March 3, 2014 3 Comments
It is my pleasure and honor to announce that today I’ve joined HYPE Innovation as a full-time Senior Consultant. HYPE provides an enterprise innovation management software platform – HYPE Enterprise – used by large companies around the globe. In my consulting role, I’ll be working hands-on with customers across the phases of innovation maturity:
- Beginning the journey toward a more collaborative innovation approach
- Expanding usage as they gain experience and see results
- Developing advanced ecosystems to drive next generation business models and products
This role is a change for me, moving from product to consulting. But it’s one I embrace and I’m looking forward to. I’ve talked a lot here about the need to understand customers’ jobs-to-be-done. By working side-by-side with organizations, I’m going to have a deep understanding of their jobs-to-be-done for innovation and problem-solving. And even better, an opportunity to help make them successful.
HYPE is headquartered in Bonn, Germany, and I’ll be working from San Francisco. In this post, I want to cover two areas:
- State of the innovation management market
- What makes HYPE special
State of innovation management market
Over the past five years, I’ve worked with a number of customers and thought leaders in the innovation management space. People that are committed to and passionate about this. The first thing to know is that enterprises are actively exploring ways to be better at innovating. Many, many of the companies you know and buy products and services from. From its roots as online suggestions boxes, innovation management has become a full-fledged corporate discipline. In fact, research firm IDC forecasts that by the end of 2016, 60% of the Fortune 500 will be using social-enabled innovation management solutions. Which, if you follow the innovation diffusion lifecycle, means we’ll start to see the late majority taking it up.
When I began working in the innovation field, the primary use case for innovation management software was to be an open suggestion box, equipped with social features (visibility, commenting, voting). Anytime someone had an idea, they had a place to post it. Unfortunately, that approach proved limited in engagement and value. Thus, that model has changed significantly the past few years. Organizations are now running campaigns that target narrow, specific topics. They are time-boxed events, which in a broad sense is a form of game mechanic that spurs greater participation. Campaigns offer these advantages:
- Ready recipients – campaign sponsors – to engage, elaborate and select ideas
- Continuously refreshing the program and reason for people to participate
- Address specific organization needs
Innovation – however you define it – continues to be a prominent use case. And with good reason, as CEOs rate it a top priority. There are multiple disciplines that address innovation: crowdsourcing, design thinking, TRIZ, incubators, lean startup, etc. Generally, innovation is considered creating something new which adds value.
But I’m seeing signs that crowdsourcing is being applied in other ways outside the traditional view of innovation. Here are three examples:
- Problem-solving: An example of this is cost-saving initiatives. People out on the front lines are seeing opportunities for improvement that are hidden from decision-makers in the headquarters.
- Positive deviance: In every large organization, there are people who have figured out a different, better way to do something. Crowdsourcing helps find these people, and their novel approaches can be identified and shared.
- Trend-spotting: With an army of employees out in the field, organizations have a ready way to canvas an area. People can post what they’re seeing, a valuable source of raw insight.
Idea development, evaluation and selection take center stage
When I talk with people not familiar with the innovation management field, I find their understanding often to be, “Oh, so it’s an idea collection app.” That is a necessary feature of course – no ideas, no innovation. But it’s a comical under-representation of what innovation management is. As Professor Tim Kastelle notes:
“Generating ideas is the easiest part. Most organisations already have enough ideas. The challenge for them is not generating more but implementing their existing ideas more effectively.”
As the market matures, companies are seeking ways to better advance the most promising ideas. This is where the puck’s heading.
Innovation becomes part of the purposeful collaboration canon
In the broader
enterprise 2.0 social business market, the integration of ‘social’ into core business functions has emerged as the basis of value. This is a change from the movement’s early roots. Constellation Research VP Alan Lepofsky nicely illustrates this evolution to Generation 3 as follows:
Innovation is a prominent use case that benefits from the application of social and collaboration. You can see more in Alan’s Slideshare presentation on innovation and purposeful collaboration.
What makes HYPE special
From my experience in the industry and in my meetings with the team, three things about HYPE stand out in the innovation management field
- Singular focus on customers’ innovation jobs-to-be-done
- Market leadership
- Demonstrated customer excellence
Singular focus on customers’ innovation jobs-to-be-done
HYPE has over a decade of experience in the innovation market. It’s roots were in the R&D world, with a deep emphasis on how to maximize the value of ideas. In industry parlance, this is sometimes called the “back-end” of innovation. It’s a sophisticated activity with variance in process for each organization. Through the years of working with customers, HYPE has become adept at handling this phase of innovation. I know it’s not easy – I did some initial product work myself in this realm previously. Success here hinges on understanding what customers seek to achieve, and acting on it.
With the rise of social business and increased interest in better utilizing the collective smarts of employees, HYPE moved forward to the “front-end” of innovation. Powerful features include campaign development, participation management, idea surfacing, collaboration and evaluation. With this investment of time and effort, HYPE offers the most functional full-cycle innovation process in the industry:
With deep expertise built throughout the platform, HYPE is well-positioned to address organizations’ innovation jobs-to-be-done.
In the past few years, HYPE has increased its presence in the market, following an investment from ViewPoint Capital Partners. From its roots in Germany, the company has become the leader in Europe. It is now seeing good growth in broader EMEA, the United States and South America.
Recently, Forrester published its Wave for Innovation Management Tools. Analyst Chip Gliedman reviewed 14 of the most significant vendors in the space. The analysis included:
- Innovation lifecycle: the components of a complete cycle
- CIO concerns: governance, security, architecture, integration
- Product roadmap
- Management team
HYPE achieved the top overall ranking, the coveted “top right” position of the Wave.
Demonstrated customer excellence
HYPE has over 170 customers from around the world. Consistent with my experience, the industries are varied. Some representative names are shown to the left. This is something one sees when it comes to innovation: everyone does it. There’s really not a specific sector that pursues innovation and problem-solving more than others.
HYPE has a number of long-term relationships. And it’s fair to say that once you’re a client of HYPE, you’ll be happy, satisfied and get results. Annual churn is less than 4%. On a monthly basis, that’s roughly 0.3%, at the magic level for enterprise software companies.
That level of customer satisfaction doesn’t “just happen”. Rather, it comes from being dedicated to customers’ success and working to make them successful at their jobs-to-be-done.
That HYPE logo?
Finally, about the HYPE logo. I actually do not yet know the background on it. But take a look at it. See some similarities to different hand gestures?
I’m looking forward to joining the team.
I’m @bhc3 on Twitter.