Innovation Navigator for Venture Capital firms

by Thomas Smitt on May 16, 2012

Thomas SmittA week ago I went to a High School reunion, good fun meeting people I have not seen since last reunion.

After the dinner I had a good discussion with a guy that had worked for a VC company for many years. We discussed DD processes and all the pitfalls investors might fall into, since I have a past as “portfolio company fixer” for a couple of VC’s we both had a lot of experience in this field.

We agreed that despite extensive line management experience and traditional DD work that it’s still sometimes difficult to judge organisations ability and capabilities in a world of hyper competition. If a company have been really good, well do they have what it takes to handle disruptive moves among competition, and, do they have the ability to reinvent themselves?

This led into a discussion where I told him about Bearing Innovation Navigator as a complement to traditional DD. I told him about some of the research behind the methodology, the tool, the fact that it is a 360 tool that maps the organisations innovation capabilities as viewed by all stakeholders.

We talked about the importance of having all personas in order to be Innovative. Further on we came into the value of structured deep interviews in this process, transcription and tagging of the interviews and use of a software tool for visualizing complex relationships.

Basically we agreed that in future DDs the measurement of innovation capacity is essential to be a winning VC team, not just prior to investment but also as a part of the preparations for exits.

About Thomas Smitt :

Senior Consultant at Bearing Consulting specializing in Regions & Places and Corporate Innovation as well as interim management.

Prior to his consultancy role, Thomas Smitt had a background in the CIT (Communications and Information Technology) sector, primarily in US companies. Thomas has held senior positions in Burroughs, Lotus Development, Unisys and 3Com, managing sales, support and marketing operations with annual revenues in excess of 1 b$.

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