Innovation – The Great Equalizer

For small and midsize companies competing against large competitors, it can often feel like they are set up to fail. The competitors may have stronger purchasing power, economies of scale, and lower cost of capital, making it hard for the smaller companies to gain any sort of an edge. But the innovation of new technologies is giving many companies hope that they can indeed compete with large competitors several times their size. Innovation is the key to balancing the scale of power. Despite their significant advantages in economies of scale, larger companies also have a liability which can become significant in the emerging Digital Age. Because of their size, large companies have many more layers of bureaucracy and formality. Each of those layers in a larger organization is a delay in decision-making and innovation, particularly when the changes being contemplated are significant and impact a company's business model, pricing, supply [...]

2019-10-26T13:49:24-06:00October 26th, 2019|Innovation|0 Comments

Transformation Needs the Top, Even if it Doesn’t Start There

No matter where the vision for innovation comes from, the board and CEO must support and evangelize transformation for it to succeed. If the board and CEO don't fully grasp why the transformation is needed, or how it should be achieved, it can bring about more harm than good. They would be better of pausing or canceling the project until everyone can get on the same wavelength. The worst whiplash an organization can receive is a "transformation" project being pushed by IT which doesn't have the support of top leadership. Why? Because the rest of the company will take their lead on how to respond—how seriously to take the change—from their top leadership. If they see shoulder shrugs, they may shrug too and won’t be fully committed to getting on board. Just as importantly, the support from top leadership will deeply impact the behavior of those pushing the change—in IT [...]

2019-10-13T11:10:20-06:00October 11th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation|0 Comments

Step 1 to Swimming in the Digital Pool – Get in the Water

Do you have a vision for the potential of technology to impact your company's future, but lack the details to make specific proposals? Part of leadership is seeing the need for change and taking steps to share and implement this vision with your team. The first step doesn’t have to be perfect or huge—you need not jump into the deep end of the pool right away, but it's critical at least to acknowledge that you need to learn how to swim. No matter how your organization uses data—processing, analyzing, or simply entering it and viewing it on a daily basis—there is a high likelihood that some kind of digital technology can take your efforts to the next level.  Initially, you may not have clarity on how automation, AI, or analytics will play a part, but neither is it a requirement for someone to know all the strokes before deciding they [...]

2019-10-05T12:54:16-06:00October 5th, 2019|Digital Transformation, Innovation|0 Comments

Best IT Strategy for a Non-IT Startup? It Depends

Tech company startups are the darlings of the press and of venture capitalists.  It certainly seems that tech companies dominate the list of "Unicorns" and top IPOs from the last few decades.  Their pace of revenue acceleration (though not necessarily usually earnings) are breathtaking - at least for the few who make it "over the hump" to reach critical mass.  But these are far from the only startup businesses where key IT decisions are needed. In non-IT startup companies, the landscape of tech choices is different, although potentially just as impactful on the company's chances of success.  Tech isn't their product, but in many cases it may make up a significant part of their engine (there is a spectrum of IT impact, of course - that's one reason why "It Depends..")  Interestingly, from the myriad books on the topic of startups pumped out of publishing houses these days, very few [...]

2019-11-13T08:33:39-06:00September 12th, 2019|Innovation, Transitional Leadership|0 Comments

Early AI Won’t Reach Professionals’ IQ. Build it Anyway

When you teach your children how to read, you don’t hand them a dictionary. You start with one letter, then move on to the next, hoping you know enough words that describe the letter “X” and can create a system from which they will learn on their own. No one expects a toddler to suddenly pick up the morning paper and process the symbols inked onto the page into useable information—but even knowing that, they begin the long, tedious, (painful?) steps to ensure that one day their child, years down the road, can read the morning paper if they so choose. The results are worth the pain in the end. Yet when people hear about the developments of AI in business, many of them assume the process is pointless if the technology has not reached a level of newspaper-reading, so to speak. What would be the point of investing money [...]

2019-09-19T04:54:21-06:00August 1st, 2019|Artificial Intelligence, Innovation|0 Comments

Dangerous Inoculation – the Problem of Failed Early Digital Projects

Organizations run the risk of being "inoculated" against the power of innovation if their early investments in technology or "digital transformation" fails to deliver business benefits.  In fact, "Digital" is becoming a four-letter word in some companies. One risk is if the initial digital "pilot" is over-hyped by its sponsors, possibly in an effort to get approval for the initiative if it's a controversial topic.  While it may seem justifiable to over-promise a little with the idea that "they'll get excited when they see how close the team can get", in fact this is a very dangerous stretch which risks killing the chance of future projects altogether.   Better to continue to win hearts and minds to the vision using reasonable expectations than to stretch them unwisely. Inoculation can occur even if expectations aren't stretched though.  In some organizations the skeptics may lie in wait for a pilot project to fail [...]

Why We Build Trust First for Innovation Success

"Build Trust First" is Innovation Vista's unique methodology for all engagements relating to change, transformation and transition.  We believe not only that it leads to success; we believe something like it is absolutely necessary for success! Gartner reports that 75% of Digital Transformation initiatives will fail, highlighting particularly higher risks when these are seen as "IT Projects".  That is a daunting estimate, but one based on real facts and track records.   ..and one we believe is based on human nature...   Trust is a universal Human Need Turbo-charger   Although we apply this approach to IT-driven transformation, it is truly in effect in every aspect of our lives.  Myriad leadership studies have proven the connection between success/efficiency/effectiveness and trust.  And each of us can confirm in our own lives the "difference" between situations where trust was absent vs. present; it is not difficult to recall in which situations we were at [...]