Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Leonardo NEXT: The Innovation People
Learn how to use creative thinking successfully in your organisation and to develop your capacity for innovation and change!
Taking account of the global crisis, innovation and the ability to be creative are considered an essential driver for development and economical recovering. On the other hand, the crisis depressed investments in creativity and innovation as the first costs to be cut are those related to immaterial learning and skill development. Particularly SMEs are concerned, as they employ external services and staff to develop innovation, but in crisis circumstances neither have internal resources, nor strategic vision to face the market competition.
NEXT project tackled this problem. The transnational consortium supported the spreading of a creative and innovative culture inside the organisations by transferring and implementing methodologies, tools and concepts developed by the Dutch company New Shoes Today as a systemic approach to creativity for enterprises and organisations. Methodologies and tools, gathered in the book Creativity Today, deal with organisational development and with new product creation.
Therefore, a comprehensive programme for innovation transfer was set up by the partnership; the consortium includes the source of innovation, the Dutch company New Shoes Today, which made available its valuable expertise and stimulated learning in participants, by showcasing the process of developing creativity and innovation. The consortium gathers bodies from four Member States (Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Romania): employers service organisations in Northen and Southern Italy, Chamber of Commerce, SMEs and an operational organisation of the Wood and Furniture Sector are involved.
The outstanding outcome is the implementation of a mentality open to change and innovation in enterprises, experts, trainers and resource developers. Other intangible outcomes include a three steps transfer strategy designed to spread concepts, methodologies and tools amongst participants. An adhocratic multicultural approach to partnership relationships has been provided.
A crucial tangible outcome is the production of Action Plans for creativity and innovation development in enterprises, designed by participants and evaluated by the consortium, as a first step to spread the creative mentality inside beneficiaries’ companies. This supported and enhance mid and long term impact of the project, related to the consolidation of a “conceptual” economy, i.e. a market of innovative products and services whose realisation needs a culture of creativity and innovation.
Transfer action is based on the analysis of the success cases and methodologies identified in The Netherlands, where higher is the interrelation between creativity and innovation. The project identified the components of the creativity process able to generate innovation by people’s actions facing change processes. Both explicit (known) and implicit (not aware of) components has been identified as accelerators and obstacles of the innovative process.
The recognition of the two levels highlighted individual and organisational strategies for innovation implemented through practical creativity, in order to adapt to partner countries concepts, methodologies and actions undertaken to develop the added value created by creativity and innovation relationship.
Through on-the-field analysis of companies directly participating to the project, important information has been collected on innovation cases which have (or have not) been successful (and why), on the contribution by individuals (or a group), on the organizational context of development, on how successful innovation was once introduced within the beneficiary company, on the enabling factors favouring this successful integration.
From the methodology and the experience detected in Netherlands in companies context by NST, a transfer process of essential concepts has been implemented. The concepts were compared and transferred within the project to Italian companies and supporting experts, namely in the North and in the South through the coordination of Confindustria Veneto SIAV and Confindustria Sicilia.
The experts identified (companies, mangers, intermediate bodies for enterprises) underwent a 6-days training about concepts and methodologies. To grant the maximum return on investment, experts tested and adapted training outcomes in groups including senior and junior profiles.
Once the methodology integrated into the new context, it eased the transfer of the relevant aspects under other conditions within the valorisation and mainstreaming processes.
The Hungarian and Romanian partners participate to the adpatation process in order to single out key issues and smooth the transfer at national level. Concept and methodology integration has been provided by national experts as indicators of achieved results.
Afterwards, the successful cases in creativity incorporation as essential agent in innovation activities and processes has been presented and analyzed with regard to concepts, methods and evaluation results. Innovation paths were implemented, sustained by the transferring partner, focusing on intervention guidelines for each beneficiary/company.
The transfer was divided into different steps, as follows:
- Identification of variables within the organisation/sector likely to hamper or slow down innovation;
- Definition of individual or group interventions to overcome these variables on the basis of case studies and adaptation to local context;
- Setting up “creation teams”, trained by New shoes today;
- Availability of tools enhancing creativity within the human resource management system;
- Support to experts and enterprises in shaping up a creativity-oriented culture.
Transversally, the Dutch partner Mindmeeting methodology has been implemented in order to smooth partners communication and enhance the transfer of identified strategies to pilot enterprises. The role of the partner affected directly the intercultural mediation, as key issue in successful group dynamic and adaptable relationship.
Utilization and distribution of results
Activities of Households as Employers; Undifferentiated Goods- and Services-Producing Activities of Households for Own Use
Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Transportation and Storage
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Other Service Activities
Information and Communication
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
Website and forum: www.leonardonext.eu
Integrated edition of "Creativity Today" book in English, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian - April 2011
3 Project newsletters and 3 Open Workshops in Italy, Hungary und Romania: more information and news in the NEXT website www.leonardonext.eu
NEXT on Tour in Italy - June 2011 (Milan, Mestre-Venice, Palermo)
NEXT book presentation in Romania - September 2011 (Timisoara)