Self-Service Innovation – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Self-Service Innovation – The Good, the Bad, and the UglyAs more companies move toward self-service, it is relevant to ask how customer participation impacts satisfaction and service quality. Research is reviews that makes it clear that firms should take care to find the optimal level of customer participation for their service, and that this optimal level depends on customer readiness to serve themselves. Continue reading

Innovation Clusters: Why companies are better together

  • Innovation clusters require six key ingredients: skills, accommodating policy framework, infrastructure, low cost structures (in early stages), a good lifestyle offering and serendipity.
  • Clusters are like the companies they host: they change over time, and their long term success depends on how well they adapt to the challenges of success, like congestion and increased rents
  • Clusters are strongly reliant on an open immigration policy at the national level – tightening borders reduces a cluster’s access to global talent

Innovation is often associated with triumphant lone inventors. The likes of Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur or Bill Gates are the central characters in this narrative. But all innovators spring out of a specific context. The environments that foster their individual and collective success are very often ‘innovation clusters’: ecosystems that stimulate and nurture the best ideas and attract the brightest talents.

Clusters emerge when a network of companies co­exists within a geographic location, allowing each of them to collaborate – and compete – in a way which delivers greater productivity gains than they would achieve in isolation. Silicon Valley is the most famous, but there are countless others across every continent.

Clusters attract innovative people. They network, leading to the cross­-pollination of ideas. Companies benefit from each other’s success: What one invents, rivals can access – think of a productivity­boosting tool like Dropbox. And what one firm invents, others can build on. Think of the ‘sharing economy’, led by trailblazers Uber and Airbnb, in turn giving rise to an army of start­ups taking the same idea to new applications. The sharing of knowledge, the spill­over effects of innovation and the networking that densely populated spaces enable are all key ingredients for start­up success.

Yet for all their benefits, innovation clusters are not straightforward to build – and many do not last, even with the ‘magic ingredients’ seemingly there. To prosper, clusters need six key success factors: skills and talent, accommodating policy frameworks, infrastructure, low costs (especially in the early stages), a good lifestyle offering to draw talent, and finally ­ good luck, whether geography (proximity to key markets), historical accidents or even good fortune.

The ‘big 6’ success factors

EUI-BriefingPaper-Dubai-v2-r2_graphic-1

These six factors are necessary conditions, although they are not always sufficient. Many places in the world lay claim to these six, but never give rise to a successful cluster. These factors are best seen as the necessary conditions for clusters, but not – on their own – the silver bullet. Cluster success depends both on individual factors, but also the interplay between them. Good universities are little use if there is no connectivity with industry. A high standard of living is not helpful if immigration policies prevent global talent from moving to the cluster.

There are clearly many that have done it well, are still doing it well, and some that have tried and struggled.

- See more at: http://destinationinnovation.economist.com/part-1/#sthash.iRIxQ9vD.dpuf

 

 

WRITTEN BY THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT (with permission)

 

 

 

Business Becomes Human

Business Becomes Human An R&D scientist once said to me, “We need to always begin new product development projects this way,” after sifting through more than 20 in-depth consumer narratives of their condition. These people went into great details about their lives, their struggles, their rituals, and their beliefs. As we unpacked their learnings, the scientist understood the complexities of having... Continue reading

Intelligent Automation Is This Year’s Big Tech Trend

Accenture, a global consulting firm, predicts that intelligent automation will be 2016’s biggest tech trend, perhaps even the biggest trend of the century. Although I think it’s a little early to forecast one trend for all of this century (it’s still pretty early yet!), I do think IA already has made a significant shift in the way corporations get their work done.  Innovation Enterprise has the story:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.31.22 PM“…Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that 2045 will be the year that artificial intelligence finally surpasses that of humans, in an event he called the singularity. Kurzweil believes that the singularity will see a change to life as we know it far beyond what the human brain is currently capable of comprehending, an idea that almost everyone working in the artificial intelligence field agrees with. They differ only in what year the event will occur.

While the day that artificial intelligence outstrips that of humans isn’t here yet, businesses are already using it to replace tasks that were traditionally carried out by people.

According to to the Accenture Report, intelligent automation is the launching pad for new growth and innovation, but it won’t simply be about replacing people with technology. The report states that, ‘Powered by artificial intelligence, the next wave of solutions will gather unprecedented amounts of data from disparate systems and — by weaving systems, data, and people together — create solutions that fundamentally change the organization, as well as what it does and how it does it.’

Automation uses software code that runs according to a defined goal, and serves internal systems such as initiating, validating, monitoring and controls other software applications or processes when needed. It uses machine learning processes to learn for itself, constantly adapting using new data that feeds into the algorithms. There are a number of key technologies to the process, including natural-language processing, computer vision, knowledge representation, and reasoning and planning intelligence.

In a survey of Accenture’s clients, 70% of executives said they are significantly increasing investments in AI compared with two years ago. One enterprise is validating 300,000 business process steps per day using 100 virtual machines. This would be a task impossible to carry out manually. Siemens is another company that is using automation extensively. Their lights-out factory has automated some of its production lines to the extent that they can run without supervision for weeks at a time.

Lee Naik, MD of Accenture Digital SA, explains that: ‘I see organizations looking more and more towards intelligent automation to do two things: firstly, to improve the efficiencies of services that can run 24/7 and help them to become more effective in a digital world. Secondly, intelligent automation as a way to enable key knowledge workers to be more productive and efficient in driving the correct outcomes for their organization.’

The evidence agrees with him. A recent Cognizant study found that, when applied to automating core business processes, intelligent automation increases human being’s productivity, and improves their problem-solving capabilities. Cognizant’s research also revealed that humans work smarter with sophisticated software to automate business tasks, generating rich process data that can drive meaningful insights, value and outcomes for businesses.

