Thursday, December 13, 2012

Value Management in action: NBN Co. talking to Whirlpool

The Harvard Business Review and McKinsey are running an 'Innovating Innovation' competition, and I posted a story there about how NBN Co. started talking to consumers on Whirlpool (and theory behind).

My argument is:

- for a long time NBN Co. wouldn't engage on Whirlpool

- debate raged on Whirlpool over the pros and cons of the NBN

- we wanted to hear answers from NBN Co. on Whirlpool to set the record straight

- feedback from Whirlpool was important for NBN Co. to hear, to feedback into the pricing, design and strategy of the NBN

- this engagement is an innovation, a significant shift in the way NBN Co. did business, with a good chance of making a better NBN.

If you agree or disagree or would like to comment,
- please add a comment at the competition (login required)

- please like or dislike (no login required).
Very happy to have your feedback below or on mixprize. There is more technical (innovation, customer value theory) discussion which I haven't included here, but you can see on mixprize or in other blog posts

Link to competition entry again:
If you want to add to the story, sign up to Mixprize and become a joint posting author. All welcome...
This image takes me back to the beginning of this research, and shows the evolution from Innovation theory, adding Kim and Mauborgne's (2005) Blue Ocean Strategy work (Value Innovation) to reach a synthesis in Value Management.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Innovating Innovation Challenge

Harvard Business Review and McKinsey are running a challenge (due 07.01.13) to answer the question:

How do we make innovation an everyday, everywhere capability in our organizations?

This is part of the M-Prize website: "solving the toughest management challenges together".
So far there have been 36 entries, and you can add a story or a hack. Visitors can like or comment on your entry and the leader so far has 8 likes and 15 comments. So get your Innovation thinking caps on and share your best of breed Innovation ideas with the community.

This is a great oppurtunity to expose your Innovation thinking to some of the leaders in the Innovation field. I will add something in about Value and Innovation, since I am looking to publicise the results of my thesis. This challenged is a great opportunity compared to the Academy of Management conference (papers due Jan 15), or Best Dissertation Award (due Feb 1).

Gary Hamel, Innovation Professor and guru is sponsoring the challenge. See his intro video:
Gary Hamel: Are you really serious about innovation?

Some initial ideas of what I could add to the challenge:
  • Value Management: ongoing sensing of value rather than Innovation Management
  • Value Leadership vs Value Management: giving customers what they want vs what they need
  • Value concepts: value meanings, value practices, supporting concepts (attitude, emotion)
  • Value model: process, attitude, emotion centrality
  • Emotion as a mechanism to cut through incommensurable value properties
  • Defining innovation: new and different vs new value
  • Customer centricity rather than process centricity; emphasising voice of the customer in a dynamic environment with high uncertainty
The last is my initial point of emphasis. But maybe there need to be  series of entries that build the story I think there is too much to put into one entry. Perhaps the story starts with listening to the customer first. The second step might be defining our identity so as to prevent facing a challenge or answering the question. What if better innovation everywhere means doing innovation differently, and hence the need for this challenge...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Matisse embraces simplicity

The Economist reflects on two Matisse paintings
this week.
"The exhibition explores Matisse’s experimental process, in which he painted pairs, trios or series of the same subject, re-evaluating and refining his work. He struggled to “strip painting of all inessentials”, to create pure “essence” and to “capture the true matter of things.” It was an emotional, aesthetic and intellectual journey as the artist studied and compared the multiple images he made, rejecting some elements and adopting others as he laboured to become master of his style. This exhibition maps that journey. New York is its final destination, after Paris and Copenhagen. Don’t miss it."
This stripping away of inessentials sounds like what Apple is trying to do, and what Jonathan Ive often describes his process, now embedded in the iPhone and iPad.Simplicity, I found was one of twelve value dimensions in my 3G mobile phone dataset.

See Jony Ive's comments in Objectified, the movie.

Aust. National Research Investment Plan embraces well-being

The Dept. of Innovation released the Australian National Research Investment Plan (NRIP, pdf 135 pp.) on 28 Nov 2012. The report contains some interesting introductions from the Prime Minister, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Chief Scientist mention key points:

  • Chief Scientist: "Governments invest in research and innovation to increase productivity, increase employment and improve national wellbeing" (p.v) ie  aim to create value.
  • Chief Scientist: "setting priorities for mission-based research that improves national wellbeing" (p.v)
  • Minister: "The Gillard Government recognises the contribution that science and research makes toward driving innovation. Our investment in science and research improves the wellbeing of all Australians by addressing the social, economic, technological and environmental challenges we confront." (p. iii) : links innovation and wellbeing
  • Prime Minister: "the discovery and use of new ideas makes the greatest possible contribution to the Government’s broader policy objectives and to the wellbeing of all Australians." (p.i)
Thus there is a sense of a purpose to innovation, which is to improve the quality of life and provide purpose for "our nation's future". Value is an important part of this link between innovation and wellbeing. Innovation -> Value -> Wellbeing.

Of particular interest to ANDS:
"To capture the full value of the Australian Government’s research investment, ARCom  will provide advice on a whole‑of‑government approach for opening access to the outputs and data from publicly funded research." (p.xiii); sharing is valuable
This suggests that data sharing may be mandated at some point, perhaps not too far off in the future.  

Innovation is defined quite narrowly (no value), following Schumpeter's definition (1934): " Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good  or service), process, new marketing method or a new organisational method in  business practices, workplace organisation or external relations." from OECD 2005 Oslo Manual for Measuring Innovation, 3rd Ed.(p.6).  

The report goes further saying: "Importantly, the process as a whole comprises, not just the conduct of research to create knowledge and translate it into a new product, but also the taking of action to deploy or implement the new product or process." (p.6). Still this is taking a product to market, and not the acceptance in the market of the product, ie value creation through acceptance of the product purchase.

The report makes an interesting point about why governments invest in science and innovation: "In the absence of government investment in research, neither the business nor non‑business sectors are likely to carry out the amount of research necessary to sustain national wellbeing;, government has a particular responsibility to sustain basic research capability; an excellent research capability strengthens Australia’s role in the global community; and government investment in research consistently provides high economic and social returns" (p.12).   This post looks at the report up to the end of Chapter 2.