This article is taken from MovesTheNeedle site https://www.movestheneedle.com/blog, by Brant Cooper
Now that you have a better understanding of what lean innovation is, here are some examples of companies we’ve worked with who have been able to integrate these ways of working into their organizations.
While they have each excelled in different areas, their results are a powerful indication that enterprise companies can and do use the lean innovation methodology to drive significant impact.
EXAMPLE 1: ING
The first example of an enterprise doing lean innovation correctly from a transformation perspective is ING, a global financial institution.
At one of our Innovation Executive Dinner events, we discussed the ROI of Innovation and the 3 Horizons of Growth.
What ING has been able to do really well is develop different programs as they relate to each one of those growth horizons.
Their innovation transformation program PACE addresses the need for Innovation across the 3 time horizons, near term, mid-term and long term.
“PACE Everyday” teaches people how to be entrepreneurial, in order to improve existing products and markets, but PACE programs also look to answer the question “What is banking going to look like in 5, 6, 7 years and what can we do today to lay the foundation for that.”
Not only have they developed internal programs that address each of the growth horizons, but they’ve also incorporated this way of working from the practitioner level all the way up to senior leadership.
They are extremely ambitious in their innovation goals and plan to have 50% of their workforce (50-60,000 people) working this way by 2020, and are continuously experimenting with the structure of their company to see how they can maximize the efficiency of working as a lean innovation company.
Creating innovation programs that are tailored for each growth horizon and for all levels of people within the company is a great way to transform the way the entire organization functions and create growth and new revenue for the company near term and in the future.
EXAMPLE 2: AIA
Where ING was a stellar example of a company going through innovation transformation, Malaysian Insurance company AIA has seen immediate results with lean innovation principles on a tactical level.
AIA started their lean innovation journey by identifying a handful of people who would go on to become Innovation Champions: individuals inside the company who would be in charge of spearheading the innovation efforts for the company through workshops, accelerator programs, and provide mentoring and advising for teams that were learning how to work in an “entrepreneurial” way.
Over the last year, we’ve been working with these innovation champions to get them up to speed while working through a several innovation sprints.
Out of those sprints, AIA has launched 2 new products and received funding for two additional internal startups. Their sprints have been so successful because, in a typical 3-5 day sprint, 5 teams run over 30 experiments and interact with upwards of 700 customers!
The sheer amount of work that these innovation teams accomplished during a single week is mind blowing.
And while AIA might not have all of their ducks in a row with regard to all areas of innovation, when it comes to hitting that first milestone of having an impact, there’s no other company that’s been able to do this faster.
Aggressive sprints and high levels of experimentation and customer interaction can drive impact quickly.
EXAMPLE 3: MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANY
This last example is a medical device company (whose name has been withheld to protect their privacy) who already had an internal group that leverages design thinking as a method for evaluating future growth opportunity areas.
And it’s a good thing, since their current business model is facing massive disruption…
What makes this company truly exciting though, is the idea that they are not merely hoping that “innovation” practices will result in new products that might eventually unlock massive growth and save them from the enterprise graveyard.
But rather, They are looking to use these principles for the commercialization of current products into emerging markets.
For them, it’s not just about product development but about how they can use lean innovation to affect different aspects of finding growth opportunities with their existing business model.
Typically, companies that just do design thinking are only finding a solution that addresses a specific market need. The company then focuses on the product, and only the product.
That’s a problem.
Even if you prove the product is desirable, that doesn’t mean that people are going to pay for it. They typically don’t tackle anything in terms of the business model or whether it’s scalable.
But in this example, the organization is using lean innovation to commercialize a handful of existing products into emerging markets.
They must figure out channels, messaging distribution, sales methods.
They must learn whether other products or features are necessary to complete the picture from the customers’ perspective.
To do this, they use the 3 Es of Innovation: Empathy, Experiments and Evidence.
Realizing that it’s not just about building new products, but about tying innovation to growth allows organizations to answer the question: “How do we apply lean innovation to what we already have in order to discover new opportunities and reduce waste in the commercialization of our products.”
Lean Innovation in A Nutshell
Enterprises define innovation poorly.
Marketing thinks of it differently than does R&D, who think differently than leadership. This leads to no real innovation at all, and leaves the company vulnerable to competition, disruption and the natural deterioration of existing products and markets.
Innovation must be tied to the current product lifecycle, technology trends, and the strategic priorities of the company.
Large enterprises require a broad portfolio of initiatives that develop growth opportunities over a time horizon spanning from today into the distant future.
Uncertainty lurks across this continuum.
Lean Innovation reduces the waste of discovering new value across the time horizon, wherever there’s uncertainty.
Using Empathy, Experiments, and Evidence, all employees, from the front-line to the C-suite, can reduce the risk of the unknown, in their quest to create new value and grow.