Archive for January, 2015

Rollcall: Who is joining us for #CoDev2015?

January 31, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

10 days

We are counting down the days until we head for Scottsdale and CoDev! It’s the longest running and most respected forum on Open Innovation. Will you be joining us? There is still time to sign up:

Check out our incredible lineup of speakers and the topics:


Visit our blog to listen to our webinar encores and check out what some of our panelists and keynotes have to say!



Defining the Insight-Driven Scoutable Need

January 24, 2015 Pat Clusman No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

Technology scouting free photo

Integral to more advanced company’s open innovation initiatives is a robust technology scouting function. Technology scouting can be regarded as a capability or resource to identify emerging technologies, funnel technology related information into the company and support the acquisition of technologies. The technology scouting function often deploys seasoned research and/or technology professionals to conduct research and explore solutions based on defined needs.

The likelihood of success for the technology scouting effort is often determined by how well the need is defined. Taking the right steps and spending the time upfront to define an insight driven scoutable need, will foster better solution discovery. Definition of an insight driven need versus a technology push will ultimately yield better solutions.

In today’s business environment, we have a lot of data, information and knowledge housed in our systems and in our people. The key is to mine the data and information and build on the collective knowledge to develop true insights. Insight is the ability to see clearly and intuitively into the nature of a complex situation, subject, person or need. If we can truly understand and articulate the need, something required because it is essential or very important, then we can develop an insight driven need that becomes scoutable.

The better job done defining the insight driven scoutable need, the more likely we are to find potential solutions to drive superior business results. Providing real insights, and not just data dumps, about the marketplace, the service, the customer, the shopper and/or the consumer, provides a more actionable way to scout for solutions. Potential technologies and solutions can be identified that address the insight driven need rather than identifying technologies and then looking for a problem to solve.

The ongoing need for companies to develop new product offerings, services, and solutions and explore new business fields requires capabilities and experience to develop insight driven needs, scout and identify the potential solutions, and develop them into viable business propositions to help them succeed in the marketplace.

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.

Webinar Encore: Forging CoDev Relationships with your Supplier Community

January 22, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

Highlighted sessions from the CoDev 2014 webinar series are available on-demand and can be viewed at a convenient time of your choice. See the bottom of this post for a complete list of available webinars.


Today’s highlighted session is:

Forging CoDev Relationships with your Supplier Community

supplierWhat can firms do to break out of the mold and form a truly innovative customer/supplier relationship that delivers technology to the marketplace. Accessing innovation from suppliers is not a new idea. For decades firms have used supplier challenges, win balancing, preferred supplier relationships and strategic alliances. While these efforts have had some success, the challenges remain.

How do firms:

  • Identify enabling supplier technologies 3-5 years out;
  • Encourage suppliers to focus their technical efforts in key areas of the firm’s business interests;
  • Jointly develop and co-create enabling technology;
  • Identify the factors that motivate suppliers to allocate their best technology to customer firms

Join Dr. Slowinski as he shares his 20 years of CoDev experience. He will describe the tools and techniques leading firms use to move their supplier relationships from “drop your price a penny a pound” to “let’s change the nature of competition in our industry.”



Dr. Gene Slowinski

Dr. Gene Slowinski

Gene Slowinski is the Director of Strategic Alliance Research at the Graduate School of Management, Rutgers University and Managing Partner of the Alliance Management Group, a consulting firm devoted to the formation and management of strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions. Prior to forming the Alliance Management Group, he held management positions at AT&T Bell Labs and Novartis. For the last 25 years Dr. Slowinski has consulted and conducted research on the formation and management of strategic alliances, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions. He is co-author of the book “The Strongest Link” and his most recent book, “Reinventing Corporate Growth” is the leading book on growing the corporation.

When you fill out the form to view this webinar, you will also be able to select from the following additional webinars:

  • 3M’s Aggressive Innovation Approach with Supplier Partnerships
  • Global Open Innovation: Establishing Technology Scouting in Multinational Corporations
  • Forging CoDev Relationships with your Supplier Community
  • IP Strategies in an Open Innovation Environment
  • CoDev and OI Practitioner’s Panel
  • Enhancing Idea Generation Through Collaboration
  • Open Innovation Practitioner’s Perspective: H.B. Fuller
  • Business Model Innovation
  • Insourcing & Outsourcing Design & Development: Creating Supplier-Led Innovation


Open Innovation Success Factors – A Leading Practitioner’s View of CoDev

January 20, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

Recently my friend Jackie Cooper over at Management Roundtable shared her brief chat with George Wells, Global Portfolio Lead, Nestle S.A.-PetCare, and I am pleased to share her insights here with you as we prepare for CoDev 2015:
Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 9.33.37 AM

George Wells, Nestle

George Wells, Nestle

Until now, our series on Open Innovation Leadership has featured interviews with leading experts. This time, I decided to talk with a leading practitioner to hear from the ‘trenches’ what it takes to succeed in OI, and how attending CoDev may have contributed.

