Economy & Innovation Management
Here is a description of our activities:
Innovations at your service
Looking for my opposite
The economical meaning of innovation is a continuum from the creation of an idea to a product, a service, a profitable process. It is the result of a collective work. The choice of people to unite around the creation of innovation is very important for its lasting quality and then its successful result.
A original method has been develop in the Economy Department to select the most fitted people to create an innovative team: "the method of opposites". It consists in creating the best team by gathering the most possible different profiles. In practice, we must at first identify the opposites in an initial group of people, for example, among a company's managers. The components of a person, which separate him the most possible from another, are his system of values, his behaviour facing problems and his natural roles. Moreover, they distinguish him definitively because those components are stable, hardened, at adult age at least. The identification of those individual characteristics continues half a day for twenty managers. The rapidity of that detection comes from the care, which was taken previously to the creation of lists of questions and to the locating of the possible cases as a whole to their hierarchization.
When the hardened characteristics of managers are extracted, the method displays the opposites and how to associate them. For example, a manager, whom values are situated to the north of the rose of values, and another, whom values are situated to the south of it, doesn't spontaneously propose the same solutions. Those two don't face problems alike. Our opposite doesn't sse the world "as it is". An effort will thus be made to work together, so that the different identities don't push back themselves. On the other hand, the diversity of approaches will be optimal. For example, by knowing the profile of the company's members, it will be easy to select the most suitable persons to participate a brainstorming or th form the most qualified transverse team to bring the series of products up to date. In the same way, it will be easy to select the suitable persons to extend the exploitation of old products. The method also shows the missing links in existing teams and persons who are in counter-use. In any case, it locates the professional dysfunctions, which affect teams.
At French bosses own request, the method of opposites were again developed to allow them to make a diagnosis about their right hand people, their management committeee and each department of their company. 405 bosses have been trained nowadays, specially in France.
In the continuum of innovation, the marketing phase also claims particular methods. The most useful trading method is the acceptance test. It consists in a qualitative survey to evaluate the interest of something new. Twenty persons with an authoritative opinion are sufficient to judge that a new thing targets or doesn't target the estimation "good", based on relevant evaluation criteria. The weakness of the number of interrogated persons is compensated by the importance of the required score to give agreement. The method rejects new things, which would have been maybe accepted if the sample had been representative. Meanwhile, we must consider that it usually links with a creative step. A failure, even undeserved, thus guides the inventor towards another ideas, found during a brainstorming. Another idea can be thus tested, then another again, until to find a "good" idea.
The acceptance tests are easy to prepare and inexpensive. They are perfect for small and medium-sized undertakings, which refusing a representative statistically survey because of their budget, are differently satisfied with a survey of their relations. The Economy Department is frequently asked for those tests. They are currently achieved as a service to the collectivity. The greater part of those tests has been organized until nom in collaboration with "La Maison de l'Entreprise" and "La Ville de Mons". The available acceptance tests concern concepts of new products or services, concepts of new activities, new brands, new slogans or institutional signatures, new logos and new advertisings.
The performance tree
The financial phase of innovation aims to measure and to explain the interest of a new project. The performance tree incorporates, by levels, all the necessary and sufficient indicators of management to financially qualify an innovative project. There are shoals of financial indicators in specialized works. Meanwhile, they are described, sometimes by families, but always juxtaposed, showing the different faces of the affair. The advantage of this method is to bind all the indicators by relations between cause and effect and even exactly by formulas. The tree, with all its indicators, constitutes in that manner a giant formula, which shows the contribution of all the parts of the project to the general unique performance. It allows to distinguish: the fiscal performance (abatement for additional staff in R&D, deduction for investment...), the financing performance (loan conditions, subventions in capital, in interest...), the exceptional performance (foreign circumstances but concomitant to the project), the performance of financial assets (investments conditions, interests on the current account, ...), the performance of exploitation activities (successive margins of exploitation, rotation of the exploitation asset, of stocks...). The varied causes are separately identified, echaustively and without redundance.
Post-graduate cycle and Innovation Management
Those original and exclusive methods are essentially given in the program of the University Certificate in the Innovation Management. They occur in the general structure of innovation, called "the 3C of the mix-innovation". It explains the innovation from its three angles: creativity/customers/expenses. It is a cycle created in 1988, which welcomes each year about fifty participators (information on the website http://mi.fpms.ac.be).