Innovation

No world is forever unchanging. Either you change it, or someone will do it for you. Managing your opportunities firstly is about making a decision to lead or adopt. Both strategies demand culture and control. Both strategies engage management’s curiosity and courage.

ShouldMustBusiness managers reach out to Googol, a leading advisor on business transformation and innovation, for an approach to the decision; Do we lead or adopt? What effects will this have? What should and must we transform (first)?

Any business is under high pressure from cost- and quality matters, as well as customer preferences, product demands, digitalization and large motions in business modeling. The best of breed even so. Matter of a fact, most businesses are at stake due to management’s inability to face the sense of urgency, to adapt to market change, to embrace what is offered from new technologies and to dare to pilot new models.

This we need to shield our clients from. To do this, we shall boldly admit where we are, bravely seek where we want to be and actively choose the route therewards*.

we shall boldly admit where we are, bravely seek where we want to be and actively choose the route therewards

*Yes, this word is made up in this text written for a client, which name has been exchanged for a more generic language

Innovation

Det är inte bara livscykler som förändras och förnyas i allt snabbare takt, även format och metoder för att innovera introduceras och hävdas plats. Hur skall egentligen en organisation hantera dessa svängningar, parallellt med att de också skall hantera den existerande affären? Här kommer fem tips inför lyckade innovationssatsningar under året.

Undvik “the Innovation Void”, våga ta steget från idé till projekt.Innovation Portfolio Management är ett sätt att utifrån de affärsstrategiska riktningarna, resursallokera satsningarna, så att ni kan ta steget från idé till utvecklingsprojekt vidare mot värdeskapande lösning. Att selektera och prioritera blir än viktigare, eftersom det med tiden blir mer bråttom och det lämnas mindre marginal för de som hamnar på efterkälken. För att lära sig mer om detta kan man exempelvis läsa denna fina artikel om Portfolio Management och Paretos principer eller denna om resursallokering (del av artikelserie)

Vill man satsa på att öka sin innovationsförmåga, kan en roadmap ge god horisont och ett viktigt perspektiv på satsningarna. I princip alla våra klienter har relativt långt gången innovationsförmåga men de inser att den behöver skärpas ytterligare för att nå full effekt. Vårt Innovation Program består av ett antal moduler, fyllda med verktyg, metoder och därtill vår erfarenhet att backa upp dessa vid implementering. Modulerna applicerar vi på ett kundspecifikt sätt, så programmen blir skräddarsydda efter behov och taktiskt vägval. Har du ingen innovationsförmåga alls, är problemet på en annan bog, det finns sätt att komma runt detta, men då behöver man starta i en annan ände.

Fastna inte i endast produktutveckling, eller processraffinering. Sätt fokus på ett kombinativt arbetssätt på alla, 10 generellt beskrivna, områden och typer av innovation. Idag fungerar det sämre i konkurrensen att enkom innovera kring en faktor, som tex processmetodik, digitalisering, leveranssätt eller teknisk utveckling. Organisationerna behöver kombinera dessa med varandra och då nästan alltid med affärsmodellerandet som en utgångspunkt. Vårt fokus på 10 Types of Innovation som Doblin och Keeley kallar det, eller 10 Areas of Innovation som vi gillar ett benämna det, är extra roligt, för det involverar vårt entreprenöriella förhållningssätt, såväl som de korsdiciplinära kompetenser vi representerar.

Applicera agila och entreprenöriella förhållningssätt när ni skall bryta ny mark. Företag som nått viss mognad, kulturellt, marknadsmässigt eller strukturellt har svårt att driva fram vissa typer av innovationer. Här kan samverkan med andra avlasta, stödja och komplettera denna brist. Man kan finna lösningar utanför de egna väggarna, eller genomdrivandeförmågan, eller till och med nya kundgrupper, men det behövs nya arbetssätt för att realisera detta. Vi arbetar med att driva dessa typer av projekt, inom fyra kategorier av engagemang. Vi scoutar fram, utvecklar och lanserar de nya lösningarna, med våra klienters bästa för ögonen, som alltid. Vi hävdar att stora bolag har förmågan att innovera, betydligt mer effektivt och slagkraftigt än vad de gör idag, på detta sätt.

Apply. Implement. Deploy. Scale.

Skeppa innovationerna. Innovation handlar om värdeskapande. Inte bara finansiellt, utan på många olika sätt. Det betyder att vi måste få ut dem från lådorna, presentationerna, planerna och de stängda rummen. Att hitta sätt att få ut dem snabbt är viktigt. Pilotprojekt, prototyper och alla andra metoder i all ära, men det handlar om att prissätta, hitta timingen, finna rätt marknad och sedan skala marknaden stadigt. För att åstadkomma detta måste vi riva murarna internt såväl som bygga broar mellan varandra. Vi behöver hjälpas åt att hitta de kommersiella grunderna.

