Why do we have difficulties to self-disrupt?

“Why do we always seem to have internal difficulties to self-disrupt?”

Now that is an interesting question. My quick and simple answer is to look at all the internal constraints you can see, or those around you can add to your list or the ones you place on looking outside your own organization.

It is also being constrained when you look outside your organization and not recognizing the (perpetual) changes going on, often until it is too late or a fast, nimble entrepreneur has nipped in and set about building a new alternative to your existing offering that has, perhaps for some time shown signs of business model decay. Continue reading

The art of “Back Casting” needs care

Backcasting is a planning method that starts with defining a desirable future and then works backwards to identify policies and programs that will connect that specified “future to the present”. The fundamentals of the method were outlined by John. B. Robinson from the University of Waterloo in 1990. The fundamental question of backcasting asks: “if we want to attain a certain goal, what actions must be taken to get there?”

While forecasting involves predicting the future based on current trend analysis, backcasting approaches the challenge of discussing the future from the opposite direction; it is “a method in which the future desired conditions are envisioned, and steps are then defined to attain those conditions, rather than taking steps that are merely a continuation of present methods extrapolated into the future”

I have collected different views on “Backcasting”.

Those are from assorted references like Wikipedia, from past work on water and energy systems, from Natural Step, from Innosight, discussed and promoted in Mark Johnson’s book “Lead for the Future” and a really recent one from Roxi Nicolussi and her Backcasting; Creating a Strategic Roadmap for the Future” or finally here, this one “All Roads Lead From The Future Back — A Vision and Spoke Model” by Aidan McCullen. I am looking to further explore the applications applied in water, energy and climate work.

So exploring backcasting as a method

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Building our understanding of the factory of the future

Siemens Digital Enterprise SPS Dialog Results

Last week, Siemens had a really valuable virtual event called their “Digital Enterprise SPS Dialog. Those that missed it you can watch previous sessions on-demand at any time via “Recordings”. They provided an outstanding virtual showroom packed full of innovations, product presentations and use cases are exhibited in an exciting real 3D environment. The platform and all on-demand assets will be available until January 29th 2021.

The “Digital Enterprise SPS Dialoghad 56 3d-exhibits in 12 topic areas, more than 130 product presentations, 3 real factory showcases with 21 stage presentations involving over 38 speakers. By registering you can view “on-demand” selectively or watch the whole event, explore the showrooms and simply learn, evaluate and assess what these concepts would mean for you in your own Industry 4.0 journey, to a more highly automated and connected environment.

I said it at the time, and I repeat it: “The event was, for me, the best virtual event of this very strange and weird year we have all been caught up in“. For Siemens, they also commented this was quite a milestone to be achieved in the field of virtual events. It delivered a lot. My initial post “Siemens SPS Dialog.” might be worth also picking up upon.

By being virtual, the insights provided has advanced my understanding of what is being offered in Siemens Digital solutions significantly and would give any clients a terrific understanding of Siemens combined physical and digital offerings.

An event showcasing critical aspects of the factory of the future Continue reading

Connecting innovating value comes from Ecosystem thinking

Ecosystems can offer so much connecting value out there to ‘form’ around.

We are witnessing a very radical change, driven by technology, increasingly disrupting and breaking down past traditional boundaries, partly built to defend positions so as to achieve economic scale.

There is a new economic logic to build even greater scale, it involves greater complexity, yet its value proposition is to strive towards offer greater customer experience and satisfaction, where the solutions are valued highly in social and economic value.

Ones that get closer to their connected expectations and daily needs for solutions to solve, in far better ways, than that are presently offered. The innovative design has become paramount to these new offerings.

Ecosystem design will create new business opportunities. We need to make the business case
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We are searching for new pathways

Ecosystems and Platforms are our pathways to a new innovation future. Ecosystems have suddenly become of age, as they can be formed around common concepts fairly rapidly, they can enable cross-cutting innovation to be delivered in highly collaborative ways. They can, through shared platforms achieve a closer relationship with the customer, to understand their needs and experience through increased collaboration, and engagement.

Connecting and collaborating opportunities for business seem to be really powerful networks of value-adding effect, for finding new economic opportunity. This calls for some radical rethinking of the existing business and deciding the design of the future business. We are at a critical point of change. Business needs to explore the future is far more highly collaborative ways.

This calls for thinking through a different designed structure for the business and different skills needed. The shifting from the current state to the future designed state is no easy task. It requires a radical redesign of the organization, as it significantly increases complexity and where any digital transformation has to center upon as the critical enabler to enable this shift.

Clarifying the new critical capabilities Continue reading

Defining Innovation Capital

My definition of what makes up innovation capital:

New Core of Innovation Capital

“Innovation capital is the sum of all that promotes the development and changes required for achieving innovation outcomes, within one organization or its broader networked environment, for marketplace advantage.”

The capital of innovation has many moving parts.

“These are made up of the resources, processes, knowledge, and capabilities, that are constantly evolving and highly dynamic to build greater innovating capacity.”

“These build upon the capabilities of ‘sensing, seizing and transforming’ to build new capital that focuses more upon the dynamics within innovation, that provide the true value creation in successful outcomes in the final product, services or executing within business models.”

We need to value both “stocks and flows” in equal attention to build innovation capital.

The stock of innovation capital can render different productive value outcomes, is a bundle of the firm’s resources/assets and holds the renewal capabilities and they possess attributes that make it a “strategic asset.”

Innovation capital is made up of many different assets that are often context-specific and interconnected, and this makes it hard to build without taking a broader, more holistic approach to developing your capabilities, capacities, and competencies to innovate. You ‘map’ and align these to fit your strategic goals and aspirations; these provide the basis for the “flows.”

Each company needs to build its own unique capital stock. Continue reading

A pathway to building more dynamic innovation capabilities

To build a pathway to enabling more dynamic innovation capabilities needs to go through Nine Stages. These nine stages are, in my opinion, needed for developing an understanding of your innovation capabilities, so as to make them more dynamic and, as a result, to be at the top of your innovation game.

This “step process,” I believe, gets you to the point of understanding what innovation capabilities are a better ‘fit’ for the purpose, to deliver on your innovation needs on a consistent, repeatable, and evolving basis.

Building innovation capabilities take time; they are complex, highly structured, and multi-dimensional. Any structured approach to tackling innovation takes time and considerable commitment. Any learning involves sensing, seizing, and then transforming.

We are searching for what makes up the present system and what needs to be part of the future to create a ‘best’ innovation capability environment that is sustainable in the longer-term. Those that can be continually ‘orchestrated’ and constantly adapted to meet the strategic need. Continue reading

Innovation needs the power of completing the 4th Industrial Revolution

We first need to recognize that there are twin forces at work, feeding off each other. We are facing greater disruption and an increasing innovation pace.

These twin forces are constantly seeking out for combining, relentlessly adding the new shape to our future. We are caught up in a very revolutionary period. The prospect of new innovation potential will eventually work through into the world of Industry 4.0 as a major game-changer “.

Innovation is ready for those accelerating and being fully committed to their 4IR journey. Then innovation can finally play its true part in discovering, leveraging and delivering new value and impact.

We have to recognize the days of simple product innovation are dwindling. where technology, digital solutions, greater customer insights, where a new breed of designers, engineers, scientists, and software talent are combining built through a platform and new innovation ecosystems thinking, are all emerging. Continue reading