Tag Archives: Magneti Marelli Community

LapTime Club celebrates its First 100 Innovative Ideas

100_ideas_new_ideas

10 challenges and 100 ideas posted. If you believe in number symbolism this is a really good match.

On 12th April the LapTime Club Community achieved the important milestone of 100 innovative ideas posted, thanks to the enthusiasm and the active participation of the members who believed in the power of Open Innovation.

This important result dialogues with some of the comments that came up from LapTime Club Survey lunched at the beginning of this year.

One among all, if you remember, was:

Openness is a better way to go innovate as it sets the mind free of company goals and therefore improves creativity.”

SEE ALSO: Laptime Club: taking care of your feedback to optimize the digital experience

Where we are today

Since January 2014, the LapTime Club Community has seen a steady growth of ideas linked to the 10 challenges launched, as shown in the following graph:

100_ideas_Magneti_Marelli

The challenge that generated the highest number of ideas among LapTime Community members is:

“How could WinTAX improve team collaboration?”

This challenge has a total amount of 23 ideas and can also rely on the highest numbers of total comments (80) and votes up (162) for the ideas posted. These numbers show the LapTime Community members’ interest in themes like “collaboration” and “co-creation”, which are also the two main objectives of the community itself, and in WinTAX telemetry software, one of the core products by Magneti Marelli Motorsport.

A brief look at the following graph shows in details the LapTime Community participation on each challenge:

100_ideas_Magneti_Marelli_1

Where we want to go

Regarding this result, we’d like to think about the 100 ideas not only as an important milestone for the overall LapTime Club project, but as a starting point for community conversations resulting in more breakthrough suggestions and disruptive ideas. That’s because someone said:


“Challenges give us wonderful experiences so never stop, swing hard.”

(K.Bansal)

Thanks to our LapTime Community members for helping us achieving our first 100 ideas together. Stay on track and never stop innovating!

Innovation Chat with Cristian, Top Innovator and Winner of LapTime Club 2014

After the final selection of LapTime Club 2014 Cristian Cascetta was the author of the second winning idea.

SEE ALSO: Innovation chat with Alessandro, one of the 2014 LapTime Club Winners

He thought to embed a knowledge management system in WinTAX to open up all this knowledge and make it available to decision makers using Search Technologies.

Being an innovator means to have an idea that can make the state of the art of something easier and more understandable for others. By the way, to simplify a process and to make the urgency hidden in it clear for people can be a great challenge, but Cristian made it thanks to his active and enthusiastic contribution to the community. He had the opportunity to share his own idea with other innovation enthusiasts like him, improving and shaping his initial proposal thanks to community comments and reviews, becoming also a Top Innovator for his high level of engagement with the community itself.

Cristian-Cascetta-Magneti-Marelli-LapTime-Club

Discover more about Cristian’s experience and suggestions through the following interview.

HELLO CRISTIAN, LAST YEAR LAPTIME CLUB APPRECIATED YOUR LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT AND THE INNOVATIVENESS OF YOUR SUGGESTIONS BY ANNOUNCING YOU ONE OF THE LAPTIME CLUB 2014 WINNERS. WOULD YOU TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU ARE DEVELOPING YOUR WINNING IDEA AND HOW MAGNETI MARELLI IS SUPPORTING YOU IN THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS?

It’s a dialogue. We are bridging Magneti Marelli’s world of ultraprecise data analysis and high accuracy manufacturing  with the quite fuzzy world of information retrieval, unstructured documents and natural language processing. We share the final goal of leveraging sense making of data to empower decision making.  In the last three months we analyzed together potential innovation directions and now we are defining a first minimum viable product or maybe – hopefully! – a first killer application.

I’m bringing in my expertise in information retrieval and document systems analysis and I’m getting back from Magneti Marelli precious insights into motorsport needs and requisites. It’s a bit cliché, but in these months I experienced in first person how much motorsport forces you to confront with extreme operating conditions and incredibly fast paced processes. It’s so inspiring that it helped me to re-frame other ideas I’m working on in my more “traditional” domain, finding at least two or three interesting innovation directions.

COULD YOU TELL US WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL APPROACH TO THE INNOVATION PROCESS? 

