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Executives are concerned that their product and services offerings are being commoditized. For every move they make, competitors are responding quickly and at a seemingly lower cost basis. They are stuck on Commodity Island.
Often, the organizational focus has shifted to a ‘win at all cost’ mentality with very complex pricing models. Everyone is doing the same, and now everyone look and feels the same to the customer.
Some organizations miss their window to "Jump the S-Curve": leaders must disrupt the current business for new growth, before draining the life out of the existing business. Otherwise they will be stranded on Commodity Island.
Innovating your way off Commodity Island requires visionary leadership, organizational culture change, and effective employee engagement. Read about our Innovation Execution Methodology and chart your path to new business growth.
NINE EXCELLENT WAYS TO STIFLE INNOVATION
Innovation doesn't just happen...it comes from awesome intrapreneurial teams. Are you or your company guilty of killing good ideas?
Yes, everyone at the top is interested in innovation. It has become a business mandate in many organizations. But are the leaders serious? We find that plenty of companies are not walking the talk. They want innovation, but also don't want to recalibrate the organizational systems. These systems are where a good idea has as much opportunity to succeed as me going to the moon. Why so?
For starters, organizations do not have an internal muscle for a creative process. The creative process is not well understood and it is truly a fragile process. This situation promotes uncertainty; something most leaders do not want to spend time on. Additionally, there are very few internal experts who can support it and nurture it like there are for project
management processes, customer service processes, budgeting processes, etc. This is very tough in today's short-term focus surrounded by the fear-inducing environment of rapid technological change and dynamic markets-but this also makes innovation essential.
So what to do? First, kill the innovation killers. Here is our list of innovation killers that will need significant moderation if not surgical removal. You can discover for yourself if you have an environment that is crushing good ideas or allowing growth and change to be welcomed.
1. Clear(?) and cumbersome approval processes, rules, regulations for every action at every level within the organization.Making decisions takes forever and when they are made, they take forever to implement. Too much process everywhere.
2. Silos are promoted. The organization loves to allow departments and individuals to compete against one another for resources and protect their areas.
7 Thought Leader Views on Cognitive Capability.....
Advice from our planet's best minds about how to expand our cognitive toolkit.
Cognitive Thinking involves altering the way individuals interpret information they take in, to better comprehend it. If we can get inside the heads of most powerful cognitive thinkers of our time and discover what they are exploring, it is possible that our current orthodoxies can be overturned, our mental boxes can be toppled, our reality walls can be brought down, and maybe our work can be re-visualized, and just maybe, our companies can find disruptive innovations.
If you are an innovator leader, you will enjoy these short cognitive 10,000ft. maps from our planet's most interesting thinkers.
KEVIN KELLY, Editor-At-Large, Wired
STEPHEN M. KOSSLYN Director, Center for Adv. Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
GERD GIGERENZER, Psychologist; Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition
VINOD KHOSLA, Technology Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist
GINO SEGRE, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania
CLIFFORD PICKOVER, Author, The Math Book
LAURENCE C. SMITH, Professor of Geography and Earth & Space Sciences, UCLA
DIMITAR SASSELOV, Professor of Astronomy, Director, Harvard Origins of Life Initiative
Yes, innovation is a game. It is a game because it requires knowledge and skills to compete and win in the ever changing markets. Innovation is a game that every business today needs to play to avoid becoming useless or even extinct.
In addition, part of the game of innovation is global competition, the energy crises, economic system failure, poverty, population expansion, and many other mega trends that are here to stay. All of these are converging upon every business sector simultaneously. They are like huge rivers all merging in to one. The turbulence, the waves, and the force created by these mega trends have never been seen by humanity before.
That is why running a business the 'same old way' will only guarantee that its management will end up on a so-called "commodity island" - where everything is price competitive and customers don't see very much difference between that business and the competition. From my perspective as an innovation consultant, I believe that every business must figure out a way to meet every challenge directly or indirectly, with a focus on winning the game of innovation. This means, businesses must learn to experiment, fail, learn from failure, and try something else - until they develop new business acumen to sustain and grow.
The rules of the innovation game have also changed. This is primarily due to two "major" forces: the information revolution and globalization. There is plenty of evidence that shows how these two major trends are shifting consumer buying patterns, local and regional economies, access to education, environmental issues, and the pace of life for everyone.. This has created a more urgent need to invent new ways of doing business and do it faster than ever before. The average life span of a company is shortening and more businesses are failing faster due to these two major trends.
Innovation is generated from the act of being creative. Creativity comes from people. So to play this game correctly and compete in this new age, CEO's must find a way to tap in to the hearts and minds of The Role of Innovation for Individuals and Organizations.
