What if mobile was the right media to support, democratize, and streamline the innovation process?
Moodi Mahmoudi is one of the founders of Collaborne, (now called NextApp), and thats’ exactly what his startup is trying to achieve. He tells us more about it, while receiving us in their gorgeous premises in Amsterdam.
The innovation management dilemma
Is really innovation a problem companies want to solve? People often explain how much it’s critical, and still they are not satisfied with it. Basically explains Moodi, they face two groups of solutions, both unsatisfactory :
- Consulting, which doesn’t scale;
- Ideation software: but innovation doesn’t start with an idea, it thrives with a customer insight!
So this 150 B€ market is merely untapped.
Moodi speaks of a huge opportunity: innovation is on pen and paper, let’s digitalize innovation process! Akin what happened with CRM and ERP for the other corporate processes, innovation can benefit from IT, bringing the best practices on hand, within the range of our mouse. Innovation could actually be the first computerized corporate process to be mobile first. Collaborne pictures itself as the Salesforce.com for innovation, and on mobile!
The value proposition
Collaborne mobile app supports the innovator journey along 4 steps based on Design Thinking for concepting and Lean Methodology for implementing: sensing, visioning, prototyping, and scaling. This path is named ‘Insights to Venture‘ by NextApp.
With this simple, smart, and sticky tool, NextApp aims to facilitate participative innovation: every one in the company is a target user. “We need a movement, people outside the innovation entities are to be part of it” claims Moodi.
NextApp acts as an online innovation coach:
- Innovation culture knowledge is instilled into the mobile app though short video clip, enticing you to design without knowing design thinking;
- The mobile app substitutes the coach, the app drives the innovator, and suggests a system of reference to advance the project;
- and finally the app provides analytics, because nobody cares if you can’t measure it!
- The app makes it collaborative, fostering interactions across the innovation teams.
Clients include Vodafone, World Economic Forum, BNP Paribas, Nationale-Nederland, Nuon, Covéa, Nationale Politie, Port Authority of Rotterdam, City of Amsterdam, AES Energy, Netherlands Ministry of Defense, or global retail giant Auchan.
Some examplary tools
Let’s pick-up a few tools that support the project milestones:
- Comprehensive Timeline: sensing, visioning, prototyping, and scaling; with a description of each step of the process (goals and missions);
- Uncovering needs, capturing market fit, instead of pushing ideas;
- Venture Canvas: the ultimate outcome, that is enriched all along the process, from conception to implementation;
- 4 quadrants feedback to iterate your value proposition, based on 4 dimensions: desirable, feasible, viable, and legitimate (what people expect you to do, and what you should not do);
- Project organization: Slack and NextApp complement naturally;
- Guideline to pitch;
- Project dashboard: activity / liveliness, process progress, and project performance; measure and monitor;
- Analytics : per project, portfolio, user.
A video is provided for every single mission. It’s possible to customize the project or highlight tracks. The team schedules its own tasks, and post the data according to guidelines. Tracks is for deciding about the missions. You add a mission by asking people to join the team.
Game mechanics could be a future feature.
An entry is provided for the boss, while the entry for the team is the Timeline.
A project and a team can be created in a few seconds.
NextApp covers all dimensions of innovation with ‘innovation tracks’ for transformation projects as well as tracks for core/ incremental innovations letting companies innovate on process, product, and customer experience. A typical timeframe to go down the NextApp innovation path on Product, Process, or Customer experience domain would be 12 weeks, that could be repeated 3 times a year.
The greater outlook
NextApp is a transformative tool, to bring every employee on board of the innovation process, from insights to venture.
Moodi says: ‘Innovation is desire for change. Innovation is not a cultural problem, it’s not magic, it’s a science. For now it is reserved to the few people who know what to do: we want to make innovation available to the 99% who don’t have yet access’. How will people handle the innovation process in parallel with their job? ‘The answer is to boil it down in the day to day process’.
In the long run, Moodi foresses: ‘The tool is transformative, every business line should have digital abilities, and every new employee should be a coder. Next generation will have the capabilities, and so, with NextApp, your company has a war machine’
- BNP Paribas banks on innovation (case study);
- Collaborne Disrupting Innovation (interview with Manuel Diaz on Collaborne vision and differentiation);
- Covéa ensures innovation (case study);
- #OccupyInnovation (innovation is for everyone, everyday);
- Act like a child (importance of building question-centric organizations);
- Innovating in The Matrix (innovation is core business as well as transformational);
- Embrace the blankness (creating something from nothing).