“We will fight our battles not on the low road of commoditization but on the high road of innovation.”
Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony
October 23, 2007: Wireless innovation firm, Waleli, has launched Innovation Fource, a new concept to help crystallise inventive thinking and speed up the creation of new, innovative, wireless-driven products.
Innovation Fource is aimed at large corporate organisations for whom fostering a culture of innovation and fresh thinking, and accepting novel ideas is often one of their biggest challenges.
A recent global study by IBM* showed that 65% of chief executives and other leaders are placing increasing emphasis on differentiating themselves through innovation in the basics of their business models.
However, the study goes on to show that looking through CEOs’ top ten innovation obstacles, the majority of issues reside somewhere within their own organization. Culture and process were cited as among the most significant hurdles.
How Innovation Fource helps stimulate innovation
Innovation Fource is an external, interactive workshop session involving four market technology strategists from Waleli and four attendees from the participant organisation. Waleli’s market technology strategists bring a unique combination of an understanding of market trends and consumer behaviour, and knowledge of what is possible from a technical perspective.
As preparation for the workshop, the strategists take an in-depth look at the participant company’s individual design challenges, as well as considering the various trends in marketing and patterns of consumer behaviour for the target segment. Completing the preparation work in advance ensures that creativity and ideas generation, in line with the participant organization’s brief, remain the focus of the workshop.
Throughout the brainstorm, which is professionally facilitated, two sketch artists draw out almost all the ideas and post them around the room. Recording the images in a visual as well as written format helps to crystallise the thinking related to that idea.
At the end of the session, the results are grouped together, reviewed and short-listed to four new products or applications. More detailed drawings of the four best ideas, together with a written description of the concept, are prepared, giving the client four concrete product proposals to take back to their organization. Waleli does not claim intellectual property related to the four final design ideas.
Unique and fast turnaround from “big idea” to proof of concept
The truly unique element of Waleli’s Innovation Fource session is the transformation of the brainstorm’s results from a “big idea” to something more tangible.
Siete Hamminga, CEO of Waleli explains, “There are lots of ideas companies out there – but the challenge lies in the follow-up. Waleli is not just a brainstorming company – we actually take the idea and turn it into something real.”
From the four short-listed ideas, Waleli takes (usually) one idea and brings it to proof of concept stage. A series of focus groups, called Streetwise, ensure that end-user insight is kept front-of-mind throughout this development process.
The Boston Consulting Group recently completed its third annual global survey of senior executives on innovation. The report’s key findings show that innovation remains a top strategic focus, with 66% of executives surveyed ranking it a top-three priority and 67% of respondents saying that their companies will increase spending on innovation in 2007.
The full report can be found at the following link: http://www.bcg.com/publications/files/2006_Innovation_Survey...
One company to have experienced Waleli’s Innovation Fource workshops first hand is Royal Philips Electronics, a global leader in healthcare, lifestyle and technology.
Rick Harwig, CTO Philips Research commented: “At Philips we have adopted Open Innovation as our method of working. We team up with academic and industrial partners who have competencies and interests complementary to our own, join forces with industry peers on standardization and create momentum in the future directions of technology we jointly aspire to, and are active in establishing strong local networks of leading industries and research institutes that help top technology regions to grow. As part of this policy, Philips has opened up its High Tech Campus in Eindhoven to external companies, offering them a highly innovative infrastructure as well as active engineering support.” **
Siete Hamminga, CEO of Waleli, added: “Innovation is always in or out of fashion, and gets rediscovered as a growth enabler every few years. All too often, large corporates make grand declarations about innovation which is followed by mediocre execution that produces anaemic results. Innovation Fource is designed to help large enterprises get over the “not invented here” syndrome and focus purely on product conception with no internal political agenda attached.”
* “Expanding the Innovation Horizon: Global CEO study 2006” by IBM Global Business Services
Waleli is one of the new breed of independent high-tech companies that look for ways to apply the latest technologies in innovative products or services, rather than being driven by (or tied to) specific technologies.
Waleli develops and markets products under its own brand; and also works in partnership with larger organisations like Philips and Siemens to help them identify new product concepts and ‘fast-track’ their development.
The company was formed in 2002, and is based in central Amsterdam. It completed its second round of financing in June 2006.
For further information:
Lesley Booth & David Mieny, Six Degrees
Tel: + 44 (0) 1628 480280
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
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