Thursday, May 18, 2017

Three Factors to Accelerate Digital Innovation

Innovation happens at the intersection point of people and technology, business and customers.

There is no doubt innovation is becoming more important whereas technology becomes more advanced in the digital era. In fact, the speed of change is expedited, so does the speed of innovation. Innovation is the core activity of human evolution, to change the environment for advancement; to reach performance for profit, to improve efficiency for saving of resources, to sell products/services for the satisfaction of customers. And digital innovation has a much broader spectrum which includes both hard innovations such as products/services/processes/business model innovations, or soft innovations such as leadership/management/culture/communication innovation. Here are three factors to accelerate the pace of digital innovation.

The motivation factor: Creativity is an innate ability to create novel ideas, and innovation is to transform ideas for achieving their business value. One important aspect that spreads across the innovation management cycle is the motivation factor. Innovation needs to have a well-defined goal. Innovation, in any organization, comes with the baggage like concerns: Do we really need innovation, who will be held responsible, what will be the cost, risk, and ROI etc. Digital organizations get into the “VUCA” dynamic business environment that is fast-changing, high-competitive, and interdependent. It has to have the motivation to be in the game or, that has built an innovative culture with motivated individuals and in the organization. To be highly innovative, it becomes important to break down the status quo, change “what we always do things like that” mentality, or drop the historical burdens and run lightly. From innovation management perspective, it means to encourage creativity, experiment the new way to do things, actively engage the team in working harmoniously and build the comprehensive roadmap which can guide innovation and navigate the digital transformation journey smoothly.

The information & technology components: Information is the lifeblood of the digital organization. Highly innovative organizations are the master of fostering business innovation via leveraging disruptive technologies and refining crucial business information. From information management to insight management to innovation management, being able to become innovative or close is being able to think, discover, and create new things based on its own needs, true knowledge is an optimal solution. Information & technology are critical ingredients to building innovation as the core strategic business capabilities. Because digital transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a set of differentiated capabilities to accomplish a defined goal. IT can be used as a tool, enabler, catalyzer, innovation hub, and a digital platform to drive change, facilitate idea creation and implementation, meet the ultimate goals of an organization's short/medium/long-term strategic plans and build the unique business competency.

The art and science of innovation orchestration: Because enterprises have always been parts of simple and complex business ecosystems, so to function seamlessly, an enterprise has to be linked to the many and varying touch points between itself and its dynamic environment. Innovation happens at the intersection point of people and technology, business and customers. Digital is the age of customers. If the delicate, cooperative network between business and consumer can somehow facilitate innovative motivation, it seems to be a win-win for all. When innovating to create new value, position a brand, differentiate and position products or services in diverse markets, organizations can get a clear and uncompromised place, void of irrelevant complexity, redundancy, and noise, build a distinguished set of business capabilities to execute the strategy with a predictive pathway. It also has high adaptability to deal with emergent events, work against all odds, make necessary adjustments to orchestrate a digital innovation continuum.

Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. There are many key factors to lead the success of digital innovations with an accelerated speed. It is imperative to sharpen them and build innovation as the core business capability, build a living business in the hyper-connected relationship with its environments, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and above all enhances and supports the creative human spirit via connecting, discovery, and experimentation.


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