Posts

Hidden Champions and Dynamically Changing Environments – Vienna (Nov 17-18, 2011)

I will be traveling to Vienna (Nov16-19) to moderate a panel at the Hidden Champions in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Dynamically Changing Environments. The focus of the panel will be on designing collaborative alliances for sustainable innovation. I will share results from two of my prior project, I4I (Ideas for Innovation) and Intraprenuership. This conference is hosted by CEEMAN (Central and East European Management Development Association) and IEDC-Bled School of Management and in cooperation with RABE-Russian Association of Business Education and Polish Association of Management Education FORUM. The event will take place at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber congress center.

Joining the Advisory Board of iHear Network

I have entered into an agreement with the management team of iHear Network to join their advisory board. I am excited to help iHear Network realize their vision of developing an innovative app for smart phones. The iHear app uses text-to-speech integration to connect users to relevant stories, news, and conversations. iHear Network recently appointed Paul Simons, a former University of Washington iSchool graduate student of mine, to serve as the CEO. Please click here for the press release - iHear Network Press Release.

Speaking in France: Paris and Lille, October 2011

I will be giving two talks in France in early October. Both talks are hosted by the faculty at IÉSEG School of Management. On October 10, I will speak at IÉSEG’s Paris Campus on Designing the Innovation Process: Building, Managing, Communicating and Measuring (October 10). This talk is based on my forthcoming book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas within Your Organization (University of Toronto Press, 2011).

On October 11, I will head to IESEG’s Lille Campus where I will speak on the topic of Challenges in Inter-Disciplinary Research: Strategies from Crafting Research Ideas to Publishing. In this presentation, I will share my experiences in executing inter-disciplinary research projects. Studying complex phenomenon requires us to undertake research that (1) draws on multiple disciplines, (2) engages a diverse group of stakeholders, (3) appreciates a plurality of research approaches, and (4) communicates to a diverse set of audiences. Executing inter-disciplinary research is no easy feat to accomplish. Researchers face daunting challenges from the onset, beginning with the inception of ideas, then continuing to the crafting of problem statements, executing the research process, and communicating the results via publications in academic and practitioner outlets. However, these challenges should not be viewed as an excuse to abandon inter-disciplinary research in favor of narrow-minded and singular research exercises, which reduce complex phenomenon in deterministic fashions so as to arrive at simplistic problems that lack relevance. I will present a method (process) for executing inter-disciplinary research that has served me well. Illustrative examples of research projects will be used to exemplify this process and outline strategies for researchers to consider when conducting inter-disciplinary research projects.

In addition to the speaking engagements, I will be working on building collaborative research ties between IÉSEG and the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.

 

Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas within Your Organization – New Book

My latest book will be released in the Fall by the University of Toronto Press.

Description:

As an employee, you suspect that your best ideas are valuable and could greatly benefit your organization. Management also recognizes that a company's ability to compete is contingent on how well it leverages its employees' ideas. So, why are individuals at all levels of organizations typically poor advocates for ideas? Intrapreneurship provides an engaging guide for both managers and employees on how to direct the flow of ideas and foster a culture of entrepreneurship within their company's existing structure. Based on my research and experience consulting with thirty global organizations, Intrapreneurship outlines ways to mobilize all types of ideas - including blockbusters with the potential to create radically new external products and services, and more incremental innovations for improving internal processes. With practical frameworks and real life examples for both employees and managers, Intrapreneurship will help you to identify the value in your own ideas and those of others to ultimately benefit your organization.

Reviews:

You cannot stay competitive and lead your industry unless you mine the potential within your own organization. Desouza makes the case for identifying and empowering talent to steward innovation from within. Intrapreneurship will help you tap your company's greatest potential.
---Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, National Bestselling Author of Making Ideas Happen

We are an organization that has built a reputation for innovative products that are game changers. Innovation calls for tenacity and rigor. Intrapreneurship is filled with ideas and solutions that will enable you to build a robust innovation program that is embraced by every employee in your organization. It is a must read for executives who want to distinguish their organizations by their capacity to harness ideas in each and every employee. Read it, now!
---Keith Allman, President, Delta Faucet Company

Intrapreneurship offers a fresh and timely perspective on how to harness – and not kill – the power of innovation that exists inside every organization – including nonprofits.  In his book, Desouza masterfully weaves academic research together with real life stories across industries to show us how to foster innovation and turn the best ideas into reality.  His fusion of innovation and implementation into a single, pragmatic intrapreneurship framework is where the magic happens. This book is a must read for employees and leadership alike whether you are trying to increase profits, save the world, or both.
---Neal Myrick, Executive Director, Groundwire

