TechEd Israel - Innovation Beyond Startups - Thoughts on Innovation in any organization

Yoram Yaacovi from Microsoft R&D spoke about Innovation at Microsoft – Finally a lecture worth the travel to Teched Eilat from a speaker who knows how to speak and to deliver an interesting talk.

What innovation groups do you have at Microsoft?

Product groups
Look ahead for :1-3 years
Who: developers
Focus: focus on depth features, quality, features, performance, scale,

Innovation labs
Look ahead for: 3-5 years
Who: Researchers and developers
Focus: focus on new applications services not-yet proven technologies disruption

Microsoft research – 2500 ppl world wide
Look ahead for: 5-10 years
Who: Researchers
Focus: Mostly long term research academies oriented not measured y short term results

Innovation can be looked as:
Incremental vs disruptive
High friction tough sell vs frictionless – easy sell

frictionless – easy sell, disruptive = Microsoft research
Incremental, easy sell, disruptive = Office Labs
High friction tough sell,disruptive = Israel Innovation Labs

Guidelines for innovation groups - 3H - Helpful, Humble, Harmless

Alchemie Ventures – group of ppl who deliver innovation toward delivery
Gate 1 – worth considering ? 81 ideas
Gate 2 - do we believe?           7 ideas
Gate 3 - The real opportunity    2 ideas
Gate 4 - Can we make it real ? 1 ideas

BXT - Business, Experience, Technology – measuring project by BXT

Israel Innovation Labs
”Exists” – go to market / sell to product group – Deep zoom composer, face recognition, TLV – location based services, PV, Digital Lens – ui for color blinded ppl, Tagit, 23 filed patents
What helps exists: spot existing needs, continuous persistent evangelisms, support from the product group
What stops exists: Ecosystems challenges, infrastructure challenges, Hard to get attention

Out of the box week
Goal: explore new technologies and ideas to create a working prototype
Rules of the game:
- Exactly one week
- All team activity is off
- Totally unmanaged
- Mandatory demo fest at the end of the week –> Code talks !
- Become a major source of new innovative projects

- Innovation is hard
- A single approach to innovation wont work
- Impossible to predict the next big thing
- A product team cannot create its assassin
- Task forces can not Innovate !

Manage for creativity !
Creativity and the role of leader – Harvard business review – October 2008
Organizing – by warren bennis – Basic books 1998

Learn from past success stories:
- Talent is key
- Lack of experience is also asset not liability
- Everyone can make a substantial impact
- Irrationally optimistic and unrealistic
- Diversity drivers innovation
- Failure is Ok Success I seven better
- Competition is good !

Beware of processes

Tap ideas from all Ranks

It’s a startup, think big stay small !

Build – great ideas are good – build, show !

Sell – sell your idea in the organization !

Be Persistent

Spaghetti on the wall – tryout lots of things

Know when to stop

Celebrate Exits

Manage the handoff

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