Facilitating and Planning out the Innovation Ecosystem Thinking

econocom-comI am presently wanting to determine a framework for investigating and facilitating the thinking considerations we need when we consider innovation ecosystems.

Here I’d like you to consider this as an opening set of thoughts that need to come together far more, in ways that can be repeated and applied to the same basic question that requires a thoughtful thinking through.

It moves towards dealing with the question: “what do I need to consider for entering into an innovation ecosystem design?

It is clear work-in-progress and takes a series of my mind maps I have been developing and now attempting to put these into a structure that those wanting to answer this question can begin to explore possibilities and arrive at answers to their needs. Most of this is taking thoughts and beginning to structure these and build on this further. Still, we all should start somewhere in structuring this. I put some building blocks down recently and this continues to build out the thinking.

Firstly setting an innovation ecosystem into context Continue reading

Why experimenting with platform innovation is vital

innovation-experiementationWhy wait?

Paul Hobcraft and I have been writing extensively about the impact that emerging platforms and ecosystems are having, and will have, on innovation.

As I wrote previously, we are in the same position with platforms that we were with “dot coms” and ecommerce in 1999.  Then there were thousands of alternatives and experiments to try to figure out what would work.  Now, much the same thing is going to happen at the platform level.

There’s a reason Amazon, Facebook, Google, GE and others are trying to test out their platforms, and why other industries like financial services want so desperately for their own platforms to prevail.

Platforms are enticing because they lead to the concept of a required standard.  Anyone who controls a platform in an industry or market can dictate how the rest of the ecosystem adds value or in some cases connects to customers. Thus, we can expect to see a lot of companies claiming to have the definitive platform in this or that industry.  What’s more, some functions, like the ability to pay for goods and services within a platform, are already platforms in themselves, although they are narrow but important enablers to larger platforms.  Some companies and their platforms will thrive, some companies will build enabling technologies or the “APIs” that ensure tight integration for ecosystem players, but most will take a “wait and see” approach. Continue reading

Nurturing the Network of Firms within Innovation Ecosystems.

nurturing-the-ecosystemWe are forming in many different ways our greater collection of relationships that matter to each organization, by connecting increasingly in a network of potential partners and collaborators.

The goals are so as to deliver innovative products and services that would not be able to be delivered by only having just the one organization attempting it.

Managing this growing form of innovation complexity is challenging old theories, boundaries, organizations and how they exist going forward.

Ecosystem innovation is more today about managing beyond the immediate known’s found within one organization’s limited focus of the world, they are exploring many of the unknowns that need discovery and then connection. Continue reading

Are you ready to thrive in a world of Innovation Ecosystems?

thriving-in-an-ecosystem-design-2We are in need of a profound shift in the Business landscape. Our growth remains constrained by not just the economic conditions we find ourselves in but also because we are failing to make innovation central to change. It remains for most the incremental pathway to steady performance and safe returns.

Yet the world continues to be volatile, the consumer increasingly disgruntled and our political world continues to be turned upside down. Business needs to move from being part of the problem, into the pioneering and leading the solutions for growth. Surprisingly it does have the potential for a winning design ‘to hand’ – by managing within innovation ecosystems.

What makes up a winning innovation ecosystem of design?

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Moving towards a new connecting innovation model

network-of-networksWe are facing tough challenges within the business world. To work through these we are all being asked to transform but there has to be a clear end, a return for all this energy and resources it requires, that we are being asked to spend?

How and where does innovation fit will clearly depend on this transforming effect. We are fairly clear that incremental innovation is just not cutting through to give the types of growth expected. There are many outside our existing organizations, standing impatiently at the gates, waiting to come in and take over with market breaking concepts through different business models .

We have three choices: we need to transform, be disrupted or certainly re-imagine and this is where knowing your ecosystem comes in.

Our existing organization needs to envisage a changing world full of disruption that calls for radical change. To meet different challenges, to be highly adaptive it needs to begin to organize around ecosystems to deliver on a vision that recognizes it has to be part of a greater collaborating network to thrive in this highly connected world.

Today larger organizations are having to face the stark truth, they are losing out, in growth and opportunities.

Either they adapt or die. Technology offers them the transforming means but can they, as leaders, take their people with them? It needs bold leadership. The structure of our  business today cannot afford to try and stand alone, it needs to extend beyond its traditional supporting partners, it needs to learn to collaborate with  a whole new range of partners, even some previously competitors, to radically adapt to the different world we live in.

Continue reading