Jaga: Managing Creativity and Open Innovation (A)
In 2007, the owner and director of marketing and research and development at Jaga was preparing for a meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future of the Belgian company's Uchronia project (an online community and playground for creativity and product development). Over the previous 15 years, Jaga had transformed from a production-based radiator company to a highly innovative organization with a focus on the premium market. The owner, who had succeeded his father as chief executive officer during the 1990s, had managed this transformation. As an anthropologist with a unique view of the world, he saw the economy, innovation, and management as integral parts of his vision. Jaga had developed three major innovation projects in recent years. The first two were inexpensive projects and focused on direct benefits for the company. The third, the Uchronia project, was a larger and a more expensive project initiated at the Burning Man festival in 2006 that gained worldwide media attention. However, the Uchronia online community that resulted from the project had not grown as expected, leaving its founder to have to make a decision about the project's future. Wim Vanhaverbeke is affiliated with Hasselt University.