Marc Giget strikes again. The innovation thinker who pens forewords is also the focal point around which the French innovation community gathers. Over 200 people attended this week’s edition of his seminar. Topic of the session : Open Innovation — perspectives after ten years of practice in a digital world. Presans coordinated the session.
This isn’t Albert Meige’s first gig here. This time he came to present the main trends from the book he just finished co-writing with Jacques Schmitt. His talk was interspersed with subliminal encouragements to acquire it. The vision of the future he described is shaped by the twin waves of digitalization and commoditization. This rapidly approaching scenario would also see players of various sizes converge towards similar strategies.
On the level of intermediaries and service providers, time hasn’t decisively answered the question of the optimal business model. We might add that it has however provided negative hints.
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On the level of big companies, Albert stressed the importance of the involvement of top leaders when it comes to supporting a culture combining creativity and severity, traits required by successful innovation. Within organizations, one major ramification of this reality is the rise of the Chief Innovation Officer.
Subsequent presentations brought their own points of view regarding both these themes.
Jean-Christophe Simon, Chief Innovation Officer at SEB showed us his company’s answer to the relentless current of commoditization : relentless proximity to the consumer and product perfectionism. As he reminded the audience : without this type of culture, you can’t sell 1500 euro coffee machines in Germany. His mission within his organization is to gather and mobilize the community of internal and external experts around both business needs and strategic goals.
Christophe Aufrère, Director of Technological Strategy at Faurecia, mainly talked about on the complex factors that determine technological innovation strategy. Sustainable mobility and improved onboard quality of life are the twin strategic pillars of the French manufacturer of vehicle components. Faurecia’s global expert network is built around the funding of research chairs, such as in the ones in Munich and Shanghai.
Pascal Magnier, co-founder of Expernova focused on the choices that guided the evolution of his product : expanding the access to data, learning about the ecosystem, adapting the expert ranking system to diverse and very specific needs, increasing workflow integration.
I am told intense and uncompromising book-signings took place in the aftermath of the conference.