Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS IDÉLABORATORIET?
Idélaboratoriet is a consulting company specializing in creativity and innovation. Idélaboratoriet was founded in 2000.

WHAT DOES IDÉLABORATORIET DO?
Idélaboratoriet works in the field of creativity and innovation. We create value for our clients for example through innovation strategy planning, facilitation of creative processes, training programs in professional idea creation and implementation of digital idea management solutions.

WHAT DOES "IDÉLABORATORIET" MEAN?
Idélaboratoriet is Swedish for The Idea Lab.

WHERE IS IDÉLABORATORIET LOCATED?
Idélaboratoriet was founded in Sweden and has its headquarters in Malmö in southern Sweden, but works with clients worldwide.

WHAT DOES CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION REALLY MEAN?
Idélaboratoriet likes to say that creativity is a process of getting original ideas that have some sort of value and innovation is the profitable implementation of creativity.

HOW DO YOU CONTACT IDÉLABORATORIET?
Call +46 734 340031. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a discussion on how we can help your organization!

Latest

#24 The Story of Innovation Myths told by a Venture Cap

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The Serious Innovation Newsletter #24

Sometimes it is good to get a clean, sturdy uppercut on your own cheek. To wake your head up and to shake some sweat off. This is at least true in the talkative world of innovation. Tired of all the bullshit, the Serious Innovation Newsletter looked to the tough guys on the other side – the venture capitalists – and found a story of the myths of innovation. Writer and capitalist Geoffrey A. Moore from TCG Advisors, based in the “venture cap-saga”-territory of Sand Hill Road in San José, gives us some hardboiled facts about the not-so-true myths of innovation. And he does it in a David Letterman way with a Top Ten List starting from the bottom…

10. We Don’t Innovate Here Any More
Baloney. Innovation goes on all the time, but the problem is that you keep on looking in the same directions as your competitors instead of differentiating your company. This means that your products look like your competitors and the customer starts focusing on the price. Oooppss – you lost. On coffee breaks and weekends you complain about commoditization, but while sitting at your desk you do nothing about it!

9. Product Life Cycles Are Getting Shorter and Shorter
And who is to blame but yourself? If you are only doing incremental innovation, you cannot expect your differentiation to last very long, can you? Go for hard-to-copy, not easy to implement. iPod’s lifecycle is longer than its competitors because it has a cool design, yes, but more importantly because it makes iTunes part of the experience. Apple grabs the customer by the balls and will not let go. “Sustainable differentiation requires barriers to entry and barriers to exit”, says Moore.

8. We Need a Chief Innovation Officer
This puts focus on the wrong thing. Sure you can give a man this title but it should be the job of every CEO. The true goal of all companies is create differentiation that leads to customer preference during buying decisions = innovation! Innovation must be grounded in all parts of the managerial suitcase: operations, customer contacts, competitor’s portfolio and resource management. Innovation does not start with a title, it starts with a mindset.

7. We Need To Be More Like Google
Probably not. Google is a once-in-a-decade phenomenon that surfs on a wave so powerful that it changes the world by the minute. If that describes your market as well, your main focus is probably just to deliver on time. If the Google situation does not describe your market, then seek experience from people that knowledge of innovation in a market like yours.

6. R&D Investments Is a Good Indicator of Innovation Commitment
No, it is not. Moore says that HP invested 10% more per year than Dell in the first half of this decade and look who is laughing all the way to the bank. How come? Dell focused on process innovations done by people in Operations; instead of giving more innovation-money to R&D. R&D departments are usually a bunch of engineers that in general pays off well in double-digit growth markets, but very poorly in single-digit growth markets. So if you’re in a slow growth market – focus your innovation efforts on the whole organization.

5. Great Innovators Are Usually Egotistical Mavericks
Not anymore (if they are good innovators). Today the supply chain is so complicated and the knowledge so specialized that you cannot do things on your own. It is a job for people who listen well, empathize deeply, and make the differentiation of the network as a whole as important as their own success. Look at the power of the open source movement – you have to get the fans raving and feeling like they are part of something great. Then they will even help you for free.

4. Innovation Is Inherently Disruptive
It doesn’t have to be. It is the one kind of innovation that gets a lot of publicity, the innovation that creates revolutions. But the more established your company is, the less likely it is that disruptive innovation is the one you should focus on. Maybe acquisition innovation is something for you? You stick to your market momentum and buy the revolution! Probably this is your best bet in dealing with creative destruction.

3. It Is Good To Innovate
No, it is good to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a way that drives customer preference during buying decisions; if that is the kind of innovation you company is up to – good for you. But you would be surprised to see how much innovation that goes on in your company that serves no economic purpose, but instead as Moore puts it: ”is being undertaken as a form of corporate entertainment”. Google would probably say that all their innovation is “corporate entertainment” but that is another story. This is the story from the perspective of a venture cap.

2. Innovation Is Hard
Actually, it is not.  The hard this is to develop the capacity to innovate, especially in established enterprises. This is because everybody is looking for the short term function that adds a little extra to the existing offer. People cannot be bothered with the next generation possibilities, when there is a current extra buck to be made. Sadly, means Moore, there is often no one to sponsor the genuinely innovative offers when they pop up.

1. When Innovation Dies, It’s Because the Antibodies Kill It
Yes, but not in the way you might think. The murder of your innovation takes place in the world of the customers, not on your own little hacienda. Your own sales force can become your own worst enemy. The sales force has built relationships with the customers based on the old. So first they may not have any relationships with the new target group and secondly the old customers are in turn threatened by the intrusion and cost of the new innovation. So your sales force finds itself with no incentives and almost sabotage your possible future-hit.

I think you might experience somewhat a headache after this punch. Some of the things said by Moore are really not what every innovation manager wants to hear – what if everything we are doing in innovation is merely “corporate entertainment”? But take this as a wake-up call. Get on you feet on the count of eight (boxing terms again, sorry) and take on another round with high spirits. After this lecture you might just have found the recipe to deliver that deadly left hook!

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