooster lies with providing a company support in the selection and the collaboration process. In my opinion the articulation session cannot be left out, because this phase in particular will help the company to connect to the right people. The right people to help out in a major innovation project are specific people with specific competencies; not everyone is suitable to be of help in major innovation projects. Without articulation sessions the crucial uncertainties of an opportunity will not be recognised and therefore the wrong steps will be taken. According to me, the people with the right competencies can decide for themselves what the right experimenting activities are and how they wish to collaborate. The IdeaBooster can facilitate this process. However this should not be part of the value proposition. The client believes that this articulation can influence the outcomes too severely, because it limits the search space too much. This remark was taken into consideration in the previous paragraph.

The IdeaBooster helps to improve companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; major innovation capability by addressing the selected problems. Not all problems can be addressed in the IdeaBooster and the problems that were not selected might impede the effectiveness of the IdeaBooster. For the concept of the IdeaBooster I proposed a process and tools that provide access to a broad set of competencies without increasing the search costs. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of these processes and tools still needs to be proven. In this graduation project the client and I share the vision that companies should be connected to the right people for major innovations. We do not share the same vision on how this connection should be established; I propose selection mechanisms that limit the search space and make sure that the right people are involved, but the client believes that this selection mechanism might be too limiting and structured.

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7: Evaluation

7.2.3. Conclusions


Chapter 8: Discussion

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8.

Discussion

This chapter reflects on the theory used in this graduation project in paragraph 8.1. Paragraph 8.2 places the topic in a broader perspective; it describes how this graduation assignment contributed to theory and to the fields of both masters. This chapter concludes with some words on the value of combining SPD and SC in paragraph 8.3.

8.1. Reflection on theory This paragraph reflects on the primary literature source of this graduation project; which is the book “Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation” by O’Connor et al (2008). I revised their model for MIC according to outcomes of the interviews. By extensively using and revising this model, I reflected on theory in multiple occasions. The reflections on the theory have led me to formulate some propositions for major innovation capability and these will be described in this paragraph. These propositions are based on the topics on which I gained most understanding; which are: • Activities needed in major innovations • The competencies needed in major innovations • The importance of leveraging internal & external networks in major innovations The following pages will describe the propositions in this order. A symbiosis between a systematic MIC approach and creating a context for serendipity The major innovation capability model of O’Connor et al (2008) is a systematic approach to building a company’s ability to commercialise breakthroughs repeatedly in large established firms. This is contrary to the perspective that many authors take that major innovations are often chance hits, that cannot be orchestrated and that mostly rely on champions. O’Connor et al (2008) propose that every organisation can develop a major innovation capability. Their view is in contrast with the view of for instance Christensen (1997) who does not believe that large established firms should try to engage in major innovation and should focus on acquiring new technologies from smaller start-ups. During my work on this topic, I noticed that reality is somewhere in between. It is not as black and white as literature suggest; it is about finding a symbiosis between a systematic approaches and leaving room for serendipity. Unexpected combinations It is about creating the right conditions for serendipity to occur (i.e. like Paul Iske suggests in his proposition of combinatoric innovation). O’Connor et al (2008) focus specifically on setting up processes that are adaptable to uncertain outcomes and are learning-oriented. However, they do not go into what kind of processes or activities are suitable to come up with unexpected combinations. Interaction between people But more importantly during the interviews I came across the importance of having people

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interact with each other and making sure that the idea grows and improves throughout this interaction. I call this the stepping stone process. This can only occur if people are given room to interact to share their knowledge and ideas. That these interactions should not only be formally was emphasized as well. These informal networks are crucial to getting idea the richness (building upon each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideas) and the momentum (finding its way through company decision-making processes). Therefore my proposition is that: Companies should find a symbiosis between the systematic approach and the creation of the right environment for serendipity. This is because major innovations stem from unexpected combinations that often arise between people interacting. Companies should use a competencies perspective to form major innovation teams The people with a talent for major innovations are not the average employees in a company. The MI talented people share some common characteristics, like the entrepreneurial mind-set and ability to creatively solve problems. These characteristics are not always present in companies, as pointed out by Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor et al (2008) and the interviews. To some extent employees can be learnt to have an entrepreneurial mind-set and to creatively solve problems. However, people with such MI favourable characteristics are found more often outside the companies.

Six roles for major innovations In my graduation project a clear vision on the characteristics of MI talented individuals was required for the design and therefore I developed six roles. These roles were confirmed during the feedback discussions and companies agreed that the importance of the roles changes per stage of the innovation process. However, it was hardly seen that they consciously and explicitly use competency management to find these different roles. Attract the right competencies Companies should try to select people based on the competencies needed for a project and in a specific phase. In order to do this, companies should focus on realizing what type of opportunity they are dealing with (ergo applying question articulation or a learning plan) and should try to locate people needed for this specific process stage. To be able to locate these people the internal and external network should be made more insightful, otherwise the search costs for involving the right people are too high.

