Archivos para octubre, 2010

A very fresh and innovative approach to open innovation is coming from Quebec, Canada: The Problem Conference (Quebec City, 14th December 2010).

The core idea:

  • Turn a conference upside down. Instead of presenting “solutions” and “best practices” to impress the other participants with your successes, present your hardest challenge. Present what you could not solve, and ask openly for help! The (beginning of the) solution then will be co-created with the participants.

Organized by IDTEQ and the Quebec Innovation Council, the hosts invite you to experience open innovation in a new format. Large companies, SMEs, R&D centers and universities will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with this principle by sharing their problems – and co-creating an innovative solution. For one day, proponents of complex problems from various industrial sectors will challenge attendees. The goal is to broaden the understanding of the issue and possibly to seek for potential solutions.

The conference shall become a place where concrete problems of small, medium, and large companies will be discussed to deepen the understanding of the issue and to seek potential solutions. At the same time, this will become a laboratory for experimenting with and implementing open innovation (OI). Participants shall be able to use the intelligence of experts in various fields to find solutions to your problems. While most OI initiatives have been organized on online platforms, this conference shall become one of the first large-scale offline events!

Problems can be submitted within one of three different categories:

  • Innovation Problems: These problems are usually upstream of innovation, but have a significant impact on an organization’s innovation capacity. Such problems are economic, organizational, social, or political in nature.
  • Industrial Problems: Industrial problems with a strong technical component will be submitted by companies facing innovation problems in new technology development or in product design or improvement.
  • Large Scale Problems (with multiple components): At least one large scale problem will be the focus of a group intelligence activity that will involve all participants and will have the potential to advance understanding of the problem. This problem will be submitted by an international organization facing a number of complex innovation issues.

I am personally very proud of this initiative, as it has been born during a workshop in spring of this year. During this workshop, I first provided an introduction into open innovation to an audience of about 50 companies and research institutions from the Quebec region. We then continued with some open space discussions on possible applications and ideas for the Quebec region. The Problem Conference was one of the ideas, which then was followed up and refined by a team in Quebec in the last months.

For more information on this event and the tool, go to http://www.quebec-solutions.com. The conference will be organized in cooperation with the 3rd ISPIM Innovation Symposium. I will participate in person in December and am very curious to see how it will work and what will be the results.

Frank Piller (RWTH/MIT)

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Por definición, una persona con hipermetropía tiene problemas de visión a distancias cortas, pudiendo ver con mayor claridad a distancias largas. En la innovación abierta ha pasado un poco de esto. De hecho cuando nos pusimos a identificar casos de innovación abierta a distintos nives (intra-organizativa, inter-organizativa, mercados de innovación y crowdsourcing) para la serie Personas como, una de las mayores dificultades fue localizar experiencias y herramientas que tuvieran que ver con la innovación abierta intra-organizativa. Y es que ya lo dice el refrán: “Nadie es profeta en su tierra”.

¿Y a cuento de qué viene esto?. Pues a una serie de hechos que han coincidido recientemente.

El primero de ellos es la reciente publicación en el MIT-Sloan del artículo The Collaborative Organization: How to Make Employee Networks Really Work. En este trabajo, Rob Cross, Peter Gray, Shirley Cunningham, Mark Showers y Robert J. Thomas, prueban lo siguiente: “The traditional methods for driving operational excellence in global organizations are not enough. The most effective organizations make smart use of employee networks to reduce costs, improve efficiency and spur innovation.” Estos autores, siguiendo la estela de los primeros trabajos que aplicaban el análisis de redes sociales (social network analysis – SNA) al ámbito organizativo (organizational network analysis – ONA), y que explícitamente mostraron por primera vez lo que era por todos conocido, i.e. que el organigrama oficial no representa la realidad de las dinámicas internas de una empresa, recogen varias claves para obtener el máximo potencial (en términos de eficiencia operativa y capacidad de innovación) de las redes de trabajadores que conforman una empresa. A continuación un extracto de las claves del artículo:

  • Attain benefits of scale through effective global collaboration: Organizations can construct teams to leverage diverse expertise and drive adoption of new ideas across geographies. By carefully studying collaboration challenges across functions and geographies, they can identify gaps and enhance connectivity and best practice transfer in targeted ways.
  • Drive work force engagement and performance: Uncovering the network characteristics of high performers can show employees who play similar roles how to improve their own performance. It can help leaders identify the individuals who energize the organization and how to leverage their contributions.
  • Align collaborative with business partners and external stakeholders: CIOs need to know how effectively their units serve the needs of business stakeholders. By creating a detailed map of the existing cross-departmental relationships, they can see where innovations are occurring, where sufficient support is being provided and where investments should be made.
  • Minimize network inefficiencies and costs: Although collaboration is often seen as a virtue, too much collaboration at too many organizational levels can be a negative. It is important to reduce network connectivity at points where collaboration fails to produce sufficient value.

El segundo hecho fue acceder a una reciente comunicación en TED de Steven Johnson. El título de su comunicación: Where good ideas come from. Y como sólo dura 18 minutos, no voy a decir nada sobre ella ya que sólo conseguiría haceros perder tiempo del disfrute que supone verla.

(Subtítulada el lengua española en Ted)

El tercer hecho es una reciente comunicación realizada por Gary Hamel a través de la plataforma MIX que lleva por título; The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500. En ella propone la necesidad por parte de las empresas de facilitar un nuevo marco de relaciones intra-organizativas para las próximas generaciones de trabajadores, personas que han crecido online y a las que ha denominado como Generación-F (con F de Facebook). Las 12 claves culturales, o puede que mejor dicho, de modelo mental, que Hamel ha identificado como significativas para esta próxima generación de trabajadores, son las siguientes:

  1. All ideas compete on an equal footing.
  2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.
  3. Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
  4. Leaders serve rather than preside.
  5. Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
  6. Groups are self-defining and self-organizing.
  7. Resources get attracted, not allocated.
  8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
  9. Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
  10. Users can veto most policy decisions.
  11. Intrinsic rewards matter most.
  12. Hackers are heroes.

Para los que os interese el tema, el webminar del lunes, 4 de Octubre, puede ser de lo más entretenido, y seguro que provocador: “Managing Millennials: The ‘Employees First, Customers Second’ Experiment.”  

Para terminar, y en línea con los puntos anteriores, simplemente un par de breves videos de Andrew McAfee, autor del libro Enterprise 2.0, que recogen un conjunto de buenas y malas prácticas a la hora de desarollar una Organización 2.0:

Have you mastered the art of getting out of the way?

How do you do

Esperamos que le hayáis encontrado el/un sentido general a las piezas del puzzle presentadas. Por nuestra parte únicamente decir que éstas son prácticas que en nuestro trabajo diario de transferencia industrial tratamos de poner en práctica, en la medida de lo posible, y que, como siempre, tenéis este canal abierto para que podamos intercambiar experiencias al respecto.

Eduardo Castellano y Luis Berasategi