Archive for December, 2014

Eye-tracking technology reveals what you’re really hungry for

December 30, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

APizza hut apps more and more businesses embrace intuitive technology, we’re going to see faster and more convenient service on all sorts of everyday tasks.  Take for instance, eye tracking technology. We say that we want salad, but what we yearn for is a cheesy, garlicy pizza.

Pizza Hut Restaurants, in partnership with Tobii, has developed a digital menu that could change the dining experience forever, by tracking what we really, really want.

Check out the video below, and the related article here.



Not Invented Here

December 27, 2014 Pat Clusman No Comments » CoDev, Innovation Fatigue


Not Invented Here, or NIH, is one of the fatigue factors identified in the book Conquering Innovation Fatigue, overcoming the barriers to personal and corporate success. The authors do a good job of articulating why and how individuals and teams afflicted with NIH syndrome can impose significant barriers to innovation. Even though the concept of open innovation has been a round for many years, NIH continues to be a challenge in many organizations.

Open innovation is actively leveraging the capabilities and expertise of others to accelerate innovation. In many companies, the logic that supports an internally focused approach to research and development has become outmoded. Too many companies say “no” to entrepreneurs and inventors, suppliers and even partners with innovative ideas that may be contrary to the thinking of internal resources. We understand that often times there are limited resources and funds for projects and not all projects require innovative solutions. But selecting all internally generated projects and projects that are more incremental in nature tends to lead to uninspiring business results. Some of this may be attributed to risk averse cultures but often times it is hidden under the guise of protecting the team or the corporation.

bored meetingLately, we have seen numerous companies take a “not now” approach. Rather than decide yes or no, they take a “let’s wait and see” attitude. This can lead external partners on for months and years. Sooner or later, the innovative ideas stop coming your way and your valued partners start working more with your competitors.

Useful knowledge and innovative solutions abound. For those companies that truly embrace open innovation, the sky is the limit. These companies have found ways to balance internal resources and leverage external resources to their advantage. This often leads to novel ways to create real business value. Learn what innovative companies are doing in Open Innovation at CoDev Asia 2014 and at CoDev 2015.

Pat Clusman the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge and he is a part of the CoDev 2015 conference planning team. Check out CoDev2015: Launching Products and Business with Partners, Customers & Ecosystems, to be held February 9-11, 2015 in Scottsdale, AZ.


“How do I best measure Open Innovation?”

December 19, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

I’ve been sharing some practical insights on Open Innovation that I’ve learned over the years. Many forward-thinking innovation executives are bringing their knowledge to the table as well, and from time to time I am sharing these as part of what we’re teaching at our upcoming CoDev 2015 Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.  If you like today’s Quick Tip, be sure to follow the links at the end to check out the other helpful OI tips.


Quick Tips #3

This is a question I am often asked. The reason is simple — if you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you are. And if you want to know how you are progressing, you need measurements. Metrics not only help you stay on track, what gets measured gets done!

Unfortunately, the answer is less simple. There is no one set of metrics that works for every company. This is especially true for open innovation where the main purpose is to create business value – value which can take many forms. Further, the stakes and risks are generally higher and progress is often qualitative versus quantitative. You need to make sure partnerships as well as innovation efforts are on the right path. The earlier you can make course corrections in all these dimensions, the better.

Despite this challenge, or perhaps because of it, open innovation is widely under-measured. The majority of companies that do use metrics usually use only a handful. Examples of commonly used metrics include:

  • portion of the pipeline being enabled by outside partners
  • annual budget invested in projects with external partners
  • number and quality of patents or trade secrets assessed from outside partners, filed or issued
  • number of external ideas selected and then commercialized

In general, companies seek to measure open innovation progress and impact in areas that demonstrate pipeline health, revenue growth, and gains in shareholder value. Often these measures are seen in the context of broader innovation strategy goals and are reflective of an organization’s reporting structure.

So how do you choose the right metrics for your organization?

First, metrics must fit your company’s unique strategy, structure and culture. Take into account your open innovation goals, current capabilities and the capabilities you need to access from external partners. Your metrics should be relevant, purposeful, clear, achievable, and specific. The focus should be on some combination of input and output metrics, but generally the latter is more important to give you an idea of the return on development costs (both time and money).

