We 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.
Yet moving from the present position of offering specific products and services into a collaborating one, where they are part of an ecosystem of partners, that are ‘connecting experience’ as against discrete products building upon the delivering of totally different value propositions for the ultimate consumer, is a highly daunting challenge. It ‘up-ends’ much, if not all, of how our business organizations have been organized around, mostly within themselves, it is needing radical change.
It calls for bold management to instigate such a transformation.
Ecosystems that produce ultimately new business models often rest on a large capacity for agility, openness, and mutual dependency, sharing and appreciating the values amongst a peer group that all relate to this ‘need for change’ and buys into that collective vision outlined.
An ecosystem that is made up of a broad, diverse group of partners, who all value each other and where each can bring to a final set of solutions added value that has the combined potential to redefine new markets can be exciting and empowering. Ones that transforms current offerings within the participating organizations each contributing and working on a designated platform, pushing each other’s ‘edges’ of understanding, to radically alter the value proposition and deliver new customer experience. A tantalizing prospect, full of innovation
Network collaborators that work towards transforming current offerings within each of the participating organizations, each contributing their piece and working on a designated platform, pushing each other’s ‘edges’ of understanding, to radically alter the value proposition and deliver new customer experience.
Today we do have this tantalizing prospect, full of innovation promise, well within our reach with today’s technology potential. We are living in a connected, constantly adapting, world where networks and relationships are the essential wiring connections we all need to construct.
Adapting to collaborating never fully in your control can be unnerving.
In the past, we adapted to meet that specific requirement of that one dominant organization as they controlled the process, they dictated the value chain and determined the end result they felt was the right one, not anymore.
Today you can argue differently, why what you see as needed is not the best managed alone, it needs a collaborative effort, as the final arbitrator is the consumer and they have increasingly demanding needs. As any idea or concept evolves the more you ‘flesh this out’, it changes by this fresh input, energy, and understanding but it needs greater engagement and collaboration to meet these increased customer experience demands.
The Status Quo is history, we live in a world of constant change
The promise needs to be clear, it allows for far more breakthrough innovation, greater challenging of the existing status quo to gain that substantial competitive advantage but it will constantly take organizations out of their existing comfort zones. It needs a very different level of focused leadership that see’s the real value of a connected future and is willing to drive through the changes this will take and the risks it can mean. The status quo offers no hiding place.
Setting about changing any status quo is tough, seeing something totally different, in a larger context and in a more sharing partnership calls for radical shifts in thinking. We have to develop those “sense and respond” capabilities, build a greater capacity to “read and react” far more, and then we need to “learn and leverage” what this all means in new potential by placing this into a context that has greater value than the existing ways.
The end result we are needing to deliver is increasingly calling for constructing innovating solutions in distinctly different highly connected ways, that are built from contributions from a broader ecosystem of vested parties, into solutions that offer really different, radical new customer experiences they really can value and meets their needs.
If we think ecosystems, we need to think differently about the way we conduct innovation
Think carefully through any move to join innovation ecosystems, they do have potentially a high, immensely attractive return if managed well, and highly valuable to the participants; yet they are nearly always disruptive to the existing markets and require immense focus and resourcing to make a transformation. Yet the prize can be a sustaining competitive position unable to be matched due to this ecosystem lock-in of vested parties
A growing belief that can’t be ignored
I certainly believe the ecosystem approach will increasingly become the main value-producing stream for innovation delivery. Platforms, strategic partnerships, new business models all will be on the agenda of any serious global organization and ecosystems are the organizing environment to enact these.
Innovation ecosystems are clearly not for everyone but eventually they will be, they will be the way we do innovation!
This type of innovation thinking around ecosystems and platform thinking will be a growing source of disruption across many, if not all, of our industries as well as the organizing means to tackle those complex societal problems needing radical solutions.
Welcome to the transforming world of Innovation Ecosystems.
**Reprinted from my post on Paul4innovating.com under “The New Innovation Need: Organizing within a Network of collaborators