Accelerating Innovation comes from Ecosystem thinking

Just a reflective moment I am sharing here on the place of Ecosystem thinking.  We need to recognize the changes we need to undertake, even in a world of infinite possibilities. We chose to explore new ways of working; new solutions to difficult challenges need a new approach to accelerating innovation through ecosystem thinking.

In my view:

“Today and in the future, to take where we are in our technology and digital understanding and feed it greater human ingenuity, we give it intelligence, real new intelligence not just the artificial stuff. When we combine the collected knowledge found in a network of collaborators, we can dramatically advance the solutions sought by unlocking previously intractable problems.”

The new environment offers us infinite possibilities

We have new frontiers and unexploited opportunities everywhere when we push through today’s constraints. We have more connected hardware to open up our physical and digital realms, and thirdly we have access all the time to more real-world data than ever before. The birth of the digital and physical ecosystems that enable innovation like never before.

We have some awesome power available to us; can’t we unlock the potential to change where we seem to be heading?

We have entered the new innovation era as we combine in ways not possible until recently. If we take any industry, any societal problem, as we tackle climate challenges, it is the power of connected innovation to make a difference and give us our breakthroughs. We have the tools to tackle big (and stubbornly small) challenges in collective environments.

We are not changing everything as we are still searching for the “how and what”, but we are pushing ourselves by opening up to the “where and why” in such different connecting ways. We are recognizing sharing what we know accelerates understanding for all those involved.

Understanding Ecosystems and how they work is becoming essential for us.

Recognizing ecosystems are vital, combining human, technology and data allows us to pursue multiple possibilities, explore them faster than before, evaluate them in quicker, smarter ways and scale those that show promise for all of us to be more efficient, considerate and respectful of finite resources to undergo a change from individualism to revaluing community and supporting each other in resourceful ways and respecting all that is around us needs to be more balanced.

We can search not just for entirely new capabilities, but also we can take real advantage of actively reshaping so much to rejuvenate and value much that is all around us in different ways of behaviour and reflection. It is the power of ecosystems that can allow us to innovate differently, more designed for sustaining .what we have of this plant we rely upon.

We need a new way to work in ecosystems, different from our past. In simple terms, we begin in well-judged steps:

  • We must constantly look beyond the walls we build around ourselves, we think they protect us, but actually, they trap us in a limited universe.
  • If we do not cultivate sharing and embrace cross-collaborations, we never gain real agility and see “value” beyond our limited experience.
  • When we stop from exploring, in investing time to ‘force ourselves,’ we stop failing. We need to learn faster and learn the ability to correct as we go. We need both the ability for marathons and sprints.
  • What we value needs ethical guardrails; if we just rely on what we are “fed”, we lose the ability to balance and reflect.
  •  We need diversity to fill our lives; however painful this sometimes can be, it gives balance and new structure.

We need the power of those around us to coalesce into a collaborative environment where innovation thrives in an Ecosystem world that recognizes the importance of collective system learning to interact with all of its parts in better, more thoughtful ways. Ecosystems offer the environment for us to evolve.

Making the case for Ecosystem thinking

Business is certainly changing

Credit Tatiana Plakhova @ complexitygraphics.com

Regretfully many businesses are still caught in the change over from the past industrial era, we have not fully absorbed or translated the impact of the digital effect. The rising expectations from technology are ‘running way ahead’ of our ability to transform the organizations to be digitally ready.

We are in need of finding and developing environments that are far more connected and open, simple yet intelligent to reduce complexity, yet fast and scalable as the frequency and collaboration needs are changing, all placing increased demands on the organization.

With the consistent onslaught of social media, the potential of cloud computing and the increasing reliance on the mobile or smartphone, the pressure is on organizations to adapt and respond accordingly. The consumer expectations are dramatically shifting to expecting these connected experiences we have written about, they are seeking higher levels of personal gratification.

Everything is about “getting connected”.

Working in Ecosystems will change the nature of business activities

Ecosystems will have the potential to expand capabilities and enable experiences beyond anything possible today in the present ‘disconnected’ world, where technology is not playing a significant part. It is by the very nature of the interacting and interdependence in relationships that is driving this need of participating in an interconnected system.

We are all increasingly searching for designing new ways to do business, ones that are buildimng networks that are collectively finding, exchanging and looking to create and allocate new business value together. It is the need of acting together, that offers the potential for the outcomes to be greater than the sum of the individual parts and it will be technology driven.

Recognizing the significant changes underway let’s look at many parts of today’s environment that are coming together to make the conditions for a ‘perfect storm’ that we have to navigate through.

