Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Books category.

Pre-Order: Enterprise 2.0

Niall Cook’s greatly anticipated publication „Enterprise 2.0 – How social software will change the future of work“ (ISBN: 0 566 08800 2 | July 2008 | c. 180 pages | Hardback) is ready for pre-order:

Social software has taken the Internet by storm, fuelling huge growth in collaborative authoring platforms (such as blogs, wikis and podcasts) and social networking communities. These technologies have generated an unprecedented level of consumer participation and are finding their way inside organizations, officially and unofficially. It is therefore vital that businesses understand and embrace them as part of their own information and knowledge management strategies.

Enterprise 2.0 helps you navigate the emerging social software landscape and introduces you to the key concepts that make up ‘enterprise 2.0’. I explain how the culture of most companies will need to change as a result of the different ways of working that social software enables. The four Cs model at the heart of the book uses practical examples from some of the best-known companies in a range of industry sectors to illustrate how to apply these techniques to encourage communication, cooperation, collaboration and connection between employees and customers in your own company.

We think it might be worthwhile joining the Enterprise 2.0 Wiki and contributing to the discussion.

„Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work“ (Niall Cook)

By Bernhard Hoetzl


Prof. Helmut Karner on Austria’s Role in Global Competition

Prof. Helmut F. Karner, a Management Consultant and Portfolio Worker as well as mentor and network partner of FUNKENSPRUNG had a remarkable discussion with Reginald Benisch, a chief editor, about Austria’s role in global competition. Published in „Goldener Trend„, an Austrian business magazine, in June 2008.

Article as .pdf.



Lead User Innovation

The sports industry has always been a fantastic field research environment to investigate user innovation theory.

The term “Lead User” was developed by Eric von Hippel, Professor and Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in 1986 and 2003.

„The Sources of Innovation“ (Eric von Hippel)

„Democratizing Innovation“ (Eric Von Hippel)

Most user developed products and modifications are developed by users with lead user characteristics:

• They are at the leading edge and their needs will later be experienced by all other users in that market,

• They anticipate relatively high benefits from obtaining a solution to their needs and therefore innovate;

So far the theory…


Two weeks ago I participated in my first sprint-triathlon (750m swimming, 20km biking, 5km running). An exiting sport – not just combining three different disciplines, but also involving a lot of strategic planning, tactic and lead user innovation. I always find it incredible how innovative participants get in order to save seconds for winning: modified and combined swim, bike and run wear that provides fast changing times, high carbon food supplies knead to small bites and stuck to the bike frame, modified drinking bottles with straws and quick to change bottle holders, comfortable foot straps that hold the time measurement chip and many more. All with the same purpose: to gain a benefit from the solution that no commercial producer has yet thought of.


Since this was my first competition and I didn’t plan a lot ahead, my own user innovation approaches were quite simple – the result: I lost important time, especially during the tricky changing periods and finished 71st out of 83. Nevertheless, I am quite happy with the result and will now fully concentrate and get highly innovative for the next competition.

Other great examples of lead user innovation in sports are the first footstraps invented for jumps by high performance windsurfers in Hawaii in the 70ies or the first kite surfers at about the same time – check out the fantastic site of Zero Prestige!

Main characteristic: leading edge and way ahead of the mass market.

How open is your company regarding user feedback for existing and future products? Do you know today’s lead users of your products tomorrow? Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about Lead User Methods, User Innovation and Toolkits.

By Bernhard Hoetzl

Launch of MLabs at London Business School

On May 2nd, 2008, I was invited to London Business School’s launch of Labzone:

„The world’s first Management Lab is a unique initiative with an equally unique and powerful perspective. Co-founded by professor Gary Hamel, “the world’s leading expert on business strategy” (Fortune) and Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School, the Lab is a pioneering attempt to create a setting in which progressive companies and world-renowned management scholars work together to co-create “tomorrow’s best practices” today. The goal: to dramatically accelerate the evolution of management processes and practices that will define competitive success in the 21st century.“ (

Discussing the same topic on „how to manage the organisation 2.0 of the future?“ a couple days earlier at our Management Innovation Lab in Vienna, it was very exciting to learn directly from Alan Matcham, Director of MLabs, Professor Julian Birkinshaw, Co-founder and Research Director, and first corporate experiences with the MLabs method from Happy, UBS and Jaguar.

Professor Gary Hamel, who is Co-founder and Executive Director of the MLabs, provides a clear call for action for management innovation in his latest book „The Future of Management“, published in 2007.

We believe as well that radical change in management will be a necessity for a lot of companies in order to keep up with the fast paste of Google and co. and for survival of the next 5 years.

by Bernhard Hoetzl


„The Future of Management“ (Gary Hamel, Bill Breen)


A couple years ago I participated in a swarm intelligence session at a conference in Interlaken, Switzerland, and this event changed my direction of thinking – a lot. It was absolutely fascinating to observe how a large group of people starts developing it’s own collective thinking and achieves results that are above those of individuals in most cases, just as James Surowiecki indicates in „The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations“, first published in 2004. Earlier this year then I visited a speech in Vienna by Peter A. Gloor, Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Cologne. Peter Gloor developed the topic in „Swarm Creativity: Competitive Advantage Through Collaborative Innovation Networks“, published in 2005 and together with Scott Cooper in „Coolhunting: Chasing Down the Next Big Thing“ in 2007:

Apple with the iPod and iTunes, Google with its search engine, AdSense and a whole portfolio of innovative new products, Toyota with the Prius hybrid car, Nespresso with it’s trendy coffee machines and companies such as Whole Foods Market with breakthrough management models always seem to have an answer to the question „What will be the next cool thing and market trend?“ The search for the source of trends was coined as „coolhunting“ years ago.

Gloor and Cooper deeply analyse what „coolhunting“ is really about in a world of connected thinking, social networks and global online communication. Their discoverings are tremendously exciting and explain how groups of people work together to innovate. Many of the best ideas don’t come from single individuals or corporate research labs, but from the collective efforts of groups of people (Collaborative Innovation Networks – COINs). Those networks operate best under certain pre-conditions such as non-profit common goals (many open source projects work under the same principles). Gloor and Cooper developed a tool that allows to analyse communication in such COINs and identify trendsetters.

More and more business leaders around the globe start realizing the benefits and enormous potential of collective minds when it comes to innovation. The collective wisdom of crowds is all present in our today’s world. I therefore was not surprised when I asked the students in one of my innovation management lectures, if they can imagine studying in a world without Wikipedia and the answer was – „NO“!

by Bernhard Hoetzl

„Coolhunting: Chasing Down the Next Big Thing“ (Peter Gloor, Scott Cooper)