Part three– Technology will drive innovation change.
We are in need of a different sustaining capacity, one build around innovation as its continuous core; constantly evolving, adapting, learning and adjusting, in perpetual motion.
We are heading for transformational change
Digital technology and the cloud are offering us a radically different conduit to achieve a new engagement process within our organizations. Innovation is going to be very much caught up in this transformational change.
Technology and data will be innovation’s catalyst for change.
Digital technology is prompting us to find new methods and manner to shape our environments, these will alter much of what we do around innovation, in radically different ways. We will be able to amplify far more of what is going on in real-time, we can capture and explore all the interactions to understand their potential value, we can discover greater individual needs, exchange and extrapolate better, simulate and experiment, all at a growing scale and speed.
The predictable, well-established ways of the past within our innovation processes will be inadequate to cope. We will require solutions moving towards this very different, constantly adjusting future; one of experimentation and exploitation, delivering solutions that meet changing market needs. One that requires a greater alignment in the practices of innovation, constantly adapting, being fluid, flexible, nimble, agile and responsive. A far different, more dynamic environment too capitalize on this new way of working within our innovation activities.
Designing engagement platforms
Not only will we need a new innovation management system, we will need to build this on multiple engagement platforms. Our growing pressure is to find solutions that offer a cohesive and business-focused approach to the new socially enabled enterprise.
The need is to design these engagement platforms where we seek collaboration and sharing at scale, tapping into a multiple array of communities and advocates that have valuable data for organizations, so they can analyze and interpret this. In return the innovation outcome delivered back are value propositions that meet those needs and understanding.
This ‘marriage’ of digital and technology with the physical output of innovations will make it new growth core. Our need is to think through its process, structures and design, as it may have real conflict if we don’t change our present thinking around the management of innovation.
Innovation sits outside the organizational ‘norm’ today
Innovation challenges much of what organizations believe they want: those repeatable systems, so that our organizations performance is well-oiled, highly structured and maximizing value by striving to be efficient and effective. Innovation often is in conflict with this.
Innovation requires increasing agility, flexibility and allowing creativity to flourish. Innovation often stays outside the mainstream system structures, sometimes to it’s and the organizations detriment as it often does not fit the ‘norm’. This is today’s innovation problem
Innovation needs to be fluid, open, responsive; sometimes reliant on the instinct, hunch or powerful insight that is never ‘predictable’ but suddenly emerges from a collision of events, or random thoughts that lead to a new insight, a game changing one. It is really hard to turn this ‘randomness’ or serendipity into a system but certainly not impossible.
We need to renew organizational engagement.
Many, if not most of our existing systems, will need radical redesign. Much has to change, be uprooted and completely revisited to begin to design a new digital and physical integrated into the system.
Today, digital and physical work at really different speeds. How will they see different patterns and opportunities and try to fit these into a clear view of the world that ends in new innovation? Can the innovation pipeline cope with even more business opportunities? The human mind-set will need to re-orient to receive new digital information in ‘informing’ ways.
Innovation throughput will need different approaches than at present. The innovation pipeline today is very manual, it needs human intervention, in decisions, in inputs, in what is communicated, what is approved or dropped. Innovation gets often weighed down by much unnecessary human intervention.
We will need to transform much within our systems but more importantly to orientate our skills to receive, translate and diffuse new knowledge, in significantly different ways.
How can we connect, enable and deliver better innovative outcomes?
External insights and Intelligence will not become Enterprise knowledge that flows. without real, deep integration. Receiving the knowledge alone will not turn these into higher scale, richer, more innovation business outcomes, that have real growth value, unless we realize this pending and massive ‘mismatch’ between digital flowing in and the physical process attempting to cope with this to respond with tangible outcomes.
Market trends are changing faster and becoming shorter, so opportunity windows are narrowing. Risks of missing out are constantly increasing for those who are not focusing intently on that critical ‘time to market’ and not constantly streaming their innovation system, looking to automate it where ever they can.