Innovation

I am on my way back from visiting a company in Israel that had hard core innovation, as a core strategy. This is a tale of all dreams. Here is why.

WHY is not a strategy

During the last day I have had an interesting conversation with leaders of Innovation in Sweden, about the difference between purpose (vision) and strategy. Funny enough we all agreed. Strategy is, simply put, the actionable plan to reach the purpose, in its turn the answer to why we are doing it. Whatever it is.

The conversation took part while I was visiting a high-tech company in Israel, undergoing purposeful change. The company mother had had its challenges and a group of entrepreneurs had acquired this subsidiary and turned it around, as companies are turned around. Interesting enough this was not their purpose, this was their strategy. The purpose was in all means to reach a much higher altitude, aspiring to solve a true world challenge. This was their “why”. Innovation was their strategy.

Their core business was now healthy enough, but they were far from their target. They now aimed at disrupting, challenging and transforming more than one industry. They were ready to bet it all, on a “play to win” strategy.

A dream team

As we sat down for the opening presentation, the dream team to carry out the strategy was introduced to us. Over 100 years of experience in a rapidly developing field crystalized in front of me and the inno-venture team I was with. They knew it all, they were researchers, entrepreneurs, practitioners and leaders- all with their specialities.  Yet, interesting enough, they claimed they were not there to invent. They were there to innovate.

The whole team worked together on a plan to continuously develop the solution and albeit their experiences, they were to trust an open approach allowing their technologies to be developed anywhere and applied, implemented and deployed by them. Apply, implement and deploy – this is our mantra at Googol. I was amazed.

Apply, implement and deploy – this is our mantra at Googol

All types of innovation

I saw a team that, likely without having studied Keeley et als. 10 types of Innovation, naturally worked in just this way. New materials, new technologies, new business models etc would at all times affect and have effect their solution, so rather than betting on a given solution, they are betting on the solution being given over and over again. The core of the beauty, to me, today, was that they applied a process of development, rather than a technology. High tech company or not.

I am so looking forward to the continued journey of this very interesting venture. And who knows, I just might share their progress at a later stage.

Innovation

How do you activate your organization to support your clients need for Innovation here and now, as well as for future needs? You need to become an innovation catalyst.

Lecturing at a digital safari for IT-Consultants Acando at EpiCenter in Stockholm, I focused my key note around a few central topics:

Customer focus as a passion, not a task

Breed and celebrate an innovative culture. This all begins with understanding that Innovation is about value creation. Without realized value, you are stuck with ideas. And ideas are likely to be worthless. Focusing on customer needs and how to deliver solutions to these will increase your organizations potential to innovate.

Infuse curiosity and courage. Curiosity will bring fantasy to play and with this comes solutions, needed as well as unexpected. To harvest from curiosity we must have courage, which comes from an ability to balance risk and opportunities. Systematic control, is funny enough a way to solve this.

However, leaders with a close to manic passion for customers best interests, will form innovative organizations.

Share. Share. Share

The likelihood that the best talents work in your organization is slim. The likelihood that your talents can create fantastic opportunities with others, in eco-systems is pretty good. Adopting solutions brought from outside of your team will create agility and opportunity for leaps, that is wider steps taken than the incremental we normally are organized to take. An open approach will foster cross functional opportunities.

Destruct and Restruct

Structures, processes (and gates) are there to support development, not the other way around. Just as lean is supposed to free resources to be used for development, development will shape lean organizations.

Organizing for Innovation we will se many shapes and solutions such as cells with certain innovation focus, team that moves like corporate nomads within and between organization (such as Googol) and well distributed innovation capabilities that flourish throughout the organization.

Overthrow the order

We tend to look at our offerings and develop these. Yes, this and business models. This is good. The latter offers tremendous returns. However combining various forms of innovation focuses, shapes totally new values for all stakeholders.

The challenge is to overthrow the order in which we focus on different types of innovation. Few do, but those that do, do well.

Lead. Not to suffer.

Clients have a need to satisfy its clients, who need to… all the way until a last user is actually satisfied. And then, a whole new process begins. The one, which involves all of us, sustaining the way we use and consume resources.

We are looking at more than one shift of business here. There will be plenty. No need to give up. Keep recruiting talents, collaborate and create new solutions. Make certain you are part of your clients eco-system. Ensure that you help the accelerate and act as catalysts for their innovation.

This post is also published in Swedish here