“Innovation work needs to continue independently of place”
When there is neither the opportunity nor the time to travel and meet physically, it is important that there is support and knowledge of how to work with innovation in teams independently of geographical places. Mikael Johnsson, researcher in Innovation and Product Realisation, is developing and evaluating methods for distributed high-performance innovation teams.
– Development is required for long-term success, and applies to all types of organisations. When it comes to practical innovation work, teamwork is a success factor. In Sweden we have lots of global companies that have ongoing innovation work with staff spread out in the world. My research deals with developing processes for how to create distributed innovation teams, so that they are created under the best possible conditions, and that the outspread competences will be of benefit to the organisation, says Mikael Johnsson.
When Mikael started his research his approach was to save resources through reduced travelling – thereby reducing environmental impact and saving travelling time and travel costs.
– It becomes apparent that my research is extra important when we can’t meet physically despite our being at the same workplace, in the same city or the same country. My research is above all about methods and processes for streamlining distributed innovation work, which can contribute to both companies and society in general. “Innovation work needs to continue independently of place” says Mikael Johnsson.
Being a distributed innovation team means that there is a certain number of people who cooperate to develop an organisation independently of place. Innovation work is not just about a new idea but it must be structured with a clear goal by creating something innovative - something new that creates value.
– Really it’s enough just sitting in different parts of a workplace to be distributed. At present I’m focusing primarily on global companies that have operations in different countries to get to the complexity of for example time differences and culture, and so on. What I’m primarily focusing on is to create processes that enable the distributed innovation team to be created under the best possible conditions to be able to work well together.
Through the support and knowledge generated by research, more global companies will be able to streamline their distributed innovation work, thereby contributing positively to society at large.
– The results of my research can also be applied to the development of forms of working or education within different functions in society, independently of place, says Mikael Johnsson.
Our research in the field:
Innovation and Product Realisation
MDU's research in Innovation and Product Realisation endeavours to underpin and stimulate innovative power and creativity to produce new products, services and production methods.