Where does innovation come from? 6 advice to improve your organization
"Ladies & gentlemen, please have a seat, turn off your phone, relax and enjoy the play." This is the worst case scenario that you can live in your executive life. Don’t be a silent spectator of the innovative process. Whether you are CEO, CFO, CTO,
CMO, COO, you role is to invite your peers to innovate. No, innovation is not only technological/digital and yes, you have no other option but to dive in it. Stop waiting for the others to do your job. Let’s play. Be creative, be innovative.
If in the 90’s innovation was mostly driven by technological upgrading, for example, vinyl to tape, tape to compact disc, compact disc to mp3, today things have changed. Even if R&D and innovation cannot be opposed, they are not synonymous. Twitter, which has totally disrupted the way we are communicating and sourcing information, had only 2 patents filed at the end of 2013. How then to define Innovation? From incremental steps which upgrade the existing to radical creations and unprecedented marketing, innovation appears in many forms. Traditional marketing & sales can be shaken up. Birchbox is selling free sample products. Service and usage can be updusted. Netflix is transforming what we watch on TV and how we watch it. Industrial designs can be upgraded :Ecomotors are improving the efficiency of the combustion engine. Business-models can be reinvented: Uber is disrupting the way we use taxis.
The funding sitcom
Back in Facebook’s early days, Mark Zukerberg played a dangerous game with a famous venture capital fund, showing up hours late to a meeting, and wearing pyjamas, then however presenting a powerpoint titled “The Top Ten Reasons You Should Not Invest”. Rumor also says that Zuckerberg used to carry two sets of business cards : One with CEO, the other with “I’m the CEO…bitch!”. Beyond the comic aspect, this story is symptomatic of one problem encountered by many innovators: money brings a part of shadow that could sometimes dilute CEOs hegemony. Is this bad? Not sure, fear is not rational but fear is real. Can innovation be self-financed without the intervention of VC funds? Banks are working on that, allowing loans based on intellectual property guarantees.
Valuation or protection
Historically, the role of intellectual property was to protect owner’s, innovator’s, and inventor’s rights. IP is increasingly shifting to a more strategic role with intangible assets in companies’ portfolios taken as guarantees for loans or baselines for strategic acquisitions. A good example is Google’s acquisition of Motorla for $ 12.5 billion in 2012, and sale less than two years later to Lenovo for nearly 4.3 times less (without the portofolio of 17,000 patents that could be valuated at approximately $10 billion). Chief IPs are now, in addition to reporting to General Counsels, dealing more and more with CFOs or sometimes even included in executive committees.
Find 6 advice for your company to emphasize innovation :
Advice 1: Software and hardware: An inevitable convergence for disruption
Advice 2: No choice, but to digitalize
Advice 3: Leverage the telecom pressure
Advice 4: Get ready for the Green wave!
Advice 5: Let the lifesciences transformation to the new age begin!
Advice 6: The media new era
Written by H.W (@hugo_weber)
Picture credit : Lola Benzazon
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