Everyone's talking about innovation, which could be a good thing. Except that while they are talking about it, they are often talking about the wrong things, or defining innovation too narrowly, or are too focused on tools rather than outcomes. Sometimes, rather than doing something they are simply talking.
Even though an entire generation has grown up with the internet at their fingertips, it’s important to remember that digital journalism is still in its infancy. It has only been 26 years since the world’s first website and server went live at CERN on December 20, 1990.
From the birth of language to the dawn of the Internet, the technologies that push humanity forward allow us to collaborate at new scales. We agree on a common purpose, and work together in groups of increasing size and power.
David Bowie was a visionary. That’s something we can all agree on. In the Newsnight interview from 1999 that circulated widely after his death, he said:
I think the potential of what the internet is going to do for society – both good and bad – is unimaginable … both exhilarating and terrifying.
This can be read in two ways. It describes the web-zeitgeist of 1999, and prophetically captures what still concerns us about our digital future. What is most prophetic is the realisation that a completely new relationship between artist and audience was being made real. This is at the centre of digital transformation today.
“This seems like pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. Have you actually seen this done?”
I often hear this question when I visit companies and speak about how to make an innovative idea less terrifying to high level executives. The skepticism is warranted. There are plenty of pundits arguing that big companies need to innovate, and pointing out that it is difficult to do so. Far less often do we hear how it really comes together, especially inside a large organization.
Seems like everywhere you look, big beauty brands are either turning to or setting up incubators and accelerators, hoping to capture the next big thing. What was once a way for small brands or upstarts, like Y Combinator’s Hush and Memebox, to grow into medium-sized success stories is quickly becoming the norm in product development.
The role of a leader is paramount to a team. Imagine an orchestra that has all the best musicians in the world except a conductor. Though every member can play perfectly on their own, if they come together, they will only produce incompatible melody; an orchestra can only create harmonious music when it is led by a conductor.
We are living in revolutionary times for the manufacturing industry. Industry 4.0 is digitally transforming everything around us, right now.
With connected technology, advanced analytics and mixed reality simulation with technologies like HoloLens, our factories will never look the same, with 40% of operational processes becoming self-healing and self-learning by 2022.
As a leading medical product design firm in North America, MAKO is always using new cutting edge technologies to advance the medical industry. Creating products that will be used to one day save lives, increase life satisfaction, or simply make a medical practitioner’s job more efficient is what drives us when working on these projects.
Digital disruption is the flip side of digital opportunity. Established companies and startups alike enlist new technologies in the fight to dislodge incumbents, protect entrenched positions, or re-invent entire industries and business activities.
Technology leaders are building innovation labs, digital accelerators and incubators to inject digital changes across their organizations. Home improvement retailer Lowe's may have stumbled upon innovation gold by implementing an ancient method: storytelling. When Lowe's wants to try new things it pays science fiction writers to craft narratives chronicling the future of home improvement.
Many countries are counting on a booming digital economy to create higher paying jobs, improve productivity, and deliver future prosperity. So these countries should be concerned by any signs that this growth is being undermined by an erosion of trust in, and growing fear of, digital technology. Because I think there are signs of this happening, I decided to ask 1,000 adults in the US the following question:
Still the most renowned and cited management consultant in recent times, the Austrian Peter Drucker, offered a radical view of business endeavors. He claimed the purpose of a business is to create a customer – and thus, the only business activities that add value are innovation and marketing, and the rest are costs (Peter’s profound insight was that the world was moving from the Marxist industrial worker to the modern, knowledge worker).
This article is part of a new series exploring the skills leaders must learn to make the most of rapid change in an increasingly disruptive world. The first article in the series, “How the Most Successful Leaders Will Thrive in an Exponential World,” broadly outlines four critical leadership skills—futurist, technologist, innovator, and humanitarian—and how they work together.
The amount of time a product lasts in the market before a new and improved one takes its place is shrinking. As a result, even successful products can expect to enjoy an advantage in the market for a shorter time than in the past. Companies need services to grow and develop competitive advantage, if they want to avoid the commodity trap.
Digitisation? Digitalisation? Digital Transformation? For some, the words have become interchangeable, but they do mean different things. Put simply, digitisation is converting a physical object into its digital twin, or turning a manual process into an automated workflow. A photo is scanned into a computer. A sound is recorded to a computer. A copier collates your report.
Change isn’t easy. Even change for the better. Great leaders know this and don’t pretend otherwise. Yet they also know that embracing change with the right mindset - one that is open to learning and "unlearning" on-the-go - is paramount to creating an environment where change isn't just a once in a decade occurrence to be endured, but an integral part of their organisation's DNA to be embraced and enjoyed.
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