Innovation management in France has two pillars:
- one is Marc Giget, a real well of science in innovation approaches, and a relentless evangelist through his Innovation Tuesdays and Paris Club of Innovation Managers;
- the other one is a fiery duo, Sihem Jouini and Christophe Midler, heading the PIC Master at Polytechnique Engineering and HEC Business School, and publishing regularly on innovation management, encompassing the research work and internship experience of their students in their books.
Their latest opus ‘Innovation management and globalisation‘ draws sharp learnings related to capturing and rolling-out innovation worldwide, balancing roles between central and local organizations. Invited by Thierry Bardy at Orange Lab Innovation Gardens, Sihem and Christophe completed a powerful presentation of the main highlights of their book, going through many corporate case studies:
1 Innovations based on global applications can find their market with local adaptations (at Air Liquide):
- To support the roll-out of a given innovation globally, one needs an innovation’s champion, who litterally embodies the innovation’s outlines: a true evangelist;
- The essence of the first subsidiary in charge of rolling-out the innovation is of major impact.
2 E-health solutions are emerging, involving partnerships with Telcos or Google at Sanofi:
- One difficulty is to scale from pilot to deployement phase;
- By separating the core ‘platform features’ from outskirts (linked to geographical areas and interfaces), modular design facilitates innovation propagation.
3 In the automative industry, more than a product, customer expects an ecosystem: Renault had to bundle an electromobility system with its electrical car, covering electrical batteies, electrical material suppliers, upgraded dealers, and so on, on national scale.
4 How to explore disruptive innovation, and understand emerging markets trends?
- Design Thinking helps to articulate local needs with centrally-based innovation;
- Local exploration entities, with R&D and marketing skills are in place at Valeo, to understand specific needs and capture weak signals, generate creative concepts, and scout jointly with an OEM.
5 How to cooperate across geographical, and cultural boundaries?
- We’ve seen that achieving ‘Creative cooperation across borders‘ requires a specific mindset of trust and networking: explicit knowledge is not always on the shelf for sharing!
- Christophe reviews the example of Renault R&D cooperation across French and Corean entities: while a French innovation demonstrator will create desire, a Corean one will stress on the features;
- At Ubisoft, the management of an international network of studios might foster internal rivalries; to turn competition into copetition, strategic innovation labs, and an idea box have been set-up, with a strong emphasis on social features: exposure of idea’s owner, comments, etc… (akin Imagine with Orange crowdinnovation platform!). The idea box collects new products ideas, tools and organization improvements, and explorative concepts. In addition, collective intelligence benefits from differentiated roles: contributors are not the same as activators, the latter sustaining ideas’ flow.
Champion, Modular Innovation, Ecosystem, Design Thinking, Cooperation acros Borders, all these concepts sound familiar in the digital industry environment where they are named: Evangelist, API, Ecosystem, Design Thinking & Lean-Start-up, Participative, Open, and Crowd-Innovation.
And now, what about applying these precious lessons, and sharing all this terrific material, that Sihem and Christophe keep naturally enriching with the help of their yearly batch of students, on an international, and social digital platform for innovation?