It’s all based on observation and listening to people. I try to put on the anthropologist hat and get rid of prejudice, looking at things with a fresh eye. It’s a great humility exercise, you don’t have to be scared of looking sometimes terribly naive or to ask too simple questions, and if people think at you like a sort of strange version of Lieutenant Columbo, who matters?

DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN WAY OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING?

 No, in fact I try to avoid to embrace too familiar paths. Obviously like everyone I have my own comforting rituals, spaces, objects and practices helping me to put myself in a mixed feeling of relax and enthusiasm to attack a new challenge.

 Usually I start reading very much, not necessarily staying on topic, sometimes also freely divagating, but trying to keep alive a present feeling of the problem I’m confronted with. It helps me to make fresh connections and find alternative paths to my problem.

TELL US ABOUT 3 KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU PREFER TO WORK WITH.

1-Technicians. 2-Technicians. 3-Technicians!

When you are engaged in new projects or you are trying to innovate, you have the chance to meet a wide range of professionals. Many of them, designers, marketing guys, entrepreneurs have a positive attitude in expressing creative ideas, no matter how crazy these ideas are.

Technicians are often in a more reserved attitude. Sometimes they’re scared of not being clear, or of expressing their ideas in a too technical language, sometimes it’s a matter of fear of not doing your job if you’re too creative. I like to talk with technicians and push them to force the boundaries. And every time I find so much unexpressed value in those conversations, a real gold mine!

WHAT ARE THE 3 FUNDAMENTAL THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS PUT IN YOUR ‘INNOVATION TOOLKIT’?

The first is abstract thinking. I’m very influenced by my history of technology and philosophy of technology education background. Abstract thinking helps you to keep thing in motion instead of rushing into the first – often biased and sub-optimal – working solution. Philosophy of technology forces you to search for deep structures in socio-technological systems, these structures help you to go beyond the barriers of hyper specialistic, often fragmented, engineering domains.

The second fundamental tool for me is cross-industry innovation. It’s like: “Ok, I’ve this technical problem, no matter if it’s not so relevant or instead it’s a core problem for this current project. Let me start by searching for an industry where the solution of this problem is a matter of life or death.” It’s always very inspiring and if you stumble twice on the same industry for different problems related to your project, then it’s very likely you’ve found one of those deep structures I mentioned above. Or, even better, you’ve found a new potential market for your idea!

Thirdly, I’m very interested in innovation methodologies. I really appreciate Triz the Russian “theory of inventive problem solving“, but I’m not strictly influenced by a specific methodology, instead I cherry-pick from different approaches depending on the current problem. What I like in innovation methodologies is that they help you not to overestimate the importance of intuition and creativity and to focus instead on the innovation process. When you work with or you meet creative, innovation-driven, interesting people – I’ve the chance of being in this happy situation – you can be overwhelmed by creative ideas. Innovation methodologies help you to channel all this energy.

COULD YOU GIVE 3 SUGGESTIONS FOR STARTUPPERS, INNOVATIVE THINKERS AND FOR ALL THE LAPTIME CLUB MEMBERS?

Three are too many! I don’t have three suggestions. What I can say is that I rarely found such open-minded and true innovation driven attitude as with Magneti Marelli guys. When I started to follow LapTime Club community I was a bit anxious of proposing ideas in such a selective and exclusive domain as professional motorsport. What I feel now that I had the opportunity of discussing by person about my idea is that total outsiders like me are not only welcome, but they can bring in real value from other industries and experiences.

So, my advice is to accept the challenge and propose your idea. Sure, Magneti Marelli tech guys are very demanding and challenging, but what you’d expect? It’s motorsport, after all!

Cristian-Cascetta-Magneti-Marelli-LapTime-Club-Idea-2014

Thank you Cristian for sharing with us your experience and continue to enrich the LapTime Club community with your ideas!

The Challenge of Building User-Centered Open Innovation Projects

Open Innovation Magneti Marelli Motorsport LapTime Club

Nowadays, Open Innovation projects cannot be developed anymore (just) by simply following a monolithic and organization-focused approach.

As a matter of fact, like many innovative and marketable products and services are and must be designed around people, also Open Innovation digital platforms should be optimized in coherence with stakeholders’ needs, skills and abilities. Otherwise, the lack of fit could become really dangerous.

SEE ALSO: Come on Board: How to Optimize an Open Innovation Project?