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8: Discussion

Competencies are the basis for major innovation capability In Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor et al (2008) the people involved in major innovations make up one of the seven criteria for major innovation capability. During my graduation project (mostly through the interviews in the problem analysis) I came to realise that they are the basis for major innovations and therefore are not equally important to the other six criteria. If a company does not possess people with the right competencies, major innovations will likely be difficult to pursue. And although this importance was confirmed in the interviewees, few companies had tools to help them become aware of the right competencies and were able to locate the right competencies.


Therefore my proposition is that: Companies should apply a competencies perspective for major innovation team to involve the right competencies in major innovations. Deciding on the right competencies can be done by applying question articulation techniques. In order to facilitate the search and selection process, the internal and external networks should be made insightful to keep search costs to a minimum level. Leverage networks and rethink and reassess the obstacles In Chesbrough (2006, chapter 4) O’Connor proposes an integrated model for open, major innovation in established firms. This work sketches her early findings of how companies are involving in open innovation. Similar to my findings, companies are starting to gain awareness and have set up or are starting to set up open innovation processes or entities within the company. However none have tried and tested tools and most of the companies are still in an early learning stage. Increase awareness on the importance I propose that companies should become more aware of the importance of having rich internal and external networks. The importance of having “healthy” internal network is proven (i.e. in the work of Karen Stephenson) in which she connects the health of a network to be of high influence on a company’s performance). Structural integration of major innovation capability and open innovation Integration of At this point there is no proven link between major innovation capability and open innovation. O’Connor (2006 in Chesbrough) suggests an integration of the MIC model and the open innovation process; however this is not more than a suggestion of possibilities for companies. There is a gap in literature that structurally advises companies of how to integrate the two. Reassess the obstacles I believe that companies are resistant to leverage their networks to their fullest potential through to many perceive obstacles. This inhibits companies to move from being aware to engaging in open/networked innovation. Dealing with these obstacles (i.e. intellectual property) is also where literature does not provide answers. Companies should reconsider whether e.g. protecting intellectual property rights are more important than having major innovations, because I am convinced that closed major innovation is no longer an option. Therefore my proposition is that: Companies should become aware of the importance of networks for major innovations, should learn how to leverage these networks optimally. This cannot be done without rethinking and reassessing the perceived obstacles.

8.2. Contributions of this graduation project The relevance of this research regarding the fields of Strategic Product Design and Science Communication is previously discussed in paragraph 1.3. This paragraph will make an effort to

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reflect on how this graduation project has contributed to both fields.

8.2.1. Contribution to theory This paragraph reflects on how this graduation project contributes to these theories. In this graduation project the perspective of the IdeaBooster and a pragmatic approach was taken to investigate the topic of major innovation capability. Viewing from the IdeaBooster perspective implies that specific attention was paid to find out how an open and networked innovation approach can help to bring companies into contact with the right people and processes. The pragmatic approach means that the results had to be applicable for the design; I needed to know what actions would improve the situation of MIC in companies (the do’s) and what the current situations is and why they struggle to escape this (the don’ts). Taking the IdeaBooster’s perspective and applying a pragmatic approach, this graduation project contributed in three ways, depicted in Figure 66. The following pages elaborate on these three contributions.

Demystifying “people with a talent for MI” Six roles needed in major innovation

Evolving the MIC more into a “qualitative benchmark ”

Major innovation capability

Suggestions for opening up the incubation stage

Figure 66: The contributions of this graduation project to the model for major innovation capability by O’Connor et al (2008)

Evolving the MIC further into qualitative benchmark The MIC model of O’Connor et al (2008) is extensive and describes every element and how it should be in place. The work is similar to a qualitative benchmark. However the work describes prescriptions and pitfalls (the trouble that companies are having with achieving these prescriptions) at the same time, without clearly distinguishing between the two. In my graduation project it was required to make a clear distinction between the ideal and problematic situation for the design. Therefore I divided the criteria in the do’s and don’ts, or the prescriptions for the criteria and the problems for each criterion. I believe that this makes the MIC model more easily applicable for companies.

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8: Discussion

(O’Connor et al, 2008)

Division between prescriptions and pitfalls

Integrating open /networked innovation into the MIC model


Demystifying “people with a talent for MI” This graduation project needed to know what types of people should be connected to companies for major innovations. It soon became clear that there is not one “major innovation talent”, but that a major innovation team needs a broad and diverse set of competencies. The term “competencies” was chosen, because the interviewees made clear that it is not only about skills and knowledge (like O’Connor et al (2008) suggest, but it also about personality and motivation. The definition used for competencies (Spencer & Spencer, 1993) encompassed all four (personal characteristics, motivation, skills and knowledge) What really contributed was the definition of the roles. The roles are set of competencies and for each of these roles an extensive and concrete (by using quotes from the interviewees) description of the set of competencies was provided. The roles and their concrete descriptions can help to make it easier for managers to select the right roles for working on a project. Integrating open /networked innovation into the incubation stage of the MIC model I concluded, based on literature and empiricism, that companies are mostly involved in using the open innovation approach for the discovery stage However in this graduation project it became clear that companies are encountering most difficulties in the incubation stage. The incubation is the stage in which outsiders might be needed and therefore a connection to the outside is required. Connecting to many partners can lead to high search costs (as mentioned by O’Connor et al (2008). The IdeaBooster has proved that this tension field can be resolved and proposes some tools for this. This graduation project therefore contributes to a suggestion for how open innovation can be performed in the incubation stage.

