Seeking fresh winds and new directions

the_winds_of_changeAnyone who has felt the ‘full force of the wind’ will know the feeling of how hard it is to keep on your feet, to stay determined to stay upright and true, to hold the course, whatever happens.

When you feel the force of change running through the organization, you tend to have that same sensation, to resist the force with all your energy.

It is often really hard to let go, the environment was something you had become used to, you accepted and become resigned to its weaknesses and constantly exploited its possibilities or even possibly the other way round.

Ignoring the power of choice within change is dangerous

Constructing a climate for any transformation is hard. Our cultures are deep-rooted; we resist those winds blowing into us “full on,” well beyond being reasonable or smart enough to avoid them before they confront us. The Chinese proverb below gives us a clear choice: “to build walls or build windmills”

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The sharks that prey are arriving a lot earlier now

The Sharks are CirclingChange is all around us, it is accelerating not abating. Do you feel you are trapped, encircled and just a little concerned. You often hear of volatile trading conditions, a more complex market and situations changing constantly and moving faster than ever. ‘Much’ seems to be closing in on us.

We do know we need to re-equip ourselves for constant disruption; we are really beginning to see a shift from the classic bell curve into more of a shark fin for adopting change.

One that is characterized by sudden, even violent success or an event, some moments of brilliant dominance, followed by a dramatic change in conditions as others have spotted the same opportunity and you hit a rapid decline, the race to the bottom of competition constantly negating one another.

Market are segmenting, the life cycle is shortening or having an even longer tail of dealing with slow decline and constant erosion of any competitive position. The sharks are arriving even earlier and in a greater need to show their dominance.

market_segments

It does seem “creative destruction” is a central force in many of our activities. Activities where innovation is continually replacing not just in products and new services but in designing radically different business models, searching to replace less adaptive competitors in the marketplace at faster rates.

Adoption is far earlier, the pace of change is quickening and from this the competition is responding in new ways, often surrounding the new innovation with their version, built on often a really ‘fast follower’ principle to keep in step, and throttle off any different adoption, knowing what it costs to have to win this back over time, if it can at all when it switches. The life cycle is becoming even more important to manage in all of its stages, as its traditional shape I feel, is radically altering. It is coming faster and fading away quicker unless you manage its parts very specifically.

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Exploring the Drivers of Innovation Change

ChangeI always show a particular interest in statements claiming to have identified a relevant driver of innovation change, then to think through these. Can these be valuable and be associated to the portfolio situation within an organization’s need, in seeking different viewpoints of product or service change?

Opening up our thinking to change can drive our business offerings very differently.

Often within these drivers we do need to explore what is the underlying force behind them, it allows us to pause and think. As you think through what these different change drivers on what it might mean to extending your new product or service developments, these can prompt radically different and  imaginative solutions to consider..

Using the different drivers can give you new insights into your innovation activities plus also can prompt significant changes to freshen up your innovation portfolio. They are certainly a good place to start to get the creative juices flowing even more.

It is worth constantly working around different drivers of innovation change.

Periodically I would suggest you work through each of these and see if this changes your thinking or approach and you can then see a different angle or opportunity that might emerge that changes the thinking.

So let me share my opening nine identified drivers for innovation change:

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So Welcome to the Age of Digital Innovation

New age of innovationDigital technology is about to become the precursor for all the changes we have put off for years within our organizations.

We need to radically improve our abilities to engage, relate and discover new innovation opportunities at a completely different level of faster performance.

There are many issues both strategic and tactical to work through, to extract the rich potential from any digital transformation for new innovation growth outcomes

The final part of a seven part series –  a new dawn or your worst nightmare?’

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The Need to Automate the Innovation Process

New Technology Dawns 6There has always been a consistent call to automate the innovation process. Now it might turn into a stampede, based on real ‘digital’ need.

We have made solid progress in the use of out-of-the box software for capturing ideas at the ‘fuzzy front end.’

We have developed pipelines and use product life cycle software systems to manage this through to commercialisation.

Yet today we still have a fragmented, often broken innovation process, very reliant on the manual processes, where the human intervention dominates. Can this be changed? Technology must form a greater core of the innovation process.

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The need to respond quickly to new business objectives

New Technology Dawns 5The business objectives will change as we invest heavily in digital technologies, as we increasingly recognize and embrace this changing world where digital knowledge and insights begins to challenge and change our existing frameworks of innovation thinking.

Part five of a seven part series

The outcomes of the investment are expected to provide clear returns and these might include but not limited too: 1) different customization of services 2) quicker response to market trends in new offerings 3) identifying real-time cost optimizations, 4) concentrating on faster, more accurate decision-making to give new competitive edges 5) better and more holistic R&D 6) automate even further the supply chain management, 7) alter you approach to channels to market, 8) move your business into new adjacencies or even white spaces and finally 9) design new business models and value propositions.

There will be lots of new moving parts to grapple with to be future innovation agile.

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IT is Struggling to be the Digital Technology Master

New Technology Dawns 4There is so much occurring in new applications and alternative solutions, it is a very tough position for most dealing in technology to truly master all  of these breaking options they might have to consider.

It must be a little overwhelming, when many responsible for IT have for years not had any strategic involvement and not been given clear line-of-business oversight.

Business management equally has over the years built up an ‘arm’s distance’ to IT and found ways to overcome barriers they felt were seemingly put in their way, when it came to ‘bringing in’ the technology they deemed as essential.

Something needs to change going forward. Both the business manager and the IT need to find ways to exchange, collaborate and share. It is in their ‘vested’ interest but more importantly for the future health of the business itself.

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