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Idea Hunt Interviews Fredrik Fjellstedt on Lean Philosophy

Lean Philosophy with Fredrik Fjellstedt

What is Lean Philosophy

An Interview with Fredrik Fjellstedt


A corporate growth philosophy once again beginning to evolve around the concept of “lean”, characterized by as “masximizing customer value while minimizing waste”.  It sounds simple right?  We caught up with lean philosophy expert Fredrik Fjellstedt to talk about his take on Lean Philosophy and his tips for becoming successful with the lean philosophy.  


After working for over 10 years in Toyota’s Material Handling Europe Division, Fredrik Fjellstedt became the first team member outside of the Company’s Japanese headquarters to become a Master Trainer in their lean method for continuous improvement.


The philosophy of making continuous improvements with the goal of increasing customer value, that seems like something that everyone can implement, what makes it difficult?  Why do some who try to implement this philosophy fail?

Why do some fail to implement a lean philosophy?


To answer this question, Fredrik explained to us that some corporations fall into a cycle of making changes for the sake of making changes, that these changes don’t necessarily bring improvement or value to the customer.


This common reason for the failure to implement a corporate lean philosophy sounds like an easy snag to get caught on.  So we asked Fredrik what he suggests to avoid it.  


Embrace Open Innovation


Open Innovation is sure to produce a number of ideas that can be explored, and evaluated.  The larger the number of ideas a company produces, the greater chances they will develop ideas that turn into successful improvement changes and bring the company closer to their goal of providing additional value to the customer.


After the ideation phase of an open innovation project, Fredrik suggests the following five steps to successfully implementing a lean philosophy, to select and implement those ideas that provide additional value to your customers.


5 Steps to Successfully Implement a Lean Philosophy


  1. Ensuring that the corporation is ready to improve – sometimes management or certain groups within the organization can be hesitant to embrace change.
  2. Clearly define success so that you can evaluate every idea against whether it brings you closer to that definition.
  3. Gather the sum total of ideas to evaluate
  4. Evaluate the ideas according to their impact, cost and risk
  5. Implement the ideas, involving the customer as much as possible.


Want to learn more? Click here to get Fredrik Fjellstedt’s White Paper on Lean.

Feedback on the open innovation platform Idea Hunt

Taking the first step toward co-creating with customers

The First Step Toward Co-Creating

Inviting Your Customers to Share their thoughts and ideas


The history of companies co-creating with their customers is a relatively short one, starting a few years ago with some offering their customers the ability to design and create their own product.  Some argue that it actually dates back further, with the efforts to survey customers and use their feedback to better design and create products that meet the customer’s needs.  Regardless of the official start date, over the past few years, the benefit of co-creating with customers has been made clear.  Researchers at organizations like The Harvard Business Review have looked into companies that have wholeheartedly embraced co-creation like AirBNB and Uber to find that these companies aren’t just doing well, they’re doing very well, compared to their competitors.

Co-creation provides your customers additional value, the additional value and proximity to the their favorite brands creates a stronger affinity for these brands.  The customer’s co-creation provides value back to the company at a lower draw on the company’s resources.  Together the company and customer are forming an almost symbiotic relationship. Compare this experience to the customer’s other options for say, hotel stays or apartment rentals and it’s not hard to see why the brands who co-create with customers are leaps and bounds ahead of those who don’t.  

Brands who are able to achieve this relationship with their customers often do so through providing a technology or a means in which customers can submit their ideas, or avail their assets like apartments or vehicles.  

You don’t have to totally reinvent your business model and become the next Uber in order to start co-creating with your customers.  You don’t have to build a new technology platform from scratch.  Instead, start small.  Start by closing the feedback loop.  

Leverage the open innovation platform from Idea Hunt and start engaging your customers in a dialogue, collecting their feedback and their ideas for new products or services.  By providing your customers with a hotline to your brand, you are demonstrating their value.  Showing your customers that you care is a sure and easy way to create affinity with your customers and take them from consumers, to promoters of your brand.  

Idea Hunt Enables your Customers to:

  • Submit Feedback
  • Review Products
  • Provide Testimonials
  • Submit User Generated Content
  • Validate Ideas from Your Team

Co-Create and Curate Ideas for:

  • New Marketing Strategies
  • New Products and Services
  • New Features and Functionality for existing products
  • New Product Design
  • New Niche Markets
  • And More

Contact us today to learn more about the platform, the ways it can help you start co-creating with your customers and plan a customized platform to fit your organization and your customers.


Mitigating Challenges and Achieving Innovation in a Global Corporation

Mitigating Challenges and Achieving Innovation in a Global Corporation

Mitigating Challenges and Achieving Innovation in a Global Corporation


How to take the natural challenges and turn them into Key Factors in the successful innovation of your global brand


Markets are changing.  Your customers are changing.  We are facing an innovate or die type of global economy.  When you have a large and diverse corporation with key team members and departments spread across the globe, collaboration can be challenging.  Your innovation however, is dependent upon that collaboration.  So what do you?

The first step is not to panic.  You are not the only corporation to face these challenges, and if these hurdles were insurmountable, no one would succeed.  The trick is exploring each of the challenges that your specific corporation faces critically and creatively, so that you can transform it from a challenge, to a factor in your success.

How can you take the natural challenges that arise from global collaboration and turn them into key factors for the success of the project?

Great Question!  First, let’s take a look at what some of these challenges are:


  1. Time Zones: The most obvious challenge for collaboration within a global corporation results from individual team members working in different time zones.  There may be very few hours in the workday when schedules overlap.

  2. Cultural Differences: Even though the corporation may have worked to create an overall corporate culture, anthropological or ethnic differences can create differences in work and communication styles.