8.2.2. Contribution to the fields of SPD & SC This paragraph describes the contributions of this graduation project to the fields of SPD and SC. Contributions to SPD The IdeaBooster is an innovation instrument that helps companies to resolve some of the problems of MIC. The IdeaBooster uses a competencies management perspective for this, which is different from how current open innovation platforms work. This different view on how and why competencies management can be used in open innovation settings is an interesting contribution to the field of SPD. The research has increased understanding of MIC, how this can be improved and what the main problems of companies are in this regard. Investing and clarifying this topic has contributed to the research body of SPD as it is part of the innovation management studies. Contributions to SC The IdeaBooster is, next to an instrument used in major innovations, communication at the basics. The IdeaBooster is a communication facilitator, because it: supports the senders (seekers) in formulating the right message

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defines the target group that fits this message defines which means should be used to reach this target group provides the senders with sufficient information on the target group (to improve the selection procedure)

Common practice in communication is to define a target group (based on segmentation) that you want to reach and then a suitable message is send to this target group. In the IdeaBooster the opposite happens, the message is defined and this message is used to find a suitable target group is. This other perspective is interesting for science communication as it can ensure higher effectiveness of the communication in some situations A relevant part of the research is the definition of competencies needed in major innovations. This is related to one of the research areas of SEC: professionalism. Although it is not explicitly stated, one can conclude from this graduation report that the success of a major innovation heavily depends on the willingness and ability of the people involved to share their knowledge. This might be already known within the SEC department, since designing innovation instruments is another research area that is present. Therefore this graduation project can be seen as a reinforcement of the necessity for science communication in the field of innovation.

8.3. The value of combining SC and SPD In this integrated graduation project I learned a lot about the commonalities between both masters and how they might be complementary. This paragraph will discuss the value of this integration and this is done on two levels; on the subject of major innovation and on the methodologies.

8.3.1. The value of combining SC and SPD on the topic of (major) innovation

Introduction of an innovation in the market can be about educating and persuading the consumer (marketing, but for major also education), SEC & SPD

(Scientific and technological) knowledge transfer between the stages

Discovery

Incubation

Acceleration

Operations

Knowledge sharing & creation (making sure people share knowledge = SC, steps in creation is = SPD (mainly discovery, incubation and to world)

Figure 67: The relation between strategic product design and science communication in an innovation process

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8: Discussion

The relation between SC and SPD on the content of their study is only described for this graduation topic: major innovation. Figure 67 summarises how both fields are related to the topic.


SPD is mainly concerned with the creation of a design, based on a problem or need that is extracted from the real world; the emphasis is on the creational steps in the discovery and incubation stage or the fuzzy front end. SPD also concerns itself with the commercialisation of products, the transfer from a product to the world or the launch of a product. Science communication can be of help in this innovation process in three ways: 1. The creation of new knowledge by enhancing knowledge sharing. Science communication can play a big part in finding out what the right conditions are for people to share knowledge. And as the IdeaBooster shows, communication can also help to decide on the right means and message to involve the right people with the right knowledge in the innovation process. 2. The transfer of knowledge within a stage in an innovation process, but especially across the stages of an innovation process. This to prevent loss of knowledge or worse: the kill of a project. In many occasions the behaviour or attitude of employees has to be changed. Another important moment of knowledge transfer is when the project contains deep knowledge and the message has to be translated in order for the receiving end to accept it. 3. Educating the customer and/or marketing the product. The growing complexity of products and services, mainly caused by the increased use of technology in products and services, means that only marketing might not be enough. Especially for major innovations the customers have to be made aware of why the new features are needed. As these features can be unknown and the value is not proven, educating the consumer might be needed to persuade them. As science communication can prove its value in the innovation process, collaboration between the two masters on this topic can be a basis for learning for both sides. The science communication master can learn from the extensive knowledge base of strategic product design on innovation studies to further investigate the role of science communication in innovation.

8.3.2. The value of combining SC and SPD on methodology The methodology used in this graduation project is a first attempt to integrate the design approaches from the SC and SPD master programmes. This paragraph will conclude with recommendations for SC and SPD on what they can learn from each other regarding design methodology. The design process of SPD has developed throughout the last decades and is undergoing changes still, because design methodology is an important part of the research in this field. Therefore this SPD design process was taken as a basis for the graduation assignment. SC focuses on the design process as well (although very specifically for communication means and processes) and can learn from this longitudinal study of design methodology of Industrial Design. The process that is taught at SC, as I experienced it as student, at this moment puts more emphasis on the research elements than the design elements. This means that the problem definition and analysis are emphasised. When the final aim is to come up with a design, the

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research is a means to gain insight needed for the design, but not a goal in itself. This focus on the research methodology leads to grounded results, but also to results that might be too thorough and structured for the design process. From the SPD perspective; the structure then can get in the way of the natural way in which designers think. This natural way of thinking is not moving from problem to solution, but moving back and forth between these two modes. I believe that the design process applied in science communication should leave more room for this co-evolution of solution and problem. SC might also profit from putting more emphasis in the divergent thinking and inspiring students to come up with more solutions than quickly converging into one solution. SPD on the other hand can learn from science communication that the insights that are used as input for the design might provide more value in other occasions as well; more thought could be put into how the design suits a bigger purpose in practice and theory.

