Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are Scientific Methods Creating an Innovation Shipwreck?

There is certainly nothing wrong with science and persistent measurements, but have we pushed it too far? With economies dancing around recessions and companies trying to find their way to higher profitability through cost containment, it not surprising that innovation and the quest for revenue has taken a back seat. I would propose that organizations shift some of their attention away from pure cost concerns to innovation around revenue generation and intense customer focus. I believe that this will require a creative redefinition of how we interface with customers and a new look at our processes.



The Case for Continuation of Maniacal Measurement:

There is significant pressure for profitability, so the need for measurement should intensify for even greater profit margins. There is a cost squeeze with extreme competition, so we should measure more rather than less. The scientific measurement era has gotten us great progress, so why should it be abandoned in the name of innovation. Organizations can't risk letting go of the measurements and controls in the name if innovation. Are you crazy? With big data, predictive analytics, complex pattern sensing and better visualization of metrics, the current course has more potential.


The Case for Increased Process Innovation:

The definition of insanity is the repeating of the same behaviors and processes and expecting different results. Organizations are reaching stall speed by just pursuing cost containment and artificially increased stock prices without new revenue lift. Better customer treatment and innovative prospecting while wrapping and leveraging existing digital assets in new ways will generate revenue lift. With the mapping of customer journeys and the creation of new processes to mirror the better journey, the possibility more revenue is real. With the internet of things, event pattern recognition, hyper collaboration, machine intelligence, autonomous agents and process mining, the new course has more potential.

It's Not a Zero-Sum Game:

Old management styles think about "Win-Lose". If you find yourself on one side of this debate or the other, you are sub-optimizing. The most successful organizations will become a balanced digital organization. This will require navigating through some rough waters near some risky rocks, but be worth the investment. See the following posts for some case studies that combined both approaches

http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2014/04/ptiney-bowes-canada-delivers-better.html
http://www.tibco.com/blog/2013/07/19/events-are-everything-in-railroad-management-and-in-your-business/
http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2013/09/jabil-circuit-inc-fast-growing-global.html
http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2014/01/leveraging-machine-intelligence-for.html
http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2013/12/telstra-is-aiming-at-wow-factor-by.html

Some organizations are getting it and are combining the innovation that is afforded by the new digital assets, organizational resources and contextually smart processes to raise revenues and optimize costs. I expect more exciting case studies to emerge on the journey to "the better digital organization" driven by processes.

Net; Net: 

Organizations have to shift more effort into innovative processes that engage prospects and clients while leveraging the strengths and digital assets that they already own. This means that as organizations add new digital assets and behaviors, they need to add them in a way that leverages innovation considering the customers journey; not just the products and services an organization has traditionally offered.