In search of the best innovators
Press - 30.03.2021
Fokus Research wrote a nice article about the INNDUCE.me innovation test. In an interview with Peter Daels, they discuss how the assessment can pinpoint the innovators you need within your company or find them externally.
As the need for faster innovation increases every year, finding and combining the right profiles becomes vital for businesses. Every company looks for them: the employees with good ideas for innovation. With them on board, your company is more likely to innovate faster and better than others. But, how exactly do you find these innovators?
Read the original article (in Dutch) on the Fokus website, download the article, or continue reading the English version below.
Faster and better innovation
As yet, there is very little scientific research on why some companies get ahead on the innovation train. The Kortrijk-based INNDUCE.me has therefore developed a test to find the white ravens among your people. One of the shareholders of INNDUCE.me is the innovation consultant Creax, and for a while, they had been brooding on the question of why some companies innovate faster and better than others.
"For us, that lack of sufficient research was the signal to create a test that identifies who in companies are the right people to tackle innovation projects," says managing director Peter Daels. "Professor Frederik Anseel of UGent provided the scientific insights for this. The test is not based on self-assessment. It is, however, a situational assessment test with fifteen realistic innovation cases. In the end, the candidate receives a score and we know how that person can frame and tackle a problem."
The test simulates the candidate's mind map, Daels says. How does such a person think, reason, and decide? What attitude does that person have? How creative, curious, and open-minded is the candidate? Such a test was necessary because companies are often not very good at spotting innovative staff members.
"Innovators sometimes know how to hide well, but often companies are also not equipped for innovation. A company runs primarily on operational excellence: making the day-to-day processes run as well and as efficiently as possible.
Innovation is often somewhat at odds with this: it is complex, risky, and above all slow... We can help accelerate innovation."
Three basic skills
Innovation is based on three basic skills, Daels explains. Occasionally they all come from the same person, but usually, they require different people. This is precisely why innovation is teamwork and why you can train it. "The first characteristic is 'ideation': someone can recognize a problem and look for a solution.
The second is 'championing': the new idea has to be promoted within the company, gain support.
The third skill is 'implementation': how can we quickly put our new idea into practice? If you combine those three, it's bingo for innovation."
Although innovation is a difficult and contradictory process, it remains absolutely essential for the long-term survival of companies, Daels argues. "Only those who innovate can survive successfully. As a company, you regularly need new products and business models. Otherwise, you will be overtaken by the competition.
Moreover, you have to make sure that innovation gets out of the lab. Take Kodak, everyone thinks they missed the train of digital photography. They didn't. They were the first company to develop digital photography and put billions of dollars into it. But once it was there, they did nothing with it.
Besides, everything is moving faster and faster. It used to be that you could rely on a new innovation for about five years. Nowadays, you can be happy if it's two years."