8: Discussion

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Chapter 9: Conclusion

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9.

Conclusion & recommendations

This chapter summarises the findings of this graduation project. Paragraph 9.1 answers the main research question. To tackle this main research question it was split up in sub questions, these are answered in paragraph 9.2. The answers to these sub questions are given in paragraph 9.3.

9.1. Answer to research question What is a suitable design and implementation plan for the IdeaBooster that supports companies in improving their major innovation capability? A suitable design for the IdeaBooster is one that improves the major innovation capability supports companies to address the problems in the incubation stage. This support means that it helps companies in applying the right activities, connecting to the right competencies and leveraging the networks. The IdeaBooster does this by connecting companies to the right competencies. These right competencies are found through articulation sessions. These articulation sessions provide companies with the search direction, meaning where to look for the companies, and a communication strategy on how to reach the people with the right competencies. The IdeaBooster makes this connection to a broad set of competencies without increasing the search costs of companies. The IdeaBooster facilitates this tension field by providing efficient selection tools. These selection tools provide the information needed to select the right partner. The hypothesis is that the IdeaBooster provides a continually improving solution space which will improve a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major innovation capability (MIC) gradually, but on a project-basis. The continual improvement to MIC of the IdeaBooster is mostly guaranteed because networks of people are joined and feedback on collaboration is shared. This makes the networks more insightful and navigable. The IdeaBooster only supports companies in the incubation stage and for the processes, people and networks; the other requirements and stages are not supported by the IdeaBooster. It is uncertain, but plausible that companies can only be truly supported if the other stages and requirements are on an appropriate level.

9.2. Answers to sub questions In this paragraph answer to the sub questions are provided.

9.2.1. What are the reasons that companies are lacking major innovation capability and what should be done to improve this? This sub question has been tackled in chapter 4, the problem analysis. In this chapter the ideal situation for major innovation capability and the problems of becoming capable of major innovations are extensively described. This total context of the problem had to be analysed in order to see if the original idea for the IdeaBooster could support companies in improving their

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major innovation capability (MIC). Revised major innovation capability model Empirical study forms the basis for answering this sub question and is supported by literature study. Combining both studies led to a revised model for major innovations. This model is a revised version of the model for MIC by O’Connor et al (2008) This revised model consists of the stages for a major innovation, which are the DIA stages (Discovery, Incubation and Acceleration). The underlying management system requirements are the foundation for the DIA stages and change during the different stages, they are: • Exploratory activities • Broad & diverse set of competencies • Rich internal & external networks • Interaction with mainstream organisation • Appreciating management & leadership • Suitable decision-making metrics and rewards • Awareness of internal innovation capacity

Problems with the criteria For the criteria of the management system the problems can be summarised as: • Restricted activities; the activities that companies apply to major innovations are often not suited for dealing with the uncertainties and do not provide sufficient room for exploring and experimenting. • Insufficient use of competencies; companies do not possess all the necessary competencies and do not work based on competencies in searching the people to involve in major innovations. • Under leveraging internal and external networks; networked and open innovation is not fully leveraged in companies, due to many obstacles they perceive regarding intellectual property and shared risk and investments. This under leveraging leads to diminished possibilities to gain influence on decision-making and, more importantly, to a diminished access to competencies that might be needed for the major innovation. • Unsuited interaction with the mainstream organisation; means that the part of the organisation responsible for major innovation should be coupled to the mainstream in

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9: Conclusion & Recommendations

Problems in the DIA stages The main problems occur in the incubation stage because this is often underdeveloped in companies, a conclusion that can be made based on empiricism and literature. The incubation stage is not developed to the same level as the discovery and acceleration stage. There is a lack of patience to experiment with all the aspects of the opportunity, due to a need to make fast decisions and pressure to start developing quickly. The lack of patience conflicts with the characteristics of an incubation stage, which is to apply, probe and learn activities and involve many and diverse people. The experimenting activities take time and money, but are necessary for an idea to attain the necessary richness and to become a true major innovation. Yet companies were seen to not be keen to invest a lot of money and want to find a suitable application fast and if the application of the idea cannot be found fast enough they write it off.


different manners. In many companies these suggested couplings are not always in place. The coupling to strategy is not reciprocal and the coupling to mainstream processes is not managed, leading to problems in the transfer of a major innovation. â&#x20AC;˘ Unappreciative management; management in companies is not always as appreciative of major innovations and makes decisions based on short-termism and short-sightedness. Major innovations should be facilitated by management instead of being shut down too early. Management should facilitate knowledge and idea sharing activities, which is confirmed by the interviewees to be lacking in some occasions. â&#x20AC;˘ Unclear decision-making metrics and rewards; the authority to make decisions is not placed in the hands of decision-making boards but in the hands of one person. The metrics and rewards used are similar to those of incremental innovations, although they differ tremendously. â&#x20AC;˘ Unable and unaware to handle internal innovation capacity; companies are not aware of what their capacity for major innovations is nor of the consequences that this might have on their major innovation capability. Many internal influences on this innovation capacity have been observed, such as a restricting hierarchy and a limiting company identity that causes companies to have blind spots for things outside their core competencies.

