Felix Tan, founder of The FinLab in Singapore, explains how to create the best team for an innovation project.
Written on 28 May 2018.
During the Global MBA Learning Expedition in Singapore, the EDHEC "Innovation and Permanent Transformation" Chair had various meetings with innovation actors in Singapour. Felix Tan, founder of The FinLab in Singapore, explains how to create the best team for an innovation project.
Felix is no stranger to the startup scene, having founded Singapore’s 1st internet company, SilkRoute Holdings in 1995; and a subsidiary, ECNet, in 1996. Both companies attracted venture funds totaling US$72.5 million and were exited successfully. He also raised a US$20 million e-commerce fund under SilkRoute Capital to invest into B2B startups in 1999.
Apart from having worked in various banks, Felix was a mentor to various startups, helping them to refine their ideas and strategies to qualify for funding from Spring Singapore. Felix explains how different transformation is now, "at the time, you saw these innovations coming... but it did not hit you that hard".
According to him, innovation can be compared to a 4x100m: it is about coordination of various actors in order to always catch the next wave.
Felix gave the students his alphabet for a perfect innovation team, which should include the following profiles:
A - Activator: Always try something new. Make sure the team remains engaged.
B - Browser: Brings information. Seeks for facts and figures.
C - Creator: connects the dots in a more efficient way than other people.
D - Developer: gives form to the ideas the team has.
E - Executor: aka Project Manager. Makes sure the team is on time, on target and on budget.
F - Facilitator: brings ressources and network
To go further :
In this book, Tom Kelley illustrates 10 profiles of innovators, which are complementary to Felix’s alphabet. These profiles are the following : the anthropologist, the experimenter, the cross-pollinisator, the hurdler, the collaborator, the director, the experience architect, the set designer, the caregiver, the storyteller.