In this chapter of The Innovation Formula Langdon Morris examines five forces of change: technology, science, culture, the human population and climate change. The convergence of these five trends largely defines the modern world and the market environment to which we must adapt and respond. Understanding them will set the framework for the choices you will have to make, and the processes you will implement in order to create and implement your own organization’s innovation process.
This article relates selected multidirectional patterns of change—“force fields”—in the business environment to innovation strategy within the context of Zen philosophical principles. Three force fields are selected for brief evaluation: 1) domestic vs. global markets, 2) economic growth vs. environmental quality, and 3) entrepreneurs vs. customer base. Given the omnipresence of force fields in the 21st century, businesses should maintain flexible structures for innovating both incrementally and radically. They also need to engage in collaboration at all institutional levels. Collaboration can facilitate the Zen objective of integrating conflicting ideas, a key feature of innovation over the long run.
Running a successful enterprise innovation management program can be a challenging mission. Multiple factors have to be considered,each of which affect potential outcomes. One key aspect is the level of support an innovation program receives from an organization’s management. Connecting the needs of top-down management with the strategy and architecture of an innovation program will always lead to greater levels of success.
SMEs have sustainability on their radar. Their main goal is economic sustainability. To achieve this goal, they can take ecological and social sustainability as an opportunity for innovation instead of just considering it as a mere cost driver. Thus innovation and sustainability become the two sides of the coin called profitable growth.
Insurance providers aren’t particularly well known for their fast-paced innovation. In truth however, the insurance industry is on the cutting edge of corporate environmental awareness and has been for some time. Insurance providers also manage their innovations: They introduce new ideas but don’t adopt them at a faster pace than they can support.
Being successful at innovation is a skill. One that takes time, patience, strategic intelligence and amongst other things, funding. Many organisations succeed only after they have experienced embarrassing failures and learnt some tough lessons in the process. How do others succeed with their innovation efforts? What is the secret? In this article we use the inspiring philosophy of Steve Jobs as stimulus and ask innovation managers about their “secret sauce for innovation success”. Learning from others reduce risk because resurrecting the organisational “innovation corpse” is not an action anyone should be tasked with.
The Digital Age, like a hoochie mama navigating a Saturday night in heels, bares all. Citizens, regulators, employees, and investors see in real time how well organizations manage their supply chains. Transparency by nature raises the bar.
The Nordic countries have a high number of start-up companies but are struggling with scaling their entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovations to global large-scale operations and companies. Yet, one Nordic company namely Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems managed to become world-beater within the global wind turbine industry. But but after 2008 Vestas has experienced a near death experience and is struggling for survival. Vestas’ story holds important lessons for other Nordic companies, not only within the renewable energy industry. It will here be argued that had Vestas paid more attention to what the management guru Peter Drucker labeled the five deadly business sins Vestas might have avoided getting into dire straits.
The blue economy, the term ascribed to a wide range of activities such as fishing, shipping, coastal tourism, energy, cable laying and mining, presents huge opportunities. Estimates of the current value vary from $6-$21trillion; a recent study put the value added arising from the EU opportunity alone at €500 billion, rising to €600 billion by 2020. Investment is growing, but also environmental concern. Deep sea mining is at present a small but increasingly significant element of that economy.
The majority of managers who say that their company’s sustainability activities have added to profits also say that sustainability has led to business model change. What connects corporate sustainability with business profits? According to our 2012 global executive survey on sustainability, an important factor is business model innovation. Managers who say that their company’s sustainability activities have added to the company’s profits are more than twice as likely to say that sustainability has caused their organization to change their business model than not.
In his book No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world, author Alan Moore argues that humanity shifts gear when it demands fundamental change to its real world circumstances and that this moment stands as a turning point in the collective approach to the organisation of the economy and society as a whole. This deeply thought provoking work is relevant for innovation management professionals in all industries, as it: challenges how we think innovation gets done, and then offers up new viable alternatives; argues that innovation can be accelerated and costs reduced; demonstrates that we need a new vocabulary to describe non-linear innovation and finally, explains how innovation can also help build a more regenerative world.
With the global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050 the ability to feed everyone is a growing concern. Scientists are warning of food shortages if we maintain our current diets leading many to advocate for more people to become vegetarians, as vegetables are much less resource intensive than a diet which includes animal proteins. But perhaps there is an alternative- laboratory or in-vitro meat.
Taking care of the dead is an important part of any society, and the practice reflects the prevailing culture of the living. Social change is therefore reflected in funeral changes and some of the disruptions to its industry.
Consumer products giant Unilever has begun to use consumers as a source for insights and ideas for two of its top brands, Closeup and Pond’s. Together with Carrotmob Unilever co-creates sustainability campaigns. Read further how Unilever leverages the power of co-creation.
Anyone can innovate once. All it takes is a good idea, some hard work, sufficient resources, and a little bit of luck. However, today’s business environment demands ongoing innovation to stay ahead of the pack. To make innovation a way of life for your company, get to work developing these five leadership skills.