Innovation Consulting

Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership2020-02-24T10:50:18-06:00
1Aug, 2019

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

By |August 1st, 2019|Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Innovation|

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 [...]

14Jul, 2019

Dangerous Inoculation – the Problem of Failed Early Digital Projects

By |July 14th, 2019|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation|

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 [...]

1May, 2019

Turning IT into a Profit Center – Client Success Story

By |May 1st, 2019|Categories: Innovative Success|

Innovation Vista keeps our past clients and partnerships confidential.  Unless you choose to publicize our joint work, the public - and specifically your competitors - will not know you are working with us, or planning anything new or different.   Sun Tzu said it well: All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.  -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War It is often useful for new and potential clients, though, who are envisioning possible innovation and digital projects, to consider how our approach has benefitted other companies, even just in broad anonymized strokes... One recent example was a financial intermediary involved in connecting counterparties with specific investment needs [...]

2Dec, 2018

How is IT Doing? Ask Business Leadership FIRST

By |December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Assessments, Transitional Leadership|

"We do a great job.  90% of our KPIs and projects are in the green, and we had 99.9% uptime last month..." ...Comments like this can be indicative of successful IT shops, hitting on all/most cylinders and empowering their companies to great results. ...Comments like this can also come out of IT leaders' mouths in departments which are completely failing their businesses - possibly without them even knowing it.   Wait, you say.  How could Key Performance Indicators be put in place, or projects approved, without the business being on board?  And if 90% of them are in the green isn't that a good sign?  Not necessarily.  They could very well be meaningful, but KPIs may not really measure how well IT is supporting and empowering the business.   Consider these common situations: KPIs surrounding reaction times to requests, but none addressing proactivity KPIs about bug fixes, but none measuring the [...]

20Sep, 2018

A security checklist for CEOs to sleep at night

By |September 20th, 2018|Categories: Assessments, Security|

CEOs are in a complex quandary on information security. On the one hand this is a topic requiring deep technical expertise which is (usually) outside the wheelhouse of CEOs, unless they head up a security tech company. On the other hand, it has become abundantly clear that in the court of public perception (and for that matter, the court of law), it is considered a CEO's personal responsibility to ensure that appropriate protections are in place to protect the information of a company's customers - particularly consumers. No CEO wants to end up on the front page of the newspaper or sued for negligence over a breach. Recent incidents should serve as sufficient motivation: Yahoo - 3.5 billion account details were hacked in two different breaches.  Every single account on a system serving nearly half of the world's population in 2013-14 (not fully disclosed until 2017) Sony Motion Pictures - [...]

24May, 2018

Guidelines for Hiring a New CIO

By |May 24th, 2018|Categories: Transitional Leadership|

A quick list of suggestions for interviewing and hiring a new CIO… CIOs are kind of like NFL coaches, who are either Offense or Defense specialists.  Generally we come up either the apps/data or the ops/infrastructure/security side of the career ladder.  Some may have experience in a smaller company on both sides, but they may have blind spots or not have a mature framework to think about the role.  This difference is greatly reduced once someone has been a CIO, because if they’re smart, they likely climbed the learning curve quickly on the other side once they got that responsibility. Most of the issues first-time CIOs often experience occur in leadership/culture, or from the other side of the ball where they’re weakest, so it’s often wise to choose someone from the side where your company feels weakest.  e.g. if your systems are stable and secure, but none of the reports [...]

1Apr, 2018

Kodak – April Fools Day cautionary tale

By |April 1st, 2018|Categories: April Fools Day|

Kodak was a household name. Everyone either knew of Kodak or owned one of their cameras. Their success was admired by brands worldwide. Their success didn’t last forever. Over the course of a few short months, the brand started to disappear. Other brands, like Sony and Canon, took center stage. It wasn’t too long before younger generations were asking, “What’s a Kodak?” Kodak failed. But how did such a successful company fall so hard in a very short period of time? The answer has a lot to do with their resistance to change. Resistance to Change Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975. Most people don’t know this because it was kept secret. Why? They were afraid if they let anyone know about it, their film-based business would end. Unfortunately, not releasing that information ended up leading them to their fear. Sony and Canon jumped on the chance to [...]

24Mar, 2018

Guidelines for Selecting & Implementing an Enterprise System

By |March 24th, 2018|Categories: CRM Systems|

A quick list of suggestions for evaluating & implementing enterprise systems... Consider the phasing/sequencing if you’re changing more than one system.  Modern systems have multiple modules with nice integration and package pricing (if you go for an all in one), but licensing and changing everything together ratchets up risk and organizational whiplash. Integration challenges are easy to underestimate and are often ignored by business leaders.  Be wary of “best of breed” thinking.  Structure your system evaluation as a single committee with an agreed approach to minimize political risk of choosing a standalone system for HRIS, Payroll and ERP because those leaders wanted the A+ solution their team loves, rather than an A- which integrates to all the others and gives you “one throat to choke” when something goes wrong. Get to a list of finalist platforms with market research (Gartner magic quadrant, vendor input etc), maybe watching demos on Youtube, [...]

1Apr, 2017

Borders – April Fools Day cautionary tale

By |April 1st, 2017|Categories: April Fools Day|

The bookstore giant Borders at one time operated over 500 stores and employed 20,000 people.  From these highs, the company crashed quickly - so quickly that most people had no idea it was going under until it did. The debts were high, and the income wasn’t high enough. No one, including publishers, wanted the bookstore to die, but it couldn’t be resuscitated.   What Happened to Borders It started in the 1970s in Ann Arbor. Tom and Louis Borders created an inventory tracking system that was as intelligent as computer systems allowed at the time. In addition to their books, the Borders’ brothers licensed out their inventory system starting in the 1980s. This enabled them to expand their store into Michigan and Philadelphia.  From their they launched nationwide. In 1991, Borders was sold to KMart, who was interested in both their stores and their inventory system. This was the start [...]

5Jun, 2016

Why We Build Trust First for Innovation Success

By |June 5th, 2016|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation, Transitional Leadership|

"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 [...]