Business Innovation & Skills

BIS logo 2013


En 2010, David Cameron, après avoir consulté des dirigeants d’entreprise, a réuni au sein d’un ministère les entreprises, la recherche, l’enseignement supérieur et la formation: BIS – Department for Business Innovation & Skills (20,000 fonctionnaires au total avec le Board Of Trade). Donc pas tout à fait Bercy aujourd’hui… (avec 160,000 fonctionnaires).

Résultat: 1 million d’emplois privés créés en deux ans – quand la France en détruisait plus de 500,000 dans le même temps.


The government is working to create the right conditions for companies to thrive and make it easier for people to start successful new businesses.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is the department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business.

To boost the number of jobs and create a flexible labour market, the government is modernising employment law while protecting employee rights. To increase the number of people in employment, we need to support them into work through the benefits system and job search support.

The government aims to make sure that further education provides the skilled workforce employers need and helps individuals reach their full potential.

The government is working with universities and colleges so they can continue to provide high quality teaching and research and produce highly skilled graduates and post graduates.

The government funds and supports innovation in science, technology and engineering to help the UK’s high-tech industries to thrive.

Overseas trade and inward investment are vital for the UK’s prosperity. Through its trade and investment policies, the government aims to help UK businesses succeed internationally and encourage overseas companies to work with the UK.



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Innovation can — sometimes, okay, maybe often — be a battle


Dr.-Ing. Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW AG:

Why BMW started the risky BMW-i3 project?

Because doing nothing was even a bigger risk”.


When is it last time you…
  • visited start-ups challenging your position.
  • invited a trend watcher to confront you with how quick the world is changing.
  • visited customers who just changed provider to an innovative substitute.
  • went to Tech Universities to see experiments with new technologies.
  • read articles on new successful business models.
  • visit young customers and asked what they think of your brand — and products.
  • visited customers … and simply talked to them while they are at it


If you are reading this, your organization is probably less innovative than you are. You have a game-changing role. Build awareness that your company needs to innovate. Top Management will only change their conservative views if they get fresh new insights.
Keep confronting them with signals that your market is changing rapidly: changing customer preferences, new substitutes, a small new Danish start-up, et cetera… until the urgency to innovate will be understood and is top-of-mind.

Present your innovative breakthroughs propositions (bring new business, not new ideas) not as something really extraordinary (and risky) but as the normal next thing to do for the company. Your chances to convince will increase dramatically.

The voice of the Customer (VoC) is your best friend, ever. Use Customer Insights results and enthusiast testimonials to get internal support.

And Oh, one last thing, of course they’ll say no to your innovation. What would you do if someone came up to you out of the blue, saying you have to do the things you do totally differently? Or do totally different things. Innovation is always provocative by definition. So when they say “no” to innovation, don’t take it personally. It is not the end of the battle. It’s only the beginning!




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How creativity works

James Adidas









James Carnes, Global Creative Director, Senior VP, Adidas

It’s not difficult to generate ideas, to generate something new. What is hard is to find out what resonates to people, so that they have this Ha-Ha moment when they see it, or use it.

For years we went through loads of creativity sessions, brainstorming of all sorts… those workshops never really succeeded. They have not even helped us show the value of creativity. When you let free thinking rule the agenda, nothing comes out of it.

The only thing I truly believe in is Insight – Customer Insight. As simple as that: talk to people. Why things have to be this way? You need to uncover things. You need to think about the benefit they see in things. So go ahead, and spend time with them!

What is a Big Idea?

Do you solve anything? Do you bring anything new to someone’s life?

What’s not??

How to make runners run better? Or run faster?

We were missing the only right question: why are they running to begin with? We just made the assumption for decades that people run because they wanted to be good runners. So they went to buy running shoes. In fact, that is true for way below 10% of the market… and declining.

People want to stay in shape, or they want to socialize, or connect with other people, a way of feeling better about themselves, an escape from work pressure, a confidence builder, … we really need to find out why they run to begin with. Our goal is just to increase the pleasure while they are at it – or reduce the pain, most of our customers hate running.