What happens when all this digital knowledge and insights starts hitting our desks, having to work through an ongoing manual or semi-manual system, when we are seeking to capitalize on a ‘breaking’ opportunity? It will be a real choke point that will become a crisis – a real burning platform to be resolved.
We need to begin to really think though this as a complete redesign for innovation to cope.
It cannot be a simple ‘bolt-on’ job, it needs a radical redesign. We should grab this ‘moment of time’ to think what a new innovation system will need to achieve, fit for the post-digital age, how it should look, feel and operate like.
Organizations will be in their search for understanding what needs to change within their innovation systems, as soon as they realize that today’s design can’t cope.What is needed depends on how organizations ‘embrace’ digital. It will need a real depth of understanding and working through.
The pressure for a new business core is building- what will change?
Combining technology and innovation will seriously challenge all of us differently:
- Our mental capacity and physical adroitness will continue to multiply through digital technologies and the need to be far more agile in responding.
- Yet equally our whole domain expertise we know today will eventually be stripped away and replaced by something else based on ‘collective’ knowledge.
- Somehow we will need systems that help us manage the physical world of innovation with the constantly changing and informing digital world that each of us will need to be ‘pulling’ together in different ways.
- We will need to blend intelligence and experience that we need to share will need new ways of networking and exchanging around these ideas and insights into tangible values that fit with the organizations goals.
- As data flows in we will need to rationalize the risk decision-making in real-time, adjusting risk with opportunities on a constantly changing basis, as our intelligence and knowledge flows update us with more informed understandings..
- We can look to insights as possibly better predictions of success by lessening the risk factors of no knowledge being replaced by emerging knowledge based on latest insights.
- We will be able to explore the ‘worlds’ trending on those topics relevant to our needs, knowledge and innovation thinking and bring these into our physical environment to adjust our development process.
- We will consistently discover the unexpected and the surprising and we need to be ready to adjust our thinking and capitalize on this quickly, before others come across it. We need high levels of agility and responsiveness.
- Through constant validation we can consistently confirm or question the business case, we can test hypothesis and experimentation in real-time, in multiple scenarios and options.
- Having data, creating a history you can be equally be more backward looking to judge success and failure to learn from these to intelligently improve going forward.
There are a host of significant changes about to occur, to build more of the dynamics of innovation into our management in radically different ways. These will bring about radical changes in the ways of working innovation, so as to align and extract digital knowledge and ‘fuse’ this into the design process of the physical for final tangible outcomes.
The combinations of social, big data analytics, computing anywhere at any time, the cloud, collaborative platforms, connecting the virtual world with the physical worlds will change how processes and whole industries will work.
It is how we blend the new business model of service with ‘adaptive’ technology, processes and people, both inside and outside our organizations will fuel success or speed up decline. What surely is clear that innovation simply cannot remain on the periphery, it simply has to become the new core of our organizations.
Today’s innovation engine is not fit for today’s or even tomorrows purpose. A time to change it
We are dealing with a completely different set of mind-sets, skills, procedures, governance, processes and responsibilities as we adjust to digital, social and technology advancements. To gain from the digital evolution taking place we need a robust, comprehensive and radical overhaul of much of what is going on within our organizations in relationship to innovation and its management.
We need to not just adapt our processes and structures, but radically challenge them to grab this opportunity to change our innovation processes, so we can provide a more agile and fluid environment. We should be thinking through our needs of the what, where and how we set about constructing this now.
A radical newly designed Enterprise-wide innovation process, that ‘sits’ in the cloud seems to hold the key in my opinion, embracing and adapting constantly to all we have been learning about how innovation works and what technology, digital, networks, relationships and social streaming brings that all needs to be fully integrated within this redesign. Do you agree?
****My Additional Note: Recently I provided some opening thoughts into a debate on what is missing for our future, here is a link into a part of the deck provided to prompt that part of the discussion.**
*** revised on 28th March from the original post.