9.2.2. What problems of major innovation capability can be addressed by the IdeaBooster and how can they be addressed? The second sub question bridges the outcomes of chapter 4 (problem analysis) to chapter 5 (design brief). The goal of this sub question is to see which problems can be solved by the IdeaBooster. This choice is made, based on the boundary conditions stated for the IdeaBooster in chapter 2, the problem definition: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

The IdeaBooster will focus on large established companies (not industry specific) The IdeaBooster is a general applicable solution and will not tackle company specific problems. The IdeaBooster uses the power of networks to connect people The IdeaBooster does not increase search costs The IdeaBooster uses crowdsourcing mechanisms The IdeaBooster works on project basis and does not offer long-term and intensive support The IdeaBooster improves the major innovation capability

The boundary conditions have led to the realisation that the management system requirements of the MIC model can be split up in the ones that are relevant for the input of the IdeaBooster and the ones that are not. The criteria are split up in the green and the red criteria. The green criteria are those for which the IdeaBooster can provide a solution, these are not company specific, are possible to solve with an open innovation approach and can be dealt with less intensive support. The red criteria are those that are harder to change and are more company specific, so they have been left out of focus. The conclusion of the problem analysis is that the problems of companies mainly lie with an

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underdeveloped incubation stage and that the IdeaBooster can support companies in this stage. The IdeaBooster can improve the green criteria for the incubation stage and the following problems and causes should be taken into account: • Lack of activities to resolve uncertainties & experiment with opportunity; is caused by the fact that companies are not aware of uncertainties of an opportunity and choose the wrong uncertainties to resolve, because they can be unwilling or unable to resolve uncertainties outside core competencies. • Not involving necessary incubation competencies; the needed competencies are not present in companies or companies do not know what right competencies are (do not apply competencies/roles) or are not searched for (this takes up too much time and leads to high search costs). • Under leveraging internal and external networks; networks are not leveraged and made insightful, leading to a lack of knowledge on where to find the right people. Companies still see many obstacles for open / networked innovation that might inhibit leveraging networks to its fullest potential even if they are aware of the added value of involving outsiders.

9.2.3. What is the schedule of requirements for the IdeaBooster to address these problems? Based on the previous elaboration of the problems that can be solved by the IdeaBooster, a goal and a schedule of requirements can be formulated as an answer to the third sub question. The requirements are set up to fulfil the goal of the IdeaBooster, which is: “Connecting companies with problems in a major innovation project to the right competencies without increasing their search costs, with the final goal being to continually improve major innovation capability”

2)

by connecting them to the right competencies that: fit the opportunity and fill the gaps that a company has with resolving this opportunity are of high quality and trustworthy

3)

without increasing the search costs by making networks insightful and searchable.

4)

with the final goal being to continually improve major innovation capability, by letting

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9: Conclusion & Recommendations

The requirements can be summarised based on the decisions made in the previous paragraph. The requirements for the IdeaBooster are: The IdeaBooster should support large established companies 1) with problems in a major innovation project by supporting experimentation with recognised opportunities: - from closely aligned to stretching the core competencies - from concrete to abstract


companies be able to : include existing networks expand the current networks

9.2.4. What is the process that the IdeaBooster should facilitate and what are the tools that can facilitate this process? In the conceptualisation, chapter 6, the schedule of requirements has been transformed into a process and tools for the IdeaBooster. Seekers and solvers The users for the IdeaBooster can be divided into seekers and solvers, each with a different role. The seekers are the companies that have been extensively investigated. The seekers need to be connected to the right competencies to resolve the uncertainties of their ideas or opportunities. The solvers can be almost anyone; it might be the independent professionals that the client has suggested. The solvers are the ones that possess the connecting competencies that the seekers are looking for. Online and offline The Idea Boosterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s central point is a website, but not everything can be dealt with online as not all of the activities are suitable for online contact. Offline contacts are needed for the interviewees to develop trust, which is a requirement in major innovations and cannot grow in an online space only. This is why an alliance with Seats2Meet, a company that has meeting spaces, is formed. Seats2Meet can facilitate the offline meetings. Deal with different types of opportunities The IdeaBooster can deal with many different types of opportunities that a company might have. These opportunities might be unaligned or aligned to the core competencies or highly concrete or highly abstract. Based on the type of opportunity the IdeaBooster will support the company with the right process to enrich this opportunity. The IdeaBooster process consists of two main phases. In these phases different tools are suggested to be used. The main phases and tools are: 1.

