The Innovation Strategy workshop was conducted by facilitators from Electrolux and SEKO Tools with the focus of finding the next cutting-edge innovation and the strategies used.
We were given a real life case scenario from Electrolux with a daunting challenge: renew Electrolux as a global brand; reposition the brand; and change the perception of how to innovate domestic appliances.
Traditionally, household appliances have always been view as nothing more than completing a functional task (i.e. cleaning). At the Innovation Strategy workshop, Electrolux wanted to change that mundane view by suggesting that appliances should also be seen as fun and beautifully designed.
Drawing the example of a new vacuum cleaner product, the facilitators were determined to tweak the traditional matrix used for defining new home appliances, which include: efficiency of the machine; ability to clean; etc. They introduced a new perspective that looked at new factors such as: design; eco-friendliness; ease-of-use; even its attractiveness for kids to learn and help out with the cleaning.
The objective was to create a new product that would not only be functional and easy to use, but also attractive enough to be an art piece at home rather than a sore-eye kept in the closet. Furthermore, the product should be fun to use. How does one start working on an objective like that?
That was the basis of the Innovation Strategy workshop, which facilitator, Martin Hedström from Electrolux spearheaded. It was a thought-filled open discussion that tinkered ideas back and forth participants. Clearly, the answer to the question “what is the strategy for the next successful innovation?” is not a straight-forward one. As ideas formed and thoughts developed, the drive to find answers became part of a collective process, which everyone had a stake in.
During the workshop, Electrolux also unveiled one of its lastest products, Ergo Rapido, from whence their quest for finding the innovation strategy came from. Ergo Rapido is a simple to use vacuum cleaner, which was available in many different and shiny colors. Needless to say, it was beautiful. Its design had won many awards since its launch.
The Innovation Strategy workshop was commended for being thought provoking because of the very real concepts that were brought it. “It was a great workshop and I have gained real life insights about the process from the facilitators” participant of the Innovation Strategy workshop, Henrik Kihlberg, praised.
By the end, the workshop had not only planted a seed that gave root to new food for thought in their participants; but also sowed the idea seeds of new innovation strategies for the facilitating companies.
Article by Anders Bjärs
För mer information:
Activity: The Challenges of developing & implementing an Innovation Strategy Innovation Workshop at IIA 2011
Date: 19th - 20th of October 2011
Place: Sky City Conference at Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Profile of participants: Innovation practitioners
Hosted by: Innovation Pioneers
Partners of IIA 2011: Swedavia, Microsoft, Logica, Vinnova, Maxibit, Bergenstråhle & Lindvall, SISP and Baker & McKinzie.
The initiating companies of Innovation Pioneers:
Astra Zeneca, Alfa Laval, Electrolux, Volvo IT, Atria,The Absolut Company (Pernod Ricard), Ergonomidesign, Ericsson, Googol, Hjälpmedelsinstitutet, IKEA, Innventia, SCA, Stora Enso, Tetra Pak and Uponor.