Rapid evolution of technology is rapidly changing how companies deliver value to their end customers. Delivering a product or service is far more complex today than a few years ago. This is attributable mainly to a significant increase in the number of participants in the global supply chain and the increased product complexity from rising customer expectations.
New digital technologies have lowered the entry barrier to several industries and new start-ups are fast changing how value is created and distributed by all participants of an ecosystem. In this environment, the success of an organisation is often dependent on the success of other members, within the ecosystem, that the company partners with. It is not uncommon to find companies, which have survived for decades, forced to change their business model under pressure from new start-ups in their systems.
So, how does an organisation ensure it can stay ahead and capitalise on the opportunities offered by disruptive digitisation?
The last decade has offered new digital tools and methods that enable organisations to methodically manage a much higher volume of new ideas and continuously convert into real products and services personalised for much smaller cohorts of customers, without significant risk. Successful organisations have combined this use of new technology with a managed shift in the organisation culture to create a high performing customer centric organisation.
Consumers live in an experience economy and base their decisions increasingly on their experiences before and after buying a product or service. It is vital for an organisation to continuously and frequently offer better experiences to customers in order to stay ahead of competitors: this is where it can leverage the concept of continuous innovation. This is true not just for digital products: it applies equally to other industries such as consumer goods, utilities, financial services, etc. A case in point is the story of the Whirlpool Corporation, which transformed itself into an innovation powerhouse (between 2008 and 2013) while generating relatively significant shareholder value and employee engagement in return. The key goal of continuous innovation is to be first to the market for new or renewed products and services, combined with validated learning to pivot when necessary and the ability to rapidly scale.
Organisations that manage the process of innovation successfully are often the leaders for their customers. They give a voice to the implicit customer needs, methodically invest to study customer challenges and experiment to find sustainable initiatives that provide unique customer experiences. The critical success factors for organisations to innovate continuously and effectively are:
Disruption is ever present. The opportunity lies in readying the organisation to meet the challenges. Get in touch for more information.