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Idélaboratoriet is a consulting company specializing in creativity and innovation. Idélaboratoriet was founded in 2000.

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.

Idélaboratoriet is Swedish for The Idea Lab.

Idélaboratoriet was founded in Sweden and has its headquarters in Malmö in southern Sweden, but works with clients worldwide.

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.

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


#32 The Rise of Global Innovation Networks

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The Serious Innovation Newsletter #32

The traditional innovation process is about to die. The concept of a powerful, centralized R&D department where everything is top secret and the lone geniuses do their tricks, that bubble is about to burst. Instead organizations are trying to deconstruct their R&D-cores and instead distribute their innovation capacities between internal specialists, external innovation partners and cheap offshore sites. In the report “Sharing the Idea”, The Economist draws up the latest trends of the disintegrated global innovation networks.

To create a more effective (yes, innovation is expensive) and more trend conscious organization (yes, R&D-departments tends to get tunnel vision rather quickly) on a global arena, multinationals has started to decentralize and offshore the innovation process, says the Economist Intelligence Unit in their report based on interviews with managers all over the globe. The reason for this is partly the complexity and high cost that innovation involves, partly the need for localized solutions in emerging markets and also the new talent pool that develops by the minute in these fast growing markets. The report highlights three important trends that will shape the everyday agenda of innovation workers today and tomorrow:

R&D becomes more localized
During the last three years there has been a significant increase in off shoring innovation centers. USA is still the most popular destination, based on the competent work force and the world´s toughest intellectual property rights, but the managers in the report highlights India as the best alternative for the moment because of the mix between low cost and high competence primarily in the area of IT. Another reason for the regionalization of R&D is the problem with the western innovation world being focused on high tech / high cost solutions. The CEO of Volvo Trucks in India told me that it almost impossible for the Swedish engineers to make a truly innovative truck for the Indian market based on the innovation criteria: less is more, keep it simple. They love adding new fantastic features, but get stuck when it comes down to making the basic functions better, cheaper and more simplified. Which is of course what the Indian market is asking for. So, he had the western R&D team come visit their local Bangalore R&D unit so they could learn from the Indians how to create more for less.

Innovation becomes increasingly ”open”
The multinationals does not only decentralize, but they also start to involve external partners in their innovation processes. They want to become more “open” and seek the power of influences from the outside. The term “open innovation” was coined by Henry Chesbrough of the University of California at Berkeley in his 2003 book Open Innovation: the New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology and quickly became part of the innovation mumbo-jumbo. External partners – read joint partnerships, innovation consultants, universities, design bureaus – are looked upon as better, more flexible and quicker when it comes to producing results than the companies’ own R&D-functions. The report points at significantly increased investments in external idea work to achieve a more lean and trend sensitive process, with 59% of respondents saying that they already partner external organizations to develop new inventions.

The global disintegration of innovation poses new management challenges
The increased openness and global spread of knowledge and information leads to new challenges for the people in charge of innovation. Sixty percent of the managers describe intellectual property theft as the toughest thing to manage on this new agenda. In the, since long, off shored textile industry there has been a lot of talk about the “third shift” where the Louis Vuitton bags are produced off hours, off contract and sold on the local market by the local producer. Now the high tech industries are facing the same scenario, but on a “higher level”. 44% of the respondents feels that the “loss of control” (control they had when R&D was an internal centralized business) on the new innovation arena is a big issue that they need to manage carefully. Managing secret ideas on a global scale needs truly functional communication – which still is done best face-to-face.

So it is time to let go of the old corridors and time to open your door, your room, your office, your R&D platform to the best brains out there and let them fiddle with your stuff. It sure is scary, but the reward will come to those who dare!

Read the whole report here.

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