Part 1 of the two-part series “Digital Innovation Factory”
It’s all too easy to fall into the hype of innovation. But unless it is adequately defined and controlled, innovation could be anything that is new – whether an idea, method, process, device, or business model – even if it doesn’t distinguish the business between a leader and a follower.
No matter how your organization views innovation, the pressure to create “something new” that impacts products or services is high. When confronted with the choice between innovating and ceasing to exist, innovation inevitably wins as a priority of necessity and permanent focus, not an option to address when there is free time. In fact, most global executives believe they must continue to innovate as current business models risk being replaced by disruptive innovation.
The importance of innovation for competitive advantage has increased as digital transformation becomes the norm, especially for businesses in the manufacturing and distribution industries. As the velocity of innovation increases across technologies such as mobile, Internet, computing, and embedded solutions, demand for continuous innovation in other sectors has heightened as businesses fight for market leadership and success. And now the pace of innovation has accelerated even more as the Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain move organizations from digital transformation to digital intelligence.
Escalating risk and obsolescence require continuous innovation
To claim a business and market leadership position, periodic or one-time innovation is not enough. Continuous innovation with the latest technologies is imperative to stay current with the processes and experiences that employees and customers demand.
In some cases, global executives are committed to innovation but not satisfied with their innovation performance. This reality serves as an excellent reminder that a self-correcting structure, which includes measurement and the flexibility to change, is required to identify and implement innovations.
Considering the low satisfaction among executives when it comes to innovation, a factory setup – which includes defined processes, connected systems, and one source of truth – emerges as the ideal self-correcting model. This factory approach inherently enables the repeatability, structure, measurability, root-cause visibility, continuous improvement, and cost optimization that businesses need to succeed.
The digital innovation factory blends creativity and execution with structure
Delivering innovation that drives industry disruption, attention-grabbing customer experience, or a higher purpose for global social change calls for a mix of unrelenting creativity and fast and flawless execution.
By leveraging the power and style of factory operations, businesses can be well-positioned to optimize innovation efforts and set the pace for market domination. Though it is difficult to create an assembly line designed for innovation, establishing a reliable platform for ideation, collection, and implementation of ideas goes a long way when working towards business success.
For a real-world example of fast innovation, see how Daimler AG Is Shortening Innovation Speed From Days To Hours.