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What It Takes to Innovate Within Large Corporations

Companies that want to engage innovators, and enable these behaviors in others, should offer incentives to keep them engaged and set them up as role models for the rest of the organization. But who are the innovators within large corporations?

A recent case study lists their main characteristics:

They are equipped to address difficult dilemmas. More specifically, they employ a diverse combination of capabilities to solve problems that aren’t being addressed by organizations as part of their everyday operations. Innovators use soft skills, including the ability to imagine new solutions and enlist others in the process through passionate persuasion, and hard skills, becoming experts in the science underlying their ideas.

They don’t go it alone. Innovators reach across aisles to bring others on board. Innovators find partners, attracted financing, and cultivated a community of internal supporters. 

They proceed on the cheap. Given their limited resources, innovators are able to reuse existing resources, repurposing an underutilized resources as opposed to creating new ones. They might proceed on their own time and with a very limited budget. 

They are driven by passion. Propelled by their fascination with the idea itself and a deep desire to solve a particular problem, these individuals begin at the edges of organizations and persevere until they can create a path to the center. 

For more details, please, read the recent Harvard Business Review article:



Dr. Zoltán Csedő Re-Elected as Member of the Board of Hungarian Association of British Alumni

Dr. Zoltán Csedő, Managing Partner of Innotica Group, has been re-elected to a further term of office as Member of the Board of Hungarian Association of British Alumni, at the Association's General Assembly, yesterday.

The Hungarian Association of British Alumni is a non-profit organization open to the former British graduates and all those experts who have been in contact with the UK in the field of education, science or arts.

The Association was founded in 1995, and is currently Central Europe’s largest British alumni organisation. Members come from a wide variety of professional background, from energy industry to banking, technology, marketing and law, public administration, design etc. with a membership of more than 250 people. Some of the members are former Chevening scholars.

The patron of the Hungarian Association of British Alumni is Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary, Mr. Iain Lindsay.

Dr. Csedő serves as Member of the Board since 2008. He leads the international networking initiatives of the Association. Since more than three years, with his leadership, British alumni in Visegrad countries share their knowledge and leadership experience in order to increase the innovativeness and competitiveness of the Visegrad countries.


New Business Models in an Increasingly Digital Ecosystem

Given the amount of turmoil digital disruption is causing, it’s time for companies to evaluate the threats and opportunities of the digitizing business world, and start creating new business options for the future — the more-connected future of digital ecosystems.

A recent MIT research found many of the companies were seeking to transform on two dimensions:

  • to know more about their end customers, and
  • to operate in an increasingly digital ecosystem where they become a destination to solve a customer’s life or business need with products and services from their company, from complementors and sometimes from competitors.

These two dimensions became the axes of a 2×2 framework with four business models:

  • supplier,
  • omnichannel,
  • ecosystem driver,
  • modular producer.

The Supplier Model

Suppliers have, at best, a partial knowledge of their end consumer, and typically operate in the value chain of another powerful company. As enterprises continue to digitize and search becomes easier, suppliers are likely to lose power and be pressured to continually reduce prices, perhaps resulting in further industry consolidation. 

The Omnichannel Model

Omnichannel businesses provide customers access to their products across multiple channels, including physical and digital channels, giving them greater choice and a seamless experience. The challenge is to gain more and more knowledge of the end consumer and his or her goals and to reduce the amount of customer churn. 

The Ecosystem Driver Model

Some companies establish an ecosystem by creating relationships with other providers that offer complementary (or sometimes competing) services. Ecosystem drivers provide a platform for the participants to conduct business; the platform can be more or less open. Like omnichannel businesses, ecosystem drivers use their brand strength to attract participants, ensure a great customer experience and offer one-stop shopping. They aspire to “own” the customer relationship in one domain like financial services by increasing their knowledge of their end consumers. They extract rents from participants in their ecosystem — both consumers and service providers — and rely on brand strength and feedback from consumer ratings and reviews to build their reputation and revenues. An ecosystem needs to be a destination for customers in a specific domain (for example, health care, retail, entertainment, financial services or small business).

The Modular Producer Model

Modular producers provide plug-and-play products or services that can adapt to a variety of ecosystems. To survive, modular producers must be among the best in their category. To thrive, they need to continue rolling out new products and services to demonstrate that they are among the best options available and also well priced. After all, they operate in a hypercompetitive environment in which it’s often very easy for customers to search for alternative solutions and switch. 

For more information, please, read the article in MIT Sloan Management Review:


Think.BDPST - Connect to the Future Conference

Meet us at think.BDPST, a strategic conference focusing on regional development and the perspectives of research, innovation and future technologies, organised on 8-10 March 2016, by the Antall József Knowledge Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and the International Visegrad Fund.

The main objective of the conference is to provide a regional platform for high-level representatives of the governmental, academic, and business sectors to initiate dialogue about the different approaches to innovation and new technologies, including the security, economic, and social dimensions. Think.BDPST also offers an opportunity for policymakers to discuss possibilities of fostering smart growth solutions, exchanging experiences and best practices, as well as drafting joint action plans.

With initiating such dialogues, the conference aims to foster cooperation, promote the implementation of joint activities, as well as facilitate the formation of strategic partnerships in the Central European region, with specific regard to the V4 countries. The conference could greatly contribute to the establishment of a common regional development framework.

As part of the eleven panels of the three-day think.BDPST conference, the following topics will be discussed in greater detail: perspectives and possibilities for an R+D friendly environment; the social dimensions of innovation, with special regard to the impact of innovation on education, the ways in which innovation transforms the structure of the labour market, a new dimension of content consumption; social entrepreneurship including the possibility of changing public services to new providers, the role of innovation in urban planning and new technologies in urban infrastructure; genetic engineering and its risks; as well as security challenges in the age of new technologies.

For the detailed agenda, please, have a look at the conference website:


Strategic Innovation: How To Redefine Your Business

By breaking the rules of the game and thinking of new ways to compete, a company can strategically redefine its business and catch its bigger competitors off guard. The trick is not to play the game better than the competition but to develop and play an altogether different game.

How can a company proactively and systematically think about and develop a new game plan? Five generic approaches of the successful strategic innovators can provide clues:

  1. Redefine the business.
  2. Redefine the who. Who is our customer? A company should think of new customers or new customer segments and develop a game plan that serves them better.
  3. Redefine the what. What products or services are we offering these customers? A company should think of new customer needs or wants and develop a game plan that better satisfies these needs.
  4. Redefine the how. Companies should leverage existing core competencies to build new products or a better way of doing business and then find the right customers.
  5. Start the thinking process at different points. For example, instead of thinking, “This is our customer, this is what he or she wants, and this is how we can offer it,” start by asking: “What are our unique capabilities? What specific needs can we satisfy? Who will be the right customer to approach?

Research shows that a company must also strive to institutionalize innovation by establishing the appropriate culture, structure, incentives, systems, and processes that somehow allow innovation to happen as part of daily business. This is also where knowledge management has a key role, especially in the sustainability of innovation.

For more information, please, read the SMR article of Constantinos Markides, associate professor of strategic and international management from London Business School: