The report from Arthur D Little “Innovating in the digital age- a cross-industry exploration” has to be the one report that really stands out for me from this year. I highly recommend it. They take a look at how digital technology will transform the way innovation will be managed in the future.
Now that is music to my ears, a report that provides extra “jest” to my own arguments that digital innovation is going to take over in very significant ways the innovation management process from discovery to delivery.
So many of the current suppliers of software are asleep at the wheel still working the old tired model of how to set about innovation. That will change, it will change and I predict we will see significant movement into having digital solutions specifically for innovation management in 2019. As I know the continuing deepening of insights will eventually compel companies to change their innovation management thinking.
I just want to highlight four visuals from the Arthur D Little (ADL) report that makes the connection of digital and innovation stand out as a place we all must go, as soon as possible. Arthur D Little have copyright to all the visuals shown here.
ADL suggest the most important technologies can be grouped into three families, depending on what they bring to innovators
1. those that boost intelligence, for instance about customer needs;
2. technologies that bring better and faster foresight, e.g. concerning product performance;
3. digital solutions that improve and accelerate collaboration, communication, and learning.
As ADL rightly point out we have had consistent improvement in innovation performance but it still has not been at, in my view, at most organization’s satisfactory levels. They raise some critical “if only” questions and ask “might digital provide an answer”? The answer is not so much what digital can offer, it is what organizations want to (finally) become. Will they become more focused and organized to commit far more deeply to building innovation into their core. I think they will have too, in this digital age or they will be even more disadvantaged, disrupted and struggling to find sustaining growth. Its the call of top management to commit to innovation in more resolute ways.
The fourth one I want to provide from this ADL report gives a really excellent visual of the nine building blocks they (ADL) believe have the potential to transform the way innovation gets down.
ADL clearly have their views on how they will approach this digital innovation transformation. Much of the report breaks down different “persona” or archetypes and offers suggested ways to set about approaching each of their challenges to gain benefit from the transition to digital innovation, “if companies can overcome a wide range of barriers”
ADL offers some helpful opening guidelines to help solve this challenge to move to digital innovation. I think it is going to be very hard, firstly to instal any innovation engine across an entire company and in bridging this lack of capabilities, competencies and capacity without radical overhaul of what is in place today, the legacy systems of innovation, and this deep commitment to making innovation as core as digital will be.
Again, where ADL have gone in identifying how digital technologies will transform the ways that innovation will be managed, signals a positioning that they, as a practice, can continue to build from this research that went into this report. I assume they will further build a practice into advising on the translation, impact, and meaning. To help us all translate this radical redesign of the innovation management system, that we are all struggling to get our heads around. This report contributes in very helpful ways.
ADL in contacting them promised, “there is more to come“. I, for one, will be looking forward to this. The comment was: “We have already deepened and broadened our insights in recent months and will continue publishing on this important and intriguing topic!”
If you go to “search” in this posting site of mine, you will see I have been researching and offering thoughts on this new digital innovation era. If you put into the search one of these (links supplied); “new innovation age” or “the future of innovation” or “designing the future of innovation” or “collaborating across industries” or finally “digital discovery” you will see how I have been looking at this across multiple strands of thought. All I can offer is some thoughts here: “start reading, start thinking and start transforming”
There is a new innovation era and it is digitally enabled. 2019 promises this to become critical in it’s building and gathering momentum.