Articulating the question; the outcome of this is a search direction & strategy, this is supported by the tools: a. Question articulation sessions; to assess the level of concreteness of a question and how the question is aligned to the companies, to find the uncertainties for this question b. Project description; fixing the assignment that goes to the solvers

2.

Search & select the right people; the outcome of this is that the company has found a suitable team or teams to work on the question a. Attracting the right people; decide on openness of the call based on the suggested search direction and strategy

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b. Search and find the right people; based on user profile and social graph c. Selecting the right people; if many teams have applied, pre-selection might be needed to reduce search costs, based on decision board in company or with help of crowd of IdeaBooster.

9.2.5. How can the design for the IdeaBooster be further developed and implemented by the client of this graduation project? The design for the IdeaBooster that has been introduced in chapter 6, conceptualisation, is not finished to the point that it can be launched, it is more an utopian design for what the IdeaBooster should and can do to support companies. In order to bring the IdeaBooster to the point that it can be launched an implementation roadmap is proposed and this contains the following steps: Incorporate the needs of the solvers; up to this point the IdeaBooster has been developed from the seekersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; perspective. To come to a true user-centred design the needs of the solvers should also be incorporated.

2.

Attract investors & development partners; It is important to find partners that can take on the development of the IdeaBooster. These developing find partners should be capable of developing the central point of the IdeaBooster, the website, and that possess knowledge on how to set up an open innovation platform and design tools for this. The investors are needed to gain funding for the developments. These investments can be collected through many subsidies that support innovative efforts.

3.

Develop and set up a marketing plan for the IdeaBooster; this is needed to define the 4 Pâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. a. Product; decide on the value propositions for the seekers and the solvers. b. Price; define the business model, will there be a subscription fee? c. Promotion; how will the IdeaBooster be positioned, what are the unique selling points? d. Place; Eindhoven is an innovative region and a good place to start as the client has contracted investors interested in boosting this region.

4.

Test with launching customers; the first tests before going live should be held with launching customers.

5.

A) Receive feedback and improve the IdeaBooster; the feedback gathered from the launching customer tests is input for further improvements. B) Plan for growth and extension; parallel to processing the feedback, plans should be made on how to extend the user base beside the launching customers. The planning for growth is not only on the user base, but also on the functionalities as the user will wish to have updates and improvements continuously.

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9: Conclusion & Recommendations

1.


6.

Expand the Idea Booster’s user set & functionalities; this is the execution of the plans for expansion.

9.2.6. To what extent are the problems of major innovation capability as they have been observed in this graduation project recognisable for companies? The answer to this sub question has been found in the feedback discussions with the interviewees of the problem analysis. During these discussions “the problem as theorised” in this graduation project is presented to the interviewees and the feedback of the interviewees is used to refine the theory of the problem. The theory of the problem for major innovation capability is well received by the interviewees. There have been some additions and remarks, but overall the model is a clear representation of what is needed for MIC and what might cause problems for companies. The main remarks that have been given are concerned with the competencies and can be summarised as: • Competencies or roles are used as a mean to form teams in some companies, but is not consistently applied. • The roles are recognisable and can be quite helpful to form the right team for a major innovation.

9.2.7. To what extent is the IdeaBooster an optimal design that improves companies’ major innovation capability? This sub question can also be answered using the feedback of the interviewees of the problem analysis. In the same optimisation sessions, held at the end of this graduation project, the design for the IdeaBooster has been presented. However, for the design of the IdeaBooster the feedback of the companies has been used to revise the design in between sessions. The main findings from the feedback discussions for the design have been: • The distinction between the green and red criteria is correct for the IdeaBooster, but fixing the green criteria might not be as urgent as fixing the red elements for some companies. • It should become clearer for which type of questions the IdeaBooster can provide an answer • The value of the IdeaBooster is not in the collaboration tools, but more in the tools that help to find, attract and select the right people • The danger in designing the selection tools is in the fact that you wish to limit the search space, but do not wish to limit the quality of the outcome • The thought that the roles of a person are more important than their background or expertise is interesting and might be true, but do not forget to include the expertise as well • The IdeaBooster cannot only be an online solution; trust is very much needed in major innovations and cannot grow online.

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9.3. Recommendations This paragraph will give the final recommendations for the client and for further research.

9.3.1. Recommendations for the client Some recommendations for further development are already described in the implementation roadmap of paragraph (6.4). However some parts remain unanswered. For these I have set up the some recommendations for the client, based on the evaluation of the product. Focus on activities, people and networks The IdeaBooster provides a solution for 3 of the 7 interrelated and interdependent criteria for MIC. The four company specific criteria (i.e. management and decision-making) might inhibit the outcome of the IdeaBooster to have effect, meaning that an idea that was the result of a project in the IdeaBooster will not be incorporated. It is therefore recommended that the client decides on whether only companies are selected that have the company specific criteria in place or that the IdeaBooster also supports the transfer. Limit search costs The client should test whether the articulation and selection tools can actually keep search costs limited and if they are not doing this by reducing the solution space too much. Articulators More research is needed to set up a list of requirements for the articulators. In the description I provided some starting points for what types of people should be involved. As the articulators play a crucial role, this should be executed with proper care.

