From individual entrepreneurs to large global organizations, it seems everyone is chasing innovation. And it’s no wonder: Economists estimate that 80% of business growth comes from innovation.
So how do you develop an innovation culture powerful enough to consistently produce?
We have to innovate and to be on the offense, to leverage your ecosystem’s strengths and look at ways to be more creative, to impact your existing and new customers.
For me, this has to be one of the most exciting and opportunistic times for mankind, be that for you personally or for the business you work for. The internet and its many associated and reliant technologies has set you up to disrupt every single market, as long as you innovate and collaborate.
The Offense Culture
I don’t remember who it was, but I’ll never forget when I was told that by looking at what has always been? what has worked in the past? What have our competitors been doing? was like driving your car looking in the rear view mirror! You can take a little time to look, but you’d better not do it for long.
Some business strategies can be seen as defensive, while others go on the offense. Defensive business strategies are reactionary and involve a wait-and-see approach, observing others what competitors are doing and then responding.
Offensive business strategies involve taking proactive, often aggressive action in the market.
The Offense Culture starts with looking to what might be; the future.
But equally, the future is a realistic understanding of where you are today and seeing how things really are within your organization.
Armed with a realistic viewpoint, as a leader you need to show and lead the digital way, rather than tell. You need to leverage your people skills: Creativity, Innovation, Imagination, Intuition, Ethics and Emotions. How are you harnessing them to change the game?
Several years ago, we’d create digital departments because it was the new thing, the new fad, but now digital is everywhere and making it a department makes very little sense.
But what about innovation? In the 4th Industrial REVOLUTION (allow me to put it all in upper case!) innovation surely is fundamental to an organizations survival?
Innovation is open, transparent and collaborative. It’s part of everyone’s mindset and responsibility.
It’s the survival culture.
Innovation should be embedded in all aspects, from organizational structure and recruitment strategy to how the business communicates with customers, staff and stakeholders.
Imagine using technology to link in “outsiders” such as suppliers and customers into your development projects and coming up with better ideas more quickly and cheaply than you’re doing today?
Imagine a technology company orchestrating the design of a new vehicle through an open network of interested customers, software engineers and suppliers, all working internationally with one another. It’s the model of like-minded parties, and it’s starting to happen all over the world.
Most industries are climbing aboard the collaborative approach to new product innovation.
Continuing to drive the adoption of innovation will be an increasingly competitive need to uncover many more good ideas for products and to make better and faster use of those ideas.
Companies have a number of ways to win by adopting open collaboration:
- Grabbing value from the collaborative product or service by merchandising under their brand.
- By adding value to the collaborative product by providing complimentary services or products.
- By adding value to the brand at a macro level and benefiting from long-term brand association.
Combining Cultures As Part Of An Innovation Platform
It starts with your people; their attention, engaging and exciting them to take action and innovate for the business. Your Product Innovation Platform (PIP) needs to be continually marketed within your business, attractive and easy to use.
All of the large PLM vendors have, to some degree, been building platforms for product development. A Platformization 4.0 strategy provides a way that data can flow frictionless from process to process, tool to tool, and from user to user.
The challenges have been driven by mindset shifts, care of the 4IR drivers of customer personalization, smarter products and speed of production and delivery.
Traditional PLM has been configuration management by group. These relationships are bundled together into a single item. If a different set of parts are needed to support a customer order, product update or improvement then you need a new, different group.
In order to identify changes from a net position, rather than reviewing a whole new structure is the way to go. PLM 4.0 should move from groupings to highly configugrable structures (including mechanical, electrical and software components) so that all options are in the same structure always, by recognizing changes and automatically associating them to the changes object. It’s the move from file to fluidity and out in front right now sits Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, allowing:
- Users to collaborate on a common model without having to take turns or check files in or out.
- Data to flow from application to application without having to import or export files. This in turn means that when changes are made to data, those changes are immediately updated across all applications and users.
- Users to create variants of designs without creating copies of the models. Instead, changes to the base models can propagate throughout all variants, while all parts and suppliers can be traced through the variants in a common system.
- Data to be streamed when and where it is needed, using the permissions and cloud-based accessibility from the platform.
The vendors have been making continuous decisions over prioritizing their investments to making collaborative design work extremely well as a platform of solutions or invest more in open APIs to move data among various solutions. DS has chosen the long-term vies and focused itself on the provision of a smooth user experience via an interoperable platform approach.
The architecture of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform features a layer of schema that sits on top of the database and facilitates access to the data that resides outside of a file format. That schema guides each application as to how to put the various data elements together for each application and user.
The PIP Future
The future is Best Practice. Everyone is the same and yet everyone is different!
Approaches to innovation, development and manufacturing demand humans and as a result there are commonalities than can be identified while remaining unique to the product and organisation.
A good PIP implementation will evolve a team’s product development rather than just helping them do their existing processes faster. The real value comes from looking at the way they are doing things now and improving those processes. Typically this includes embedding simulation as part of the process within the platform, rather than as an add-on.
When this all comes together, design teams will be able to simulate a full digital twin from design to manufacturing to performance-in-use before ever making a physical prototype. That said, all but the smallest product development teams already have their data trapped within legacy systems.
Given the 4IR is driven by the Customer Experience, delivering Innovation has to be driven by the Users — it’s critical you focus on their experience through the use of a friendly Product Innovation Platform.
I don’t like the cliche “Innovate or Die”, as it feels overly dramatic, however there’s no denying a good product and service, tied in with a strong brand will always win through.
The internet has allowed newcomers to build brand fast and while everyday they’re looking at new ways to put you out of business, you should be doing the same.
Innovation is not a department, it is a Culture 4.0 mindset and providing those minds with the platform to access others, their thoughts and data seamlessly is needed immediately to give yourself a foundation for the 4IR future success.
Thanks so much for reaching to the bottom of this one and hope you enjoyed, Andrew