Multiple elements are combining to drive change and get us all to consider Ecosystem designs as a solution to reduce complexity.
  • Business has a growing need for finding new competitive battle zones as they exhaust the traditional ones
  • There are these higher risks of disruption happening today, across all industry sectors
  • The scramble to scale and globalize is increasing the pressure for speed, adaptation, and new outlooks.
  • Customers are more sophisticated and demanding, expectations and empowerment are on the rise.
  • Customer experience is becoming more compelling, individualized and offering integrated experiences.
  • Digital transformation, big data analysis and the ubiquity of information is changing the knowledge game
  • Industry lines and conventions are blurring and merging through the need for technology and overhaul
  • Power is shifting from single company offerings into platform offerings, built on collaboration needs
  • The existing Business Model is increasingly under threat and shorter in its ‘shelf life’
  • Collaborative Needs are increasingly the basis for achieving competitive advantage
  • Reality is that every innovation and company is part of a broader, evolving ecosystem
  • Our futures are far more intertwined and dependent on others
  • Technology is leading us all in an unparalleled rate of change in most of what we do in our lives.
  • The reinventing of the rules of competition have dramatically opened up (startups, venture capital etc)
  • We all cannot navigate the future alone, we are becoming increasingly reliant and dependent.
  • Technology offers business greater access to intelligence that is fast and scalable
  • There is a shift in the economic equation to collaboration, transparency and customer engagement.

These shifts are altering the business environment and organizations have got to find solutions to address these, as these shifts are increasingly making the environment highly complex to navigate through. Ecosystem thinking holds a crucial key to managing this growing complexity, in radically connected ways.

Business Ecosystems are not new but they hold tremendous promise for innovation

Business Ecosystem thinking, although not new, is rapidly becoming the new organism to coalesce around to tackle growing complex challenges and a more demanding consumer. It has the mechanisms to encompass all necessary players to share and relate to the challenges and collectively work on solutions together, often in a growing world of complexity.

Thinking differently about Ecosystems

Thinking about ecosystems certainly allows us to go out of our normal scope of the possible invention by allowing us to push innovation and be creative to accelerate and extend our thinking well beyond just knowing as one, we connect to many and all the diversity of knowledge and understanding this can offer.

The ability to tackle those larger societal problems within an ecosystem, or combine unique resources to overcome a complex business challenge you are incapable of solving alone, does have greater potential in a collaborative adaptive system. Collaborating is the route to greater value and enhancing a shared objective, extending the scope and scale beyond just your borders or offering.

Ecosystem co-operations can allow you to align with others, totally outside your existing relationships, so you can enter new markets, explore new concepts and design, that would have been impossible as an individual organization.

Applying ecosystem thinking offers you the collaborative ability to extend beyond more traditional delivery channels, or being restricted to only utilizing your own existing infrastructure. It allows you to search and build on others that can add their specialization to build out that “greater” concept. Continue reading

The building of a Hydrogen Ecosystem in Europe

The global challenge of climate change is coming rapidly to the points where it is forcing governments, businesses and knowledge organisations all over the world to mobilise behind carbon-reducing innovations, e.g. large-scale renewable energy implementation and electrification.

When it comes to innovation and leading the energy transition, Europe is showing clear leadership and in one specific and important technology, a global leader in electrolysis technology required to produce green hydrogen. The challenge today is to convert that leading position into a sustaining best of class one, that leads the world in electrolyzer expertise, production and research.

Today, Europe has a promising start, but it has significant challenges to break down the silo’s of knowledge and expertise and seize this opportunity to learn how to collaborate and build a thriving, robust and collaborative ecosystem around the building of a world-leading position in the electrolyzer market space.

At this time though, despite a promising outlook for the use of the eölectrolyzer for hydrogen, water electrolysis technology is not sufficiently mature to fit that purpose. It still is at a limited scale and is not yet at the point of the expectations building up around it. An enormous challenge lies ahead in upscaling currently available technologies to GW-scale factories required to drive forward the energy transition. Continue reading

What makes up a winning innovation ecosystem of design?

So what can be gained by adopting a more innovation ecosystem approach?

As we recognize and push out through more open networking and relationships, we are opening up to new learning. We sharpen our minds and attain smarter resources as this exposes ‘us’ to new fields of expertise and knowledge that we can absorb and translate into new innovation opportunities.

As we connect and integrate this learning, we are all becoming co-creators that can arrive at different defining and shape potential. By reaching out, we operate differently, we become more engaged and open.

Let me offer four connecting themes that are shifting our ways to operate and innovate that provide a far greater set of dynamics by ’embracing’ an ecosystem collaborative design approach.

Continue reading

Exploring the Innovation Technology in the Clean Energy Ecosystem

Anyone involved in the Energy world knows how complex it has become.

It seemed as we look back at the past; we had simply one power provider, using one fossil fuel, maximizing their dedicated infrastructure and transmission lines, to then deliver to their dedicated substations and then onto the eventual consumer or customer the needed electricity or heat supply. It is radically different today for numerous reasons.

Reality is, we need to undertake a radical redesign of our entire energy ecosystem.

The consensus is that over the next twenty to thirty years, we must undergo a drastic change in our whole energy systems.

Do we understand what this means? Can we grasp the complexity of this undertaking?

I think we have some real help in understanding this through how the International Energy Agency is going about tackling the complexity will significantly help; they have mapped the entire energy system. Continue reading