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A desired change

To be successful in the future we need to understand that the landscapes are quickly changing and so we have to develop our capabilities to navigate.

The future is an open sea that will oblige us to re-evaluate our skills continuously and quickly rearrange the resources available to develop and update those skills.

The future will be, above all, adaptation and lifelong learning.

Most of us prepared hard for the future we expected, and yet things aren’t working out as we had planned. That’s true if you have been laid off, are a recent college graduate who feels underemployed, or are a manager facing constant upheavals at work, even if you are the boss, because you are wrestling with disruptive technologies and new competitors who seemingly come out of nowhere to upend your industry.”

Even in other age groups to build a future that one day we imagine we can realize, collapses by the strength of the storms of change and uncertainty, and so, more and more, learning is a value of very long duration.

Yesterday in the evening and today during the night and morning, my country was surprised, albeit with some mixing prediction, by very strong winds and intense rain. It were released some alerts and we only talk about the “very bad weather” but about the consequences we only heard after the storm.

Throughout the country people report the effects of the storm, but what most affected here at home was a seemingly “simple thing”:

“The land, where was installed the water motor house, has collapsed and swallowed the house and equipment”.

Moral of this story: we have been preparing for some time now the best conditions to expand the cultivation of tomatoes and peppers at the “Horta do Sol” and we were going to cultivate new land adjacent to the engine house.

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Now we have the unknown (dimension of the damages) and with it the uncertainty!

“‘Prepare, don’t Predict’ means setting your business up to withstand whatever the future can throw at you, for good or bad, to defend against and exploit chance. Prepare, don’t predict means do not just be ready for that which can be expected from what we know, but consider even the happening that is very rare but has very big consequences if it happens. The expected or predictable do not have the same size effects on a business as the unexpected and unpredictable.”

Things that will affect are not yet properly determined but luckily there are some alternatives, as a result of some preparation for the unknown.

We know that there are great principles that guide us to think that the world happens as we are waiting to happen, but we also know that there are factors not controlled that can turn right on a surprise.

We know, or we think we know that the laws of supply and demand work to establish the prices when the time of the harvest will arrive.

We know that if we do not take precautions to the consolidation of water reserves we have exaggerated risks in cultures exploration.

We know that there are laws of probabilities that can indicate to us how likely is the chance of something happening, but did we know to ask questions?

In environments where change is rapid and steady, if we want to learn throughout life, asking questions is the first step to learn and solve problems.

Routine work may one day be performed by very reliable machines and available 24 hours a day and at that time we will be the people of projects.

Will we be competent in the approach to these projects?

Will we know how to deal and lead to change?

If we want to be prepared for the future (uncertain) instead of the forecast (revenue to solve problems) it will be good to start thinking about autonomy, in collaboration, tolerance to ambiguity, empathy, happiness and passion for what we do.

 

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Thinking about…

Experts in business and government are always talking about economies of scale. They say that increasing the size of projects and institutions brings costs savings. But the “efficient,” when too large, isn’t so efficient. Size produces visible benefits but also hidden risks; it increases exposure to the probability of large losses.”

On the other hand the “conventional wisdom” says that small is better when it comes to innovation and it also says that the more people are involved in the innovation process the better the result.

We know also that the context has a vital role in solving problems even when we approach the problems in a global way. Even if the problem is common to many people as the frequent lack of drinking water in areas where they inhabit, the possible solution begins always with a clear definition of the context and the ecosystem.

In recent years we have witnessed an economic growth and work in some areas of the globe driven by large-scale innovation and that is connected to the mobile communication networks.

It seems to be true that innovation is the main source of new jobs and the same time also seems to be true that are small businesses that generate most jobs.

We have seen a real trend of speech focusing on entrepreneurs and startups as a way to overcome many of the “crises” that exist in Europe and beyond, which makes me question the existing structure in many of the companies that ceased to be the source of employment and wealth.

Is that the time has come to restructure the large companies in small networks?

Could we design small businesses at scale and with this leverage the results?

The structures of different possible ecosystems that emerge around a core of innovation (e.g. Apple) are independent and flexible result of extensibility potential to the different contexts in a global world.

