Archive for category Innovation

Transfer of Innovation, Leonardo

Friday, February 26th was the deadline for Transfer of Innovation (TOI), under Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) funding application in Ireland. In brief, LdV funding available to the public, private bodies and institutions, which also are associated and involved in vocational education and training (VET). There are 4 LdV sub-programmes, and each is different to tailor your needs:

 

 

 

As a person investing “sweat and blood” for 3 weeks to compile and send away the TOI application, I have gathered some thoughts that may or may not help you in your future endeavours.

 

  • Bureaucracy, forefather Max Weber probably did not dream of his theory taking such deep roots in post-modern organisations. Do not get me wrong, bureaucracy is good, rules are good, but not when you trying to get a simple sheet of paper and have to ring numerous partner countries, wait days and weeks only to find out that you are not going to get what you want. Any tips how to cut corners?

 

  • Do not assume, do your work from point zero in other words start absolutely from scratch and then build your project work up and up from the concrete basement.

 

  • Double-check, then check again. Business environment simple as that mistakes are costly do not let them happen. Especially when you are toying with budgets, wrongly placed digit can mean no funding, no cutbacks and even the loss of the opportunities to create the jobs as well as losing the job! When dealing with a lot of numbers, try to split the workload and keep yourself alert and present at all times, like in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

 

  • Organise and plan ahead, plenty! There are many variables to consider and to remember. When dealing with partner countries for instance, do contact them as early as possible and find out what their working hours are, time differences, any scheduled holidays, even if you have resources to overcome language barriers if needed of course.

 

  • Follow your own deadlines. To have realistic deadlines and have a good feel of the project progress is absolutely essential. Use diary and personal planner if you have to, break up tasks and review your progress daily.

 

  • Expect the unexpected, I think this tip is being widely practiced it martial arts philosophy. Come to think of it, business environment is like martial arts. There was a point during my project when my workload has tripled in a matter of a short phone call, regardless of the thorough planning I was so keen of.

 

  • Extra copies. Being conscious of the amount of paper waste, I tried to work mostly with the electronic versions of the application. It is nice to have few back-up copies of the master document, granting if you have a structure in place and know what is what.

 

  • Technical, IT equipment like people have attitudes and their own, specific approach. Do not leave it to the last minute to photo copy 300 pages to discover your new talents - breaking 2 photo copiers in less than 2 minutes. Not that I left it to the last minute but the photocopiers did break, and the building only had 3. When walking to the third one, I had dark thoughts of our IT administrator and maintenance member of staff to show me something equally new as my discovered talent plus the painful part.

 

  • Know your environment. Most likely you are working in the office and offices tend to be busy, never expect someone else work will be less important and they will jump ahead to help you if things turn the curve of unexpected.

 

My last few thoughts for tonight is that people at Leargas (Irish application centre), seem to be really friendly and nice. They do provide all kind of support and help. There are even dedicated workshops in the autumn’s time if your application was not successful previously. So, on your bikes my VET practitioners and best of luck!

 

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Creative Thinking as a Business Tool

Corporate Creativity

Without a shadow of a doubt innovation and creativity are synonyms of engine oil for product / project marketing and branding. It is an uneasy process to manage due to its nature and the elements of unlimited unrestricted “thinking out of the box”.

 

So, what could be the reasons to push you on the trail of seeking creativity and innovation at workplace? It is most likely to be related to:

 

 –  Promotional and marketing purposes;

 –  Efficiency maintenance and cost cutting;

 –  Effectiveness, quality control and benchmarking;

 –  Product / service development and re-branding.

 

In saturated markets it is absolutely auspicious to have an original perspective, not only in terms of competitive function and sustainability but also for development of so called “good will”.

 

Benefits! Yes, there are many benefits for creative practicing at work. Some of the examples represent individual, organisational and market perspective benefits (Kim-Brand).

 

Where do ideas come from? If there is a need, it might be advantageous to “buy” creativity and innovation consultation and guidance online, due to the easy of access and availability, as oppose to using local and internal resources. However, there is an increased risk factor of miscommunication and misinterpretation.

 

There is a general disbelief about cost effectiveness of the innovation and creativity in current economic downturn. Some fear that research and development departments will be the first ones to suffer budget cutbacks. However, Frank Evan director of business development for Ninesigma argues that “there is never a good time to hold back on gaining a competitive advantage”. You can listen to the original podcast over here.

 

In conclusion, it all comes down to pursuing individual business objectives to identify the most feasible means and tailor organisational needs accordingly. There is no unified formula of successful business development what works in one micro climate might be a potent economic disaster in another. So get your hands dirty and do the homework!

 

 

“Measurable Business Results”

 

An unusual approach to “thinking out of the box” concept, employed by Nissan manufacturers. Anyone else find it ironical?

The New York International Auto Show, Apr 2009 Nissan Cube (Image Source: Sky News)

The New York International Auto Show, Apr 2009 Nissan Cube (Image Source: Sky News)

  

Netherlands based Freedom of Creation, design studio and their creative project of Onitsuka Tiger - The Electric Light Shoe.

The Electric Light Shoe

 

Onitsuka Tiger Project: Making of Electric Light Shoe.

 

To finish up, I have recently discovered Evernote. A free service that makes capturing of the information in “any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere” a much, much easier task. Now, lets practice our creativity skills and find one hundred unique uses for Evernote, shall we?!

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