We took a step-wise approach. First, we tried to Understand Philips' innovation process. Second, we Identified comparable companies and managed to get 17 interviews with 6 different companies and 3 consultants overall, most of them being direct or onsite interviews. It was a challenging task in terms of reaching those people through our connections. We went through multiple literature research and identified the key drivers of innovation. Next we re-evaluated Philips’ current process against findings and went with few repeat interviews to gain more insights over the topic.
Post these researches we recommend Philips to create a customer centric culture and involve customer from the very beginning of their innovation process with the help of interviews and focus groups. Involving cross functional teams in the early idea filtering stage will help accelerate the process by a quite large extent. Conducting boot camps and trainings in the ideation stage will help the employees in filling the gap that existed in the process. This was an ambiguous problem related to fuzzy front end on an innovation process, and almost all the industry leaders that we talked with has one phrase for the financial projection “it depends”. Because no one is sure about the finances at the very beginning of the process and hence an innovation process cannot be judged on the basis of financial projections.
The exact findings and its comparison to current Philips’ investments and situation is confidential and hence cannot be shared here. However, the suggestion that we provided had a potential of raising the top line of the company by 40 million dollars per year.
With every great plan, there still are risks involved. The two major risks which we could identify were the cultural change of involving the customers from the very beginning and cost & time investment in their involvement and training. Going for a pilot run is what we suggested. Assigning one dedicated resource for the ideation phase and instilling customer involvement from the top of hierarchy will be the best strategy going forward.