George Wells of Nestle S.A.-PetCare has attended CoDev three times. He recently advanced from his role as Director of Technology Transfer to his current position of Global Portfolio Lead– a shift in responsibilities from in-licensing, sourcing, and managing transactions to brand marketing for the Global Strategic Business Unit.

What I was most curious to hear from George was whether or not he implemented insights gained at CoDev, and if so, what were the results. Here is what he shared:

JC: What were your most significant goals and reasons for attending CoDev? And what were your takeaways?

GW: My main goals were around search and long-term relationships. At CoDev, I was able to connect with others from similar type companies, find out about new trends, and hear what’s working. One major takeaway for me was references to specific suppliers that people had experience with.

JC: Did you end up implementing anything you heard or using recommended suppliers – and what were the results?

GW: Yes, we did go with the supplier referrals and had great results! When it comes to open innovation you only have one chance to get it right — having recommendations from others not only helped make better decisions, these decisions were then received much better internally.

JC: How have your responsibilities and objectives changed in your new position? What do you see as most important to OI success going forward?

GW: Basically I have moved to a more market-facing role. Linking Business to Research has always been important to open innovation success, now I am working toward that goal from a different angle. There’s a big world out there – and globalization is my focus; figuring out market needs, identifying gaps – what it is people really want. Open innovation is an enabler to close those gaps.

JC: What should attendees look to take away from this year’s conference?

GW: I love Open Innovation and meeting like-minded people. What’s cool about CoDev is all the head-nodding you see in the audience, everybody can relate to each other. Look to meet others from similar – and other – industries, and those who have worked through challenges similar to your own. The smaller sessions and networking are especially beneficial. The open innovation journey isn’t always easy. CoDev has provided support unlike anywhere else.

Pssst! Get the code!

January 19, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

fenceStill sitting on the fence for CoDev 2015?  The priority code IE15 will get people a $200 discount.
CoDev is the longest running and most respected forum on the topic of Open Innovation.

Many participants attend year after year, bringing colleagues and recommending to others. New attendees wonder why they never came before. The reason? Aside from a top-notch, carefully vetted faculty and content, CoDev is an exciting event where you will meet many people and come away energized. But you won’t be lost in a huge crowd or overwhelmed by a confusing agenda. This is not a factory-produced event, it is crafted by an experienced team that is both subject knowledgeable and genuinely dedicated to its customers.

The CoDev experience is hard to describe in words, but we promise you will come away delighted — with new competitive insights, valuable contacts, and implementation guidance that far exceed the cost of attendance.
Get it when you sign up for our incredible conference! Register at


Fab lab strives for excellence!

January 19, 2015 Pat Clusman No Comments » Innovation

Fox Valley Technical College  Fab lab

Recently I had an opportunity to tour the local Fab Lab. If you’re not familiar with Fab Lab, it is a small scale fabrication laboratory offering digital modeling and fabrication. Fab Lab began as collaboration between the Grassroots Invention Group and the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) at the Media Lab in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001. A grant from the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. helped fund the new concept.

Our local Fab Lab is housed on the Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) campus in Appleton. It was established in the summer of 2007 and the Fab Lab at FVTC became the 17th in the world. The Fab Lab is equipped with an array of computer controlled tools including a 3D printer, laser engraving cutter, vinyl cutter, ShopBot® CNC, soldering stations and a variety of electronics Fab and testing equipment. The Fab Lab combines advanced manufacturing technology and electronics tools to bring your ideas to reality. They also connect users around the globe with common tools and platforms, for example Polycom Videoconferencing Bridge and open source software, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and designs. Currently there are over 125 Fab labs, in 34 countries.

