Tel +41 79 2180659 - Email info@acar.ch

In Mazzum idea management solution by ACAR, www.acar.ch you can post an idea and at same time post the idea to the users my site news feed.

See the YouTube Video in the Mazzum YouTube Channel

Please see the new YouTube video Part 1 about the new version of Mazzum

Mazzum Part 1

Innovation Matrix

Innovation_Matrix

Here are some points and outcomes of the workshop for Ideation Management we always discuss with our clients

  • they might be as well interesting for you to dicuss and reflect with your team before you jump on a idea Management solution
  • all ideas are interesting, but are they as well important for the Company
  • creativity is importand, by creating idea is a skill you have or you don’t, but transforming the idea into reality is another Thing
  • zero training, self-explanatory is often required – just jumping on it and it works
  • what should you/we consider as idea
  • what can the company expect
  • what are the cost savings
  • do we have new market opportunities
  • to quantify, is better then faster cheaper, which means actually nothing for many companies
  • when faster; how much faster will it be?
  • when cheaper: how much cheaper will it be?
  • identify if your idea is worth for investigating

 

MazzumScreenshotVelopresso

 

 

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We have added some new AJAX improvements to the Main Page of Mazzum.

Mazzum Home New

Using gamification to innovate can bring your business to the next level

“Innovation is the specific tool of the entrepreneur.” A big challenge for every business, though, is how to drive engagement in innovation beyond the startup phase.

Innovation expert Peter Meyer believes social-media gamification is the answer. “Social media has a key role to play in helping engage people once you’ve got their initial attention,” he writes in his new book, Social Media for Corporate Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Add Power to Your Innovation Efforts. “Many people might visit your community page or Like your Facebook page after seeing a tweet, for example, but how do you sustain that initial interest so they come back again and again and become active, committed members of your community? One increasingly popular strategy is gamification.”

Game On

Gamification is the technical term for applying game-design characteristics to content and applications that aren’t games. Typical gamification elements include such things as achievement badges, achievement levels, leader boards, virtual currency, points that can be traded or cashed in and progress bars or other visual meters to encourage people to complete a task.

Research by Gartner says, which predicts that more than half of all companies which manage innovation processes will gamify those processes by 2015.

“Some companies will want to test gamification with employees before taking it to a broader ecosystem,” they say. We describe how the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit research group, uses social-media gamification for generating ideas about possible future scenarios: Participants tweet their messages and are rewarded with points and badges.

“Game mechanics can encourage employees to dip their toes into new activities,” we believe. “Gamification has the potential to eliminate cultural or status biases that can skew outcomes. For instance, when higher-ranking employees (i.e., bosses) dominate discussions about innovation projects, other no-less-valuable voices may not be heard or given equal weight. Innovation games can help avoid these mistakes.”

Gamification can also encourage collaboration and constructive competition. Take the case of MAZZUM, as an Idea Management Solution based on SharePoint that engages hundreds of people and invites them to work together to solve innovation challenges. Details how the company grew out of the “Battle of Talents,” an annual student competition to discover Switzerland’s most promising entrepreneurial talents. Since the formation of the company in 2001, leading companies have used the ACAR concept to tackle their specific innovation and cultural challenges.

“From the start, MAZZUM was designed to be a game,” ACAR says. “Gamification is really the key to success. Call upon people’s basic instincts, give them the freedom to operate, let them experience and enjoy and create winners!”

The Players

For MAZZUM, organizers define participant roles based on the different types of people needed to innovate successfully:

1. The creative entrepreneur. This person is the initiator and spots the opportunity at the start, but does not necessarily have the capacity or capability to develop it further.

2. The talent. This person wants to participate, has no initial idea, but is skilled at elaborating and implementing ideas.

3. The investor. A technical or industry expert, or perhaps a senior manager, who is able to judge ideas, and can give useful feedback to teams and invest in potential winners.

They also define a results-oriented path that brings ideas from new to good and retains interaction and engagement for three months. An econometric business model ensures that the business case with the greatest potential tops the rankings at the end of the game.

“MAZZUM engages people, it’s fun and brings out the best in every participant,” says ACAR, a Swiss based SharePoint Development and Consulting Company. “It encourages people to go that extra mile and to overcome all existing boundaries because they want to win.”

