Innovation Lecture 2009

On 8 December Geke was one of the round-table moderators at the annual Innovation Lecture, organised by the Dutch Ministery of Economic Affairs. The topic of this most recent Innovation Lecture was Service Innovation. Jeneanne Rae (Peer Insight) was invited as the keynote speaker. She gave a good overview of the need for Service Innovation, and the socio-economic trends that explain the background for this need. She stressed the importance of developing new business models and making use of customer insights. She also pointed out some of the current main inhibitors of service innovation, such as the lack of strategic focus on and funding for service related R&D, and the weakness of effective service delivery. In this respect the most interesting concept she discussed was the so-called ‘O-gap’.

The O-gap is the gap between the development phase and the implementation phase of new services. Many organisations seem to have trouble to make the transition from the dynamic momentum of innovative pilot projects with small teams to the fully integrated and sustainable implementation of the delivery of the new services by many people throughout the organisation. This seems to be one of the major challenges in service innovation today. We recognise this difficulty, and have advised clients to engage change managers in the innovation process.

The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mrs. Van der Hoeven, also presented two interesting talks to kick-off and wrap up the Innovation Lecture. She stressed the importance of finding the right balance between strategy/ratio/discipline and exploration/creativity/imagination. And, to put her foot where her mouth is, she announced the set-up of a ‘DO-tank’, as opposed to Think-tank, where new ideas can be tried and tested.

The Ministery of Economic Affairs has just published a report to summarise the presentations and discussions during the Innovation Lecture. You can download the pdf here: InnovationLecture 2009. The text is in Dutch, sorry (but everyone should be able to appreciate the nice picture of Geke on page 18 ;-)).

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