Today saw us deeply engaged in presentations going non-stop from 08:45 to 18:45. Brain food; yes. Mental overload; absolutely.
The morning session had a series of great presentations from GE; presenting the company’s innovation process. Then moving on to Gen3 and a superb panel debate on how companies use customer studies to create strategic foresight.
We ran an active Twitter feed all through the morning, concluding with this statement by Kodak’s senior director: “#Kodak: 12 years ago we had the digital camera. But consumers did not what it. That must be the conclusion of the century. #winovc2011”
Following lunch in 25 degrees and sun (not like Norway these days..), we were delighted to hear Nokia’s efforts on global open innovation. He shared some great insights and left no doubt; Nokia is going through the cultural transition of the century. Personally, I wonder, will I be able to ask students in 2018, “Do you know what Nokia is……..?”………”They used to make phones”………
Using Nokia extensively for our strategy and innovation classes, we are following the company closely these days. History has seen few cases of sudden, brutal disruption like the one Nokia is going through right now.
Paul Isherwood of GSK gave a great talk, titled “The dark side of open innovation – how to avoid the pitfalls”. What stood out in Paul’s great talk today was his question:” how to raise the probability of success?”. His answer: Passion.
Paul is the first speaker so far, who’s really put an emphasis on the engagement side of the innovation equation. Quoting work from Birgitta Sandberg at Turku, “Passion is the key”. Now, as Paul said, Passion has to be generated individually and then bottom-up. He described how GSK uses a peer-to-peer system where people can vote on “the biggest risktakers”, “the innovation maestros”, “the fusionists” and other titles. These titles, in GSK’s operating model, are recognition for being the driving force, the passionate ones, in the innovation engine. This, said Paul, was far more effective and powerful than rewards. “Behaviour for innovation comes from recognition, not rewards”.
Rounding of the day was Open innovation expert Danish Stefan Lindegard. He blended Open innovation and social medias for a thought-provoking and challenging talk. Much like Hamel, Lindegard challenge companies to completely rewire themselves for a truly open innovation paradigm. A paradigm where social media tools are 100 % integrated into the corporate structure. A paradigm not with a single Facebook or Linkedin site, but with an entire digital eco-system; all hyperconnected. This, he believes, requires managers (if they are not already too old) to move from digital visitors to becoming digital natives; i.e. fluent and confident across all digital platforms.
How fluent is your corporate team in your digital eco-system?
It’s interesting to see how learning happens during such a conference. Today was stuffed with great speakers, leaving limited time for dialogue and interaction. Introduce Twitter. As the day proceeded more and more people logged on to Twitter, using the emerging hashtags #winovc and #winovc2011. Here the exchange of input and creation of shared meaning took place in a digital space, while the physical space was engaged in a one-way monologue. At one point, a Norwegian (one of us), a Dane (Stefan), a Spaniard (Juan) and a Brazilian (Tatiane, of Itau) were silently Tweeting and retweeting, while seated only a few meters apart. I’m bringing this format into my classroom in Norway for some upcoming management courses.