“Innovation is a people business,” ACAR goes on. “How do you challenge people and keep them on board long enough to generate results? The basic psychological drivers of game dynamics can provide the answer. People want to be able to participate, express their own ideas, help to build a successful company, enjoy it and get recognition for it.”

Mazzum_Idea_Pointing_and_Awarding_System

Idea Market is a new module in Mazzum as a sourced marketplace for ideas that solve everyday problems and uncover interesting new opportunities. With the new feature people can invest and pledge money or Points to an idea.

 

  • Eventually introduce something like an Idea Market whereby colleagues could virtually “invest” in ideas.
  • Similar to Kickstarter: you can pledge Money or points
  • Find great ideas already backed by investors
  • Fund Ideas
  • Are you an investor? Found Ideas And find qualified founders faster.
  • Bring Ideas To Life!
  • And earn equity in the great startups.

Mazzum Idea Market


 

innovationThe theme of Vanity Fair’s inaugural New Establishment Summit in San Francisco was “The Age of Innovation.” As overblown and overhyped as the word is these days, even a cynic like me has to admit it would be nice to know where innovation actually comes from.

Perhaps it’s even more important to understand where innovation doesn’t come from.

It doesn’t come from a blog, a book or an article. It doesn’t come from inspirational quotes and stories. It doesn’t come from LinkedIn Influencers or anyone you follow on Twitter. It doesn’t come from motivational speakers. And it most certainly doesn’t come from any kind of self-improvement or personal productivity.

Having worked with innovative people for decades in the high-tech industry, this, I can tell you with great certainty, is where innovation comes from.

Innovation comes from inside you. Ideas, inspiration and innovation only seem to come from outside you, but they don’t. They always come from inside you. The only exception is small teams…but only intimate groups in real time in the real world, never large-scale or online collaborations.

Related: The Most Important Career Choice You’ll Ever Make

It comes from obsession. Albert Einstein believed light was special, unique. He was obsessed with light. Elon Musk is obsessed with manned space travel and electric cars, among other things. Every successful founder I’ve ever known was inspired by obsession. If you’re obsessed, you never need to be inspired by anything else.

Innovation comes from history. Microprocessor architecture comes almost entirely from the way mainframe and minicomputers were designed decades ago. So much innovation comes from ancient history it isn’t funny. Why reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to?

It comes from perseverance. According to my literary agent, authors tell her success is a matter of keeping yourself in the chair. Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to have an idea or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about, otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.”

Innovation comes from focus, discipline and patience. These days, everyone is obsessed with squeezing every ounce of personal productivity and self-improvement out of themselves. That only takes you further away from innovation. Innovation comes from focusing on one thing and letting everything else fade to black. It’s the big picture that drives you and that’s also what drives you to come up with unique solutions to tough problems.

Related: 7 Surprising Truths About Mentors

It comes from the need to prove yourself. The human mind is surprisingly powerful, especially in terms of the need to prove yourself. While it usually manifests early in life, the motivation tends to stick with us and often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It doesn’t even seem to matter if you know to whom you’re proving yourself – your father, yourself or teachers who said you’d never amount to anything.

Innovation comes from your subconscious. Brilliant ideas often come when you least expect them or when you’re not even paying attention. They may come to us in dreams, during meditation, in the shower, or when we’re otherwise preoccupied with some menial or repetitive task that allows our deeper emotions and thoughts to engage. And no, distracting yourself with games or social media does not qualify.

It comes from identifying problems. Over the course of my career I’ve noted how innovation comes from how people identify problems. Granted, there has to be a solution but the problem comes first and foremost. The reason is simple. Without a pressing problem, there’s no real need of a solution. And until you correctly identify the problem, your solution is suspect and lacking innovation. Always focus on the problem. What do people need or want to do that they can’t currently do or do cost-effectively?

The most important thing to know about innovation is that it’s not the same as invention. I might even go as far as to say that, in the world of startups, invention is sort of immaterial. Just come up with problems that need to be solved and solutions that are unique and that people can actually use. More often than not, that will do the trick.

How to Manage innovation

Innovation has become management’s new imperative.  Everybody wants to be the next Apple, Google, Netflix , nobody wants to be Kokak, Blockbuster or US Steel.