Our latest research shows that the most critical new competencies that must be developed and managed in your company culture will be discovery, creativity, influence, implementation, and mindful action . These skills cannot be outsourced and will play a more important role when creating and keeping customers for life.
The business environment has changed drastically over the past 5-10 years. Traditional strategies are failing. Markets are created seemingly overnight and die off just as quickly. Over 60% of employees are disengaged, frustrated by their work.Executives are lapsing into passive management practices rather than growth leadership.
Resources are scattered all over the world - suppliers, employees, customers, partners, and technologies. As knowledge doubles every few years and redoubles, technology becomes a great equalizer and divides into even more specialties. This means, each organization must master and integrate more of them faster. The system is no longer simple and larger systems breed greater complexity.
Never before have business leaders faced the amount of technological change, business model change, market change and degree of competitive variation all at the same time.View more
Role of IT in the Corporate Innovation Program
What is the role of IT to help drive an innovation agenda for a company?
In most companies, IT is a support function and not a strategic function. This has always been intriguing to us. When most amount of changes in the world are due to automation and globalization, it is difficult to understand why most senior teams do not position technology as a strategic weapon.
One of the reason why this occurs is because organization and the senior team has not created distinctions between technology and information systems(IT departments). Most successful innovators have. Without such clarity it is hard to introduce innovation in an organization correctly, especially when most think of innovation only in terms of hard products.To be successful, IT departments must master the delivery and quality demands of information systems first. This means,they must demonstrate that they are making money(coming below the budget and helping the organization achieve a customer centric focus) for the organization and not just a cost center for the organization. Then, they have the right to own the innovation agenda for the organization.
15 Killer Questions to help build a New Marketing Strategy:
So you think you need a new marketing strategy? Or do you want to make sure your current marketing strategy is solid.
Review and answer the following killer questions to help you develop maximum clarity quickly.
1. Is there a written strategic plan and/or marketing plan with measurable goals? If not, what is the goal of a new
marketing strategy? To achieve what?
2. What is driving the new "go to market strategy" and what are the expectations from the corporate view?
3. Are the products the same or repositioned?
Can you really decouple innovation from entrepreneurship?We are not alone in our belief that innovation in one respect has Plateaued. In his seminal work, The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen elegantly explains why big firms can't innovate. But we believe a recent development--paradoxically fuelled by Christensen's theories--is contributing to big companies' innovation struggles: The rise of the innovation professional. In their innovation quest, large corporations and institutions have set up new organizational structures to capture the value of innovation. Innovation managers and consultants have swept into corporate hallways and boardrooms promising a clear, more effective, systematic, and rigorous approach to innovation. But it seems what they are really doing is making innovation more abstract and institutionalized.
The creation of the innovation consultant marks a sea change. Through the industrialized age, innovation was tied to entrepreneurs; now, it seems to depend on salaried employees who are more concerned about securing their pay checks than with taking the gambles that lead to big innovation rewards. Whether decoupling innovation from entrepreneurship will be successful has yet to be seen.
The new breed of innovation professionals we have encountered can be placed in two categories: innovation custodians and innovation word-slingers. The custodians are middle managers assigned to oversee the innovators and their processes. The word-slingers are external consultants that will take corporate managers through endless innovation workshops or blabber on about the aforementioned processes.
The problem with the innovation professionals is twofold. First, they rarely have the stubborn, single-minded maverick attitude that it takes to innovate in a substantive way. Second, it professionalizes innovation, which should be an attitude that organically runs through the culture of an organization. Companies that succeed at innovation--Apple, Google, and GE, for example--have their own innovation DNA that exists independent of innovation managers. They've also been fortunate to have true entrepreneurs at their helms, an aspect that can't be easily replicated by other firms. Sure, not all companies can be Google.
So how does an ordinary, not so innovative company go from innovation-thinking to innovation-doing?
Innovation only occurs if it's an attitude that runs through a company's culture.We believe that a bigger, more diverse, and more creative innovation ecosystem could be inspired by the high-tech, biotech, and the movie industries. These fields don't devise innovation road maps or hire dozens of consultants; instead, they invest in concrete, tangible outcomes. How would film history have looked if Sergei Eisenstein had spent time defending his ideas against consultants warning him against risky movie-making? We mention Eisenstein because he hadn't turned 27 when he got massively funded to make The battlership potemkin, what some regard as the best movie to date and certainly was when it aired. The method relied on combining the right task with the right talent. We believe there is such a method you can follow that improves your chances of developing effective innovation, because when we examine the creative processes involved, it is possible to identify a number of common traits.