Finn.no gets innovation

Statoil ASA and Snøhetta Design are listed as Norway’s two most innovative companies*Now, Finn.no is aiming to top both of them for the title of “one of the world’s most innovative companies”.

Finn.no has a long history of innovation. The company was founded on the very idea of disruptive innovation itself. The idea that the newspaper industry was facing a significant disruption in the market for ads. While the realization hit management back in 1996, it was not until the year 2000 today’s business model was launched.  Resistance to launching what came to be called Finn.no was originally stiff, as it would cannibalize an existing cash cow for many of Norway’s leading newspapers. According to sources close to the process, “Finn.no just barely made it past the decisionmakers ”. Yet, as Clayton Christensen frequently says, “If you don’t have to courage to disrupt yourself, somebody else will”.

In Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Solution, he recommend “that organizations develop internal innovation programs, which operate independently within the organization for the purpose of creating disruptive innovations, even if they will eventually undercut their main business. Better to disrupt yourself than to have someone else do it for you”(Gamme, 2006).

For the founding newspapers, this of course, was just what happened. Today, Finn.no is both a shooting star and cash cow with 44 % profit margin on revenues of NOK 1.1 bn. I don’t think you’ll find a lot of Newspapers with that kind of result margin these days.  Today, Schibsted’s more traditional newspaper business units (Norway and abroad) hover between 2 % and 18 % profit margins.

Finn.no’s amazing numbers are all thanks to innovation.

Since 2006, Finn.no has been working to define and strengthen its innovation process. (recommend reading this excellent blog post by Eyvind Larre, Finn.no head of innovation lab).

Today Finn.no is building its innovation engine further. Jens Hauglum was hired as Innovation Manager in May. on June 14th, the company took out an ad for the position of Innovation Catalyst.

It’s this ad that got our attention. 

We meet a lot of companies that talk about innovation. Some hire for innovation. But this ad is perhaps the most insightful innovation job posting we have ever seen in Norway. Many CEOs could learn from it.

In our upcoming paper “Where’s Your Innovation Academy?” we map out a holistic model for building a truly innovative company. Analyzing Finn.no using this model reveals just this kind of a highly innovative company.

The holistic model for innovation has the following steps:

Why: Strategic Context

Finn.no er et av Norges mest lønnsomme og mest besøkte nettselskaper, og er ledende i verden innen sitt forretningsområde. Finn.no er derfor en av spydspissene i Schibsted-konsernet innen online-virksomhet.

(Finn.no is one of Norway’s most profitable web sites, and a world leader in its field.)

To stay grow further, innovation is an absolute requirement (our comment)

What: Vision
“FINN har ambisjon om å være blant de mest innovative selskapene i verden’’ (Finn’s ambition is to be among the world’s most innovative companies)

How: three enablers (people, culture and processes)

“Dette skal vi få til ved å etablere innovasjonsprosesser og innovasjonskultur i verdensklasse’’(We’ll acheive this by establishing worldclass innovation processes and innovation culture)

Speaking for the people side; the CEO is ‘’ Passionate about innovation and people development”. The company has a number of people working on innovation processes. And Finn.no is ranked as Norway’s #1 Great Place to Work. 

Knowing there’s a strong link between employee engagement (measured in GPTW) and innovation capacity, it’s reasonable to assume a strong people-practice for innovation at Finn.no

Based on our work in Norway, Finn.no should be a candidate for one of the country’s most innovative companies already.

We’ve allowed ourselves to paste the entire ad below. We will be showing this to a lot of Norwegian HR-directors. There’s no need to be based in Silicon Valley to develop the innovation engine for tomorrow. Finn.no is doing it right here, right now. Well done!

Finn.no seeking Innovation Catalyst
(see the full ad here)

FINN.no har på sine 12 år rukket å få praktisk talt hele Norges befolkning som fornøyde brukere. Det er vel ikke utenkelig at akkurat du har svidd av en time eller tre her også? Slikt blir det fornøyde eiere av, og etter hvert 330 engasjerte medarbeidere som sitter samlet i Oslo sentrum. Markedsplassen vår er en braksuksess, men vi har ingen planer om å bli late og fornøyde av den grunn. FINN er en viktig del av mediekonsernet Schibsted og består av markedene FINN eiendom, FINN bil, FINN jobb, FINN torget, FINN reise og FINN oppdrag.