 

“The flexibility of small-scale infrastructure is attractive because it gives firms the ability to deploy investments gradually over time, which further reduces cost and risk. “If a city’s electricity demand is growing, a utility firm doesn’t have to finance a gigawatt power plant that might take four or five years to come online,” van Ryzin says. “It can instead deploy smaller plants as needed.” In turn, a firm doesn’t incur the cost of building a large plant right away — one that might not operate at full capacity immediately.”

Will change from large in size to large in number (but small in size of infrastructure) scale?

For that, apart from direct benefits in the reduction of investment costs and risk (considerable economic benefits) it is necessary to create new frames to calculate the return on investment and that passes necessarily by the “calculation” of the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations and by the well-being and growth of employees of these organizations.

Keeping the smaller nuclear teams, there is a building team spirit, an innovative leadership and recognition that the effort has value and purpose.

We already passed the age of large machines and large enterprises to small networks of computers and we already have seen the birth of new feelings of independence and responsibility in organizations through this evolution.

We must now respond more to the needs of different contexts of the different capacities of different ecosystems and start creating new alliances of enterprises, more open and innovative.

The space for a joint growth exists. Lack the will or believe in that possibility.

The flexibility of small-scale infrastructure is appealing because it gives companies the ability to deploy investments gradually over time, which further reduces the costs and risks and smaller units also offer geographic flexibility, we can use it in a single location or concentrated around key supply or demand sources.

Innovation initiatives that were once handled by dozens a decade ago are now run by only handfuls,” writes Michael Schrage. He mentions Google, Facebook and Apple among the leading innovators that swear by the power of tiny teams. The trend is not just with tech companies. Global pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline now regularly relies on teams of as few as eight people.”

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The role of creativity in organizations

I think the agility of an organization depends largely on the nature of its structure and how much flatter and more open, more permeable it is to new knowledge and new ideas.

This is one of the advantages of work performed in networked structures that easily mobilize the imagination of every employee in an organization preparing them, at all times, to face challenges of the system where they are inserted and immediately seek to find solutions for the win.

Organizations must create environments facilitators of creativity and appropriate recognition and reward forms to several generations involved.

Opening the doors to the participation of employees in the construction of their work environments and the development of collaborative methodologies, the organizations can create attractive places for the retention of their talents.

The first generation that grew up with the Web, has its main assumption that the contribution of each to the Organization, are not titles, but the merit. Eventually earlier generations see their contribution as the sum of a few years of experience, but they are too in the dependence of the laws of competence.

“In a market where talent is largely a commodity and can bought anywhere, the secret sauce is creating an in which you push that frontier out, in which you can steadily raise the returns on human capital . The combination of technology and talent is a powerful catalyst for value creation, but to take advantage of the Web’s capacity to help us aggregate and amplify human potential in new ways, we have first all abandon some of the traditional management beliefs – the notion, for example, that the strategy should be placed at the top. ” – Gary Hamel

The path of the abandonment of some old beliefs, involves construction of new levels of confidence on the part of all employees and partners. The assumptions that dominated the management of the XX century that remained unchanged for years should be replaced, tested or validated in the new realities of the 21st century.

A new attitude to the past, naturally requires faith in new forms of interaction and requires new learning skills, not only to the “apprentices” but for everyone and learning that often means learn to unlearn.

The future already has path and is not similar to the past. Is a future with some lines that seem clear:

Traditional decision making processes and models are falling behind the fast pace of this new century, both for individuals and organizations.  Many of us are aware of this situation, but are feeling lost without a new approach to make good reliable decisions fast”

-We have already started to feel the problems of traditional reasoning based on induction and deduction. The new option is called intuitive decision-making.

-Creativity tools start to be more needed by employees and are being more widely distributed in organizations.

-The ideas no longer have exclusivity or localized sources and begin to compete on an equal footing.

-A new movement of thought and action, including the strategies are being built bottom-up.

-The power or authority begins to be a question of competence rather than a matter of place in the hierarchy.

In this way, the evolution of organizations, which is never linear, will still be the results of some battles between conservative and analytical forces and forces of creativity in the organizations.

