In my carrying on series of posts about lessons learned from corporate technology, today Let me expand on the thought of innovation language, and go even further. Let me riff on the idea of innovation as central, organizing idea in a business rather than an occasional distraction. Friday I wrote about the importance of defining a common language for innovation Last, so that individuals within a company are talking and working on the same things. I’ve previously written on a number of other topics that are simply just take aways from doing corporate innovation for some time, and seeing many of the same errors repeated and over again over.
Today’s feature: imagine if technology was the central theme of your business? I came old as a advisor in the Malcolm Baldridge award times, when companies vied with one another to show how capable these were at delivering high quality goods. This was in response to the Japanese companies doing a better job building high quality cars and electronics.
- 6 Sec. 1402(a)
- 0 of 10 questions responded correctly
- Comment on 25 other sites
- Internet recruiting
- The Company Must Meet up with the Active Business Requirement
- Watched a meteor shower — often coupled with #2
- 38% of companies borrowed capital during their first season
- What is traceability matrix
From that wave we’ve got successive efficiency strategies: Six Sigma (an outgrowth of the product quality motion), business process re-engineering, lean, outsourcing and right-sizing. During the last 40 years or so, the vast majority of our management attention and time has been centered on efficiency. To the point where many strategies start with – how does this help us cut costs, or help us increase throughput at the same cost?
Today, efficiency is the arranging theme of all businesses. Leaders strengthen the theory that the business can do anything as long as it stays effective. Efficiency is utilized as a ruler to judge other activities. Will this new idea increase efficiency and efficiency, remove risk and variance? My nervous about this approach is that people will tailor our systems and narrow our thinking and efficiency ourselves right into obsolescence. What if advancement was the arranging theme?
What if, rather than wanting to wedge technology activities into a culture and strategy focused on efficiency and productivity we had an organizing theme having said that innovation was central to everything we do? I endeavor to guess that many companies have slogans that say that development is central to what they do, but a short exploration of what they concentrate on, what they measure and what they produce suggests in any other case. Why would it make sense to make development the arranging theme of a business, rather than efficiency? Making efficiency the core theme of the business assumes that the competitive environment changes slowly, which size and efficiency matter when competing.
It also seems to claim that small changes to existing products are preferred by customers over new products and solutions. And while introducing innovation as the central organizing theme might seem radical, it isn’t if a company comes with an intentional strategy for innovation investments – a viable creativity strategy and profile.
If we borrow the “three horizons” model for only a second, we can see that horizon one advancement is “incremental” development – small changes to existing products and services – which seems familiar to many companies. It’s horizon two and three where most falter. Creating a meaningful program of investment over the three horizons means a significant portion of the technology activity will probably fall in the incremental or horizon one sector, so that’s doesn’t bring in a great deal of change. And creating an intentional investment strategy in horizon two and three can only help the business look forwards. Which means this suggestion isn’t as radical as you’d think.