9.3.2. Recommendations for further research

Further development of the MIC model into a benchmark The work of O’Connor et al (2008) is based on 20 case studies in companies from 1995. The model is a set of prescriptions for companies on how to develop major innovation capability. The remark was already made that it should become clearer what the prescriptions and pitfalls are, to make it more applicable for companies. And although this graduation project has provided some more clarity on distinguishing between what a company should do and what it should not do, this work is, similar to O’Connor et al (2008), based on qualitative results. It might be interesting to investigate whether it is possible to develop a more quantitative approach for researching major innovation in companies to subsequently make a quantitative benchmark.

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9: Conclusion & Recommendations

The recommendations for further research are on the same topics previously used (paragraph 8.2.1): Evolving the MIC more into a “qualitative benchmark ” Demystifying “people with a talent for MI” Integrating open /networked innovation into the MIC model These topics relate to the main contributions of this graduation project to theory and are worthwhile to further investigate.


Investigating the tools used for competencies management The major innovation roles in this graduation project are the results of the empirical study. And although the companies that participated in the feedback discussions agreed with the roles and found them helpful, they also noticed similarities with other roles (such as Belbin and DeBono). In this graduation project there was not enough time to compare the roles to other competency management tools in project teams. Exploring the commonalities and differences between these models and how they can be used in major innovations would be an interesting and meaningful further research possibility. The fact that the other means for selecting roles in teams were known, but were not consistently used might have to do with the quality of these tools, but might also have to do with the fact that companies do not know, have difficulty or simply do not see the use in applying these types of tools. The IdeaBooster is a tool for helping companies to consciously work with roles by articulating the question. It is interesting to see what â&#x20AC;&#x153;IdeaBooster likeâ&#x20AC;? tools are out there and if/how they are being used and whether these tools need more help in implementation to make sure that companies use them effectively. Structural integration of major innovation capability and open innovation. Up until now the models of open innovation and major innovation capability have not been integrated. In Chesbrough (2006) Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connor does some propositions, although with many marginal comments. In this graduation project I have not been able to reduce these marginal comments. The possibilities for incubation were explored during this project, as the IdeaBooster is a way to involve in open innovation in the incubation stage. This is a starting point for further research, because I am convinced that companies should not only be supported in gaining more ideas from outside, but also in enriching these ideas with the help of outsiders.

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This graduation project has been my own major innovation. It has stretched my core competencies and has challenged what I have learnt up until now. Luckily I had an extensive network of some of the best and brightest out there. To them I owe many thanks. Special thanks go out to my supervisory team: • Caroline Wehrmann; for being a true educator by extracting my knowledge through questioning instead of providing it. It was really pleasant to know that your door was always open. You kept me focused and optimistic at all times. • Frido Smulders; for stimulating me to make the designerly steps. Your wording helped me to formulate my deep insights and unfussy the fuzziness of my brain. • Maarten van der Sanden; for the helpful metaphors that made me see my graduation project in a different view and for the great tip in structuring it. • Ton van Asseldonk; for giving me the trust to work on this assignment, for the fierce discussions and for introducing me to the “complexiteit in alledaagse dingen” The interviewees who filled my graduation project with rich stories on major innovations and who let me back in to provide me with the feedback to realise my design. Thank you for your valuable input; you made the hard work worthwhile. Wijtze de Groot and the rest of the team of Cognito Concepts, for providing me with an inspiring working place in the midst of Strijp-S. To the investors group for the interest you took in my work and the feedback provided. Special thanks to Paul Hoogenberk for sharing your enthusiasm and insights with me. Luckily I had some of the best sponsors in my inner circle to whom I own many thanks for helping me to review my work, but also for the nice distractions of my graduation project. Ernst-Jan Mul, I am most grateful for your endless support, words just do not cut it. Hopefully our trip to Indonesia will. To my whole family for their interest in my studies, but specifically my mom and dad for always telling me how proud they are of me. To all my critical friends: Gerard Simons, José de Vries, Margot & Pieter Mul and Miranda Pieron. Your constructive criticism made the difference. To my fellow graduate students of the SEC graduation room; Ammeret, Kees and Merel. Our daily walks and talks kept me inspired.

