Bittium is a company that specializes in the development of reliable, secure communications and connectivity solutions, leveraging its 30 year legacy of expertise in advanced radio communication technologies.. The story tells about how Bittium developed and adopted continuous innovation culture throughout its operative environment. All submitted ideas are systematically checked and evaluated at frequent screening sessions and processed to action points in various company level plans.
Objectives: Building culture of innovation.
- Promote lean startup thinking inside the company and build a growing organizational culture of innovation.
- Utilize the full competence and innovation potential of the company.
- Create positive idea flow and pull among personnel.
- Stabilize a selection of idea perfection practices for continuous improvement.
- Create business growth for the company.
- Trigger technology, Way of Working, technology and business ideas and innovations including potential radical innovations.
Bittium provides innovative products and customized solutions based on its product platforms and R&D services and employs some 570 people mainly in Finland and also the United States, United Kingdom as well in Singapore. Collecting ideas has not been systematic enough and therefore, it has not reached its full potential to capture new business ideas. The requirement was that collecting ideas needs to be lightweight and apply new experimental or exploratory ways of working.
A systematic way was established to
- collect, grow and scale ideas with coaching practices and lightweight idea evaluation,
- visualize ideas early as lightweight demos to collect early phase of market or internal expert feedback
- flow and pull of ideas among personnel starting from business management to experts and implementation teams, as well as
- practices to continuously iterate and improve the way the cultural change was applied itself.
To trigger ideas:
- Create an as simple as possible idea submission form to make it easy to get started.
- In idea screening, do not make go/no-go decisions but rather give a coaching and shepherding guidance.
- Organize ideation campaigns and events to address focused business topics
- Offer opportunities for various kinds of idea submission forums to keep things progressing
- Follow up and improve the ideas handling lead time, i.e. the latency between the submission and implementation of an idea
- Make the approach transparent so that the people see the progress of ideas and understand how they can contribute to the ideation leading into innovations.
To prevent ideas piling up:
- Make frequent, small steps in review, follow ups, retrospectives, demos etc.
- Put the minimum necessary effort to proof, instead grow the business value of the idea step by step and do not aim at a big bang.
- Involve the idea submitter(s) in the idea processing and implementation team according to the current lean and agile way of working principles.
Cultural change in general:
- Have patience to see the final impact of the change
- One of the first signs of change is people starting to discuss, create and share ideas continuously. This shows that they have learned how to create ideas and how to present them.
- The more the ideation culture has progressed in the company, the more business potential the ideas start to have.