Hello World!

September 6, 2007 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Welcome to our first blog post. We hope you find our musings interesting enough to pass on, share and otherwise ruminate over to your heart’s content. Primarily, we will be writing about innovation, but not in a general sense. Rather, we will be discussing innovation from the point of view of creating competitive advantage within the corporate environment, especially professional services firms.

Paradoxically, those corporations you would think have the greatest financial capacity to innovate, the large ones, seem to be the least innovative. They are frequently weighed down by beurocracy, with the majority of their employees encumbered by administrative processes, barely leaving them time to breathe and wonder.

How often do you get home and realise that the day was end-to-end admin – no time for creating anything of value to either your employer or indeed yourself.

In The Age newspaper today, Joshua Frydenberg makes comment that there needs to be “three bold shifts”, one of which was “a revolution in business’ approach to innovation. Companies need to exercise the apparent paradox of less caution but more discipline in the creation and development of next-generation business models.”

And therein lies the difficulty.

Larger companies seem determined to categorise us (both functionally and via un-usurpable pay grades), pop us into cubicles like battery chickens and numb our creative sides with tedious repetition and then wonder why smaller companies “steal their cheese”. Of course, their common response is to buy smaller innovative companies, and mergers/acquisitions have been shown to fail most of the time.

Would it not make more sense to free up the minds of existing employees who know the clients intimately (or at least should) and set them along a structured path of innovation?

We are not talking about letting people run wild, but rather give them the freedom to soar within a well-articulated space. Even Chinese authorities, in a nation run from the top down “are pouring money and political will into becoming an innovation economy” says Peter Ford of The Christian Science Monitor. Apparently, they are finding it tough to make the transition from agrarian to innovative society. But when they do, there will be 1.2 billion people devoted to finding new ways to compete and win.

Even Accenture, an acomplished consultancy firm recently bought another firm devoted to innovation. To win, we must beat an opponent and to do so requires both skills and a plan to deploy those skills.

In a mature economy especially, where services and products are increasingly commoditised, those skills had better be inclusive of an innovative mindset and practice.

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Entry filed under: Innovation.

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