Go to any conference these days and some whip-smart technogeek will declare that you must, “innovate or die,” and then dazzle you a wide array of case studies to illustrate the point.  You’ll feel inspired, then scared and then have a few beers and go about your business.

What’s missing is a clear set of principles for action.  What good is Steve Job’s unfailing design sense when I can’t even get my outfits to match?  How can Google’s technological supremacy be relevant to me when I can’t even figure out my TV remote?  In other words, we need to take innovation down from the presentation screen and into working life.  Here’s how to do that.

What is Innovation?

Unfortunately, innovation is often conflated with strategy.  Strategy, after all is a coherent and substantiated logic for making choices, while innovation is a messy business which creates novel solutions to important problems.  Put simply, strategy is about achieving objectives, while innovation is about discovery, we never know exactly where we’re going until we get there.

In other words, while strategy creates a clear path to a goal, innovation is often confused, as Richard Feynman explains in this video clip:

http://youtu.be/Uxa1gLt5YKI

You can see the conflict.  If Feynman, widely hailed as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, feels like a stupid ape trying to put two sticks together when working on a new problem, then there must be something missing in all of those slick conference presentations.

Clearly, we need to develop frameworks for innovation that are separate from, although compatible strategy.

The Three Pillars of Innovation

Finding novel solutions to important problems is not only hard, but complex.  There are, after all, a myriad of important problems at any given time and countless potential approaches to each one of them.  Innovation seems like too small a word.

Nevertheless, I think we can move the ball further by breaking it down into three discrete areas of activity.:

Competency:  Every organization has its own history and set of capabilities which determine its innovation competency.  An old-line industrial firm can’t just wake up one day and decide to operate like a hot Silicon Valley tech startup overnight, nor should they try.  However, every enterprise can improve.

Tim Kastelle, who researches innovation, has built a powerful framework based on competence and commitment that will help you climb the ladder from laggard to world-class innovator.

Strategy:  As an manager knows, resource allocation is critical to strategy and therefore needs to be an integral part of aligning innovation to strategic objectives.

Again, professor Kastelle provides valuable guidance with his version of the three horizons model which suggests a 70/20/10 split between improving existing products and processes, searching out adjacencies and exploring completely new markets.

Management:  Even the most competent firm which deploys resources wisely still needs to manage innovation effectively.  This is my primary focus.

Two Crucial Questions

Defining a managerial approach to innovation starts with developing a better understanding of the problem you need to solve.  I’ve found that two basic questions help clarify the path forward:

How well is the problem defined?:  When Steve Jobs set out to build the iPod, he defined the problem as “1000 songs in my pocket.”  He was a master at defining a clear product vision.

Unfortunately, some problems aren’t so easy to frame, like how to create a viable alternative to fossil fuels.  So determining how well the problem is defined is a key part of developing an actionable strategy.

Who is best placed to solve it?:  Once Jobs defined the iPod problem, it was clear that he needed to find a disk drive manufacturer who could meet his needs and, once he did, he built one of the most successful products in history.  Yet, again, sometimes the proper domain to solve a problem isn’t so cut and dried.

One thing I like about these questions is that they clarify the issues quickly.  Either there is a simple answer or there isn’t.  Once you start asking them, you are well on your way to defining a viable approach.

The Innovation Management Matrix

To follow up on the innovation questions, I developed the Innovation Management Matrix, determining problem and domain definition allows us to build a simple 2×2 matrix encompassing four basic types of innovation:

Innovation Matrix w solutions

 

Basic Research:  When you’re aim is to discover something truly new, neither the problem nor the domain is well defined.  While some organizations are willing to invest in large-scale research divisions, others try to keep on top of cutting edge discoveries through research grants and academic affiliations.  Often, the three approaches are combined into a comprehensive program.

Breakthrough Innovation:  Sometimes, although the problem is well defined, organizations (or even entire fields of endeavor) can get stuck.  For instance, the need to find the structure of DNA was a very well defined problem, but the answer eluded even Linus Pauling, the most talented chemist of the day.

