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the hype innovation blog

Oana-Maria Pop

Oana is a researcher in Open Innovation and Marketing at the Hasselt University in Belgium, where she works closely with professors Wim Vanhaverbeke and Nadine Roijakkers on bridging leading academic research and industry insights to create smarter innovation practice.

Schooled in Romania and Denmark and formerly the head of marketing at InnovationManagement.se in Sweden, Oana currently divides her time between an exciting PhD project at Hasselt University - focus: the (elusive) mechanisms that characterise innovation in service firms; open Innovation conferences and events around the world; working with innovation management education for SMEs in Eastern Europe, and trying to figure out how to fit her ambition of becoming a certified Les Mills personal trainer one day into all this.

Finally, Oana publishes regularly on the HYPE Innovation Blog and does so with great enthusiasm. Check out her author page for great insights on the benefits of engaging in collaborative innovation as well as essential reads "translated" with care and humour from academia.
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Recent Posts

10 Lessons on Innovation from the Research Kitchen of the Famous elBulli Restaurant

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Jan 24, 2017 12:48:18 PM

Let’s see here: absorptive capacity, superbosses, leadership paradoxes, coping strategies, ecosystems, new school crowdsourcing, lessons from “Grit”, Henry Chesbrough’s work. To me, 2016 was all about sound advice, the search for meaning, and giving you inspiration for your innovation management work. To do this I’ve dug through academic articles, followed webinars, sat in conferences, eavesdropped on experts, summarized reports and skimmed though some great books. Oh, and I’ve done some research of my own too, which I’ll be happy to share in a report later on.

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Topics: Ideation & Collaboration

The 3 Types of Promoters Needed to Support Your Innovation Process

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Jan 3, 2017 10:39:37 AM

There is a lot of talk nowadays about closing the so-called innovation “gap” or the difference between what leaders say they want in terms of a new product, service, process, or business model innovation and what their organizations actually deliver. 

Organizations can, and often do, fail to meet their innovation goals for a number of reasons and, depending on where you get your daily fix of leadership articles, these reasons will vary.

Some studies, for example, talk about the absence of a well-articulated innovation strategy or the failure to understand the external environment. Others blame failing to set expectations right and “issues” with decision-making – yes, according to McKinsey, as many as 65% of senior executives are only "somewhat," "a little," or "not at all" confident about their innovation decisions.

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Topics: Ideation & Collaboration

4 leadership paradoxes and how to embrace them

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Nov 23, 2016 1:17:30 PM

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be” – Rosalynn Carter

Incremental or radical? Structured or unstructured? People or processes? If there is one thing innovation management theory is never in short supply of, it’s dilemmas like these.

“Managed or unmanaged” is probably my favourite of the bunch, with countless books, blogs, articles, and podcasts dedicated to describing the ultimate innovation leader and their role – active or passive - in the process.

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Topics: People & Culture

On superbosses, mentoring and other prerequisites for innovation

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Oct 14, 2016 11:57:10 AM

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves” I didn’t say that, Steven Spielberg did. And I could not agree more.

The benefits of professional (formal) and non-professional (informal) mentoring for innovation are obvious and we see great examples all over the world. In Budapest, for instance, an organization called Design Terminal is coaching entrepreneurs to create brilliant solutions such as fire hydrants that double as drinking fountains, foldable furniture and software for automated video recruiting. Similarly, the World Bank’s infoDev initiative supports inclusive growth by helping innovative technology ventures reach maturity. Senegalese jams, growing crops without soil or the mpayer were all by-products of powerful mentoring relationships in this context.

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Topics: People & Culture

Creating Meaningful Organizations - Learnings from the 2016 Academy of Management Meeting

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Sep 28, 2016 9:37:29 PM

Making organizations meaningful. Noble pursuit and this year’s theme at the Academy of Management’s 76th Annual Meeting (AOM) where close to 10,000 students, scholars, and professionals in the management and organization space gathered to discuss companies’ raison d’être.

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Topics: Ideation & Collaboration

Three lessons from “Grit” to make you a better innovator

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Aug 3, 2016 12:58:03 PM

Love it or hate it, innovation advice is everywhere.

In places where you expect to find it – like Guy Gawasaki’s 5 innovation tips on American Expresses’ Open Forum. Or places you don’t – like a story about the most structurally innovative pile of dirty dishes by The Onion or a very innovative edition of the Cartoon Lounge and an Innovators Issue by the New Yorker.

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Topics: The Innovation Manager

Absorptive Capabilities for innovation: What Really Matters

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Jul 29, 2016 11:59:53 AM

ca·pa·bil·i·ty \ˌkā-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ - the quality or state of being capable (an ability); a feature or faculty capable of development (a potential); or the facility for an indicated use. Capability to outsmart (or outspend) the competition; capability to put the Business Model Canvas to some good use; capability for new product or service development – like making a Ghostbot, a bot that “uses artificial intelligence to help daters gracefully exit undesirable situations, without having to deal with it themselves”.

Useful or otherwise, capabilities are something we talk a lot about when it comes to managing innovation. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if innovation success came with a formula? (Abode has one by the way!) A formula to make it repeatable?

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Topics: The Innovation Manager

3 ways to leverage your innovation ecosystem better

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on Jun 22, 2016 11:17:41 AM

Co-development partnerships

Broad business networks

Independent networked organizations

Meta organizations

Collaborative arrangements

Temporary networks of innovation

Global networks of partners…

… Whatever you prefer to call them, innovation ecosystems are a core element in the growth of any organization. The reason is simple: having a diverse “entourage” of past, present, and future open innovation partners with whom to share risks and ideologies as well as reduce new product or service development costs represents the perfect context for value networks to emerge and for entrepreneurship to flourish. Companies and consortia to the likes of Salesforce (client relationship management systems), IMEC (Nano electronics), Korean Air (air travel) or P.R.O.F. (healthcare) are prime examples of how ecosystems can and should be used to create value no single organization can create on its own.

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Topics: Ideation & Collaboration

Best Of The Bonn Forum: The Secret Sauce

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on May 16, 2016 8:17:21 PM

Continuing the “Best Of The Bonn Forum” series, this next post is all about some of the handy (and often surprising) resources our presenters used to refine and redefine their innovation processes, principles and culture. From “children’s” stories to established toolkits and cutting-edge software & algorithms, getting innovation started is as much a science as it is an art.

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Topics: The Innovation Manager

Best Of The Bonn Forum: Robert Neuhard On “New School” Crowdsourcing

Posted by Oana-Maria Pop on May 9, 2016 6:54:59 PM

As you’ve probably seen & heard by now, John Bessant’s talk on learning the new innovation game wasn’t the only intellectual delight (+ conversation starter) at this year’s Innovation Managers Forum in Bonn. Robert (Bob) Neuhard, Executive Director for Operational Strategic Initiatives at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), delivered an equally rich & entertaining presentation on “new school” crowdsourcing or “Leveraging Collective Genius to Deliver Innovations that Advance Strategic Objectives” at his institution. Below, a summary of this talk, but the full talk is available to watch at the end.

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Topics: The Innovation Manager

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