In corporate America, brilliant ideas that make it to market often seem like serendipitous events, and often they were. An idea found its way through the territorial land mines of the organization that more often sabotage innovation. In the world of annual capital budgets, large scale initiatives and dash boards that drive our incentive compensation, how do we as leaders foster a reliable and safe culture where innovation gets plenty of oxygen? Desouza in Intrapreneurship provides an excellent framework to foster such a culture. More importantly, this framework calls us to be servant leaders, to be leaders that help our organizations harness the intellectual power of our employees and to say “we appreciate your ideas, we welcome your ideas, we make it possible for you to work on your ideas”. Innovation need not be a serendipitous happening. It can be baked into our organizations as a competency. Desouza provides us an excellent guide to help us build and nourish an Intrapreneurship competency in our organizations.
---Weldon "Butch" Leonardson, SVP & CIO, Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU)

Intrapreneurship is a driven from the bottom-up based upon employee initiatives. Desouza argues that ideas are at the heart of intrapreneurship. He richly illustrates his ideas from today’s businesses and incorporates theory to develop a roadmap from conception to products and services. The continuing process is: generation and mobilization, advocacy and screening, experimentation, commercialization, diffusion and implementation.  There is no silver bullet, but a rationale organizational process. Desouza challenges the thinking executive to go beyond the usual organizational notions to a new way of thinking about how to realize intrapreneurship in your firm.
---Dr. Richard M. Burton, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Innovation is a key strategic priority for most large companies, and most executives today have realized they cannot just give responsibility for innovation to their R&D group or their business development team - they need to make innovation everyone’s job. But how do you do that?  The evidence suggests most companies actually do a terrific job of killing off the entrepreneurial endeavors of their would-be innovators, through their standardized procedures and risk-averse mentalities.  Kevin Desouza’s book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas within Your Organization, provides the solution.  He gives guidance to the people with bright ideas, to help them build support and get their ideas taken seriously, and he offers advice on how to manage and organize a company to give these would-be intrapreneurs as much support as possible. Drawing from his own practical experience as well as decades of academic research, Desouza’s book is a must-read in companies that care about making innovation everyone’s job.
---Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategic and International Management, London Business School, co-founder of the Management Innovation Lab (MLab), Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (UK), and author of Reinventing Management (2010)

As competition intensifies globally, no corporation can afford to ignore the potential of corporate entrepreneurs, or ‘intrapreneurs’, to drive growth and continual renewal. Desouza provides a new look and important contribution to the field of innovation, and he does so in a way that should be of keen interest to executives, intrapreneurs and aspiring intrapreneurs across industries. Not only does Desouza explore new territory, he does so in a highly readable, applied manner drawing from both research and practice. Intrapreneurship will enable employees and managers to overcome typical, and costly, roadblocks faced when transforming ideas into commercially viable products and services.
---Robert Wolcott, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kellogg Innovation Network, Northwestern University

By proactively engaging managers and employees in the innovation process Desouza shows organizations how to successfully move ideas from concept through to implementation.  Enabling them to harness the power of their own ideas to reduce costs, improve efficiency and generate new business growth. Desouza uses real world examples, personal insight and research to illustrate how it is done. Desouza’s book provides a pragmatic and realistic roadmap for transforming the way organizations generate and implement new ideas, internally and externally. The book provides a simple and reliable process for building Intrapreneurship as a core competency.  Executives, managers and intrapreneurs will benefit from applying the principles and practices outlined in the book to achieve an innovation edge.
---Susan Foley, author of Entrepreneurs Inside, Managing Partner, Corporate Entrepreneurs, LLC.

Are you frustrated with the fact that companies often talk about the need to generate and collect their employee’s ideas, but in reality they lack tangible tools and processes to efficiently leverage these ideas into real projects and products? Despair no more! In his new book Desouza shows us how innovative companies do not only promote generation of ideas, but encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of their employees by supporting their efforts to develop and commercialize their ideas, both internally and also externally.  This book is a must for all managers who are struggling to design effective innovation processes and for employees who want to learn the science, and art, of pursuing ideas to their full potential inside their organization.
---Miloš Ebner, Direktor strateškega inoviranja/ Chief Innovation Officer

Featured in the 2011 Spring Issue of BIZ

8 Ways to Democratize Experimentation: HBR Blog

My third post on the Harvard Business Review site went live today. The post was written in collaboration with H. James Wilson and is titled, 8 Ways to Democratize Experimentation. Building on our previous post on experimentation, in this post, we offer 8 tips for organizations to consider as they try to infuse experimentation as part of every employee's work.