Usually, these types of problems are solved through synthesizing across domains.  For instance, Watson and Crick solved the DNA problem by combining insights from chemistry, biology and X-ray crystallography.  In a similar vein, many companies are learning to embrace open innovation in order to pull in diverse resources. Sustaining Innovation:  Whatever you do, you always want to get better at it.  Every year, our cameras produce more pixels, our computers get more powerful and our household products become “new and improved.”  Large organizations tend to be very good at this type of innovation, because conventional R&D labs and outsourcing are well suited for it.

Disruptive Innovation:  The most troublesome area is disruptive innovation, because its value isn’t always immediately apparent.  Notably, Yahoo and Blockbuster had the opportunity to invest in Google and Netflix early on, but missed the opportunity because they didn’t see the potential.

Disruptive innovations generally target light or non-consumers of a category so require a new business model and therefore have high failure rates.  Venture capital firms who focus on disruptive investments expect to that most will fail.  One growing trend is for companies to establish innovation labs, where they can test and learn without excessive risk.

 

World Class Performers

One thing that is especially confusing about innovation is that great innovators tend to be quite diverse and different from each other.  Anybody seeking to define best practices by talking to successful companies would find much of the advice contradictory.

The Innovation Management Matrix can help here as well, because upon a little reflection it becomes clear that successful innovators tend to focus on one area of the matrix.

 

Basic Research:  While most basic research happens in academic institutions, some businesses can excel at it as well.  IBM research is one that truly focuses on pushing the boundaries of science.  In 1993, for example, they accomplished the first quantum teleportation; a technology that isn’t likely to result in a product until after 2020.  They continue to lead in patents.

Xerox’s PARC division, on the other hand, shows both the potential and the pitfalls of basic research.  Major innovations such as the ethernet, the graphical user interface and the mouse were developed there, but Xerox failed to commercialize them.  They have since spun off the division, which now operates as a high-end research outsourcing contractor.

 

Breakthrough Innovation:  There are those rare souls who are capable of making breakthroughs, but usually only earlier in their career.  However waiting for a maverick genius to come along isn’t a viable business model.

That’s why many firms are turning to open innovation platforms such as Innocentive, which allow outsiders to solve problems that organizations are stuck on.  Procter and Gamble has built its own Connect + Develop platform which allows them to benefit from expertise in a variety of domains across the world.

Sustaining Innovation:  While everybody agrees that Apple is a superior innovator, the truth is that they rarely produce anything truly new.  They didn’t invent the digital music player, the smartphone or even the tablet computer.  However, they improve on earlier versions to such an extent that they seem like they’re something completely new.

In a similar vein, Toyota makes cars just like any others, except better.  What both companies have in common is that they are masters at adapting breakthrough innovations for existing markets (it was, after all, Steve Jobs who most benefited from PARC’s work).  In essence, great sustaining innovators are great marketers.  They see a need where no one else does.

Disruptive Innovation: While every new Apple product turns heads, when Google comes out with something most people won’t even understand what it is much less how they’ll make money on it.  From Google Maps to autonomous cars, they manage to fill needs we didn’t even know we had.

3M, the company that pioneered scotch tape and post-it notes, derives up to 30% of its revenue from products launched in the past 5 years.  Both companies use a version of the 15% / 20% rule, where employees are required to devote a fixed portion of their time to projects unrelated to their jobs.

 

While that’s not a viable solution for most companies, many firms are trying to achieve the same effect on a smaller scale with innovations days, hackathons and innovation labs, where employees are encouraged to think beyond existing lines of business.

Building An Innovation Portfolio

While focus is important, no company should limit itself to just one quadrant.  Apple, for instance, is mainly a sustaining innovator, but iTunes was certainly an important disruptive innovation.  While Google might be the greatest disruptive innovator on the planet, they spend considerable resources to improve existing products.

So it’s important to develop an effective innovation portfolio that has one primary area of focus, but also pursues other quadrants of the matrix as well and builds synergies between varied approaches.  Innovation is, above all, about combination.

In the final analysis, innovation has little to do with flashy conference presentations or exciting case studies.  Much like any other business process, effective management entails being able to infuse core principles into everyday operations.

– Greg

Greg Satell is a US based consultant who focuses on content marketing and digital innovation.  You can find his blog at DigitalTonto.com and follow him on Twitter @DigitalTonto