The understandable fear that many have when it comes to automation is that jobs will be impacted. The Siemens’ factory is a good example of why this is likely to be wrong, with more than 1,150 employees supporting their systems. Rather than eliminating the need for people, many argue that it will cause them to move into better, more interesting and creative jobs. There are, of course, those who disagree, notably Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. Either way, it is likely that this year we will start to get a better idea of the impact that it will have.”   source

Intelligent Automation Is This Year’s Big Tech Trend

Accenture, a global consulting firm, predicts that intelligent automation will be 2016’s biggest tech trend, perhaps even the biggest trend of the century. Although I think it’s a little early to forecast one trend for all of this century (it’s still pretty early yet!), I do think IA already has made a significant shift in the way corporations get their work done.  Innovation Enterprise has the story:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.31.22 PM“…Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that 2045 will be the year that artificial intelligence finally surpasses that of humans, in an event he called the singularity. Kurzweil believes that the singularity will see a change to life as we know it far beyond what the human brain is currently capable of comprehending, an idea that almost everyone working in the artificial intelligence field agrees with. They differ only in what year the event will occur.

While the day that artificial intelligence outstrips that of humans isn’t here yet, businesses are already using it to replace tasks that were traditionally carried out by people.

According to to the Accenture Report, intelligent automation is the launching pad for new growth and innovation, but it won’t simply be about replacing people with technology. The report states that, ‘Powered by artificial intelligence, the next wave of solutions will gather unprecedented amounts of data from disparate systems and — by weaving systems, data, and people together — create solutions that fundamentally change the organization, as well as what it does and how it does it.’

Automation uses software code that runs according to a defined goal, and serves internal systems such as initiating, validating, monitoring and controls other software applications or processes when needed. It uses machine learning processes to learn for itself, constantly adapting using new data that feeds into the algorithms. There are a number of key technologies to the process, including natural-language processing, computer vision, knowledge representation, and reasoning and planning intelligence.

In a survey of Accenture’s clients, 70% of executives said they are significantly increasing investments in AI compared with two years ago. One enterprise is validating 300,000 business process steps per day using 100 virtual machines. This would be a task impossible to carry out manually. Siemens is another company that is using automation extensively. Their lights-out factory has automated some of its production lines to the extent that they can run without supervision for weeks at a time.

Lee Naik, MD of Accenture Digital SA, explains that: ‘I see organizations looking more and more towards intelligent automation to do two things: firstly, to improve the efficiencies of services that can run 24/7 and help them to become more effective in a digital world. Secondly, intelligent automation as a way to enable key knowledge workers to be more productive and efficient in driving the correct outcomes for their organization.’

The evidence agrees with him. A recent Cognizant study found that, when applied to automating core business processes, intelligent automation increases human being’s productivity, and improves their problem-solving capabilities. Cognizant’s research also revealed that humans work smarter with sophisticated software to automate business tasks, generating rich process data that can drive meaningful insights, value and outcomes for businesses.

The understandable fear that many have when it comes to automation is that jobs will be impacted. The Siemens’ factory is a good example of why this is likely to be wrong, with more than 1,150 employees supporting their systems. Rather than eliminating the need for people, many argue that it will cause them to move into better, more interesting and creative jobs. There are, of course, those who disagree, notably Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. Either way, it is likely that this year we will start to get a better idea of the impact that it will have.”   source

Innovation is Change

Innovation is ChangeCan you think of a single innovation that didn’t change something? I didn’t think so. Innovation is change, or at least, innovation requires change. In my role as an innovation keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, I recently led a German-based industrial company’s North American IT leadership team through an innovation workshop, during which we spent part of the time working to define their common language of innovation (as described in my book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire). For companies looking to build a sustainable innovation capability this is... Continue reading

Early Bird Special for Innovation & Leadership Summit!

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 7.51.47 PMWe’re delighted to invite you to the Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit, on April 25-26, 2016 in Chicago.

This groundbreaking event builds on CoDev, to go beyond Open Innovation.  It’s about innovating BIG (starting small), narrowing in on high-growth opportunities, breaking silos, leveraging technology, keeping costs low, and moving fast.

Our speakers are not celebrities or theorists; they are accomplished industry leaders who know how to make a difference, from companies like BASF, WD40, Smucker’s, Clorox, Sun Products, GOJO Industries, Mondelez, Kimberly-Clark, Accenture, CIMdata, and more. Nor is the conference a string of slide-decks, it is a gathering of real people, from all industries, openly discussing challenges and solutions.

We want you to join us!
Attendance is limited.  There’s a special discount if you reserve by March 18. Use code CP16 for 20% off!

This summit is designed to maximize your time, providing actionable takeaways in two focused days.  The first day is dedicated to strategy, the second to implementation, with a ‘bridge’ keynote session and kickoff reception in between.  (See the agenda).  You may attend just one or both days, and we encourage you to bring your team

This first-of-its-kind Summit is practical and collegial with top level content, but even more personal with more Q&A, hands-on experience, and synthesis.  By participating, you will learn to:

  •     simplify complexity; increase agility and adaptability to ever-changing needs
  •     balance growth objectives with resource constraints -keep motivation high, especially after restructuring
  •     identify and weed out inefficiencies, redirect cost savings toward innovation and growth
  •     expand your ecosystem
  •     improve organizational effectiveness; connect the dots between strategy, processes, people, and tools

Overall, you will come away with valuable new business contacts, benchmarking insights, and the clarity and direction to get things done.

For details, please review the program description, call 920-967-0470 or email me at cperkins@innovationedge.com
Again, I sincerely hope you will join us! Click here to see more and register: http://iglsummit.com/