  1. Increase managerial attention.
  2. Train employees on the basics of conducting experiments.
  3. Accept that experimentation is a messy and untidy process.
  4. Deploy organizational resources and assets to give employees the time and space to experiment with their ideas.
  5. Build a process whereby experiments can be conducted in a systematic manner.
  6. Create a platform or bulletin board.
  7. Give intrinsically motivated experimenters the same care provided to "sanctioned," large-scale experiments.
  8. Start a working papers and presentation series for both researchers and practitioners.

 

We would love to hear your comments on the ideas presented.

Finally, A Majority of Executives Embrace Experimentation: HBR Blog

My second post on the Harvard Business Review site went live today! The post was written in collaboration with H. James Wilson and is titled, Finally, A Majority of Executives Embrace Experimentation. The post outlines the value proposition of building an experimentation culture within organizations and how executives can support employee experimentation.

The post has been picked up by Bloomberg Businessweek as well.

We would love to hear your comments on the ideas presented.

Deploying IT for Organizational Innovation: Lessons from Case Studies

Along with several colleagues, Jaka Lindic (University of Ljubljana), Peter Baloh (BISOL, d.o.o), and Vincent Ribière (The Institute for Knowledge and Innovation (IKI-SEA), Bangkok University), I co-authored a paper for the International Journal of Information Management.

Organizations must innovate if they are to survive in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace. In this paper, we explore how leading organizations are using emerging technologies to enable novel forms of ideation that can radically increase the sheer volume of ideas they explore. In addition, we outline how organizations use technologies to cost effectively manage this increased volume of ideas by optimizing generation, mobilization, advocacy and screening, experimentation, commercialization, and even the diffusion and implementation of ideas. Critical to this is the management of knowledge during the innovation process.

Lindic, J., Baloh, P., Ribière, V.M., and Desouza, K.C. “Deploying Information Technologies for Organizational Innovation: Lessons from Case Studies,” International Journal of Information Management, Forthcoming.

Reflections from Slovenia: Designing Public-Private Innovation Partnerships

I returned from Slovenia about a week back. During my visit, I had the opportunity to give a keynote talk at the Center of Excellence for Biosensors, Instrumentation and Process Control as part of the Slovenska visokotehnološka MSP na prepihu inovativne in razvojno tehnološke prebojnosti: Slovenija x.0 ? conference. I met with several executives during the conference and enjoyed exchanging ideas on how to design collaborative innovation platforms that promote private-private and private-public innovation partnerships. A key issue that surfaced is how to design an appropriate governance structure so as to promote knowledge transfer and collaboration among industry players that have a lot to gain (and lose) from collaboration. Alignment of incentives, sharing of risks, and even design of prototype collaborative endeavors are all essential components to build collaborative innovation partnerships.

Keynote Presentation – Center of Excellence for Biosensors, Instrumentation and Process Control, Slovenia – Ten Rules of Leveraging Ideas for Innovation

On November 10th, I will give a keynote presentation for the annual conference hosted by the Center of Excellence for Biosensors, Instrumentation and Process Control (COBIK) at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The conference is titled: Slovenska visokotehnološka MSP na prepihu inovativne in razvojno tehnološke prebojnosti: Slovenija x.0 ?

The Slovenian government has supported the development of Centers of Excellence. Each Center of Excellence focuses on creating efficient relationships between public and private research institutions, technology driven firms and their global market positioning. The Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, is one of the partners in the Center of Excellence (COBIK) and is responsible for enabling the research and technology driven firms to gain business knowledge and helping them in the process to market their innovative products and solutions.

The program is available here [LINK]

Ten Rules of Leveraging Ideas for Innovation [LINK]

In this keynote address, I will discuss how leading organizations are building robust processes for leveraging ideas within their organization and across their networks. Ideas are critical ingredients for innovation. Designing robust innovation processes calls for great care in the handling of ideas. To this end, leading organizations are designing, and deploying, a portfolio of mechanisms to help their employees seek out, share, experiment with, commercialize, diffuse, and implement, ideas. I will highlight emerging technology solutions. In addition, I will outline how smart organizations are capturing knowledge about their innovation process and employing it for continuous refinement and renewal.