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What do innovative organizations do?

One of my recent keynotes for a global organization focused on the issue of high-velocity change. No matter who you are and what you do, there are certain realities: your markets, customer expectations, competitors, cost structure and business model continues to change really, really fast, and will continue to do so. This little video clip captures that message.

Innovative organizations recognize this reality, and orient themselves to a state of constant, forward-oriented innovation, not only to keep up with but to exceed the constantly rising bar of innovation that surrounds them. They do this by subscribing to several key ideas. Innovative companies:

  • adjust to rapidly evolving markets: it doesn’t matter what industry: consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, electronics, industrial supply, construction. Every industry is impacted by massive and sweeping change, in terms of product innovation, customer expectations, new business models. Look around you, and there’s fast paced change.
  • re-align for new workforce realities. With new career attitudes, the migration to the global, contingent workforce, and increasing skills specialization, deploying the right skills at the right time for the right purpose is becoming a core focus of innovation efforts.
  • jump on rapidly emerging trends: new ideas now evolve faster than ever before because of the global infinite idea loop. New products, markets and innovation can now go from concept to market in a matter of months or weeks. Innovative organizations know where they are headed, because they are tuned into the global idea loop that envelopes them.
  • track the impact of fast-science on product innovation: billion dollar markets are being born through global collaborative science. It’s a trend I explore in my Future Trends document on this blog. Understand it, and innovate from it.
  • generate ideas through generational collaboration: innovative organizations recognize that different generations have differing attitudes towards change. Rather than battling this reality, they work to ensure that they are getting the best ideas from the experience of longer term staff, combining that with the inspiration and innovative ideas coming from what I call Gen-Connect. Watch the cardboard people/plasma people video on this blog: it provides a good example of what can happen if you don’t capitalize on generational insight.
  • streamline process: innovative organizations focus on the concept of “agility” — structuring themselves for rapid response, fast solutions to emerging challenges, and quicker focusing of resources on the changes occuring within the high velocity economy. Search this site for the phrase “agility,” and you’ll find a wealth of ideas.
  • innovate upside down: innovative organizations recognize they can’t do it all. They seek partners with everything they do, recognizing that there are of lot of really wonderful innovative ideas that transcend their organization and their culture. This allows them to discover new innovative ideas they hadn’t thought of before; a process I call upside down innovation.
  • continue to innovate in times of stress: it goes back to my recent blog post, Leading in turbulent times: How to innovate through the recession. Some economies might be in recession: but innovative organizations are already focusing on innovating for the inevitable upturn.

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