Innovation is the currency of the future in the modern enterprise. Much has been said about companies needing to create competitive advantage through Innovation, but how are they harnessing the innovative power within?
In these economically challenging times many companies are looking for ways to innovate themselves down the cost curve. Selling products more cheaply might buy market share now, but it is not a good long term strategy because it is easy to cannibalise future capacity at the altar of immediate bottom line returns. The companies that create innovative solutions for the future are going to be granted corporate longevity, because they are creating capacity for real growth.
There are many types of innovation; product innovation, process innovation, business model innovation and most recently, renowned specialist Gary Hamel, has added management innovation to the list.
Modern enterprise 2.0 technologies, like SharePoint 2010 are significantly enhancing our ability to identify, harness and manage innovation and creativity across organisations, because of their ability to link information to individual profiles to behaviour and enable us to see what is going on. Now we can identify innovation as it occurs across the enterprise, look for collaborative opportunities, put together the right people and information to surface ideas that work better together than as discrete entities.
In the past organisations would try and build innovation capacity through a centralised innovation department tasked with identifying innovation capturing technologies and creating innovation assessment processes. This lead to bottle necks as stage gates were built into the process and centralised executive sponsorship was required. Centralised innovation is often not immediately related to short term business imperatives and can easily get put on the back burner.
Modern innovation starts on the fringes, this is called “point innovation” and refers to innovation at the point of accountability for the success. Point innovation can then be cascaded upwards into a “federated innovation model” which is the state and capacity for innovation across the organisation and recognises that organisations are ecosystems and that everything influences everything else.
What makes tools like SharePoint 2010 so powerful in the Innovation space is that with profiling and metadata, it can recognise Innovation as it is occurring within the organisation and push the right ideas and support to the right person or team. It does this through RSS Feeds, document recognition and pushing and introductions to people who could contribute. Through its powerful collaboration tools it also provides the ability for people to work together and the BI tools can be used to identify opportunities.
Innovation’s time has come and if we harness the power of enterprise 2.0 tools, we are in for an exciting ride.
About Digital Bridges
Digital Bridges creates high performance organisations by unlocking the business value of the web. We create business cases, digital strategies, user requirement and functional specifications for Intranets, websites and web applications. We also develop and implement social media strategies and create powerful digital brands using eMarketing and Communication and manage brand conversations with consumers.
Digital Bridges approaches the web from a management consulting position and relies heavily on rigorous academic thinking as well as business experience. It is headed up by Kate Elphick who has a Law degree and an MBA from GIBS. Kate has spent the last fifteen years of her career on the business side of the IT industry with companies such as Datatec, Didata, Business ConneXion and Primedia.
Digital Bridges has a broad range of experience working with significant, successful clients in the Financial, Gaming, Tourism, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Legal, Airline, Professional Services, Media and Public Sectors.
To find out more about Digital Bridges, please visit www.digitalbridges.co.za or contact Kate Elphick on firstname.lastname@example.org