Innovate.

Innovation is key to an organization today because the world we live in is so dynamic, complex, integrated, volatile, and the list can go on. To sustain and grow, organizations must be agile and nimble – must be able to respond to stimuli, internal or external, and that too within a finite window that is shrinking with time.

Traditionally, innovation was vested with a unit within the organization with the expectation it will drive advancement through research and development to drive that periodic step change in product or services they offer to create the points of inflection. Today, most are realizing, that alone, will not advance their growth or the innovation agenda. This has brought about the stark reality that for an organization to sustain and grow, the entire organization needs to be equipped with the tools to drive the innovation agenda across the board.

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Aspire.

As important as creativity and idea creation are, they require real aspiration to get same to fruition.  A far-reaching vision can be a compelling catalyst, provided it’s realistic enough to stimulate action today.

But in a corporate setting, as many CXOs have discovered, even the most inspiring words often are insufficient, no matter how many times they are repeated. It helps to combine high-level aspirations with estimates of the value that innovation should generate to meet growth objectives. Quantifying an “innovation based target for growth,” and making it an explicit part of future strategic plans, helps solidify the importance of and accountability for innovation. The target itself must be large enough to force everyone to include innovation led transformation in their strategies and drive the next point of inflection for their businesses.

The ability to digitally reimagine the business is key to this transformation and supported by leaders who foster a culture that can is able to change and invent the new or the next normal. Today, risk taking is becoming a cultural norm as more digitally advanced companies seek new levels of competitive or co-opetitive advantage. We also see increasingly employees across all age groups want to work for businesses that are deeply committed to innovation, digital transformation and in the fore-front driving the next points of inflection. This is becoming a key factor in attracting and retaining the best talent.


Key attributes that drive these are,

Digital strategy drives digital maturity – an organization where digital has transformed processes, talent engagement and business models have a clear and coherent digital strategy.

The power of a digital transformation strategy lies in its scope and objectives – Less digitally mature organizations tend to focus on individual technologies and have strategies that are decidedly operational in focus. Digital strategies in the most mature organizations are developed with an eye on transforming the business

Maturing digital organizations build skills to realize the strategy – They are four times more likely to provide employees with needed skills than are organizations at lower ends of the spectrum. The ability to conceptualize how digital technologies can impact the business is a skill lacking in many companies at the early stages of digital maturity

Employees want to work for digital leaders – Across age groups, most want to work for digitally enabled organizations. Employees will be on the lookout for the best digital opportunities, and businesses will have to continually up their digital game to retain and attract them.

Taking risks becomes a cultural norm. – Digitally maturing organizations are more comfortable taking risks than their less digitally mature peers. To make their organizations less risk averse, business leaders have to embrace failure as a prerequisite for success. They must also address the likelihood that employees may be just as risk averse and will need support to become bolder

The digital agenda is led from the top – Maturing organizations are nearly twice as likely as less digitally mature entities to have a single person or group leading the effort. In addition, employees in digitally maturing organizations are highly confident in their leaders’ digital fluency. Digital fluency, however, doesn’t demand mastery of the technologies. Instead, it requires the ability to articulate the value of digital technologies to the organization’s future

To drive such a transformation needs a holistic approach with clear understanding of the context as well as the opportunities and challenges that come along with it. This needs both an inside-out and outside-in thinking with structured interventions such as Design Thinking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Strategy Canvass to align bring together what is desirable from a human point of view; what feasible from technological point of view and what’s viable from an economical point of view to align your aspirations.

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Discover.

Innovation also requires actionable and differentiated insights—the kind that excite customers and bring new categories and markets into being. How do companies develop them? Genius is always an appealing approach, if you have or can get it. Fortunately, innovation yields to other approaches besides exceptional creativity.

The rest of us can look for insights by methodically and systematically scrutinizing three areas: a valuable problem to solve, a technology that enables a solution, and a business model that generates money from it. You could argue that nearly every successful innovation occurs at the intersection of these three elements. Companies that effectively collect, synthesize, and “collide” them stand the highest probability of success.

The insight-discovery process, which extends beyond a company’s boundaries to include insight-generating partnerships, is the lifeblood of innovation. We won’t belabor the matter here, though, because it’s already the subject of countless articles and books. One thing w can add is that discovery is iterative, and the active use of prototypes can help companies continue to learn as they develop, test, validate, and refine their innovations. Moreover, we firmly believe that without a fully developed innovation system encompassing the other elements described in this article, large organizations probably won’t innovate successfully, no matter how effective their insight-generation process is.

Today, once needs to look at ways for SIMPLIFICATION in today’s world of COMPLEXITIES and eliminate the POINTS of FRICTION.

DESIGN THINKING is the way to SOLVE this COMPLEX PROBLEM. You can design the way you lead, manage, create and innovate. The design way of thinking can be applied to systems,  procedures, protocols, and customer/user experiences. The purpose of design, ultimately, in my view, is to improve the quality of life for people and the planet.

Disrupt.

We strongly believe that ANYTHING is possible if we COLLABORATE, CO-INNOVATE and CO-CREATE together. We make this process more effective by helping you to start by identifying something in your business or industry that’s not necessarily a problem, and then go about methodically breaking it down using the following steps for envisioning.

Step 1: What do you want to disrupt?
Step 2: What are the business clichés?
Step 3: What are your business hypothesis? What can you invert? What can you deny?

We should be able to generate several brilliant, wacky hypotheses that will challenge your established way of looking at an industry, segment or category as well as eliminating point of friction.

The general rule is that bolder “What ifs” will offer a fresher perspective. So, don’t worry if your hypotheses seem completely ridiculous since inverting or denying industry clichés can often lead to significant business breakthroughs.

The ultimate goal being to Disrupt via our creative ability to focus on VALUE through DESIGN THINKING philosophy and launch ourselves into the BLUE ocean.

Accelerate.

Virulent antibodies undermine innovation at many large companies. Cautious governance processes make it easy for stifling bureaucracies in marketing, legal, IT, and other functions to find reasons to halt or slow approvals. Too often, companies simply get in the way of their own attempts to innovate. A surprising number of impressive innovations from companies were actually the fruit of their mavericks, who succeeded in bypassing their early-approval processes. Clearly, there’s a balance to be maintained: bureaucracy must be held in check, yet the rush to market should not undermine the cross-functional collaboration, continuous learning cycles, and clear decision pathways that help enable innovation. Are managers with the right knowledge, skills, and experience making the crucial decisions in a timely manner, so that innovation continually moves through an organization in a way that creates and maintains competitive advantage, without exposing a company to unnecessary risk?

Companies also thrive by testing their promising ideas with customers early in the process, before internal forces impose modifications that blur the original value proposition. To end up with the innovation initially envisioned, it’s necessary to knock down the barriers that stand between a great idea and the end user. Companies need a well-connected manager to take charge of a project and be responsible for the budget, time to market, and key specifications—a person who can say yes rather than no. In addition, the project team needs to be cross-functional in reality, not just on paper. This means locating its members in a single place and ensuring that they give the project a significant amount of their time (at least half) to support a culture that puts the innovation project’s success above the success of each function.

Cross-functional collaboration can help ensure end-user involvement throughout the development process. At many companies, marketing’s role is to champion the interests of end users as development teams evolve products and to help ensure that the final result is what everyone first envisioned. But this responsibility is honored more often in the breach than in the observance. Other companies, meanwhile, rationalize that consumers don’t necessarily know what they want until it becomes available. This may be true, but customers can certainly say what they don’t like. And the more quickly and frequently a project team gets—and uses—feedback, the more quickly it gets a great end result.