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Business-led Innovation

Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
2:01 pm


This morning I watched an interesting webcast where Bob Evans, Oracle’s Senior Vice President, Communications spoke with Jean-Marc Frangos Managing Director, External Innovation, BT Technology Service and Operations, on the subject of innovation to provide outstanding customer experience.  I was impressed with a statement Frangos made:

“Innovation is not something a special team does—it is something that must be ingrained in the mindsets and behaviors of everyone, and for which, ideally, there should be no special process.”

I learned that last year, Oracle sponsored a study on this subject by the Economist Intelligence Unit, “Cultivating Business-Led Innovation:”

The study, including results from a survey of 226 global respondents, also features customer, author, and expert interviews on strategies for fostering innovation, along with information about technologies that support innovation and lead to competitive advantage.

The study concluded six recommendations for improving the process of business-driven innovation:

Culture comes from the top: it’s up to the leadership to set a tone that makes workers feel empowered to innovate—and allowed to fail.

Success in innovation is also about failure: redeploying members of teams involved in failed innovations can help to increase the prospect of success elsewhere by ensuring that learnings are disseminated.

Pushing down authority is an enabler: empowering smaller teams to build their own tools to solve business problems helps to give rise to wider innovations.

Encourage small iterative projects: These set up an environment in which repeated experimentation and learning refine winning ideas.

Disruptive technology trends are empowering: executive respondents to our survey feel that the IT department should play a key role in educating business leaders about new technology trends. Knowledge is of course critical to using new technologies appropriately and effectively.

Get everyone involved: look for opportunities to increase the cross-fertilisation of ideas between as many business units as possible. Encourage customer participation and customer data comparisons in innovation initiatives.

Innovation is tough, especially for big companies with competing priorities.  It is always enjoyable to be involved with intelligent, motivated people who believe in innovation and create outstanding results.

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