So it does not happen in a lab. You have to go and visit the locker room. What’s in their mind? What’s the ritual? The ceremonial?

If you – just – listen to what people say (focus group), you will come up with something small and boring. If you want to go for the Big Idea, you need to go beyond and uncover what is it they do not say, what is it they cannot articulate.

So, No, creativity is Not Design Thinking.


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Petite leçon de marketing par Xavier Niel


(+40% de croissance en 2013 pour #Iliad)
– investir sur des marchés qui présentent une demande à satisfaire, où les concurrents sont soit inexistants, soit inefficaces
(Steve Jobs: “Think different”)
– sur le marché choisi, il faut se concentrer sur l’essentiel, ne pas se disperser, créer de la valeur pour le client
(Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, architecte germano-américain: “Less is More”)
– capitaliser sur une technologie naissante mais mature, susceptible de révolutionner la manière dont les gens vivent
– l’offre doit être simple, apporter un bénéfice important pour le client
– pour innover, constituer une petite équipe avec des individualités jeunes, passionnées, hypermotivées et responsabilisées

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Communicators and Strategists


I have been fortunate to meet some successful entrepreneurs, and I would like to share an observation. Successful entrepreneurs belong to two different groups. The communicators and the Strategists.

When you meet communicators, you are in awe. Think Jeff Bezos. Their success makes sense to you. They can articulate very well how it came about, and you buy it. When a communicator presents, interacts, speaks, their strategy is clear and communicating their strategy is part of their strategy. Communicators need to rally others to succeed, they need the participation and enthusiasm of partners and consumers and they know how to get it. Communicators are great presenters, great sales people.

But when you meet a strategist you usually have the opposite reaction. You listen to them and wonder how could they be so successful.

Now the strategists did not become successful selling themselves or building alliances, nor convincing others to buy their products, they made it by making one good decision after another. They don’t make sales calls, they hire others to do that. They basically just think hard. And that process, the introspection, the deep analysis, is impossible to see in another person. The instinct to choose the right members of their team, to go to the core of complex situations, to have a powerful vision of their product, to anticipate competitors’ moves, that is a process that is clear to them but opaque to the world. Think Mark Zuckerberg. Highly intelligent, amazing analysts and builders, but… poor communicators.

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What effective leaders do to lay the groundwork for innovation

effective leader1. They actively encourage entrepreneurship. Forward-looking companies continually reinvent their business models through experimentation and innovation. To let such a culture flourish, leaders have to be willing to share authority, challenge the status quo, encourage creativity and accept failure.

2. They set clear priorities. As important as entrepreneurship is, a leader ultimately has to lead. The person at the top frequently and sometimes uniquely enjoys an ideal vantage point for choosing between the short and the long term, and among markets and sectors. But no matter how clear their vision, leaders can’t manage innovation on their own. Companies need rigorous processes for assessing which ideas should move into development and which should not. Being able to say no is an essential driver of innovation productivity.

3. They strike a balance between efficiency and innovation. Some companies may be under pressure to cut costs and drive efficiencies, but the increasing pace of change means they also need to emphasise innovation. Resolving this contradiction requires the ability to both explore new avenues and fully leverage existing ones.

Combined with a healthy appetite for innovation, these leadership qualities have the potential to unleash a new wave of business creativity – and with it, perhaps, a new generation of global competitors.

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The Innovation Wave

 Dalian Convention centre

Innovation is rapidly moving up the agenda of CEOs throughout the global economy.

“Meeting the Innovation Imperative” is the key theme at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Chinese seaport city of Dalian.

With global competition fiercer than ever, leaders of countries and companies have no option but to employ an innovation-driven strategy: to harness technological, economic and social shifts and create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and innovation.


Innovation, by definition, has the potential to ignite growth and boost performance. It is sought – and celebrated – here for good reason. In a recent BCG study of the world’s most innovative companies, 85 per cent of CEOs surveyed ranked innovation as a top priority. They understand, better than most people do, that in a world of rapid change, standing still means falling behind. The right idea, launched at the right time, can push a company far ahead of its peers.

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