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I had the opportunity to be the opening speaker last Thursday at the European Innovation Conference at Legoland in Billund, Denmark. What a great place to have a conference that was focused open innovation. Attended by over 300 of Europe’s largest companies, the attendee list read like a stock market trading board. Most of the attendees were responsible for open innovation, R&D, product development or lines of business. While the titles varied, what kept these people up at night was the same – how to get their companies to be innovative, how to capture and collaborate on ideas, and then what to do with those ideas once they got them. It didn’t matter if it was an airplane manufacturer or a coffee roasting company – their challenges were the same.
My presentation generated a lot of inquiry and conversation with the conference attendees, so I thought everyone might enjoy reading an excerpt of it.
The title of the presentation was "a tale of three innovators" – and I talked about three companies and how they approached innovation and the results they have realized. The journey to innovation for most companies begins with, what we call in America, a reality moment. That moment can come in many forms - a failed product, lost market share, a new competition, financial crisis or very unhappy customers. Research has shown that 50% of products that are launched fail. And that 50% of R&D investment into developing new products does not generate any revenue – ever. The reality moment forces management to acknowledge that they must change how products are defined and developed.
The journey to innovation has 5 steps:
Next week I'll go into detail on the three innovators, who they are, and where they are on their journey.