September 30th, 2016 - This May, LEMO’s Innovation Task Force Manager Mathieu Menet hosted two guests from the Lean Analytics Association at LEMO SA to discuss innovation best practices. This November, Mathieu will continue moving the conversation forward by speaking at the Lean Innovation Forum with a workshop titled “On The Way to Open Innovation: How to Turn Any Employee into Innovator with Lean Startup.” Mathieu’s experience as an Innovation Task Force Manager and his pioneering approach to innovation have allowed him to support LEMO and NWI TEAM members in their creative pursuits; his partnership with the Lean Analytics Association will bring his ideas to companies around the world.
Mathieu ascribes to the idea of “intrapreneurship” – acting like an entrepreneur while still working for a company. “You act or behave like an entrepreneur while you are working within a larger organization. The main concept is if you have an idea, don’t wait to ask for permission. Go for it and test it to see if your idea is viable,” explained Mathieu. “The main task for me is to be able to detect these entrepreneurs in the group and to counsel management in giving them the rights to pursue it in terms of resources and time so they can push their idea and see if it’s viable.”
Intrapreneurship is important for a number of reasons. In a quickly-changing industry with constantly-advancing technology, inspiration and innovation are critical for competition.
“The key resources for a company to be ahead of competitors is the quick change of ideas and turning ideas into concrete, viable solutions,” Mathieu added. “The more solutions, the more generation of value for customers.”
Too often, employees will assume their ideas are confined to the department they work in –and possibly even to the specific tasks laid out in a job description. Intrapreneurship invites any employee to break out of his or her role and explore an alternate solution. External points of view are just as valuable as an insider’s perspective. Mathieu’s challenge is to encourage these ideas, identify potential, and to assist corporate administrators in budgeting time and money for these new proposals.
Lean Innovation goes hand in hand with intrapreneurship. Essentially, Lean Innovation, or Lean Thinking, focuses on continuous improvement, waste reduction, and shareholder participation. Tangibly, this means that LEMO and Northwire work in small steps with frequent customer feedback instead of more traditional methods that would wait to bring in the customer until the project was complete. By involving the customer sooner and relying more heavily on planning and prototyping, there are fewer risks of the project needing to be restarted after investing a large amount of resources. Technical issues and client critiques are caught quickly and prevent too much effort from going into a model that doesn’t meet expectations. It also allows opportunities for improvement to be seen earlier and included.
“There is a huge potential for awesome solutions in our colleagues’ minds,” said Mathieu. “They can express their ideas and LEMO can tap in to change the future.”
Learn more about intrapreneurship and Lean Innovation by connecting with the Subject Matter Experts at LEMO or Northwire. With full connector, wire, and cable capabilities –along with contract custom manufacturing – the cable and connector leaders support projects from Concept to Completion with services including:
- R&D assistance and new product development
- 2D and 3D component and cable design
- Design validation and hypothesis testing
- Rapid cable prototyping, 3D printing, and clinical trials
- Low volume through high volume production
- Logistics and life cycle innovation with fast shipping and same day custom cable
- Complete, integrated cable assemblies
- And much more
Leverage LEMO and NWI’s approach on innovation and the manufacturing companies’ professional certifications in Lean, Six Sigma®, Project Management, and the American Society for Quality. To discuss your next project, contact our TEAM at