In our experience – these four areas are giving organisations that have edge – and will be rewarded with sustainable business:1) Market Awareness – Have you got data to understand market relevance, emerging trends & opportunities (could be both internally/externally, like understanding when it is time to act on an idea)?They have data, but they don’t stop by lack of data. They ask is there a smart step that we can take to help us move forward and collect data on the way.2) Leaders Actively Involved – Are you prepared to throw away your old paradigm? How do you support new ideas? Do you fund R&D? Are you okay with complexity/ambiguity? Are you ready to support “learning” rather than measuring project delivered to meet timeframes?3)Culture of Learning & Innovation – Have you got systems and mechanisms to facilitate collaboration, communication, exchange of ideas, doing vs planning, rewarding learning, feedback channels?“Learning” – mistakes are deemed great, learn and let’s move on…..4) Flexible Systems & Available Tools – Can your systems and structures adapt quickly – that includes releasing/recreating teams, as well as IT systems being updated to reflect changes etc. How do you keep your people up-to-date with what is out there?e.g., IT waterfall implementation approach versusLeanStartUp - Framework for innovation – rapid experimentation.
Understanding what technology and social trends that are impacting your business now.You want to know what they are so that you can take the opportunities – “carve out new business”. You don not want to be “amazoned” – like Borders and Dymocks. Where are all the book stores?You don’t want your competitors eating your lunch or worse still – some two-bit start up organisations.So what’s happening in our world, our market?Channel 7 is trying to respond to the market – recognising that we want tv content, but we want it on our iphones/ipads – giving us an ability to watch and share our experience with friends through soicial platforms. They’ve created Fango – “the social way to watch TV” - Yahoo7!.
1) Disruptive Trends – this is happening everywhere:Atlassian as a Game Changer - Atlassian founders – Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes Atlassian changed the game for collaboration software. They provide software development and collaboration tools at a fraction of the cost of what it typically was. Since their inception in 2002, Atlassian has won accolades for their products, “Legendary Service”, and their innovative business model.They have no sales people, their introductory products are free to try (goes to charity), their pricing is published online, and you can buy directly from the website or through one of their partners. In only 9 years they have 24,000 customers in 138 countries who use their tools.Part of their success – dramatically reduced their costs because they leveraged open source software – software built by communities and often available for free.RecruitLoop is another recent game changer – CEO and cofounder Michael Overall started late 2011. In their first 8 months of business they’re saving employers tens of thousands of dollars every week. It is an online recruitment agency. They help employers reachfreelance recruiters and set up automated video interviews for hiring. This approach to the recruitment process results in drastically reduced recruitment hours at 90 percent lower cost. The industry is furious - “We set out to completely transform the way companies hire new staff, which is currently an outrageously expensive and time-consuming process,”2) Cutting out the middle man - another trend:- Some examples include “e-bay for classifieds/retail”.- A more recent example is “Kogan” – 262k followers on facebook. Established by RuslanKogan in 2006. Sells products direct from Asia to customers in Australia and the UK – competes on price by selling a budget range to consumers, directly bypassing wholesalers, distributors and retailers.3) Labour market trends:O-desk, freelancer – entities that allow you to hire online for a fraction of the cost. The start-up community is really into this.Fishburners – a community of start-up organisations in Sydney. They are “early adopters” of everything out there. Want to know what is going on, sit with them for a day or two and look at what they are using. They use o-desk, freelancer for a lot of off shore labor for web/branding design/social media management. This extends into Saasu, Mint – online software to manage accounting and legal functions.4) Social trends:Word of mouth is a very important aspect of business, this has now been institutionalised – word of mouth platforms - through facebook/linkedin/twitter. You need to make sure that you are on these platforms --- or if you not, have a good reason not to be. I would anticipate that most businesses here should be on linkedin and twitter. You need to know what your competitors are saying and doing, you need to know what your customers are saying and doing – these are great ways to do track trends as well as provide information and service that compliments your business.Bottom Line: understand this for your organisation.
You CAN teach an old dog new tricks – as long as you are willing to LEARN!We’ve got to keep learning.Being agile, goes against the grain of what we as managers have been practicing, we’ve been successful because we’ve been analysts, doing great analysis, doinggreatplans and forecasts. This is an OLD paradigm.Driving innovation,intrepreneurship and risk taking requires us to manage things differently.
