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From Innovation to Incubation: Business Success Through Grassroots Innovation

In today’s rapidly changing world, companies often face challenges while trying to sustain growth. In this presentation I discuss how grassroots innovation ( i.e. from all corners of the organization) can help firms achieve business success. I examine why grassroots innovation is the most natural source of change in an organization and review its many advantages. Using real world examples I explore how firms are shaping their employees’ raw ideas into concrete ventures. Finally I provide a stepwise process which companies can use to help form multidisciplinary teams and refine their ideas into a robust value proposition.

I hope this presentation inspires and motivates you to start boosting both your innovation projects and your bottom-line.

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From Innovation to Incubation: Business Success Through Grassroots Innovation

  1. 1. From Innovation to IncubationBusiness Success Through Grassroots InnovationProf.dr. Stefan StremerschErasmus University Rotterdam IESE Business SchoolRotterdam, the Netherlands Barcelona, Spain © Property of Stefan Stremersch © © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  2. 2. How to Deal with Constant Change?“The rules have changed. In a single generation,revolutions in technology have transformed theway we live, work and do business. (…) We needto out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build therest of the world.” Jon Favreau White House Director of Speechwriting This quote is from Obama’s State of the Union Address (January 2011) © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  3. 3. Building a Culture of InnovationThe greatest challenge to deliver business results iscreating a climate for innovation within theorganization 3 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  4. 4. How to Deal with Constant Change? “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs“The real source of wealth and capitalin this new era is not material things…it is the human mind, the human spirit,the human imagination, and our faithin the future” Steve Forbes 4 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  5. 5. You Need Three Things to Initiate Innovation 5 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  6. 6. Identify unmet needs of yourcustomers. 1 2 3 6 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  7. 7. Find a great solution for suchcustomer needs. 1 2 3 7 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  8. 8. Define a strategy to make profit$from your great $olution. 1 2 3 8 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  9. 9. But How to Unleash Such Creativity and Out-Innovate Competition? 9 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  10. 10. Strategy 1: The Visionary Leader 1. Strong and visionary leadership 2. Ferocious planning: defining all details on execution 3. Capacity to sense customer needs 10 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  11. 11. Risks of Visionary Leader Strategy Lack of sustainability of the “Visionary Leader” model? 11 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  12. 12. Strategy 2: The Lab Elite Accomplishments Bell Labs: Transistor, silicon solar cell, first communication satellites, first cellular telephone systems … 12 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  13. 13. Risks of Lab Elite Strategy:The Rise and Fall of Corporate Labs 13 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  14. 14. Risks of Lab Elite Strategy:Intolerance for Contrarian Spirits Management reaction: “That’s cute but doesn’t use films, so don’t tell anyone about it.” (frog in the kettle) X Steve Sasson was the first to propose a digital camera 14 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  15. 15. Innovation is not the job of the happy few, but the responsibility of MANYThe Lab Elite The Visionary Leader Grassroots Innovation – emerges from the grassroots. It’s the most natural source of change. 15 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  16. 16. Why is Grassroots Innovation Successful? 16 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  17. 17. The Journey of the HMS Beagle 17 © Property of Stefan Stremersch © © Property of Stefan Stremersch © stefan.stremersch@mti2.eu
  18. 18. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)In the Galapagos islands Darwin foundthat genetic variation allowed speciesto adapt to local conditions andimprove survival.Different species of finches in theGalapagos, developed beaks adaptedto the particular type of food theyneeded to eat. 18 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  19. 19. Think of Your Business as a Finch! Experiment and Adapt! 19 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  20. 20. PrinciplesExperiment Incubate Learn(Innovation) (Survival) (Adaptation) 20 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  21. 21. Grassroots Innovation and ExperimentationPrinciple 1: Embrace grassroots experiments as an organicsource of innovation. Experiment Incubate Learn (Innovation) (Survival) (Adaptation) 21 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  22. 22. Survival and IncubationPrinciple 1: Embrace grassroots experiments as an organicsource of innovation.Principle 2: Incubation allows you to experiment on a scalewhere failure is survivable. Experiment Incubate Learn (Innovation) (Survival) (Adaptation) 22 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  23. 23. Learn, Adapt and TransformPrinciple 1: Embrace grassroots experiments as an organicsource of innovation.Principle 2: Incubation allows you to experiment on a scalewhere failure is survivable.Principle 3: Gather market feedback, learn and use suchinsights to adapt and transform your organization. Experiment Incubate Learn (Innovation) (Survival) (Adaptation) 23 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  24. 24. Adapt and Transform: Three KeyBenefits of Grassroots Innovation Organic Innovation People Changing Development Mindset 24 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  25. 25. Adapt and Transform:Boosting Organic Innovation Organic Innovation People ChangingDevelopment Mindset 25 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  26. 26. Successful Organic Innovation at 3M 26 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  27. 27. Adapt and Transform: Changing Mindset Organic Innovation People ChangingDevelopment Mindset 27 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  28. 28. Changing Mindset: Grassroots vs. Top-Down Philosophies Vision Challenge SupportTop-Down Grassroots Management Inspires Management Inspires Management and Engages Participatory and Challenges Employees Employees, Bringing Experimentation Values to Innovate and Take out their Energy and Responsibility Helping Them Grow Management Supports Management Employees By Management Defines a Challenges Employees Allocating the Clear, Deliberate and to Implement and Resources they Need to Bold Strategy Execute the Company’s Implement the Strategy Company’s Strategy 28 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  29. 29. Adapt and Transform: Developing People Organic Innovation People ChangingDevelopment Mindset 29 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  30. 30. Grassroots Innovation Programs: Developing Your Employees Unique Learning and Motivate Staff to Skill Development Coaching Opportunities Raise Their Own BabyYour Staff Helps You Define Promote Networking Reward and Support Your the Future of Your Firm and Relationship Building Most Innovative Employees 30 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  31. 31. Grassroots Innovation:Create Passionate New Leaders 31 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  32. 32. How to ImplementGrassroots Innovation? 32 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  33. 33. THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTEDIS TO STOP TALKING AND BEGINDOING! 33 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  34. 34. Grassroots Innovation: A Four-Step Process of Business Experimentation 1. First, inspire your employees to share their innovative ideas.2. Help employees form winning teamsto experiment with their ideas. 3. Identify high-potential teams and build a business case to support their experiments.4. Support and launch the most promising ideas. 34 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  35. 35. Real-World Example of a Grassroots Innovation Process 35 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©
  36. 36. Prof. Dr. Stefan StremerschWhy not follow me on Twitter? Follow @StStremersch Innovation is a journey… …not a destination. 36 © Property of Stefan Stremersch ©