Shell Company’s Innovation Processes

Summary

Summary of Game changer concept.

You can expand to discuss Shell innovation processes in more broad terms.

GameChanger is a concept according to which it is pivotal to seize upon innovative ideas and attempt to develop them to create major changes in a particular sphere of activity (Strategos n.d.). The company of Shell is a good example of implementation of this concept; the business has a separate program which allows anyone interested in developing new ideas to communicate these to the company, and, if the ideas are deemed worthy, to gain financing to further develop them (Platform Houston 2014; ShellGamechanger 2011).

Key Learning Points

Main learnings

It may be considered a commonplace that innovation and change are needed for the successful development of a business. Therefore, the main point that I learned was that it should be institutionally prompted. In particular, several ways of stimulating new ideas, such as Action Lab (Strategos n.d.), or the institutional financing of new ideas, were valuable things to learn.

What was your impression of Game changer?

GameChanger was a brilliant idea, in that it allowed individuals wishing to propose new initiatives to realize their potential. Those proposing new ideas must face no penalties if these fail; penalizing for this would surely dissuade people from proposing innovations.

Would a similar idea work for your company?

I hope that a similar idea would work for my company. However, the irony is that proposing such an idea requires openness of the company’s management to new ideas, so much this could only work in a company that is already prepared to change to at least some minimal degree.

What was Game changer for and what not?

GameChanger was created to provide an opportunity for any interested person to share their ideas which could lead to innovation (Platform Houston 2014), even if the person does not yet belong to the company. It was not created to force people into developing new ideas, but rather to provide a good opportunity.

Relevant Statements to the Session

What did you learn?

I learned that it is crucial to provide innovators (including people from outside the company) with an institutionalized chance to propose and develop their new ideas, also supplying them with the resources necessary for this. Of course, the ideas first need to be tested to avoid waste spending.

How did the process compare to new product development processes discussed in class?

The Game Changer process differed from the product development process described in class mainly in the idea generation step. On the whole, the Game Changer is aimed at providing a fruitful atmosphere for idea generation, and sorting out and seizing upon any successful ideas.

Would you have ideas for Game changer?

I hope that once I become a good professional in my field, I will be able to propose new business ideas for Game Changer. I would also appreciate the opportunity to communicate with colleagues to better develop my ideas.

What hesitation would you have for submitting ideas there?

I might hesitate before submitting my ideas to Game Changer because it is possible that my idea will not work, or e.g. someone will already have proposed something similar and I would look stupid. However, the fact that the failure is not penalized would greatly help overcome these fears.

Critical Analysis

What risks would you see in the process?

There are several risks in the process. The ideas may fail, and plenty of different resources can be spent in vain. There is a risk of being overwhelmed with non-productive ideas. Also, the company might steal ideas from others while telling them these ideas are unproductive.

How can people protect their ideas?

It might be difficult to protect one’s ideas if they are submitted to such projects as Game Changer, but it is possible to e.g. patent them at a local authority office before submitting them to the company.

How fair do you consider compensation?

It appears predictable that companies will often offer relatively small compensation for a new idea. In any case, if the idea is successful, the company will usually be able to make considerable profits using it, while paying its author little. On the other hand, one who proposes an idea would perhaps not be able to turn it into money otherwise.

Practical Implications

What in-direct benefits you could see in the process?

Numerous direct benefits can be obtained from the Game Changer. The company could develop and commercialize the new ideas and implement strong innovations (or use the old methods for new, unexpected purposes) which might allow it to become the leader in the market.

Who would be the first target audience for Game changer?

The first target audience for Game Changer would probably be scientists and technologists, those responsible for the development of new technologies and innovations. However, it depends on the sphere; in some spheres, innovative ideas are not directly related to technology.

How did you consider the example team dynamics?

The example team’s dynamics were good; the team was able to quickly come up with plenty of new ideas, working in synergy (Strategos n.d.). Later, it required some additional stimulation, but that is to be expected, for efforts should be continuously prompted.

Learning Reflections

What takes aways did you have from the case?

An important takeaway from the case is that it is pivotal to constantly stimulate innovation and prompt individuals to participate in it, simultaneously not reprimanding them for failure.

Which part of the innovation process was covered by the concept?

The concept covered such parts of the innovation process as idea generation, idea screening, and concept development, and testing.

What did you find surprising?

It was somewhat surprising to find out that anyone was welcome to propose their ideas, even if they did not work for Shell. This might allow for fruitful collaboration between professionals from different spheres – e.g., Shell (n.d.) gives an example of using technology widely known as the medical diagnostics method (MRI) to understand the way fluids move through e.g. rocks which are porous.

Reference List

Platform Houston 2014, Shell game changer, Web.

ShellGamechanger 2011, Shell gamechanger process, Web.

Shell n.d., Shell gamechanger, Web.

Strategos n.d., Shell – gamechanger: plenty of ideas, Web.