FINNs verdier som preger oss i alt vi gjør:
SULT – PRESISJON – TAKHØYDE – HUMØR

Innovasjonskatalysator

FINN har ambisjon om å være blant de mest innovative selskapene i verden. Dette skal vi få til ved å etablere innovasjonsprosesser og innovasjonskultur i verdensklasse. Innovasjon er en kjernekompetanse i FINN og sammen skal vi skape de beste markedsplassene, både nye og eksisterende. Sentralt i arbeidet med å oppnå dette er teamet som jobber med FINN Way of Innovation. Teamet eier målet om innovasjonsprosesser i verdensklasse og er sentral i arbeidet med å sette retning for, og implementere, måten FINN jobber med innovasjon på.

Vi er nå på jakt etter en ny kollega. Du skal, som stillingstittelen innebærer, være en katalysator for innovasjonsarbeidet i FINN. Du vil også være en viktig kulturbærer for innovasjonsarbeidet. Stillingen rapporterer til leder for innovasjon.

Arbeidsoppgaver:

Gartner: sørge for at det er jordsmonn, næring og hageredskap nok til at ideer sås, spirer og gror. Dette innebærer bla. at man skal eie prosesser og verktøy knyttet til idegenerering og verktøy, både online og ved hjelp av workshops og kreative teknikker. En viktig oppgave blir å hjelpe markedsplassene med å kjøre idekampanjer, verdiøke, prioritere og score ideer

Los: hjelpe nye og eksisterende markedsplasser med å implementere innovasjonsprosesser og verktøy. Dette innebærer bla. å være subject matter expert på innovasjon og ha sterke prosesslederegenskaper. Du må samtidig være dyktig på å bringe lærdom fra markedsplassene tilbake til den felles utviklingen av innovasjonsarbeidet i FINN

Kvalifikasjoner:

  • Erfaring fra innovasjonsarbeid, helst i større virksomhet
  • Erfaring fra å drive Idea Management prosesser, gjerne med erfaring i bruk av verktøy
  • Fasiliteringskompetanse og people skills
  • Prosess- og prosjektledelse
  • Metodekompetanse innen innovasjon
  • Gjerne erfaring fra startups
  • Erfaring fra konsulentvirksomhet vil bli vektlagt

Vi kan tilby

  • Konkurransedyktige betingelser
  • Gode pensjons- og forsikringsordninger
  • Bedriftshytter og leiligheter
  • Fri avis, telefon, nettbrett og internett.
  • Treningsmuligheter med eget treningsrom
  • Kontorer sentralt i Oslo sentrum
  • Et stimulerende, sosialt og utviklende arbeidsmiljø med dedikerte mennesker.

* note
Listed as in being the only two Norwegian companies in the most widely used international rankings. These include BusinessWeek’s , Fast Company’s MIC50, CNN/Fortune Magazine, and more.
Other rankings might provide other results. Valid as of time of writing.

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Back in our Brazilian office

We’ve been back in our Brazilian office for over a week now.
It is an absolute delight. Our passion for Brazil is only growing.

Last year we opened up Villa Vista Taiba, as our Brazilian Management camp, bringing the first executive client team for an extensive strategy seminar. This year, we’re not bringing any clients.

Instead, we bring paper, lots and lots of paper. We’ve packed some eight Moleskin Notebooks, some 3000 pages of notes and sketches and, of course, three copies of “Dream Bigger: Your Personal Innovation Sketchbook”. All of it containing our on-going research and background work for our upcoming book “Strategy Tools for the Next Generation”. Due late 2013, we plan to spend the coming weeks for a deep dive into the material we have collected.

Over the coming 80+ days we aim to write, reflect, surf, kitesurf, meet up with our Brazilian friends and have ample time to think, chill and generally enjoy the Brazilian lifestyle.  Our daily batch of homegrown coconuts are a daily fix as we slowly adapt to the local conditions.  As one of my colleagues at BI Norwegian Business School recently said: “simply enjoy”.




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Dream Bigger: shipping in record numbers

SHL Dubai, Fokus Bank, Statoil, Cisco, SR-Bank, Halliburton, DNB, Kaospilots, Peanuts, Webstep and Noreco are just some of the firms getting their hands on “Dream Bigger: Your Personal Innovation Sketchbook” in its first ten days. Already, the team behind the book has shipped 40 per cent of the first edition and the second edition is already being planned.