5 minTony Keusgen, Head of Technology at Google.This innovative mindset needs to start with us.I think we can learn a lot from our fellow entrepreneurs/intrepreneurs– who are constantly working in unchartered territory.We see this type of culture in technology start-ups.Is anyone familiar with the technology start-up weekends? Hack-fests?A group of people or small organisations come together to look at disrupting business. In 48 hours they can not only build a product but they can market test it – they know whether or not it is a worthwhile business to continue with. They are people holding full-time jobs – brought together by creating something worthwhile.Businesses such as “cloud based” accounting software like SAASU and MINT – disrupting the financial industry.They are also learning the process to innovate quickly. – The only way to do this is through doing it over and over.This is something that I think a lot of businesses need to get better at – learning the process to innovate.But before we turn to the process, another slide on how Google cultivates a culture of Learning and Innovation.
5 minThe Leader’s Role:Innovation is a bottoms-up,decentralized, and unpredictable thing, but that doesn’t mean itcannot be managed. Tony Keusgen, Head of Technology at Google, says the key components to a Google leader’s approach are:Small teams – need to work in small groups of 4 – 6 to be agile. Empower the group.Wisdom of others – if you can’t hook your peers then you can’t launch to the world. Get peer buy-in!Hire right – Get into people’s minds. Use creativity and solution questioning. How they will gel with the team?Flat structures – no hierarchy. Not a sense that the big boss is about to walk in. Creates flow.Meritocracy – believe in the merit that people low in the chain have great ideas.Transparency – sharing everything – all out KPIs– how quickly product gets to market, how much $$ new product is making, how many iterations/improvements they make each week Support – Empower people, supported to create and take risksSo some of the things we are hearing:An outletfor Atlassian developers to express their creativity and innovate is ShipIT!Day – a 24 hour “hack-a-thon”. It happens every quarter."FedEx Day" is time set aside for developers to work on whatever they feel is important - with a skew towards the products, and deliver something fresh and different in 24 hours.Google has something similar with “20% Time”.Google - 20% Time is "innovation" time for the engineers. They may use 20% of their time to work on innovative ideas and see their work reflected back into the core of the product. Empowering the individual to spend time where they deem most worthwhile.So how might you incorporate something like this into your business?Provide example of OPTUS – what have their leader’s decided to do? Created new business - Idea Incubation, Group Digital LifeThey’ve moved a number of people, smaller teams, allowing them to take ownership in the ideas. They will all have skin in the game.They have divisional heads engaged – as they are working on ideas that they believe to be important. They have only 30 ---- they should have up to 100 ideasThey are up against the old culture – we expect faster and faster delivery of great ideas – unwiliing still to understand that learning a key componentThey are not used to the new tools – but they are brokering relationships with Fishburners to learn and acquire skills that they now needThis is completely new – They haven’t got all the answers - they are learning and fine-tuning as they move forward.
A process to innovate.What I’m seeing is that established businesses are not as agile when it comes to taking advantage of opportunity.We’ve got legacy systems, legacy attitudes, ways of doing thingsWhen something new comes along which looks like it disrupts business its not seen as an opportunity rather a problem.I don’t understand all of your business. But the industries that I’ve had exposure to more recently are under pressure and looking at new processes and approaches to keep up. They’re looking to get a “start-up” injection.Even the local big boys recognise that they need to do something.Optus – is starting to take the tech start-up juice – their leaders have decided:Created new business - Idea Incubation, Group Digital LifeThey’ve moved a number of people, smaller teams, allowing them to take ownership in the ideas. They will all have skin in the game.They have divisional heads engaged – as they are working on ideas that they believe to be important. They have only 30 ---- they should have up to 100 ideas.They are up against the old culture – we expect faster and faster delivery of great ideas – unwiliing still to understand that learning a key componentThey are not used to the new tools – but they are brokering relationships with Fishburners to learn and acquire skills that they now needThis is completely new – They haven’t got all the answers - they are learning by doing, fine-tuning as they move forward.Recently Stanford University – opened up 3 classes for anyone with a web connection for an Artificial Intelligence course. They had over 160,000 people sign up. So no wonder our local university is looking at ways to improve programming and ways to lift the student experienceWe need to get across the technologies that can support us in creating and testing product quickly.E.g., unbounce is an application which you can “dummy” up your product – and drive potential customers to a landing page to test market take up.
How might these points translate back into your workplace?Please take a moment to assess where you are in relation to each of the elements – score a 5/5Discuss some ideas on how you might take them forward.Which areas do you see challenges in? What are you doing now? In an ideal world what would you like to be doing?
Thank you for your time and participation and I have some business cards up front if you would like to make contact.If you’d like to register interest in learning more about a process to innovate, please leave me your card/contact me on email@example.com
Innovating Change In Your Business
Innovating change in yourbusinessAbby CliftonOctober 2012