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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments


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Garcia R Calantone R. (2002). A critical look at technological innovation typology and innovativeness terminology: a literature review. Journal of Product Innovation: 110-132 Kelley, D., Peters, L., and O’Connor, G.C. (2005). ‘Leveraging the Organisational Network for Radical Innovation: Three Broker Models’, Working Paper, Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Lawson, B.R. (1993), Paralel lines of thought, Languages of Design 1 (4): 357-366 Lazonick, W. and O’Sullivan, M., (2000), Maximizing shareholder value: a new ideology for corporate governance, Economy and Society Volume 29 Number 1 February 2000: 13–35 Leifer, R., McDermott, C.M., O’Connor, G.C., Peters, L.S., Rice, M., Veryzer, R.W., (2000), Radical innovation: how mature companies can outsmart upstarts, Harvard Business School Press March, J. G. 1991. Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2: 71-87. McDermott, C.M. O’Connor C.C., 2002, Managing radical innovation: an overview of emergent strategy issues , The Journal of Product Innovation Management 19, 424-438 Merriam Webster online encyclopedia (http://www.merriam-webster.com/) last visited on November 2nd May 2011 Mulder, M. (2001). Competentieontwikkeling in organisaties. Perspectieven en praktijk. ‘s-Gravenhage: Elsevier Bedrijfs Informatie. ISBN 90 6155 992 8. 319 p. O’Connor, G.C., (2008), Major Innovation as a Dynamic Capability: A Systems Approach, Product Innovation Management, 25, p. 313–330 O’Connor, G.C.; Leifer, R.; Paulson, A.P. & Peters, L.P. (2008) Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. 2004. The ambidextrous organization. Harvard Business Review, 82: 74-81. Power of Networks by Karen Stephenson (http://www.drkaren.us/KS_publications01.htm), last visited on 05-03-2012 Radical Innovation Group (2012), http://www.radicalinnovation.com/academic.php, retrieved on February 28th 2012

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Rappaport, A., (1986), Creating shareholder value: The new standard for business performance. New York: Free Press. Rice, M.P., Leifer, R., and O’Connor, G.C. (2002). ‘Commercializing Discontinuous Innovations: Bridging the Gap from Discontinuous Innovaiton Project to Operations’, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 49(4): 330-40 Sorescu, A.B., Chandy, R.K, and Prabhu, C.J.,(2003), Sources and Financial Consequences of Radical Innovation: Insights from Pharmaceuticals Journal of Marketing, Vol. 67 (October 2003), 82–102, p.82 Spencer, L. and Spencer, S. (1993) Competence at Work: A Model for Superior Performance (New York: Wiley). Trott, P. (2002), Innovation Management and New Product Development. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. UWV Kenniscentrum, UWV Kwartaal Verkenning 2010-II, hoofdstuk 4, (http://www.uwv.nl/ Images/UKV%202010-II_tcm26-235102.pdf), last visited on 28 April 2011 Verhoeven, N. (2008), Doing Research: The Hows and Whys of Applied Research, Boom academic Wind, Y. and Crook, C. (2005), The Power of Impossible Thinking, Wharton School Publishing, Upper Saddle River, NJ Verborgen werkloosheid onder ZP’ers in Nieuwsuur. (http://nieuwsuur.nl/onderwerp/316947verborgen-werkloosheid-zzpers.html) , last visited on 20-11-2011 Vermeylen, S. and A. Heene (1999). De Stille Kracht van de Onderneming. Tielt, Lannoo.

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Appendices

Appendices This is the table of contents for the appendices of the graduation thesis of Clemence Simons. The first number of every appendix corresponds to the chapter number. The references to these appendices are found in the text of the graduation report. 1. 1.1.

Appendices for introduction Concept presentation IdeaBooster made by the client before this graduation project

3. 3.1. 3.2. 3.3. 3.4. 3.5. 3.6.

Appendices for problem definition List of participants for interviews in problem definition Topic list of interviews with companies in problem definition Topic list of interviews with independent professionals in problem definition (Dutch) Example report of and unstructured interview in problem definition (Dutch) Mindmaps with outcomes for problems of companies (problem definition) Mindmaps with outcomes for problems of independent professionals (problem definition) Mindmaps with outcomes for the IdeaBooster (problem definition) First outcome of literature study (problem definition) Discussion about the different typologies used in innovation literature (problem definition)

3.7. 3.8. 3.9.

4. 4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. 4.6. 4.7. 4.8. 4.9. 4.10. 4.11. 4.12.

Appendices for problem analysis Topic list for semi-structured interviews (problem analysis) Email with instructions for participants of the interviews (problem analysis) Extensive list of participants for interviews (problem analysis) Example of a transcript from the semi-structured interview (Dutch) Coding list of semi-structured interviews (problem analysis) Classification of codes (problem analysis) Instructions coding-check fellow students (problem analysis) Topic list for feedback sessions (problem analysis) Example presentation of a feedback discussion (problem analysis) Example of a summary report of a feedback discussion Feedback on problem by feedback discussion (problem analysis) Elaboration of the red criteria of the MIC model (problem analysis)

5. 5.1.

Appendices for design brief Outcomes for design brief from feedback discussions (design brief)

6. 6.1. 6.2.

Appendices for conceptualisation Overview of the comparative analysis outcomes (conceptualisation) Outcomes of feedback discussions for design IdeaBooster (conceptualisation)

7. 7.1. 7.2.

Appendices for evaluation Evaluation of reliability using guidelines Verhoeven, 2008 Evaluation of validity using guidelines Verhoeven, 2008

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Designing the IdeaBooster  

Graduation report Clemence Simons for MSC Strategic Product Design and MSc Science Communication

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