Digital transformation – the need to transform our innovation approaches

Digital TransformationBusiness digital transformation, it can certainly get your pulse racing as you start looking for the nearest exit. Digital transformation is being asked of everybody to get involved in but do we have a sufficient understanding of it?

Add in the magic ‘need’ so innovation can benefit from this business digital transformation and we begin to shift around in our chairs even more. What would it mean if we ‘went’ digital and transformed ourselves for innovation within our organisation?

I’ll be honest here, all the answers can’t be distilled here in this one post as digital is all evolving but I thought an opening set of thoughts on ‘digital transformation’ might trigger greater discussion and identification.

So what is a digital transformation?

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Exploring the Intrapreneurial Way in Large Organizations

Unleash the Intrapreneur InsideAre we seeing a change in mentality within large organisations towards encouraging individuals to ‘break out and become more intrapreneurial within their part of the business?’

Is this tapping into the increasing desire to be part of creating something new, to grab back the engagement needed, that sense of identity and a growing sense of ownership?

Large organisations sense they are missing out on radically different business opportunities and cast their envious eyes towards the young start-ups, not just coming up with original ideas to solve existing problems and pent-up needs, but seeing the work as potentially disruptive to those managing in the existing space.

This start-up and entrepreneurial spirit are making many senior executives nervous and they want to find ways to harness this within their own organisations, and thus the intrapreneurial movement has been born and is growing fast.

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Applying innovation thinking in different horizons

Forming a common view of 3HIn the past few days, I have had some exchanges on twitter with Jairo H Venegas and Ralph-Christian Ohr on different thinking around the three horizon methodology. We share similar views on its value and partly how it can be applied.

Ralph and I exchange constantly and occasionally meet up together. Actually, we need another meeting Ralph to catch up and explore these mutual innovation value points.

Ralph in a reply to Jairo suggested this: “That’s why a portfolio approach is so important” – with his take here: bit.ly/1Rn5Svq  under his excellent Model for Integrative Innovation article.He ‘talks’ of cornerstones and offers different premises to anchor these a little more. Continue reading

Establishing a new mentality for innovation

Dual mentality thinkingVisual two heads….different mindsets, different thinking about innovation but working together, a duality of thinking and managing innovation going forward. We must learn to explore and exploit at the same time, both in parallel and where needed, in separate ways, or entities.

If we ‘subject’ all of our innovation thinking to go through the same process we lose so much. How can you treat incremental innovation in the same way as radical or breakthrough innovation? You need to apply a completely different thinking and approach to the type of innovation you are thinking through. You must be prepared to abandon established thinking if it is not resolving the problems you are facing.

Beginning any journey is never easy, you stumble a little until you find a certain rhythm

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Are we playing snakes and ladders with innovation?

Snakes and Ladders 1Have you ever played snakes and ladders? Called chutes and ladders in the US. A number of “ladders” and “snakes” are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares.

The object of the game is to navigate one’s game piece, according to dice rolls, from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by ladders and snakes respectively.

Originally from India the game is a simple race contest based on sheer luck and I am beginning to wonder if we are playing a new version of this with innovation? This is called “bust or boom” or “success or failure” or even “maybe or maybe not,” or even “will we, won’t we.” It just all depends on our luck in rolling the dice, a serendipity with a darker twist that many companies seem to be playing with their innovation capability building.

The game came to mind as I read through a recent survey on Innovation

I have just been reading an Innovation report / survey from Accenture called “Clear Vision, Cloudy Execution” and I really do think we are playing with innovation as a game, it has some really serious implications within it that need more drawing out than possibly offered in my view. We should be getting worried that many bigger companies are losing the innovation game.

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Caught in the Headlights of Disruptive Innovation.

Exploding DsruptionThis past weekend I had an extended period of re-reading about the effects of disruption that seems to be occurring across all points of business, our politics, our governments, it seems across our lives.

I had been looking forward to a nice break up in the mountains of Switzerland, in a place near St.Moritz for five days of some walking, catching up with good friends over some great meals.

The evenings playing different card games or board games, as the temperatures dropped outside to minus six centigrade, the competitive nature raised the inside temperatures significantly. All good plans sometime get disrupted.

Regretfully a few days before, I ‘pulled’ some ligaments around the knee and this rendered the walking to some pretty tame stuff but the company, food and drink seemed to compensated a little I must admit, it eased the pain.

So I had some time on my hands so I decided to go back over the whole area of disruption to get a broader understanding and how this is driving so much within our innovation activity at present.

Disruption is all around us, coming at ever-faster speeds Continue reading

Delving into a complex world: helping to keep pace

Complex World 1“The world has never been as complex, dynamic and uncertain as it is today and the pace of change will only increase.”

We hear this consistently, our continual problem is trying to make sense of it for ourselves, we know all around us seems to constantly increase in its complexity but how are we keeping pace or at least trying too? I can’t check out of the human race just yet, can you afford too? If not then read on.

For me, I try to attempt to keep up to date by investing increasing time in acquiring a better understanding, a deeper knowledge of all the interconnected parts. As part of my job, advising others on all things swirling around innovation, I invest significant time in researching, learning and applying what I feel is important to others to understand or at least to raise their awareness.

Even if we are “time starved” we simply must try and keep moving along in this understanding and hopefully once in a while keeping ahead of the curve, or think we are!

There is one rich source of knowledge that comes from many of the larger consulting firms.

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