Dubai, The US, Germany, Brazil and Denmark are some of the countries receiving the book these hectic first weeks.  We particularly love the fact that a lot of early readers have come back to buy ten-packs for their teams. The book ships in packs of ten, so it’s an easy order for anyone.

We are also happy to hear some of the early reviews:

“A masterpiece”
– Kaospilot, IT-consultant

“Sheets of paper has never brought so much inspiration. Consider me a Pirate!’’
– Project Manager

“Love it! Where can I get more for my team?”
– Leadership developer

What are your thoughts? Join the Book’s Facebook Group and connect on Twitter. Join us a Dream Bigger hops around the globe.

Remember; “There are no limits but the self-imposed”

Dream Bigger: shipping in record numbers

Partnership with Athenas

We are superbly happy to announce a partnership with professional  speaking organization Athenas. Athenas is one of Scandinavia’s leading agencies for keynote talks and booking speakers.

Christian Rangen was just invited to join the team at Athenas as one of their key note speakers. His  talks focus on strategy, innovation, leadership and social media.

At Athenas, Christian will be joining internationally recognized speakers like Dr. Jonas Ridderstråle, Martin Lindstrøm, Martin Roll and You Tube hero Tor Haugnes.

For more information, see Athenas.no 

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New face; new ambitions at Engage // Innovate

We are proud to announce Kristian Reinertsen joining us as Project Manager. Kristian will be in charge of global social media, marketing and sales of Dream Bigger: Your Personal Innovation Sketchbook. He’ll be running the project from May to late August.

Read his excellent introduction to the book’s growing Facebook Group:

I haven’t formally introduced myself to all of you who’ve joined Christian Rangen’s Dream Bigger group. So here’s the short introduction:

As you well can see, my name is Kristian Reinertsen, and I am one of the student mass at BI Norwegian Business School. I’m currently undertaking my second year of a Bachelor in Marketing Management.

On the side, I’m a 21-year old father to an amazing son who’s about to turn 3. Going into our sixth year, me and his mom is still together, planning to get ourselves a lovely house somewhere in Stavanger (hopefully, before I major at BI).

So why am I here?

I would describe myself as an open individual. I speak my mind. I openly say out my dreams, and I pursue them with passionate eager and empathy.

Some would say I was lucky to have the opportunity to get Christian’s course “Innovation & Entrepeneurship” at BI, and by chance; deeply relate to it’s content, thinking and possibilities. I would agree.

Much of what’s been talked about: Innovation, Creativity, Passion, Reframing, Restructuring, Design-thinking, Re:thinking, Pirate Thinking, Think Different-thinking and so much more; resonnates with something inside me.

I believe “Innovation” (which is a subject on “everybody’s” agenda today) will rewoke the “humanities”; as it becomes an integral part of ethics, of philosophy and change in business cultures around the world. It captures a part of the human spirit, or as Keynes’ would put it: A part of our animal spirits.

Long story short, I’ve been asked by Christian to try out this project. I happily said yes, knowing that I didn’t know very much of how to market a book. All that I did know, was that it’s a really cool book. I wrote a short review of it, which I will post after this.

My personal goal this summer: Create engagement and conversation around the book’s value proposition: “Inspire to do more; Dream Bigger”. And of course, to sell a helluva lot of books…

“Imagine if every one of your employees, at every level, and at every location, had been trained in the principles, skills and tools of innovation.”
– Skarzinsky & Gibson

That’s our goal with Dream Bigger, and it will continue with “Strategy Tools for The Next Generation” next year. Consider this a preview. A start on the journey towards better understanding (“beyond the buzz-word”) of the mind-set that drives businesses forward into successful adventures.

I hope you guys will join us. Please post anything you find interesting on the subject. I will be commenting. We want pictures, sketches, inspirational quotes, YouTube clips, personal experiences, stories etc.. We’re also interested in how you use or are planning to use your very own Personal Innovation Sketchbook!

You can connect with him at @DreamBiggerBook.

Welcome onboard.

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Surving Nokia?

“They are trying to survive,” said one analyst “They can’t continue like this.”

“This is harder than we thought and we’re having to make deeper changes,” says CEO Elop.

Question is; what would you do?

Preparing this fall’s Strategy courses at BI – Norwegian Business School. And Nokia will be one of the case studies. But rather than using HBR cases, we use the real world. Few cases are better than Nokia and its on-going struggles. This Bloomberg article lays out a great analysis.

Surving Nokia?