Thinking about my own identification with the IVP took me back to when I started out on my innovation journey 18 years ago. That now seems like ages ago, and a lot has changed in how we manage innovation since then. But, strangely enough, a lot has also stayed the same – especially the fact that delivering good innovation is hard work.
Throughout the past couple of years, I have been constantly arguing about the need to put innovation management on a digital platform.
These have come in different thoughts on digital platforms, ready for cross-industry and having in place, a rapid digital innovation process that scales and evolves on new technology and insights.
We need a radical design, universal in design and approach.
What if you could manage your innovation in the ways shown in this diagram?
This is the way PLM innovation platforms are progressing and currently being assessed by CIMdata in a PLM Innovation Assessment Scorecard shown further below. Link to the position paper
The argument about what any innovation management system provides goes on and on and still, we seem not to be at the universal acceptance point that an innovation management process is critical and needs a better system of management.
What we should finally accept, a platform connects all users, both internally and externally in their ability to share their knowledge and information in exchanges, in one environment to cultivate collaborations and continuous collaborative creativity. The more we design and need to deliver smart, connected and innovative products the more we have this innovation platform need.
The majority of the present software providers fail to grasp this. Continue reading
I have been often returning to scaling, struggling with finding the best answers. Many organizations struggle with scaling. This can be scaling their organization, their capabilities or more often, taking an idea into a fully scaled delivery.
Maybe I have been looking at it all wrong?
The complexities of scaling can’t be lightly dismissed. You need very often, size to scale. This could be in a new plant, in where production should be situated, so it can be allowed to scale at a later date, in resources able to achieve scale or more importantly you scale according to the type of goods or demand so they can be readily available, closer to the market they are needed.
When you work in a global organization, scale takes on even a greater set of dimensions; one that needs coordinating and managing.
So I was thinking through some points on scaling a little differently. They are partly ‘open questions’ or some thinking out loud. You can say they are “half-baked”, perhaps in more than one way! Continue reading
From my standpoint, I am simply amazed at how the world seems to be spinning faster and faster. I am convinced my working days are shorter or the clock is moving faster or worse still, I am being “deflected” even more by everything “digital”.
I never seem to finish what I had intended to complete by the end of a day or week. I then get caught up in the spillover effect. Something always gets in the way, something has to give. So we make a resolution to change something to improve on this constant catch up state we find ourselves in. We all seem to be spinning faster but equally slowing down. Often our innovation activities face the same dilemma.
Innovation needs time, it needs evolution and resolution but also speeding up
Here are some thoughts for our future. The need for innovation results has sped up considerably. The belief that lean management principles will get the innovation out of the door quicker, has been one of those management adoptions that often trick us into believing we are achieving more than we actually are. Reality is, we have only been tackling part of the innovation process and the end results often remain the same – a slow process of innovation follows as lean hits organization reality, it gets caught up in internal roadblocks, countless discussions, and debates.
Certainly, in the majority of cases we have found nothing wrong at all with applying lean management, as it tends to lead to improvements in a final outcome, but does it actually speed up the process? I’m not sure it does. Leans slows down and becomes increasingly burdened by fat being layered on, further down the innovation execution process.
For me, I think the real need is in speeding up of the whole innovation process, approaching the whole innovation in a systematic way, as the only path to tread in the years ahead. We need to broaden out the whole process of rapid innovation application beyond the two current favorites of lean and design thinking. That requires it to be fully connected up and that means making the innovation process one that is fully digital, on a platform and accessible by all, those that can bring value and meaning to the process to deliver greater innovation outcomes. We need a greater innovation rapid prototype approach to the whole innovation process- test, learn, adapt, adjust, iterate, refine at speed and rapid scaling.
Recently I was exploring the world of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and read an excellent Whitepaper from Aras Corp, one of the leading PLM solution providers.
This made me a little jealous and a little wishing that ‘we’, across the whole of innovation management, could not have one of these platforms available today. Some claim that they do this already but seriously they do not.
I have argued we do need to change the way we undertake innovation and its development. I am really frustrated by the legacy we have in our processes, systems and the ways we approach innovation, and its development lifecycle. We still break it up into separate parts, dealing with the pre-ideas stage, collecting insights, the idea management, then into a pipeline or portfolio system, that all has so such manual and siloed approaches built into this. These are tue legacy systems.We do need to bring innovation management into the 21st century where everything is transformed through a platform that allows total integration.
So as I read about the solution that Aras provides to the designers within Manufacturing to manage PLM complex systems and products, you have to wonder why this cannot be extended into all innovation’s management. Of course what “sits” on the platform will be different but it has much that can adapted and aligned in the principles of any design. Continue reading
For me, there is never enough talked about innovation risk. Innovation is held back so often because the quantification of it’s risk cannot fit into an organization’s current assessment and measurements of risk.
Innovation is often too intangible, full of unknowns as the very nature of anything new and different. Innovation risk leaves many executives very uncomfortable.
Organizations get uncomfortable when the words “radical” “intangible”, “unknowns” and other words like these when they form part of the conversation. It often starts to induce that “risk twitch” where that careful management for short-term performance might become threatened, or the manager feels any decision is ‘going out on a limb’ and possibly career threatening.
That growing uncomfortable feeling that innovation places their bonus at “risk” so they like to ring-fence innovation as much as possible. Now some of that ring-fencing is fine, you contain a risk to keep it manageable but most innovation does not constitute organization risk, yet it gets caught up in that risky fear that innovation seems to induce. Actually, if we were managing innovation at the core, our risk management for it would be very heightened and managed differently, but how many of our companies’ have innovation as their core?
So I always welcome discussion on risk and innovation. The more we talk about it the better for what is coming towards us. Continue reading
We are a long way away from fully capturing the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in an inclusive and holistic way. To do this, technology adoption and diffusion across the ecosystem needs to improve dramatically.
In a recent report, jointly from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey called the “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the factories of the future” they made a number of observations
“After a decade of flat productivity, the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is expected to create up to $3.7 trillion in value to global manufacturing. A few years back, experts noted that the changes associated with the 4IR would come at an unprecedented rate yielding incredible results for those who truly embraced them.
Still, the hockey stick of benefits has not kicked in yet – while all companies are making efforts to adopt technology, most of the production industry (~70%) remains in pilot purgatory (where technology pilots last for extended periods of time, and companies do not take the final step of scaling up viable technologies). Less than 30% of manufacturing companies are actively rolling out Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies at scale”
No wonder we presently have trouble attracting many businesses onto platforms when they are still very much behind in deciding or deploying a strategically thought-through IIoT digital design, that is connecting everything up.
It is equally holding a new form of innovation back, one that is highly collaborative where partners come together to work on more complex problems. Collaborators can achieve solutions only by being “fully” connected up, comfortable with their data, understanding and contribution, both within their knowledge and insights.
The power of multiple-connected ecosystems gives innovation a completely different momentum but it needs this 4th industrial revolution to be fully operative, for a digitally connected world in manufacturing and beyond. Continue reading