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Where is the insight?

insight.gifThere are quite a few people out there who talk about innovation, all of whom have a very different background: some with design experience, others who are from the product marketing world; yet others from the university research sector.

I’m unique, in that my innovation insight, gained through the last 15 years of private consulting and speaking, also comes from the reality that prior to that, I spent 15 years with the world’s largest accounting firm, with a client base in industry, health care, government, retail, consumer goods, financial service and insurance, and many more.

I’m still a professional Chartered Accountant ; though I don’t practice accounting on a daily basis, I still provide deep insight into the financial issues that are increasingly important in the high velocity economy. That reality has boosted my credibility in the minds of many of the Fortune 1000 clients who book me.

Why is this so? I often talk about innovation in the context of the ability of an organization possessing the agility necessary to respond to a world of rapid change. Innovation is not just a design issue; it is an operational, structural and analysis-capability issue.

In one of my regular columns for CAMagazine, which goes to about 110,000 Chartered Accountants, I wrote of the criticality of instant insight and what an organization needs to survive today’s fast paced markets: ” immediate customized detailed insight into what is working in the field and what is not; where the product introduction is succeeding and where it is failing; data on regional breakouts of market success and factors that could help replicate that success. They needed financial numbers, real numbers — important numbers.”

There are tremendous opportunities for innovation in the way an organization deals with market and operational rapidity. As I note in the column: “Call it financial insight for market rapidity. Shouldn’t that be the goal of the financial systems we are putting in place?”

The article goes on to tell a great story of how a US manufacturing organization used the concept of deep-insight to deal with a very unique market challenge. I still think it is one of the greatest innovation success stories I have ever seen.

Innovation = insight. It’s an important concept, and one well worth pondering.

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