Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Peer-To-peer Banking Solutions Facilitate Intrapreneurship For Development of New Ideas

Strategy guru Gary Hamel recently posted on the topic of 5 design flaws in organizations which prevent them from innovating effectively, in his "Management 2.0" Harvard Business Review blog. Design flaw #4 was a suggestion for creating internal venture capital markets to finance the development of ideas. Hamel argues:
While an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley typically often has the chance to pitch a business plan to a half a dozen or more venture capitalists, in the average Fortune 500 company, an employee with a new idea has only one place to go for funding—up the chain of command. This is often a substantial barrier to lining up capital and talent behind new ideas.

A potential web-based solution: An internal “band of angels.” A new breed of online peer-to-peer banks, such as Zopa and Prospect, are helping lenders and borrowers to find each other and do business without the overhead of, well, bankers. These social markets provide a model for how your company might create more funding options for employees eager to experiment with new ideas. In most of the companies I work with, there are somewhere between a few hundred and few thousand individuals who control a budget of more than $100,000 per year. Imagine, that each of these budget holders was given permission to invest up to 55% of those their discretionary resources in any idea, anywhere across the company, that they deemed attractive. Suddenly, internal entrepreneurs would have the chance to appeal to dozens of potential “angel investors.” No longer would a new idea die simply because it didn’t fit the prejudices or priorities of one’s boss.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

IBM Innovation Factory Idea Management Solution Selected By China Telecom

IBM has announced that the Shanghai Research Institute of China Telecom Corporate Limited (STTRI) has chosen IBM's Innovation Factory to support collaborative innovation and accelerate the development of emerging telecommunication services for the Chinese market.

IBM Innovation Factory is designed to capture the innovation process from idea creation to commercialization, speeding up co-creation among employees, partners, software developers and subscribers through online communities and is built on IBM technologies including Websphere and Lotus Notes. The solution builds on IBM's commitment to Web 2.0 capabilities released in Lotus Notes QuickPlace, and is tailored to specific industry sectors such as telecommunications.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Business Case For Idea Management Systems (or 'Why Don't More Companies Implement Idea Management Systems?')

Cognitive Transitions has released a short information brief addressing the "Business Case For Idea Management Systems." The information brief argues,with reference to contemporary executive innovation surveys, that:
  1. Effective innovation is now regarded as imperative for the typical modern organization in order to achieve growth targets; develop new products, services, processes and business models; achieve product and service differentiation; and realize sustainable competitive advantage
  2. Innovation surveys show that organizations are frequently not happy with current innovation outcomes
  3. Innovation surveys show that top performing innovators are using Idea Management Systems as a key component to their successful innovation initiatives
Taken together, these three points constitute the 'business case' for Idea Management Systems as part of any organizational innovation initiative.

However, while the strong 'business case' can be mounted that Idea Management Systems are a central tool in disciplined, successful and repeatable innovation initiative, Idea Management Systems do not currently seem to be a mainstream focus in executive mindset or in innovation literature - thus presenting something of an 'Idea Management paradox'.

To take an example, a recent survey of executive priorities and concerns in the Conference Board CEO Challenge 2007 ranked the top 10 overall challenges faced by CEOs, listing 'Sustained and Top-line Growth', 'Profit Growth', and 'Stimulating Creativity / Innovation / Entrepreneurship' as 2nd, 4th and 9th.

However, drilling down specifically into the challenges faced by CEOs in realizing their organization's innovation objectives, the survey did not explicitly cite any concerns relating to developing systematic processes around capturing, developing, and assessing ideas or indeed any process focus as among the key innovation concerns raised by executives. The topic of innovation processes was only addressed only tangentially in the 9th-ranked challenge, developing 'completely new products / services' and the 8th-ranked challenge 'improvement in original [existing] products / processes'. Processes for innovation were not rated at all in the additional list of executive's top 10-ranked barriers to innovation.

For companies implementing, or preparing to implement, an Idea Management solution, the 'Idea Management paradox' presents a short window of strategic opportunity to move ahead in innovating effectively before their competition, by introducing and refining their Idea Management System first.

Idea Management consultants and vendors and also organizations seeking to enhance their innovation capabilities for consistent, repeatable successful innovation results will benefit from further efforts to communicate the benefits of Idea Management Systems more widely.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

KickStart your Idea Management System Selection Process With an IMS Analyst Report

IdeaManagementSystems blog sponsor Cognitive Transitions is releasing today an Idea Management Systems research report.

The Report is designed to help you in your Idea Management System evaluation and selection process and in maintaining best practices in Idea Management as technologies and practices evolve. The Report contains:
  • An overview Idea Management Systems report outlining current trends and issues in Idea Management and discussing a range of considerations that will impact on rapidly determining your optimal Idea Management choices
  • 'Snaphot' highlight reports for 4 major Idea Management software products: Imaginatik Idea Central,, JPB Jenni, and Idea Champions IngenuityBank
  • 2 hours of included Idea Management consultancy to assist you with your Idea Management evaluation and selection process
The report is sold as a subscription, giving you access to all additional subscription reports, updates and research outcomes released with the subscription during the 12 month subscription period.

To celebrate the launch, Cognitive Transitions is making the Report subscription available at a 20% discount until Friday November 23rd 2007.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Looking For Participants for Idea Management System Experiences Survey

Has your organisation implemented an Idea Management System, or do you have an innovation initiative?

Idea Management Systems weblog sponsor Cognitive Transitions is conducting research into experiences with Idea Management Systems. Take the Cognitive Transitions Idea Management Survey to share your experiences and learnings.

The survey will be open until December 31st 2007.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Imaginatik CEO Reflects On History Of Idea Management

Imaginatik were one of the original pioneers of Idea Management software solutions, and are one of the leading Idea Management software vendors today.

In a recent post to his Innovation BBL blog, Imaginatik CEO Mark Turrell looks back to review the genesis and early history of the Idea Central product in a trip to Madrid, a series of presentations to Spanish companies at the invitation of IBM on capturing soft, non-financial data to assist with management reporting , and two creative people absorbing the Spanish lifestyle and finding the time and opportunity to map out what Idea Central will look like.

Stage-Gate Inc. Endorses CA Clarity for Managing the New Product Development Process

CA recently reported that Stage-Gate Inc. has certified CA Clarity for New Product Development (NPD), including Idea Management, Idea-To-Launch, and Portfolio Management. According to the Press Release:

Stage-Gate Inc. certified CA Clarity for NPD based on the sophistication of the solution for planning, resource allocation, scheduling, workflow, and reporting. These capabilities empower product development organizations to keep their NPD initiatives on track—so they can bring better products to market more quickly and at less cost.

CA Clarity for NPD underwent a rigorous evaluation process based on approximately 200 innovation-related criteria. Stage-Gate Ready certification assures potential buyers that CA Clarity for NPD provides the functionality necessary to successfully implement key Stage-Gate best practices—including Idea Management, Idea-to-Launch and Portfolio Management.

Stage-Gate Inc. President Dr. Robert Cooper commented:

I strongly recommend all would-be buyers to ask specifically for Stage-Gate Ready software, such as CA Clarity for NPD, even if your company does not deploy a traditional Stage-Gate process. We want to help organizations take advantage of innovation tools that help increase business performance, and believe that if we reduce the risks associated with these decisions, it's a win-win for everyone.