What drives Innovation Projects that are successful

What drives Innovation Projects that are successful, this was a question that we at Innovation Pioneers asked our members. Good innovation practices and the keys to success was the topic.

During last weeks tank meeting we answered that question. Eva-Carin Banka Johnson of IKEA who also is our Chairwoman reflected that the topic was our core interest.

After the meeting I discussed with appreciated workshopleader and innovation specialist Johan Maresch of Volvo Cars. These are his thoughts.


”With the knowledge and more important the actual experience and data from some of the more successful radical or semi radical projects being made in the Nordics lately we have some strong indications on what is needed to make radical innovation happen (and deliver value). What has been a gut feeling is now statistics from 15 well executed projects (project budgets between 1-400M SEK, lifespan over several years).

That resources and money and the firm support from top management makes the life easy for the intrapreneur is well known, but that the thick headed, enthusiastic, difficult and stubborn driver of an idea actually can make change to a company DESPITE the top management is now something that we have seen in more than one documented case.  “Management can be changed”. In more than half of the projects there were one strong individual who were seen as the key for the success of the project. It has been shown that the validation (and continuous validation) towards the customer and/or end-user is a safe way to success, if not absolutely necessary.  It seems also fair to say that to find the radical ideas we need to search for true insight, found in either a person (often well initiated in a problem) or created between persons in a workshop often combining competence and experiences that has not met before. About half the radical ideas came from workshops and almost a quarter from colleagues.

Majority of our findings are maybe not surprising, rather expected, but now facts are on the table and we can further digest into the details, reasons and actions for how to evolve our companies into a successful future. – Johan Maresch”

Innovation Pioneers will keep digging in these questions in the near future. Our mission is to aggregate, produce and develop methods, processes, tools and experiences to enable increased innovation capabilities for the individual, the organization as well as for society. We spread knowledge and insights around innovation through our open and generous sharing.


Here you can find the report from the meeting.

// Kim Silvasti

Selection of our Initiators & Members