Idea championing article

Just published, thanks to my amazing and persisent team of co-authors:

Černe, M., Kaše, R., & Škerlavaj. M. (2022): Idea championing as a missing link between idea generation and team innovation implementation: A situated emergence approach, European Management Journal, 2022, ISSN 0263-2373.

Abstract We examine idea championing as a key intermediary process of the idea journey linking idea generation and idea implementation in teams. Building upon multilevel framework of emergence we theorize about how compositional and compilational emergence of idea generation along with idea championing behaviors translate team members’ creative ideas into team-level innovative solutions. We adopt a two-study research design including a two-wave two-source field study (309 employees nested into 92 teams with direct supervisors) and an experimental study (423 students nested into 79 teams) to test our conceptual model. The results of field study show that team innovation process featuring strong compilational (selected actor-maximum) idea generating followed by compilational idea championing leads to best team-level innovative solutions. Using a sociometric approach as a part of an experimental study, we further show that individuals exhibiting the strongest idea generating activity are also significantly more likely the ones engaging in most intense idea championing behavior. While having team members exhibiting such exceptional behaviors is relatively more effective in an unstructured team innovation setup, structured idea journey setups result in better team-level innovative solutions, when idea championing behaviors are more equally distributed among team members. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Gravitacija #16 – podcast o inovacijski kulturi in psihologiji inovativnosti

V veselje mi je bilo sodelovati kot gost v 16. epizodi Gravitacije, serije podcastov o inovativnosti. Na gospodarski zbornici Slovenije ga gostita dr. Aleš Ugovšek in Miha Goršin. Pogovarjali pa smo se o marsičem. tudi o tem, kaj se lahko organizacije naučijo od Marvela, kakšna je vloga kreativnosti pri inoviranju, kateri so ključni elementi in vodstvene kompetence, ki bistveno pripomorejo k temu, da lahko organizacija ideje z visokim potencialom razvije v uspešne inovacije, kako pomembna je psihološka varnost za inoviranje in rast podjetja ter kakšne oblike vodenja so primerne za uspešno udejanjanje prebojnih idej. Vabljeni k poslušanju.

Avtor fotografije: Tadej Kreft.

Intervju v Podobah znanja

Vabljeni k poslušanju pogovora z novinarko Nino Slaček na radiju ARS, ki v oddaji Podobe znanja gosti letošnje prejemnike Zoisovih nagrad in priznanj. Počaščen sem, da se lahko tudi sam podelil nekaj besed o prispevkih znanosti o ravnanju z znanjem in inovativnostjo, ki jih ustvarjamo z mojimi soavtorji. Pogovarjala sva se tudi o tem, kako lahko znanost o organizacijskem vedenju in vodenju prispeva k reševanju najbolj perečih izzivov sedanjosti in prihodnosti.

Zois recognition 2020

How to establish the age of the oldest preserved wooden wheel in the world? How to create sustainable energy solutions? What is out there in the space? Why do we hide knowledge? How can we continuously innovate? These are some of the research questions recipients of the Slovenian national research and development Zois and Puh awards keep asking themselves. This years ceremony was anything but ordinary. For obvious reasons, interviews, videos, one-on-one award reception at the presidential palace, they were all prerecorded and magically weaved together. For any scientist (by profession or by heart), yesterday’s documentary on RTVSLO 2 must have felt like kid in a candy store. While watching the whole event at the home sofa, I noticed some special sparks in younger pairs of eyes right besides me. Curiosity and wonder – science and research exactly like they are supposed to be.

And now, drums please, the Zois recognition the contribution to the world science about knowledge and innovation management goes to … yours truly. Which feels deeply honoring and simply ecstatic. Worth mentioning, science is a team sport. Therefore, my sincere gratitude goes to all of my coauthors, mentors, colleagues, friends and research support staff that made all of this possible in the first place. The list is long and I will do injustice to many. Hope they will find it in their heart to forgive me. Still, I would like to pay special gratitude to the selected few that contributed most in the period to which recognition is given. They are Matej Černe (SEB LU), Arne Carlsen and Anders Dysvik (both BI), Spencer Harrison (INSEAD), Catherine Connelly (McMaster University), and Christina Nerstad (OsloMet) as well as all the wonderful people at School of Economics and Business University of Ljubljana and BI Norwegian business School. Thank you!