OI maturity also makes a difference. In a recent webinar conversation with metrics leaders Craig Slavtcheff, VP of Science and Technology, Campbell Soup Company, Daniel Koester, Director, New Technology – Scouting & Partnerships, Johnson Controls Automotive, and Andrew Douglass, Director, Open Innovation Networks, The Clorox Company, we discussed how metrics evolve from the beginning to later stages of your journey.

DoDontThey offered the following Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. Getting buy-in for metrics is not easy – do the hard work and choose carefully. The higher the level of leadership alignment, the better.
  2. At the beginning you will mostly be establishing a baseline. Some metrics may not yield true results for a few years. Do set smaller interval measurements that show movement in the right direction. These will likely be throughput based. They may also include measures of collaboration, such as # of CDAs.
  3. Do use metrics to motivate; don’t ever use to ‘name and blame.’ Sprinkle in some OI cheerleading.
  4. Know your audience. Do make sure OI metrics aren’t in conflict with other metrics. For example, # of new projects in the pipeline could cause concern for a stage gate group that is already feeling resource constrained. Seek the higher business result, such as # of ideas that are commercialized, and figure out which interim metrics will get you there together.
  5. As you get further along with your OI efforts, do migrate from increased volume/throughput metrics to outcome — results that matter. Additionally ‘soft’ indicators can help reinforce long-term behavior/attitude change. An example from Clorox: measuring the percent of product development folks that were talking to suppliers – a 20% increase was a meaningful shift for them.
  6. Do evolve your metrics as your efforts advance. Motion or activity-based metrics do not demonstrate creation of business value. Go from motion to movement metrics as quickly as you can. You will see which metrics make a difference as you go along. Adjust as needed.

Bottom Line

Overall, most companies today measure process adoption and results. Relationship and behavioral metrics should enter the picture as level of maturity advances. Not many companies currently tie metrics to financial incentives. Most leaders focus on metrics that encourage external and internal collaboration, idea commercialization, and growth into new or adjacent areas.


Innovation in Your Own Backyard?

December 12, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev, Innovation, Innovation In The News

Have you ever stopped to think your next breakthrough product may be right under your nose? Or that ‘local’ could go very global with the right development support and customer-needs tailoring?

As a proud resident of Appleton, Wisconsin, I recently took a look at the
surprisingly rich history of invention and innovation in my hometown and surrounding Fox Valley. Granted, this region is one of the most patent-rich parts of the Midwest largely due to the intense patenting activities of consumer products companies like Kimberly-Clark Corp. (which usually gets more patents each year than MIT!) and Georgia-Pacific.

Still, I imagine that there are many inventive and innovative people working everywhere, but possibly not being recognized. Here are just a few of the innovations that have come from my small region (population under 200,000 people). The important thing to keep in mind is not just how these were patented, but how they were commercialized. Perhaps it will spark some ideas for you, too.

1. Carbonless paper and a host of innovations related to microcapsules applied to paper. Appleton Paper helped lead the way, developing the coating processes that allowed microcapsules to be applied to paper at high speed without crushing them. Recently Procter & Gamble licensed
Appleton’s encapsulation technology to apply long-lasting fragrance in microcapsules to laundry via Downy laundry sheets. Numerous innovative applications remain to be developed.

2. Cellucotton or creped tissue paper: the absorbent paper wadding material used as a wound dressing and then as the basis for Kotex feminine care products, invented by Ernst Mahler of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. This also led to Kleenex facial tissue and numerous related innovations, including anti-viral tissue, many innovations in processing and packaging, and eventually soft uncreped tissue (with about 50 patents protecting this significant advance in technology, the basis now for several leading products)

3. High performance disposable diapers were invented in the Fox Valley. Key innovations include the use of superabsorbent polymers to increase absorbency and a variety of structures for reducing leakage and improving comfort.

4. The world’s first test-tube tree, a triploid quaking aspen, cloned by Dr. Lawson Winton in April of 1969 at the Institute of Paper Chemistry. Genetic engineering of trees is now the basis for some of the world’s largest suppliers of renewable fiber, such as Fibria of Brazil.