There are the people within the organizations who know what the processes which collide with innovation that prevent adaptation and that create frustration in the employees.

 

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Think big, start small?

I think innovation is capable of producing significant benefits that help to leverage a business.

Innovation can enable new opportunities in booming markets, increase margins through new ways of doing business and improve operational efficiency through a more efficient and effective use of existing resources.

Each organization is a collection of unique features and capabilities that provide the foundation of its strategy and the main source of their returns.

But innovation is not just to create new products and services. It is also about the development of creative processes and new ways of thinking.

Innovation is thinking about people, about things and about the relations between them, and to solve problems in new ways. Is to build a better world!

There is a good challenge, which I recommend for anyone thinking about innovation and on the best way of addressing in organizations, proposed by Paul Hobcraft and Jeffrey Philips (see here) that got me thinking about the use of the resources of the organizations, among other things, when they want to embrace innovation.

The effective use of potential resources in innovation is not only by the inventory of available resources but also for the assessment of these resources.

The development of new features and greater productivity of technology can be the answer that organizations need to obtain and thus a proper assessment of their physical and human resources can change the value of the existing potential within the organization.

This means that it can be important not just to say what their availabilities are but also assess the potential of them.

The evaluation of internal resources allows a balanced demand for external resources without waste of financial resources and to recognize the medium-term may be important in developing an innovation strategy.

“Technology or expertise that goes beyond what the market is willing to pay for is no longer a competitive advantage.” Christensen

What resources (people, technological resources, time and information) are available to support innovation efforts?

It is curious to note that both excess and shortage of resources available can inhibit innovation. This is because in organizations where there are resources in abundance exists a conservative culture where creativity is taboo and in companies with limited resources cost compression inhibits innovative perspectives.

However, assessing, not just stating their availability enables organizations with scarce financial resources to increase their chances of developing innovative products and services.

Evaluation of resources in an organization may allow, feeding always the sort of approach to develop in innovation, continuously redrawing and their adaptation to the demands of the markets.

In environments characterized by life cycles, technology cycles or economic cycles the “innovation capacity” that is, resource capacity to implement innovations in processes, technologies or components quickly and efficiently, but without great expense, depends on the knowledge gained in the evaluation of resources.

“Two types of indexes are necessary for the evaluation of innovation capacity. The first type determines which components support or inhibit the adaptations. The second type assesses the ability of innovation of the whole system. ” World Academy of Science,

This text is part of a wider exercise and has privileged the physical resources. In a forthcoming approach it will be the human resources and the assessment of their potential for the development of innovation in organizations.

I appreciate comments and suggestions for development. Thank you!

 

From failure to open innovation

It is a challenge what Clay Maxwell (@bizinovationist on twitter) suggested! To comment, “Today’s Innovation Can Rise from Yesterday’s Failure”.

This article by Vijay Govindarajan co-authored with Jay F. Terwilliger and Mark H. Sebell comes in the wake of another already mentioned here where you can read that “Many times when we experience our ideas we tend to look exclusively to the results and do not consider the learning we do from successes and failures.”

What the authors referred suggest is that despite many efforts in innovation have failed opportunities are not dwindled over time. On the contrary the change that we are subject carries also new market opportunities, new desires and new skills.

To fail does not mean to throw out the whole investment! Fails can mean stopping at the right time!

The right moment to reflect on new business models, to reorganize the company, to reassess investments and turn them into launch pad for innovation in a new context and with resources available more meaningful and less costly.

What before was not viable today can be, and the ideas or concepts can be adjusted to new realities.

To learn from the failures it is necessary to understand them and the authors in the article mentioned above pointed out a model to review the failures of the past and remove the innovation strategy to implement.

“Understanding this framework provides enterprises with an opportunity to revisit past failures, compare them to today’s realities, and more quickly and efficiently leverage past “failed” concepts. HBR

It is at the intersection of corporate will, marketplace opportunities and the strategic competenices which emerge the new strategy of innovation that can pass through a framework in the new circumstances.

Change the times change the wills. The concepts that failed in the past are not useless.