  3. Language: Language Barriers may pose additional challenges.  When speaking a second language, not all of the nuances and colloquial phrases may be understood, at no fault to the individual.  Translations apps and tools also tend to miss many nuances.  These can lead to miscommunications, or the need for over communication, both sapping time from your schedule.

  4. Goals and Priorities: In an organization that is geographically distributed, team members are bound to also be distributed across different departments and groups.  These different segments of your corporation are bound to have different goals and priorities.  


Now let’s look at how you can turn each of these challenges, into a factor that promotes the success of the innovation project.


Time Zones:

Having only a few hours a day where teams can meet and collaborate, forces those team members to carve that time out and dedicate it to innovation.  For example, if there are three hours where team members work days overlap, you can carve out time to prepare and  collaborate.  When that shared time expires, team members can ideate further, work on pieces of the project and then be prepared for the next scheduled meeting.

When time is limited it forces organizations and individuals to focus and use that time more wisely than if you had the full work day to think about innovation.  A structured innovation project is likely to be successful with less time, than if teams were centralized and had more time to dedicate.


Cultural Differences:

Bringing different cultures together to collaborate brings different backgrounds, experiences, training and work styles together.  The combination of these differences can result in the creation of new ideas, driving innovation.  People from different countries will tend to think of different ideas, when these ideas are shared, they may spark others in the minds of their team members.



When people communicate across different languages, it usually requires a simplification of the ideas being shared.  In order to simplify an idea, the idea must be fully formed requiring team members to think and ideate a bit more before sharing, which can lead to better or more actionable ideas.


Goals and Priorities:

Corporate innovation can improve upon a number of different areas, from internal processes and procedures, to new products or marketing strategies.  Bringing people from different departments, with different areas of focus, to work on a different area of the corporation can bring new thoughts and ways to innovate.  Teams can identify areas in which they overlap, to streamline processes and procedures, areas that are being under or over served, etc. when they are able to step back from their primary objectives and look at the bigger picture, or ways their department affects others.

Idea Hunt, Empowering Prosumers Everywhere

Open Innovation Empowers Prosumers

Learn why your consumers love Idea Hunt

The markets have changed, technology has shifted the power from big brands to consumers.  Individuals now have the power to help shape the brands they love, uplift the products that meet their needs, and leave behind those that don’t.  Companies now must be responsive and heed the feedback of their customers, who are no longer consumers but prosumers.  Open innovation is the avenue that successful brands leverage to listen to their customers, collect their feedback, ideas, and imagery, and act upon it.

With Idea Hunt Your Brand Is:


Companies who utilize an open innovation platform are just that, open to their customers.  It signals to users that your brand values the feedback they have to provide and are ready to actively listen.

Open Up with Idea Hunt, the Innovation Platform

No Longer Anonymous

Coaches, or hunt administrators have their photos, names and emails listed so the brands are no longer faceless, amorphous entities.

Ditch Your Anonymity with Idea Hunt's Open Innovation Platform


By providing a direct line of communication from your decision makes, to your customers, it shows that you are listening.  Contact forms and generic emails feel black holes, but an open innovation platform, that’s picking up the phone and getting the director of marketing.

Show You're Listening, With the Open Innovation Platform, Idea Hunt


Your activity on the platform, awarding feedback as useful, responding to questions, shows that you are engaged with your customers.  This demonstrates to your customers that they are valued.

Feedback on the open innovation platform Idea Hunt


The lives of your customers are changing everyday.  They have ever evolving needs and wants with more options available to them.  Being responsive to these changes maintains your relevance.

Open Innovation on Idea Hunt, the Innovation Platform

Idea Hunt's Innovation Platform is Easy to Use

Why Does Idea Hunt Work Where Others Fail?

Why Does Idea Hunt Work

Where Others Fail?

Idea Hunt successfully opens up direct channels of communication with your customers, because it’s a nontraditional medium, built with the express purpose of doing just that.  We’re not a social media channel first, engagement engine second. We aren’t lying in wait in people’s mailboxes, hoping we make it past the front door, instead you can invite them in and engage them on our platform.



Enables your customers to engage with you, without doing so on their private social media channels, without you entering their home via direct mail or filling up their email inbox. In short, Idea Hunt allows your customers to come to you and engage when they’d like, as they’d like.

Sign Up JPEG

Becomes a Collaborative Environment

The Idea Hunt platform makes it easy for people across the world to collaborate and co-create, to provide feedback, ask questions and learn from each other. Because you don’t have to friend or be approved by an individual to ask them a question or start a conversation, the engagement happens organically and in real time.

Community Building

When users accept the invitation or sign up to join Idea Hunt, they create a profile, adding a photo, and a bit of information about themselves.  This personalizes their ideas and feedback on the platform, enabling others to get to know with whom they are engaging.

Collaborate on Ideas with the Idea Hunt Open Innovation Platform

It’s fun! (Gamification)

By adding prizes and assigning point values to different behaviors or actions in the platform, we have added another level of excitement.  With Idea Hunt, you can entice your customers to engage with you rather than beg.

Idea Hunt Innovation Platform Leaderboard

Easy to Use

Idea Hunt is very intuitive and very easy to use.  The easier a tool is to use, the more you actually want to use it.  The platform is very intuitive and fluid, and it’s simplicity enables it to be utilized in a number of different ways.

Idea Hunt's Innovation Platform is Easy to Use

Idea Aggregator

All of the engagement happens right on your portal, and can be exported with ease.  The ideas, the photos and video, as well as the engagement statistics are all compiled for you and available for download.

Idea Hunt Aggregates Ideas for easy download


The publicity of the platform is entirely up to you.  We can publish the URL so that it gets indexed by search engines or hide it from their view.  Additional permission settings enable you to control participation in hunts.  Uploading your own documentation gives you full control over IP rights and usage terms.