Popcorn generic image5. “Packaging Container for Microwave Popcorn Popping,” by Tim Bohrer, Tom Pawlowski and Richard Brown of Fort James Corp., now Georgia-Pacific. This patent series led to development of the first microwaveable popcorn package which ensured more kernels would pop and that the package would expand to accommodate the popped corn. The invention was a huge success selling over a billion units per year in North America. The chemical deactivation technology also led to patented processes for products used by Kraft, Heinz, Ore-Ida, ConAgra, and others.

6. LiveYearbook. This is a startup company that is inventing new ways to provide long-lasting, dynamic yearbooks at low cost for schools and organizations. They were the first IT company and first Northeastern WI company to win the Governor¹s Business Prize Award (2010). The programming for this concept is being done here in the Fox Valley.

enmotion7. The famous enMotion® paper towel dispenser, the one that automatically delivers towel by waving your hands in front of it, was developed in Neenah by a Georgia-Pacific team.

8. A variety of papermaking advances have their origins in the valley, including Georgia Pacific’s foam-based tissue forming technology that was commercialized in France and novel fabrics for papermaking from Kimberly-Clark, Appleton Wire (now Albany International), and Asten Johnson.

9. Some of the most valuable advances in nonwoven textiles and fabrics came from Fox Valley inventors working for Kimberly-Clark Corp. This includes the foundation for many of the laminated fabrics that are used in medical gowns and other health care products, the soft webs used in diapers and many other products, stretchable nonwovens, and polymer-paper fiber composites.

So take a look both inside your company and your community, perhaps sponsor a talent search or innovation challenge. You never know — mining for innovation talent might unearth the next big thing! At the very least you will be giving your local economy a boost by creating opportunities.

Cheryl Perkins is chair of CoDev 2015. Check out CoDev2015: Launching Products and Businesses with Partners, Customers & Ecosystems, to be held February 9 – 11, 2015 in Scottsdale, AZ.

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Maximizing OI Metrics: How to Get the Results You Need

December 10, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev


PanelistsCaptureOpen innovation metrics are still evolving. While some have proven effective, companies are not fully satisfied with the results. Is it the metrics themselves? The way they are implemented? Or is it that OI is continually evolving?

Please join me in a  live webinar discussion on Tuesday, December 16@ 12 – 1:00 PM ET with leading practitioners from Campbell Soup Company, Clorox and Johnson Controls Automotive. I am planning on a candid, interactive session where we will explore the benefits, challenges, how-to’s, and controversies of measuring open innovation performance.

What You Will Learn:

  • Which specific metrics tend to yield the most value in achieving OI goals?

  • How metrics evolve as the level of OI maturity advances

  • Whether OI metrics should be tied to rewards, used to monitor progress, to make major decisions?

  • What actions these leading practitioners have seen metrics inform?

  • When and how do you get organizational buy-in on the metrics chosen?

  • Should you synchronize with partners? If so, how?

  • Do you align with corporate strategy? If so, when and how?

  • What are the must-do’s? What are potential mistakes with metrics to avoid?

Bring your questions, bring your team!  Sign up online or call 800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080.

I look forward to your participation.


December 10, 2014 Pat Clusman No Comments » Disruptive Innovation, Innovation


While shoveling snow this past week, the song Changes, from David Bowie came up randomly on my iPod. You know the song, Ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange. It got me thinking about today’s business environment and the challenges many businesses face, especially the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Change seems to be the only constant in today’s business. While most SMEs aspire to grow their business, ironically enough, when the growth starts to happen, many SMEs are woefully unprepared.

Often times, the management and staff at SMEs lack the experience, resources and capabilities needed to meet the challenges of growth. This can be due to lack of capital, lack of relevant experience, lack of a plan, or a lack of focus and/or generally poor procedures. Some companies spread themselves too thin or over commit, while other companies choose to ignore risk in the assessment of their growth opportunities. Any or all of these factors could cause a company to stumble or worse yet, fail.

Many of these challenges can be overcome by developing strategies and plans to identify and seize the growth opportunities. This should include addressing capital requirements and cash management techniques; conducting skill assessments and resource assignments; developing project plans and clearly defined procedures; and focusing on longer term objectives and true risk assessment of the growth opportunities.