Henry Chesbrough says: “With open innovation, we can create a new division of innovation labor, one that can support investment in innovation in the future.   If they open up their innovation process to utilize the work of others on the one hand, and share their own work with others on the other hand, innovation can thrive once more.   If they are able to do so, many more ideas will become available to them for consideration, and many more pathways for unused internal ideas will emerge to unlock their latent economic potential as they go to market.”

Companies now have new spaces for external alliances that can enable new markets that were unattainable before then which may mean new business models, i.e. an open business model to create value and to capture value within the alliances established.

The value creation strategies generate benefits that are shared by the partners of the alliance, while the value capture strategies determine how these collective benefits are divided between the partners.

To Henry Chesbrough ” A business model performs two important functions:  it creates value, and it captures a portion of that value.  It creates value by defining a series of activities from raw materials through to the final consumer that will yield a new product or service with value being added throughout the various activities.  The business model captures value by establishing a unique resource, asset, or position within that series of activities, where the firm enjoys a competitive advantage.”

Emerging pathways that open innovation brings when faced with the renewed willingness of the leaders of companies may be the revitalization of “old ideas or concepts” and the consequent use of the work already done.

But this, in my opinion, will only be possible if this will represent a new stance on the part of managers of enterprises:

-Willingness to understand the conditions under which the errors occurred. Accept mistakes as levers to innovate.

-Adaptation of passions to new realities. The environment of dreams can evolve.

-Creating new competencies given to the development of markets and new technologies. The change brings almost always resistance.

In organizations there can be two types of portfolios that matter for here and now, of failure and the alliances. Awareness (knowledge and understanding) of what were the initiatives that have failed and have knowledge of possible alliances can result in creating and capturing value.

To combine portfolio of failures with portfolio of alliances or partnerships can be a new way to grab new opportunities.

 

“The single biggest reason companies fail is they over invest in what is, as opposed to what might be.” — Gary Hamel

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More generations, more technologies, more differences!

Future work will be as it always has been one of the many aspects of our lives. But in the future it will not be as up here! There, we will find our friends, virtual and in real life, experience new sensations and naturally with our lives the most creative and innovative.

It can be also where we can find more frustrations and less joys if we not look on it and let that the current drag us or indulge in uncontrolled consume. The future may be already today, within a few years and may be very far from what we imagine on account of the speed at which change is generated.

And still there are those who resist the change!

I provided some years work with projects and I have always liked this kind of work by the constant challenge that it put on me.

I don’t speak about those very nice projects, planned up to the second and without infringing a single norm or without create non-conformities.

I speak of projects with a purpose, with risk, where fail fast is good and where learning is a constant.

These projects emerged initially as a way to find something that I could develop without being exclusively linked to the traditional routine of my tasks or in fulfillment of my duties while collaborator in some companies.

It is curious how the talk about work when you have a project (work) seems pointless. All the sense of the word work = obligation/routine switches to project = happiness/results.

And it is also curious how easy it is to think in organizations managed by projects where employees have the opportunity to release their energies and creativity in favor of a common good.

In the future, I imagine most flat organizations with its energy distributed by networks or communities, without the concern of the physical location and increasingly responses appropriate to the real needs of the people.

What were the certainties of the past were replaced by ambiguity, diversity of issues and opinions that come together with a constant rumble of technologies.

Today we have new technologies for all generations and not just for the dominant generation in the world of work.

The differences between the various generations who live today in the world of work and those others who are part of our life, children and elderly, are probably larger than between what I think and what each one might think.

Whatever our age is, one of the most crucial issues that we face is, how is that the forces that shape the future of work will develop and what is the impact on us and on the organizations to which we belong?

The prediction of future of work often begins with a possible future scenario and then returned to set:

What it takes to happen so that this future becomes reality?

-How do I start looking for future opportunities?

-How do I create a path for these opportunities to anticipate the inevitable changes along the way?

-What can I start doing today that’s going to help me get there first?

It is often difficult to articulate the precise nature of a need in the future, and instead, we found that it is easier and more attractive to present a broader context.

