There is a profound shift taking place, relating to innovation. Increasingly we are seeing a growing dissatisfaction on the impact that innovation is having; in growth, in returns, in market and customer impact. There is a search for new solutions.
One of the implications is this growing recognition that innovation is rarely succeeding in isolation but it is growing on a more highly dependent type of complementary innovation, a collaborative network, working around this new emerging innovation to deliver a more connected, radical experience, requiring innovation ecosystem management.
This dramatic change we will all be undergoing will have a significant impact on organizations innovation management design and it requires new connecting’ thinking. Continue reading →
Since early September I have been significantly focused on researching, relating and renewing my understanding of Business Ecosystems, Platforms and then what led into the power and need of improving customer end experience. This came about from having some evolving conversations with my ‘old’ sparring partner Jeffrey Phillips, over at Ovo Innovation. He nicely moved the ecosystem discussion towards capitalizing on a final outcome: achieving seamless customer experiences and our thinking began to really take off.
Jeffrey Phillips and I have collaborated around different innovation thinking for some years and in a late August discussion over Skype, we realized that what was emerging from our usual exchanges and insights was that the area of Innovation within Ecosystems was gathering pace and what did that mean for innovation in future business and practice implications.
We both have some shared as well as some different views on how this would shape up for the future. As usual in these discussions, we agreed to think about a potential collaboration on this by exchanging some opening thoughts in written exchanges. Those quickly took hold and we realized our need and the greater need was to explore and exploit the key themes of ecosystems, platforms and customer experience far more.
We are facing tough challenges within the business world. To work through these we are all being asked to transform but there has to be a clear end, a return for all this energy and resources it requires, that we are being asked to spend?
How and where does innovation fit will clearly depend on this transforming effect. We are fairly clear that incremental innovation is just not cutting through to give the types of growth expected. There are many outside our existing organizations, standing impatiently at the gates, waiting to come in and take over with market breaking concepts through different business models .
We need to transform, be disrupted or certainly re-imagine and this is where knowing your ecosystem comes in.
Our existing organization needs to envisage a changing world full of disruption that calls for radical change. To meet different challenges, to be highly adaptive it needs to begin to organize around ecosystems to deliver on a vision that recognizes it has to be part of a greater collaborating network to thrive in this highly connected world.
Jeffrey Phillips and I are launching our fourth collaboration together, this time we are exploring innovation ecosystems and the growing impact they are having in the business world through their ‘conecting and collaborating difference’ that can lead to vastly different final customer experiences.
I just want to reaffirm what he has written on this, originally over on his site.
This is what he wrote:
Innovation, ecosystems, platforms and more
“I’m pleased to announce that Paul Hobcraft and I will be working together on a number of posts that relate to some discussions we’ve had about innovation, more specifically how innovation must evolve from creating interesting but incomplete solutions to understanding how customers want to have interesting, seamless experiences. Over the next few weeks we’ll be writing posts on a new shared website that examine the state of innovation, and provide a reason we think so many innovation outcomes fail to achieve their goals.
We all value those times when we can slip away from our desk, from the computer or phone and just simply step outside.
Some do this because of a necessity of topping up their nicotine levels or finding a few moments for having a chat, others just simply want to step away, relax a little and freshen up.
Another reason to get out of the office is when it comes to thinking differently within the business, going out to seek out different, often radically new ideas. This offers the chance of seeing something completely differently, by being simply aware and open to new possibilities, detaching yourself from your own (comfortable) environment .
So how do businesses organise their structures to be able to simultaneously manage the needs to exploit and explore innovation?
In this post I wanted to explain my thinking through on this ability to be ‘ambidextrous’, knowing the difference of when to exploit and when to explore as essential to leveraging innovation, in all its forms and watching out for some of the traps in not managing this well.
Managing this, in all honesty, though, is hard to get the balance right but highly valuable if you do achieve it, it can transform the business. Many of our organisations struggle to manage both successfully as they tend to focus more on separation mostly in organisational structures alone as their attempt to become ambidextrous. It is far more than ‘just’ this. Get the balance right across the organisation’s design and in its leadership management, it becomes a very powerful mechanism for accelerating performances by delivering significantly new innovation and equally sustaining and leveraging the core business you have today.
Recently I contributed a blog post over on the Hype Innovation Blog ” Balancing Exploitation & Exploration for Changing Performance” that opens up the subject but then extensively dives into three examples of Apple, GE and Google that are working in highly ambidextrous ways, pursuing exploiting and exploring in their own unique ways.
As innovation becomes a more consistent requirement rather than an occasional exercise, it must align to strategic goals and become part of the planning and execution cycle in more aligned ways.
An increased focus on innovation as a consistent discipline requires significant reflection on what needs changing, what impact this change will have and how do we proceed to implement it. This requires senior management attention because of the significant organisational impact.
The leadership within an organisation provide the linkage into the strategy, provide the framework and set this in the context of the vision and goals needed to be achieved. You, as the innovator, seek out the synergies between strategy and innovation, between innovation and capabilities, between culture, the environment, the process, structure and routines and how it all should be governed.
The compelling value is in having an integrated innovation framework