2014 has been a most amazing year. Looking back, we’ve had the pleasure of working on challenging projects with clients around the world, all the time while increasing our understanding and tools around strategy and innovation.
Here’s a brief recap of some 2014 highlights
– Hello, Learning to Work Differently with Strategy
The definite highlight of January was Engage // Innovate’s first ever Strategy Summit: Learning to work differently with strategy. CEO’s and senior business leaders, strategists and innovation managers gathered for a full-day event on new strategy thinking. Guest speakers included Tesla’s Scandinavian Director, Statoil’s Head of Strategy (DPI), Zaptec’s CEO and super-visual-strategy Facilitator Holger Nils Pohl. One of our guests called it “Amazing, flawless: impossible to recommend any improvements”
– Guten Tag, Munich
February started of with the amazing, 7th annual, Front End of Innovation conference taking place in Munich. Nearly 300 global innovators gathered for 3 ½ intense days of creativity, innovation, design, strategy and of course, networking. Engage // Innovate ran a half-day workshop on Strategy Tools for the Next Generation, with participants from Brazil, Kuwait, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK, Australia and many more. Our Kuwait petroleum Manager simply stated, “I love it”.
– Beamed into Italian living rooms
When we started the year, we never expected to be featured on Italian TV – but that’s just what happened when we travelled to Venice, Italy for the Italian Front End of Innovation conference. Our half-day workshop on Strategy Tools for the Next Generation drew a large crowd and a crew from Italian RAI TV. The Italian event was unique in so many ways; but it’s going to be hard to beat the evening view on Venice’s Madonna’s Della Salute while discussing new strategy thinking with global executives from McLaren (UK), Mundipharma (Singapore) and Dolby (US).
March also saw us travel to London for a workshop with our friends from Hong Kong’s Design Centre for a potential workshop in the Asian metropol together with our German partner, Holger Nils Pohl.
– Client engagements all over the place
April was a month filled with client engagements, speeches, lectures and several workshops. The highlight was travelling to the fantastic Kaospilots venue in Aarhus, together with our Danish client Viking Supply for a two-day strategy workshop. The team – and students – at the Kaospilots provided a perfect backdrop to two full days of business model innovation.
- Back to Italy, for our first ever Italian client
In May we took on our biggest client to date, RB or Reckiett Benckiser. A global FMCG company with 19 powerbrands like Vanish, Airwick, Finish and Durex – and some 36.000 employees across nearly 200 countries. Late May we travelled back to Mira, Venice, Italy for a two-day workshop on New Strategy Tools and Digital Business Model Innovation. Pietro Caputo, R&D and Innovation Manager at RB called it: ”In my 12 years with this company, this is the best breakthrough innovation session I’ve ever been to”.
- Designing strategies with our Singaporean client
June started off with a two-day workshop with our first ever Singaporean client, Mundipharma. The workshop worked through a range of new strategy and innovation tools, including The Strategic Innovation Canvas, The Innovation Pyramid and the Business Model Canvas. It brings globalization close, when the client from Singapore brings in global expertise from Brazil, Germany, Dubai, Columbia and India into a single workshop. Great foundation for kicking of wild ideas in an established industry.
- Retiring to Brazil and Villa Vista Taiba
Time to think, write and spend serious quality time with the family.
August – Meet our new associate, Inger Hanne
August came along, and we finally got our latest associate , Inger Hanne Vikshåland on-board. Inger Hanne joined us to strengthen our capacity around marketing, events, consulting and workshop facilitation – but her true skill and talent lies in public speaking. After returning from our internal strategy workshop at Villa Vista Taiba, Brazil, she quickly started lining up speaking engagements on marketing, digital and social media.
The end of August brought us the ONS, where we spoke at the ONS Centercourt on entrepreneurship. The previous day we had the pleasure of listening to Elon Musk and former Statoil CEO, Helge Lund discuss the changes in the global energy industry. Musk brought along just the “Pirate thinking mindset” we love to see to shake up industries.
September – action packed Innovation Management
September was one of those full on, fully booked months with workshops, teaching, a range of talks and wrapped up with a four day road trip. The highlight was a two-day Innovation Management program we’ve been running in collaboration with Tekna. Combining innovation and strategy with Norwegian engineers, allows us to look beyond our current energy paradigm and into the emerging field of space mining; notably led by Planetary Resources.
October – Innovation Dock getting ready
All through the year we have quietly worked on our latest project; Innovation Dock: a 1300 m2 innovation hub, office space, co-working space, strategy center, Academy and Accelerator located in Stavanger, Norway. While we’ve been at it for some 10+ months, October was our pre-launch month and it was a great pleasure to finally announce to the world our latest venture. We look forward to seeing (nearly) everyone there during 2015.
November – Strategic innovation in the global oil & gas industry
November was a great month! It kicked off with the Executive Education program we’ve developed in collaboration with BI – Norwegian Business School. The program, Strategic Innovation in the Global oil & gas industry, helps build the skills, confidence and the tools for better innovation in an industry that is more comfortable cutting costs than innovation. Run as an in-company executive program for one of the world’s largest oil service companies, 24 participants worked days and nights designing new, innovative strategies, business ideas and business model portfolios for a company looking for new growth ventures. During the closing presentations, The CEO stated, “…this was far above my expectations”.
Mid-November took us to Vienna for the incredible Global Peter Drucker Foundation Forum 2014. By far one of the best strategy events we’ve attended, Gary Hamel, Rita McGrath, Bill Fischer, Clayton Christensen and John Hagel III were just a few of the 27 speakers lined up during the 2 intense days. Notably impressive by the Foundation, was the media collaboration with Harvard Business Press and impressive use of all social channels, with Twitter drawing the most traffic.
December – Strategy work & Strategy Summit 2015
The year’s last month was literally consumed with four projects:
#1 We got a new, very exciting strategy client at the very end of the year – requiring deep research and client engagement.
#2 Zaptec – the energy game-changer – the first investment in Engage // Innovate Ventures’ portfolio, has impressively reached milestone after milestone, causing us to increasingly focus time and energy on working with the senior leadership on strategy and business development.
#2 Our second annual Strategy Summit: Transformation takes place on January 29th, requiring intensive work on program design, personal invitations and deep thinking. The 2015 theme is Transformation: learning to lead strategic transformation. We ask how established companies can radically transform themselves or their industries – before it is too late. Keynote speakers include co-founder and COO of Shackelton Energy, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Transplanetary and VP Open Innovation at DSM.
Join us on January 29th for the 2nd annual Strategy Summit
# 3 Finally, Innovation Dock is all set to open and the business models and strategy behind Innovation Dock has kept us worked day and night.
We want to thank all our partners, clients and friends around the world for an amazing year. We look forward to the chance to collaborate in the coming 20+ years.
We are, mildly put, supremely excited to get started and see what 2015 will bring.
Wish everyone a highly innovative start to the new year.