Episode 19: Resourceful Product Innovation w/Fredrik Sandqvist
4 August, 2020 / Host: Magnus Billgren
The Art of Resourceful Product Innovation
As businesses continue to push the boundaries of what's possible, innovation becomes an essential aspect of operations. The need to innovate is further amplified in the face of limited resources, making it critical to find ways to achieve more with less. In this episode of The Productbeats Show, Fredrik Sandqvist, Head of Innovation at Coor Facility Management, sheds light on how his company has achieved remarkable success in innovation despite limited resources.
No Resources? No Problem!
Innovation often requires a significant amount of resources, such as time, money, and skilled personnel. However, Fredrik Sandqvist believes that having all the resources you desire means you do not have enough ideas. He highlights that businesses always lack resources, and the backlog of important things to do keeps growing. Therefore, the challenge is not necessarily balancing requirements and ideas with resources. Instead, it's finding a better way to work with partners and involve them in innovation.
Collaboration is Key
Coor Facility Management's strategy is built on collaboration and making themselves an attractive partner. They are considered one of the leading Building Automation companies without having a development department! Under Fredrik's innovation guidance, Coor has doubled their revenues and tripled their margins, all based on collaboration.
According to Fredrik Sandqvist, the key to resourceful innovation is building an ecosystem that involves customers, employees, suppliers, and start-ups. Coor Facility Management collaborates with the best accelerators and programs in each country to find start-ups and scale-ups with products and services that are ready or close to being ready to be tested with their customers. By working with partners and other value contributors in their delivery, Coor Facility Management can achieve more with less.
The Benefits of Collaboration
Collaboration offers numerous benefits that can help businesses innovate more effectively, even with limited resources. Here are some of the benefits that Fredrik Sandqvist highlights:
- Access to diverse perspectives: Collaborating with partners from different backgrounds and areas of expertise can help generate fresh ideas and new ways of thinking.
- Shared resources: By pooling resources with partners, businesses can achieve more with less.
- Faster time-to-market: Collaboration can help accelerate the development process, enabling businesses to bring products and services to market more quickly.
- Reduced risk: By working with partners, businesses can share risk and mitigate potential losses.
- Opportunity to learn: Collaboration provides an opportunity to learn from others and gain new knowledge and skills.
The Importance of Collaboration Skills
Collaboration is not a skill that is often taught in traditional education settings. In university, students are often taught how to compete, but rarely how to collaborate. However, Fredrik Sandqvist highlights that collaboration is critical for success in the business world, particularly in the realm of innovation.
- Innovation is not just about having enough resources, but also about finding new ways to work with partners and involve them in the innovation process. Coor Facility Management's success is a prime example of how collaboration can help companies achieve innovation goals without a large R&D budget.
- Building an innovation ecosystem that includes customers, employees, suppliers, and start-ups is crucial to finding innovative solutions to new problems. Coor Facility Management collaborated with the best accelerators and programs in each country to find start-ups and scale-ups with products and services that were ready or close to being ready to be tested with their customers.
- Collaboration is a skill that is just as important as competition. In university studies, students are often taught how to compete, but they may not receive enough training on how to collaborate effectively. Developing strong collaboration skills can help individuals and organizations achieve innovation goals and succeed in today's business environment.
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