How quickly can you scale if you encounter a new market opportunity? How quickly can you react to a crisis. In this clip, Jim takes a look at the concept of corporate agility
Archives for January 2010
In the food industry — it’s all faster.
A faster focus on ‘fresh’ food. New taste trends happen faster. There’s faster innovation with ethical packaging.
And so it’s all about time to market. Challenge yourself to think and act differently, when the food industry continues to speed up, and the process of innovation undergoes a deep transformational change.
In fact, the realities are that not only are innovative people unafraid to ask questions, they aren’t afraid to:
- ask the tough questions
- act on the answers to those tough questions!
- ask questions that make people uncomfortable
- challenge others to ask tough questions
- ask why it has become acceptable to not ask questions!
- ask questions that challenge fundamental assumptions
- ask questions that show their complete lack of knowledge about something — which is ok
- ask questions that might make their boss unhappy
- indicate that while they don’t know the answer to the tough questions, they’re prepared to find out
- suggest that maybe there have now been too many questions, and now something simply must be done in order to move forward
What’s the key to this line of thinking?
Organizations can become too comfortable with routine, and unless this is challenged on a regular basis, complacency becomes a killer.
By constantly putting a whole bunch of tough questions on the table, innovators can ensure that innovation paralysis does not set in.
How do you master innovation? Through the powerful story in this video clip, I point out the challenges that organizations face with the different generations in the workplace — and introduce the concept of “generational collaborative capability” as being a key component of succcesful innovation.
What should innovative organizations do? When everything is faster still, focus on these things:
- build up experiential capital – think big, start small, scale fast. The experiential projects are the “start small” part of the equation. Know what you don’t know, and set out to learn those things
- master collaboration and share: the world is changing too fast, and things are too complex, to do it all on your own. Innovators have mastered the skill of learning from others
- focus on tactical to strategic transitions: innovators don’t have staff who perform a lot of routine tasks. Each and every single person helps to achieve the core strategic goals of the organization, even if just in a small way
- monitor global idea cycles: your future is being invented all around you, and you success comes from your ability to plug in, tune in, and turn on
- fuse generational insight: we’ve got really disparate viewpoints, capabilities and levels of patience amongst generations. Innovators bring these differences together in order to get the best from each generation.
- take on anticipatory projects: one thing is certain: tomorrow won’t be like today. Innovators look at what might happen tomorrow, and try those things out, in order to be better prepared for when the future arrives.
- be a farmer: it’s all about growth, and learning how to relentless focus on that mission
- displace indecision: it’s simply unacceptable to waver, wait, and pause. Innovators get things done.
- implement quicker: there’s not a lot of time to get things done when markets, customers, expectations, competitors and business models all change at a furious pace. Innovators are religious on agility and speed.
- think bold: this isn’t a time for small visions and small ideas. We’re witnessing the birth of transformative new industries, companies, careers and ideas. Jump on board and go for the big win, not just the small stuff.
If five years, your business, markets, products, customers, industry and structure will look nothing like they do today. What are you going to do about it?
I had quite a few financial oriented keynotes through the last year, for banks, mortgage groups, credit unions and others. If there was a key theme as to the insight my clients were seeking, it was this: what are the BIG trends that are going to impact us (I’m a futurist), and what do we need to do about it (I specialize in insight on what global leaders are doing in the area of innovation.)
The scope of some of these engagements is pretty significant; Diners’ Club featured me as the opening speaker for their global franchise conference; my focus was on the big trends that would impact the organization into the future.
I guess I had generated enough buzz on my theme within the financial services industry such that I was booked for a keynote down into a major bank in Sydney, Australia, via a fibre optic link. (I couldn’t make a flight connection work!)
What should financial executives be thinking about? There are dozens of significant trends. Perhaps the most important has to do with the fact that 2010 is the year that location intelligence is coming to the industry as a significant business model disruptor.
Here’s a snippet from an article that captures a bit of what I’ve been talking about. The world of banking is going to witness massive change as mobile and location intelligence technology becomes married together. Consider:
Jim pointed to an Australian study that found 65 per cent of children in preschool today will work at jobs that don’t exist today.
“Think about the concept of a location intelligence professional.”
He discussed the possibilities presented by marrying smartphones equipped with global positioning systems to spatial-oriented information websites such as Google Maps.
“In the not-too-distant future, it’s quite likely some real estate organization is going to roll out an iPhone app that you will go through and you will pre-identify the types of properties that you’re interested in. It’s going to use the location capabilities built into the iPhone to build you an interactive tour of those properties. And you’re going to use your (iPhone) to drive around the neighbourhood and look at these homes through your phone.”
The same application might refer users on to a mortgage broker, he said.
“What do you do when the essence of your business model and the nature of the referrals that you get into your business begin to change?”
Halifax Chronicle Heradld, “Expert: Essence of life is change”, November 25, 2009
Give me any financial organization, and I can give you an organization that likely isn’t prepared for the fact that their innovative agenda is going to be subject to some pretty significant change.
What I’ve been doing is outlining for my clients the trends that are going to impact them, and the innovative thinking they need to pursue to capitalize upon those trends.