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On April 25th and 26th in Paris, IFT and its partner Qmarkets have gathered innovation practitioners from leading European organizations for a rare opportunity to discovers global innovation best practices. These interactive sessions have been used to introduce participants to the combination of field-proven strategies and turn-key software solutions that have helped hundreds of organizations across the globe achieve innovation success.
Eric Gabas, a partner and co-founder of IFT and a speaker at the event, shared some of the best practices discussed.

Leveraging the collective intelligence
One of the challenges we must overcome is that technology and radical innovations are still considered as the only “true innovations”. This is mainly due to the engineering culture that is embedded in many companies and which drives the decisions at the highest levels. In practice, other types of innovation, such as business models, processes, services, channels, brand, and customer engagement continue to be largely overlooked.
Companies that have not yet figured this out face a double penalty.

By ignoring other types of innovation, they are:

  1. Drastically restricting their capacity to create profitable growth. No one innovation type is better than the other, and successful companies make sure to investigate the whole panel of available sources to generate value from Innovation.
  2. Not able to leverage all parts of the organization to innovate more and to create a sustainable culture of experimentation and innovation. This can be considered as an underused asset, just like if a company was not using a part of its channels to sell its products or was not using a given production line to its full capacity to meet market demand.

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How to Tackle the Problem
To overcome this challenge, and as innovation became a top priority, most companies have created diversified corporate innovation programs to generate new innovation projects. Our experience, however, is that without a proper approach in place, the outcome can lead to disappointment. Quantity does not equal quality.
At IFT, we help companies assess their current set of projects and innovation proposals to make sure they consider the different dimensions of each project: alignment with strategy, risk, market potential, ability to execute, innovation type, etc. This assessment process, once built in the practice of the innovation and management teams, helps companies select which projects should be resourced and how their execution should be performed.

We then help the companies feed their innovation pipeline with the right ideas and concepts by leveraging the collective intelligence of their internal teams and external eco-systems. This starts by making sure the right question (linked to strategic arenas) is asked to the right crowd and by ensuring that ideas have a chance to grow before being assessed and decided upon.

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As a recent McKinsey study shows, over 50% of senior leaders feel that companies lack big ideas, work too much in silos and have problems systematically getting good ideas to commercialization.

A well implemented Innovation process and supporting systems goes a long way in addressing those needs.


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