The continuous innovation of the Innovation Product Lab
Innovation is an incomparable benefit for a company from two points of view. Externally, it consists of constantly presenting new products and services in step with the times and clients’ interests; internally, it provides motivation and enthusiasm to workers. As Erez Tsalik, one of today’s leading innovation gurus, affirms: “having an innovative idea or solution is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.”
And, as we know, happy people make happy products.
As such, creating a climate in which innovation is a nonstop process and not an exception to the rule is fundamental: a challenge all the more urgent in today’s world in a panorama characterised, on the one hand, by consistently fiercer competition and, on the other, ever more demanding clients.
It has to do with passing from a traditional concept of “incremental” innovation in which ideas and changes present themselves one at a time to a more complete, comprehensive, and effective approach: continuous innovation, which is to say a method in which innovation is incorporated into the company’s very processes. This is the only way of keeping up with the demands of the market and of being able to respond creatively and quickly to requests, changes, and even dangers without ever losing sight of competitors old and new. At the same time, this creates an environment in which workers are more satisfied and encouraged to innovate further, thus triggering a virtuous circle.
We have made this new logic ours and we are working in complete synergy with the Innovation and Sustainability department of the Enel Group. In fact, we have given life to a structure created with the aim of favouring continuous innovation and transforming it into a value for the company and for our clients: the Innovation Product Lab.
Innovation Product Lab has developed a model in which innovation follows a process subdivided into 4 phases. At the termination of each phase there will be an evaluation to determine whether or not to continue on to the next phase. In summary, the progression can be outlined as follows:
Initial phase: creation and collection of ideas
Initial evaluation stage: the Innovative Products Scouting Committee, made up of members of the Innovation Product Lab, carries out a preliminary screening
Second phase: only approved projects begin the preliminary design phase and the pre-feasibility study
Second evaluation stage: the Innovative Products Screening Committee initiates a more technical and detailed business evaluation involving the Global Product Lines and the company’s other functions relevant to the projects
Third phase: further studies on the project’s feasibility; fine-tuning
Third evaluation stage: the Innovative Products Committee approves the projects for their execution phase
Fourth phase: realisation of the projects and verification of their interest to the clients
Fourth evaluation stage: at a meeting – known as the Innovative Products Hand-over Meeting – the projects which have been definitively approved pass to the Global Product Lines which is concerned with their implementation across various markets.
In total, a length of circa 6 months is envisioned for the whole process at the end of which not only will the innovative project become a product in its own right, but with the results obtained it will also foster the development of new ideas.