Today, enterprises are absolutely convinced of the role of IT. In matured organizations, IT is no more seen as another cost centre, rather the narrative has shifted to ‘what new opportunities can IT create’. With the onslaught of emerging digital technologies, the focus is more on driving new ways of doing business, both at the operational and the strategic levels.
We are all living in a VUCA world. We must prepare our organizations, within and extended, to cope with the uncertainties, complexities and ambiguities, the new imperatives that are becoming highly prevalent. The times are quite challenging and without finding responses to the new imperatives, survival may be at stake.
Organizations must innovate to survive and thrive, and one way of looking at innovation is to deal with the three imperatives of the VUCA world. What is Innovation? To me, implementable ideas that help business leaders create right responses to the emerging challenges is Innovation. There are three broad genres that these innovative ideas must belong to – simplicity, predictability, and capacity to consume data. Let me take the opportunity to briefly define each one of them.
The first point Simplicity. It is the antidote to the growing complexity in business strategies, organization structures and operational enablers like IT. Simple ideas are succeeding all around us (think of Uber, AirBnB, and Apple) as simplicity brings in the right connect with the consumers and efficiency of communication in organizations. Similarly, simplicity is required in the operational fabric, think of the complexities in the IT environments and the difficulties it poses to the construct of agility and competitive responsiveness.
Second is predictability. There is a growing experience of business leaders that initiatives undertaken by them often produce very different results that what has been intended. It may range from producing no results to producing quite high yet very different results. The unintended consequences are quite high. Ideas that can help individuals and teams to either reduce unpredictability or take them in the right stride are in great demand.
Third is the capacity to consume data. A lot can be driven by individuals and teams in terms of simplicity and predictability if the massive volumes of data generated in organizational systems can be consumed and made sense of. A lot of data is lying under-utilized and under-acted and more data is getting generated with each passing moment. Ideas that enhances people’s capacity to consume, make sense of and act upon data are very relevant and needed.
I believe, if business leaders can focus on these three imperatives and exploit technology to find appropriated responses, they will innovate in the real sense.
The initiative INDID by Coeus Age is certainly a simple yet powerful idea to bring multiple perspective on Innovation on the same page. I am delighted to share my opinion on the inaugural edition of the INDID quarterly and I wish the initiative all the very best.