As manufacturers in Wisconsin and other states strive to be more efficient, flexible and innovative, they will likely need employees with knowledge of digital fabrication. The Fab Lab is a great environment for students, inventors and entrepreneurs in which to learn and develop prototypes. For more information on the Fab Lab concept, visit your local Fab Lab or see Dr. Neil Gershenfeld’s book “FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop.” Dr. Gershenfeld is the Director of The Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT.

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:

New! Keynote Announced – Dr. Ken Washington, VP Research & Innovation, Ford Motor Company

January 9, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » CoDev

CD15_WashingtonWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Ken Washington, Vice President, Research and Innovation, Ford Motor Company has joined the CoDev faculty and will be delivering the opening keynote talk Accelerating the Drive for Innovation and Collaboration at Ford on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

Dr. Washington currently manages Ford’s research and advanced technology strategy – helping to lead the company’s accelerated drive for innovation throughout all areas of its business. His keynote talk will cover how external collaboration, open innovation, creative partnering and technology advancement coupled with deep understanding of customer experience/needs have led to successful product and service innovation at Ford – going beyond vehicles into Mobility. He will also discuss where and how Ford plans to take these innovations and practices into the future.

For more information, click here.


Is your Open Innovation Portal like a backyard bird feeder?

January 9, 2015 Pat Clusman No Comments » CoDev, Conferences, Innovation

 Bird feeder

My wife and I like birdwatching or birding. For us, backyard birding is a recreational activity. We place several types of bird feeders in our backyard and we fill each with different kinds of bird seed. In particular we like Kaytee Bird Seed from nearby Chilton. Watching the variety of birds at the feeders recently got me thinking, is your open innovation portal inviting like a bird feeder? Do you provide the right seeds of innovation to attract a flock of innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and/or potential partners?

“Open innovation” is often used to describe collaboration with outside partners to accelerate innovation. So naturally, your open innovation portal should attract and appeal to a variety of individuals and entities. Targets for your open innovation portal should include suppliers, small businesses, university researchers and tech transfer units, inventors, entrepreneurs and your passionate consumers among others.

Different birds like a variety of seeds and the birds will be attracted to your feeder at different times of the year depending on other available food sources. Similarly, you should pay more attention to the needs of the portal users versus your own needs. Do you review, acknowledge and respond to portal submissions in a timely fashion or is your portal just another black hole for ideas?

We need to refill our bird feeders often, especially in the winter months. If you don’t provide bird seed, the birds will go elsewhere. Once established, you need to continually promote your portal, especially to your target groups. Remind them what your portal is and why they should use it. Continue to promote your portal and increase your user base. It is all about building a relationship with your target groups. Something I learned a long time ago, “birds of a feather flock together”.

There are several good examples of open innovation portals in the marketplace: AstraZeneca, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever. There are also a variety of partners in the marketplace that can help you build and deploy a successful open innovation portal. A few that come to mind are e-Zassi , ideaconnection and

Fostering a successful open innovation portal is just another “feather” in your innovation cap. Learn more about open innovation 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.



Innovation is All About Change: The World According to Braden Kelley

January 4, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Webinars and Podcasts
The hardest part of making any change is taking that first step. We may point our shoulders in the direction we want to travel, but planning our change journey and mapping the steps to get there can still feel overwhelming. This is true for co-creation and open innovation projects, change programs — even personal change.
Often it helps to be with others who are on a similar path. It also helps to have tools that simplify steps and offer motivation. That is why I’m delighted to invite you to an exclusive conversation I’m having with Braden Kelley, respected innovation expert and author, on ThursdayJanuary 15 from 12-1 EST.
Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley

Braden is an experienced speaker, change strategist, and social business architect. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, and an upcoming book on best practices and next practices of organizational change and project management.

Our Q-and-A session is interactive, so you can ask questions too. Braden will share key tools and guidelines from his new, not-yet-published book and visual change-planning toolkit. He will discuss:
  1. How organizational change and project/ portfolio management tie together
  2. Useful frameworks to move from the ‘what’ to the ‘how’
  3. Best (and next) Innovation practices
  4. Roles and responsibilities based on the Nine Innovation Roles (from his last book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire.)
  5. How innovation is all about change.
Braden has been advising companies on how to increase their revenue and cut their costs since 1996. Braden writes frequently on the topic of continuous change and innovation and works with clients to create innovative strategies, effective customer marketing, organizational change, and improved organizational performance.
To join us, on January 15,  Sign up online or call 800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080.. It’s free, but we need to know who is participating.