Crowdsourced “Open” Innovation an Imperative for Professional Services Firms

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on July 14, 2014

The Financial Times’s most recent Special Report on The Connected Business inspired me to think about the imperative for law, accounting, and professional services firms (PSOs) to adopt techniques of crowdsourced open innovation methods for enhancing services delivery to their clients. Crowdsourcing in the context of innovation essentially refers to submitting problems to an open or restricted community and asking for suggestions and perhaps even joint development. Winners might even get a reward as part of a contest. In the context of PSOs, the community might be the members of a corporate legal department and partners, associates and paralegals in a law firm that traditionally has provided services to them. In an era where corporate legal departments are moving more work in-house and consolidating outsourced legal work to a smaller number of law firms, open innovation methods initiated by a law firm can help a corporate legal department refine its choice of law firm service providers more accurately. Here’s how it might work. Read further >


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Christian Dirschl
Written by Christian Dirschl
on June 20, 2014

Do you remember arguing with your partner during your holiday trip, whether the inconvenient street map on his/her lap is saying that you should take the next right turn or not? I do!

For some years now, we are more relaxed, because we have our digital lady telling us where to go. And if she is wrong, we know whom to blame, which strengthens our relationship even more.

What does this tell us about the future of the publishing industry?

Read further >


Innovation in Action at Wolters Kluwer Canada’s Development Partners Meeting

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on June 08, 2014

Recently I had the privilege of meeting several customers from law firms, accounting firms and corporate legal and tax departments in Toronto as part of Wolters Kluwer Canada’s Development Partners Meeting that took place on May 28. As noted in our 2013 Annual Report, the Development Partners initiative began in January 2012 with a group of 20 customers and now has expanded to more than 90. Customers who are development partners look at product concepts and indicate interest or lack thereof, participate in innovation tournaments with Wolters Kluwer team members to generate ideas, and then quickly filter them using the wisdom of the crowd, to guide us in how to help them deliver greater value to their clients. I was a keynote speaker at the meeting and presented several product ideas from our businesses around the world. The themes all revolved around helping law firms and accounting firms create more value for their clients by moving beyond only reactive tax compliance to proactive strategic tax advice. Read further >


The Times They Are a-Changin’

Christian Dirschl
Written by Christian Dirschl
on May 09, 2014

Fascinating, isn’t it? This song is older than I am and still fresher than I’ve ever been. It has a (hi)story on its own covering fifty years now. From being the “archetypical protest song” to becoming a part of strategic investment (a hedge fund manager bought the hand-written lyrics for more than $400k).

Still, the underlying question requires if not an answer, yet at least a reaction: How do I deal with change?

Read further >


Baking the innovation cake

Jaco Zijlstra
Written by Jaco Zijlstra
on April 30, 2014

All companies, certainly those in the information industry, are chasing the holy grail of innovation. In an excellent Outsell report on the topic by Simon Alterman, “Leading Innovation: What’s the Big Idea?” he speaks about the programs companies like Sanoma have put in place to not only foster innovation, but to push it agressively by process, rewards, revenue targets, etc. And we all know the Google example of allowing (encouraging?) every employee in their company to spend 20% on their own innovative ideas. Read further >


When building a house…

Christian Dirschl
Written by Christian Dirschl
on March 17, 2014

Maybe you read in your childhood the famous French Asterix comic book series. I especially like Edifis (or as he is called in other languages Numérobis), an Egyptian architect in the “Asterix and Cleopatra” volume. He is the best architect Egypt can provide, but his buildings are really horrible. They seem to collapse every minute and obviously there is no proper basis or even a sufficient plan used during construction. Sometimes I think that many people in our industry still work like Numérobis.

Read further >


Why I Remain Passionate about Innovation Tournaments

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on March 14, 2014

Since posting about innovation tournaments last year, I’ve had the privilege of leading and participating in several tournaments. In fact, here at Wolters Kluwer we are holding monthly innovation tournaments in multiple locations around the world organized around a common monthly theme as part of our GPO (Wolters Kluwer’s Global Platform Organization) Presents webinar series. January’s theme was the topic of innovation itself. February’s theme was wearable computing devices and emerging technologies. March’s theme will be UX (User Experience). So far we are holding monthly tournaments in our offices in New York, Alphen aan den Rijn (Netherlands) and Chicago. After March, more tournaments will be held corresponding to monthly themes as diverse as search, analytics, and hybrid content-software tools. And here is why I remain passionate about innovation tournaments as a tool to stimulate innovation. Read further >


Data economy – a new industry?!

Christian Dirschl
Written by Christian Dirschl
on February 03, 2014

When searching in Google for “Data economy,” the first hit I got was a Wikipedia article on: “Economic data!” This sounds almost like an unintended pun.

Data has always been part of the economic system. Some of the oldest artifacts of recorded writing were lists of goods found in Uruk almost 5.500 years ago. But what we are currently observing is that the digital age is fundamentally changing entire industries, e.g. media industry (music or newspapers) or retail (see Amazon!). Moreover, personally identifiable information (sic!) is already contributing to profitable business. So internet technology – in combination with a growing information need in business processes (e.g. hype on Big Data) – is disrupting a lot of processes we are used to work with for a long time. In addition, a completely new quality to how we see and use data in the future is currently emerging.

Read further >


Exploring trends, content, technology, and new ideas in the global information industry. New posts every Monday, Friday, and whenever the innovation bug inspires us. Visit www.wolterskluwer.com to learn all about us.
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