New Realities and New Survival
In today's tidal wave of global economic,
technological, and social change, the name of the game for you and your
organization is survival.
You are not going to survive in this
Era of Systemic Innovation
used to be a linear trajectory from new knowledge to new product. Now
innovation is neither singular nor linear, but
systemic. It arises from complex interactions between many
individuals, organizations and their operating environment.
are successful in realizing the full returns from their technologies and
innovations are able to match their
technological developments with complementary expertise in other
areas of their business, such as manufacturing, distribution, human
Innovation is not divisible
good in parts is no good at all.
Innovation systems are only as strong as their weakest links. "You
can't do carpentry if you only have a saw, or only a hammer, or you
never heard of a pair of pliers. It's when you put all those tools into
one kit that you invent," advised
Sophistication of new technologies
and the increased reliance on the application of new technology by business
has produced several different forms of interdependence for companies:
between industry and R&D
institutions and other sources of external research
supply chain, production, and
customer relationship management - the application of a new technology
in one of these requires changes in the operations of others
products and processes
the focus of technological advance may shift interconnectedly
between one and the other
new product/service development
jointly by several firms through collaborative R&D, and cooperative
outsourcing of some new product
development phases, e.g.
product design or rapid prototyping, to specialized firms
different functions within the
firm, e.g. manufacturing, distribution, human resources and marketing.
overlapping and merging
technologies that cause interdependence between previously separate
industries, e.g. merging of information technology with communications or
Innovation is the key driver of
competitive advantage, growth, and profitability. There are many
parts of the whole field of innovation:
new product development,
creative approaches to problem solving,
idea management, suggestion systems, etc.
All of these components
are important. "Yet approaching them piecemeal will bring piecemeal
results... These seemingly disparate issues must be integrated into a
single overarching strategy if they are to be mobilized in the quest for
growth," says Robert Tucker. In this new era of systemic innovation,
you must design your firm's
innovation process holistically.
The Growing Role of the Business Architect
In today's knowledge- and innovation-driven
are in growing demand.
cross-functionally excellent people who can tie several silos of
business development expertise together, lead
synergies, design winning
models and a
balanced business system and then
lead people who will put their plans into action.
Case in Point
Lessons from Jack Welch
At General Electric (GE),
the sum is greater than its parts as both business and people
diversity is utilized
synergistically in a most effective way.
When asked if GE was going to become a more
product-oriented or service-oriented company,
Jack Welch, the former legendary CEO of GE, replied, "It's got to be a
big combination... If we weren't doing the engine and the advanced
diagnostics and all that, we couldn't do services. People shouldn't ask,
"Are you going to be out of manufacturing and into services?" If you are,
you're dead. If you are going to be all services and no manufacturing,
you're dead. If Bill Gates didn't have cooperation with Intel, his system
wouldn't work on their chips. It's an integrated game."
and holistic approaches," advised Jack Welch.
Seek to improve and optimize the totality of your business rather than
the profits of its components. "Everything about this enterprise is doing
more with less. It needs rejuvenation all the time. Quality is the next in
the learning process.
Getting rid of layer.
Getting rid of fat.
Involving everyone. All that was to
get more ideas. The whole thing here is to create a
25 Lessons from Jack Welch
Measurement: Modern Systems Approach
You must master your
systems thinking skills as
measurement today must be neither and end nor an activity in itself but
a part of an integrated system for enhancing business performance as a
Systems thinking is your ability to things as a whole (or holistically)
including the many different types of relationships between the many
elements in a complex system. "Systems
thinking is a sensibility for the subtle interconnectedness that gives
living systems their unique character," says Peter Senge.
Radical Innovation by
"Here is the
paradox: You need a great team of people with diverse skills to perform a
symphony well, but no team has ever written a great symphony!"
cross-functional teams are key players in defining and implementing
incremental innovation projects,
cross-functional disruptive individuals tend to be key players in
radical innovation projects. Individuals who are likely to excel in a
radical innovation project, besides having superior technical capabilities,
should be goal-oriented, broadly educated, creative, extremely bright, not
afraid to be different, integrative, flexible, passionate, entrepreneurial,
aggressive, eager to learn business, able to take risks, and inquisitive.
strategic innovation road-mapping, the starting point for knowledge
building and learning about the innovation concept is to establish a shared
view of trends, disruptive technologies and other discontinuities, and
related events that could shape the future. To move efforts forward,
cross-functional teams, either formal or informal, need to be formed.
Strategies of Market Leaders
For incremental innovation product or service development projects, a
cross-functional team typically includes a technical guru, engineer,
designer, manufacturing expert, supply chain specialist, and marketing
specialist. Your major suppliers and customers need also to be kept well
informed of your new product/service development plans and allowed to work
together to build these new solutions.