This fundamental design approach lets join several and valuable social/business objectives:

  • To spur and boost users’ innovativeness and unique creativity;
  • To transform members into real brand/company advocates (do you remember the first Magneti Marelli LapTime Club winners, Cristian Cascetta and Alessandro Sarcina?);
  • To stretch the Open Innovation project lifetime, by ensuring a non-stop flux of user-generated ideas, contents and suggestions;
  • To let the members feel as active protagonists of the project.

SEE ALSO: Open innovation as a strategic leverage: an interview with Riccardo de Filippi, Head of R&D Magneti Marelli Motorsport

You and Magneti Marelli LapTime Club

As the majority of you already know, LapTime Club is the international community designed by Magneti Marelli in order to increase sources of inspiration and new ideas for the motorsport, automotive and racing world. Not only its launch, but also its constant optimization and evolution are driven by the identification of real members’ needs, through their  active participation in terms of ideas, comments and engagement.

On the 1st of March the LapTime Club survey has been officially closed. The survey has been launched at the beginning of February to collect your best opinions and suggestions in order to gain a better understating of the general perception of the project, while trying to draw its future evolution scenarios.

Are you curious enough to know and understand its main outcomes? Do not miss next week’s article; in the meanwhile, see you in the LapTime Club community! #LapTimeClub

A 3-step Guide to Create Innovative and Breakthrough Ideas

In today’s economy, the ability to quickly think about and share new and fresh ideas is becoming more and more strategic, both for people and organizations. But as research led by Wharton’s Jennifer Mueller and recently reported by Harvard Business Review blog suggests, many people tend to have some bias against really innovative thoughts

Mueller’s team found that people often claim to want new and creative ideas, but when presented with those ideas in an uncertain environment and asked to evaluate them, the more novel ideas often get a lesser rating. Further research also showed that managers and senior leaders especially tend to reject the very ideas customers want.

In order to solve this criticality, Adobe Systems has recently launched the Adobe Kickbox, a new program to spur innovation from within the organization.

SEE ALSO: How to Evaluate a Great Motorsport Idea?

Kickbox Adobe

The top of the box features a clever fire alarm image with the words “Pull in Case of Idea” written on it. When you break open the seal, you’ll find instruction cards, a pen, two Post-It note pads, two notebooks, a Starbucks gift card, a bar of chocolate and (mostly importantly) a $1,000 prepaid credit card. The card can be used on anything the employee would like or need without ever having to justify it or fill out an expense report.

But in addition to tools, how to successfully keep on thinking about and trying to implement breakthrough ideas?

3 effective tips to become a Top Innovator

#1 Welcome the unfamiliar

Try to break your habits, which make you comfortable while limiting  your horizons. As suggested by Kaihan Krippendorff on Inc.com:

Most of us do our best work when we’re someplace familiar, using tools we know well.

In this case, however, a major reason you’re in a rut (and thus need a breakthrough) is that your brain associates your surroundings with all the stuff you’ve done and the thoughts you’ve had in the past.

#2 Remix the problem

Changing the question often becomes really important to approach the problem from another perspective. Here’s an example from the robots industry:

Gentile was once asked by some researchers to help them figure out how they might commercialize robots they had been working on. When Gentile stepped into their lab, they eagerly walked him over to their robots that were swinging their arms in their best effort to mimic human movement. But Gentile got distracted by some computer screens across the room where he saw stick-figure depictions of the robots moving seamlessly. He asked, “What are those?” and learned that the researchers had developed software to read and depict their movement. Gentile’s eyes gleamed and he said, “Forget the robots!” He had changed the question from “How can we commercialize robots?” to “How can we commercialize the software?” The idea led to a new form of more realistic animation for video games and movies.

#3 Re-use your knowledge and leverage your best skills

Sometimes, invent “simply” means repurpose the old. Companies and innovative projects tend to grow by leveraging assets they have built in old businesses to create new businesses.

Why don’t you test yourself?

LapTime Club, the social innovation community designed and built by Magneti Marelli, is entirely built on user-generated passions and breakthrough ideas.

Join the community and fuel your lateral thinking, coherently to the different challenges already launched!

* David Burkus, Inside Adobe’s Innovation Kit, hbr.org
** Kaihan Krippendorff, 4 Steps for Breakthrough Ideas, fastcompany.com
*** Geoffrey James, How to Come Up With a Breakthrough Idea, inc.com