Creativity and innovation management TV

To change subject just for a little while. Here are some creations of our Erasmus exchange students at School of Economics, University of Ljubljana under the umbrella of Creativity and innovation management. We ask our students to step into  the shoes of innovation journalists and send them out in the wide white world to gather insightful stories about innovation journeys, struggles and triumphs. Worth mentioning, our semester started face to face and then came corona. Our students went back home, some waited at the border crossing for 16 hours, all of them came out as winners. During all the locomotion, our work did not stop for a single second. Could not be more proud of students and the team!

Enjoy the show!

What can we learn from Marvel about continuous innovation?

Over the last decade, Marvel Cinematic Universe has been on a winning streak. Operating in highly competitive landscape of movie franchises disrupted by streaming business models, they were able to create a successful organization. One that consistently delivered blockbusters pleasing audiences and critics alike. Together with my colleagues and friends Spencer H. Harrison (INSEAD) and Arne Carlsen (BI Norwegian Business School) we delved into research trying to understand inputs, process and output creating innovation at Marvel. In the article published at Harvard Business Review we argue that organizations that would like to create innovation universes, a portfolios of creative products linked to and sufficiently distinct from each other, need to find imaginative ways of balancing continuity and renewal. In other words, for innovation we need both change and stability! Enjoy the read.

Media coverage:

International editions:

Talking Tom has a case study (Outfit7)

In less than a decade, Talking Tom and friends have become a household name around the world with number of downloads exceeding the global population. A fascinating story of how Outfit7, the company behind the scenes of Talking Tom has been started up, scaled up, how founders exited and how it is developing recently as one of rare entrepreneurial unicorns under the new ownership. Many thanks to my co-authors Spencer Harrison (INSEAD) and Žiga Vavpotič (Outfit7 member of the board), all the contributing interviewees including Iza Login (the founder of Outfit7), Xinyu Qian (CEO), all the participating leaders and employees from Outfit7 as well as dedicated staff from the INSEAD to get the story out in the open. Three-part case study is now available from the INSEAD case publishing, the Case centre and now also from the Harvard business school publishing. Our greatest hope is that it will spark fruitful discussions and learning in the educational institutions around the world.

Outfit7 is a digital entertainment firm that develops and publishes animated video games for mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It’s flagship product is a series of mobile apps called “Talking Tom and Friends”, with close to 8 billion downloads globally. Outfit7 is one of only 46 European unicorns, i.e., privately held companies valued above $1 billion, topping the global ranks of most downloaded mobile games. In 2017, according to App Annie, a leading app-ranking platform, Outfit7 was the sixth most downloaded mobile publisher, and My Talking Tom was the second most downloaded mobile game globally, putting it in the company of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Tencent and Alibaba. Part A describes the growth stage from 2009 to 2014, along with the story of founders Samo and Iza Login. The focus is on setting up the startup and developing a unique organizational culture, leaving the hiring decision (fit or misfit) to students. In Part B, from 2014 to 2017, the start-up moves into scale-up phase after the founders’ exit/appointment of a new management team, the focus is on entrepreneurial leadership. In Part C, as tensions emerge from scaling up a unicorn, students must decide what to keep and what to change (how to balance continuity and renewal) as expectations for growth soar.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To facilitate discussion of entrepreneurship, leadership, human resource management, change through growth, and organizational culture.

Start-Up, Scale-Up, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Human Resource Management, Organizational Culture, Unicorn, Founders’ Exit, Change Management, Family Entertainment, Growth, Learning from Failure, Organizational Values, Teamwork