Growkomp 2.0: Building Innovation Connectivity Across Regional Business Ecosystems

innovation bootcampSuccessful innovations happen in clusters, with people coming together to break down barriers, share knowledge, and create new systems. A single idea, no matter how powerful, has little hope of changing of the status quo without connections that link it into a larger framework and supportive culture.

We call this Innovation Connectivity.

Likewise, the creativity of a single division or even a single company alone is rarely enough to overcome the inertia of “the way it’s always been.” In 2014, acknowledging the need for  stronger collaboration across business ecosystems, Magnus Penker and Claes Johansson developed a new model of collaborative innovation. New research gathered by Penker emphasized the importance of creating strategic linkages and partnerships.

By implementing structured innovation, harnessing innovation connectivity, and leveraging collaborative learning strategies, deeper learning and better outcomes result.

A History of Growkomp 1.0

The Growkomp development project was designed to enhance the innovative capacities of 22 manufacturing companies clustered in a region of southern Sweden. It brought together a coalition of regional business organizations and stakeholders, including Jönköping University, Science Park Jönköpin, and the Innovation 360 Group. Together, they undertook a two-year development project aimed at helping SME’s future-proof their business models and strategies, as well as optimizing productivity and operations, with a goal of increased growth and competitiveness.

Growkomp Yields Significant Performance Results

The results of this project included an average growth in order books by 25%, revenue by 12% (by far outstripping the growth of Sweden’s GDP), and an average rise in company value by 75%. Beyond financial performance improvements, though, the longer-lasting effects included the establishment of standards in corporate social responsibility and diversity in hiring, which set up the region as an attractive destination for rising talent in the future of work.

Growkomp 2.0 Expands to New Industries 

Building on those results, Growkomp 2.0 was greenlighted for 2019 with a mandate to dial up the growth and competitiveness of 15 new companies in a variety of sectors. To deliver on these ambitious goals, Innovation360 is partnering with Codeq and Sundberg Susatainblity to deliver this three-part program.

Innovation360’s Agnes Sävenstedtand Christer Johansson of Codeq oversee the project, and keep in close contact with the participating companies, coaching them onsite quarterly.

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Innovation Connectivity Bootcamp

At the end of January, Sävenstedt and her team awarded the InnovationIQ and kicked off the second boot camp with a focus on realizing the strategic business goals developed in the first camp.  They worked to help businesses assess their innovation capabilities, aligning them with strategy, and identifying and removing blockers.

Ideation Is Fun

The collaborative learning boot camps and ideation sessions are some of the most popular aspects of the program. They balance the theoretical with the practical, and guide participants through interactive exercises designed to encourage breakthrough thinking.

“Today, we worked with the first two phases of the innovation process,” Sävenstedt explained, “First to generate ideas and then choose the best among those ideas. To know if an idea is viable or not, we must test the idea. We must make our mistakes as quickly and cheaply as possible – that is the key to success with innovation.”

Participant Margareta Carlsson, who leads the railway company Solberga Station alongside Michael Carlsson, confessed, “This is really fun!” as she developed her ideas using Provocation Cards, an exercise that challenged her to think outside the box.

A series of boot camps like these, combined with in-company, personalized coaching, will generate new lines of business, establish best practices in innovation, and prepare companies for an accelerated rate of change on the road ahead.

We look forward to working closely with these promising businesses and seeing how they grow.

With an investment of more than 12 million crowns and encompassing 37 companies, the expanded Growkomp project is setting precedents that can be replicated in regions all over the planet.