What can Fujitsu teach us about implementing innovation?

fujitsu-innovationThere remains a tendency to regard innovation as the production of new ideas, but of course the meat of innovation comes when those ideas are implemented.

This task is, in my opinion, often the harder element of innovation, and I’ve written several times about the huge challenges organizations face in developing the ambidextrous talents required to be good at doing new things as well as existing things.

The Open Innovation Gateway

Fujitsu have recently announced the creation of their Open Innovation Gateway platform to help advance the implementation of new innovations within the business.

The platform will revolve around the core Japanese process of

shu (learn) – ha (break) – ri (create)

This was designed to encourage a culture of continuous innovation and will underpin the OIG.  Fujitsu suggest that the platform will provide an environment for partners to learn new ways of innovating, break them and create new processes from them, which will be done via three phases.

The three phases of innovation

  1. Learning – partners will develop a big picture of the various emerging opportunities on the horizon, and then plan for how best to take advantage of these
  2. Breaking – the next phase will involve the discovery of one’s own strengths and stepping out of one’s comfort zones.  Collaboration will be crucial here as boundary crossing is encouraged.
  3. Creating – the final stage is then to deploy an open services innovation model that Fujitsu believe will deliver innovation to market faster, and thus allow further learning to be undertaken.

The OIG is receiving its own physical hub, which the company hope will act as a facilitator for physical collaboration between individuals and organizations.

The facility will feature a number of environments to support the innovation process, including an Infopresence room to facilitate the co-creation of ideas, a video wall for presentations and a fully equipped video studio on site.

We’ve seen companies attempt to facilitate innovation in a variety of ways over the past few years.  For instance, open innovation facilities such as the various GlaxoSmithKline open labs, or the Ford and GE backed TechShop facilities, or even the SAP backed HanaHaus co-working cafe.

A variety of approaches is usually a precursor for innovative solutions, so it will be interesting to monitor these and the new Fujitsu facility to see how successful they prove to be.

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