When a business is successful and begins to experience real growth, managing the business growth requires a plan to achieve the desired end result. You should spend time up front developing the strategy and tactics needed to be employed to achieve the growth. Always look to the future and project where you’d like to be. Growth should be less opportunistic and more strategic.

Is it time for your business to turn and face the change?


Pat Clusman is the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge. Innovationedge is an innovation consultancy that drives creativity and growth by transforming products, brands and businesses. – Learn more at:


DSM Video: Open Innovation – Proudly Found Elsewhere

December 3, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

Check out this video below outlining Royal DSM’s approach to Open Innovation, entitled “Proudly found elsewhere.”

Robert Kirschbaum, Royal DSM

Robert Kirschbaum, Royal DSM

Royal DSM’s Vice President of Open Innovation, Robert Kirschbaum, will be presenting at CoDev 2015 to discuss the cultural changes they think are key to their success and how DSM built its Innovation Engine for Growth, which Mega Challenges were chosen to focus on, and how Open Innovation and Corporate Venturing are applied to speed-up commercialization while mitigating the risks for failure. For more information, click here.


Open Innovation Quick Tip #2:

December 2, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

How do you build a solid foundation for breakthrough OI?   Six big ideas:

quick-tipsI am seeing more companies realize they need to innovate from the outside in. They recognize growth requires doing new things, not working on the same things competitors are working on. They can no longer just discover, develop and ship to create value nor do they have all the smart people within their walls to create and control all IP.

Therefore, they are laying the foundation for sustainable growth, ensuring their ability to leverage OI best practices on new playing fields with new partnerships and new co-creation strategies. Forward-thinking innovators, like those at Amway, Goodyear and Mondelez, know that successful co-development and outsourcing is built on a solid foundation of people with the right skills doing the right things in the right environment.

I suggest six big ideas to make that happen in your organization:

  1. Be visible with top-down support and strive for continuous alignment between individuals and disciplines. Open innovation cannot be achieved without making sure all employees and disciplines are on the same page, understand and embrace the vision, and work together to achieve it.
  2. Create a framework and related toolbox ranging from need identification to deal-structuring. Include criteria to assess opportunities and market potential, charter cross-functional teams and checkpoints for approval, resources, and funding embedded throughout the open innovation process.
  3. Make smart choices but take smart risks. Smart choices will keep you out of trouble, smart risks will keep you competitive and on the cutting edge of innovation. Learn how to balance the two.
  4. Leverage early ‘wins’ to drive internal culture change. Like most individuals, it’s hard to have faith in a cause without seeing some immediate results. Make sure you share even the smallest successes with the entire organization to keep morale high and begin the culture changes.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Informed people can move faster, make smarter decisions, and act with more confidence knowing they operate in a culture where information isn’t rationed.
  6. Above all else, be courageous and persistent. Successful innovation takes time – and so does open innovation when you leverage capabilities and competencies from outside your own four walls.

Once you have these building blocks in place, you can lead your organization into new uncharted territory with confidence.


New Era of Healthcare Highlights Need for Partnerships to Overcome the Value Gap

December 1, 2014 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

FCS-graphic-LogoOne of the most important areas for Open Innovation in the last decade has been in the field of healthcare. Wholesale changes in the way Americans consume healthcare have greatly fragmented and complicated the external market and especially the back end of the business side. Today patients must navigate intricate networks of providers and multiple layers of administration that require much more open and engaging relationships in order to properly connect the value of healthcare to the end consumer.

At CoDev 2015, a special panel session has been compiled to bring together key representatives of the healthcare industry, including venture capital firms, to discuss how Corporations are reacting to broad changes, as individuals are taking more control of their health and looking for holistic, integrated solutions vs. a collection of individual products.

This panel session, entitled “Partnerships at the intersection of consumer health and traditional healthcare deliver value,” moderated by conference chair, Cheryl Perkins, will feature the following guest panelists:

  • Ben Wiegand, VP and Global Head of Innovation and New Business Models, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies
  • Ken McLellan, Global Partnerships Leader, R&D, The Clorox Company
  • Nina Kjellson, General Partner, Interwest Partners
  • Jim Glasheen, General Partner, Technology Partners

For more information, click here.