Forecasting the future of an industry, need to be grounded in a detailed perception of trends in lifestyles, technology, demographics and geopolitics, but is also based on imagination and prognosis.

To create the future, a company must first develop a powerful verbal and visual representation of these future possibilities.

Use without constraints of analogy and metaphor, have a predisposition to be against, a willingness to be more than being simply driven by the consumer and the possession of a genuine empathy enables us build scenarios and tell the story of the future.

In the future the way we think and decide will be the same? What is the logic?

The use of scenarios provides a new perspective and a new language and structure that can be used to encourage dialogue and strategic thinking on the challenges and opportunities we face.

The scenarios help to legitimize dialogue, challenging the conventional wisdom that gives rise to a widespread discussion, and that creates the possibility of a real transformation.

It is good to remember that the scenarios are tools, not the point of arrival of any activity.

When you tell your story don’t forget that in this age of movements and changes of full competition, the most valuable human resources are precisely those that are less liable to management.

How do you imagine the future?

 

Unleashing ideas and turn them into actions

 

When we accept that good ideas are not only at home does not mean that any idea or set of ideas can be useful.

Imagine that the leader assumes the role of fisherman of ideas to continue its mission. In doing so he knows that it is necessary that both the vessel and accoutrements are in good working order and are appropriate for the fishing.

I.e. if my boat is suitable for the calm seas I won’t fish in the seas of storms.

So it’s important to know where the sea is fished:

When it launches the network in protected sea

Lindegaard said “Personally, I believe a thinker is the most important piece because it requires quite an overview to become successful with an open innovation program having in mind that you need to deal with internal as well as external stakeholders on issues that are increasingly important for companies.”

This is the role of the master of the ship that has to be aware of the difficulties both internal and external to achieve success. It is good to remember that the calm that exists within an undertaking is subject to waves from outside.

When it launches the network in unknown sea …

When it launches the unknown sea network as in the case of many companies we can face the unexpected:

Ford has officially stirred up a mess of snakes by inviting consumers to submit their ideas on how to improve the company’s vehicles to its website at TheFordStory.com. We’ve spent the better part of a day sifting through what the world has to say to Ford, and though we expected bucket loads of the web’s own brand of vitriol, so far the comments were largely constructive.”

It is a time (“so far”) in which things are fine but that clarifies the concerns or questions about the results. It is good to be alert!

When it launches the network in incubators…

Although incubators can migrate to situations of independence, there are many opportunities to open innovation in these seas.

Companies can be attentive to developments of these entrepreneurs and establish cooperation protocols.

While incubators used to be more general facilities, BusinessWeek says many of those that launched in the past few years are highly specialized. Often, their focus is on reviving a declining industry in the region where they are located, or on building off the expertise of those in that industry to innovate new products, services and concepts.”

When it launches the network in fertile sea

If the networks that are launched weren’t appropriate measure is very likely that the work of fishing bring good and less good fish.

The “fake” excess of ideas must be working and aligned with the company’s strategy. There is no room for cooling of fresh ideas. It is preferable to freeze them and use them later when appropriate.

Design is about communication, and the purity of a design can easily be compromised if there are too many ideas competing for attention.

Everyone has a different creative process, and there are many ways we all generate ideas. It’s the lifeblood of our profession, but it’s something you might want to be wary about.

Having too many ideas only becomes a problem if you are not able to process them clearly and without sentiment. Sometimes promising ideas have to be discarded because they do not meet the brief, sometimes you have to waste time on a bad idea to prove that it’s worthless.”

When it launches the network in known sea

Knowledge of ideas is fundamental so that they can be worked. Often we think we want to go to the sea and do not yet know the environment of the craft.

Companies tend to specialize, focusing people with specific expertise together, and that can create silos of information,”…”By opening up inside a company, you increase the flow of knowledge from one area to another. Medtronic began in cardiac pacemakers, but they are now developing devices that work in the brain. Lots of things learned in the cardiac division might be beneficial in the nervous system.”- Henry Chesbrough

When no launches of network … no production!

 

It was my intention not to identify a selection of ideas with something simple. Hope you left space for reflection.

I will appreciate your comments!

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