Innovation culture

Hi Thomas and Fredrik, founders of ayond, here’s a couple of questions for you!
- How was the idea of having an innovation culture born?
Thomas: I have been working with different forms of innovation since the beginning of the 21st century. I have seen innovation done well and done badly. In 2010 I was a guest lecturer at Stanford, I was studying innovation processes and looking into how people worked with it in Silicon Valley. I came home with different ideas on how you can engage everyone in a company to talk about innovation. Innovation occurs when many people have a discussion together and everyone has the opportunity to work with it, which fits very well in a company. Ideas are nothing, execution is everything is the basic idea of our innovation culture. Fredrik: Coming from the consultancy industry, I have noticed that there are many people that have great ideas but many don’t dare to make them real. I have myself been in the same situation, where I have had some exciting ideas but there is neither enough time nor do I dare to carry them out. So, I thought, instead of losing great people, it is better to build a new culture where people have the possibility to start working with their innovation ideas with others. That is what is so great about ayond. The innovation culture has been an important part from day one since we started ayond.
- Why is Innovation so important to ayond?
Thomas: It is important for recruitment purposes, in our delivery to our customer and it is important that we get the chance to test new technology, new methods and new tools. We also get a powerful learning experience in what we do. By having an innovative culture, we can also employ people who are competent and can contribute to new things, which is of great use in our customer projects. Fredrik: It has been a building block when we talk about our culture and what we stand for, innovation is the foundation for ayond.
- Can anyone bring up their innovation ideas?
Thomas: In the beginning we were more open for all ideas, now we have limited ourselves to our own and our customer’s ideas. We have innovation nights about four times a year, where all those working at ayond can come up with their ideas and there may be more than one idea per person.Those who have not brought any idea, contribute by discussing the ideas of others and giving feedback.
- Has anything changed since the beginning of the innovation culture?
Thomas and Fredrik: We have learned a lot about all the different steps in the work process with innovations. We have limited ourselves to our own and our customer’s ideas. We have previously been more open to friends and acquaintances. The significance of the innovator participation and drive is of great importance, the person who owns the innovation idea should be involved throughout the project, but does not necessarily need to be the project manager. We have also learned to start with visual prototypes and testing them before we start programming.

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