Expert innovator

Interview with Adrien PEIGNON, EMBA' 17


Q: Adrien, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’m an expert in innovation management, value-analysis, lean development. In ten years, I have worked with a lot of different companies, from start-ups to CAC 40 companies. The skills and experiences I’ve gained over this time allow me to advise Executive committees members. 

Q: What do you bring to the table with respect to innovation?

I think I have a very good global overview of how company operates, and have a lot to share with other people. In addition to advising companies, I also teach at some schools like Arts&Métiers.

Q: Specifically, what is your role in innovating?

For more than 10 years, I’ve worked with all types of enterprises in managing innovative projects. I accompany the creation of new development of genuine spaces organized to generate and ripen innovative opportunities. These agile “spaces” are capable of favoring the emergence (and financing) of disruptive technologies as well as “quick wins”. They internally stimulate the development of an innovation culture and incite the capture of external opportunities (start ups, universities,…)

I have had the opportunity to work within major groups such as PSA, Valeo, Thalès Alénia Space, SNCF, EDF, MICHELIN, Renault Trucks Def, Vinci,… as well as smaller organizations such as ECA, RoyalCanin, Winncare, Fareva, Precia Molen, Thermor, Groupe Lacroix, Visionsytems, Spit,…

Q: What exactly does the company that you lead do?

Briefly stated, Efficient Innovation supports companies and their leaders in facing challenges for the future. We do this through consulting, funding, project management and our innovation Academy.
There is neither one way nor a thousand ways, but an infinite number of ways to transform an innovation opportunity into success. We get involved in the companies’ future growth and competitiveness, working at one with the client, and help it devise ways to choose the most innovative solutions and achieve business objectives. Finding the one that best suits the company and situation is where true expertise comes in.
On the ground, I help to set in motion the vital forces within the organisation and strengthen its capacity to innovate while at the same time aiding in converting opportunities into innovative projects with a view to a successful market launch. Ultimately, this increases performance and added value of the company’s offerings.

Q: How do you view innovation from a consultant’s perspective?

The importance of innovation in the differentiation, development, transformation and competitiveness of companies, services and territories is a proven fact. The issue at stake today is efficiency. Companies have to succeed both in innovating over the long-term and make each innovative offer a sustainable success.
This means working rigorously, creatively and as freely as possible….also, knowing how to break habits and re-evaluate in order to advance. I play a role in mobilising all the necessary human, material and financial means and then investing to create value and invest again.

Q: Why, as an already successful innovation consultant, did you decide to do the Executive MBA?

This MBA is very important for me, because I feel I have to develop myself in three important areas.
First of all, in the area of strategy. With Innovation diagnosis, I work on the links between strategy & innovation and I feel I lack some knowledge in strategy. Besides, this field interests me a lot. I am also interested in being able to make a strategic diagnosis. It is important for an ongoing project with some colleagues to run Efficient Innovation. 
In the area of finance, I need to become more comfortable and develop my capacity to analyse an accounting balance as well as develop long term financial vision. I also need to better define the value of a company. 
In the area of general management, of course, I seek to better deal with complexity and issues of influence. I was the manager of a team of consultants between 2012 and 2014. I achieved all the goals my CEO had given to me and I was considered by my team to be an empathic, caring and motivating manager. Overall the experience was positive. However, I know I still need to work on my leadership skills, especially when it comes time to manage conflicts among team members.

Q: Anything else that will be useful for you in the future?

Yes, this MBA is a perfect way to improve my English and to evolve in a multicultural environment. For the moment, the growth of efficient innovation has been focused on France… but we expect to become global in a near future.

Q: How was your desire to do the Executive MBA perceived within your company?

The CEO is fully behind my decision to do the EMBA at Kedge. In fact, my involvement to the EMBA falls in line with the innovative corporate development strategy recently put into place within my own company. Consequently, we are following the same advice offered to our clients in order to advance and innovate.