Fred Isbell: How do you see innovation adoption affecting our customers’ daily business today and in the future? What are key trends to consider?
Michel Sérié: Besides the need to manage innovation beyond the traditional R&D department, there are two emerging major trends that revolve around the future of work and the impact of digitization.
Digitization, for example, demands capabilities that are more dynamic. This concept is based on the assumption that companies must adapt to external pressure and require more flexible and dynamic answers to do so.
The principle of dynamic capabilities revolves around four things:
Knowledge and innovation management – Sensing changes externally, and combining it with internal knowledge and creativity to act on it
Process and IT flexibility – Changing the way things are done in a much more flexible way
Internal cultural resilience – Nurturing a culture of creativity, fault tolerance, open criticism, awareness, change, flexibility, and involved leadership
Workforce flexibility – Enabling fast insights and innovation by creating tailored, short-term teams with diverse, yet relevant, skills and led by participating leaders
Fred Isbell: Fundamentally, the early and late majority are different from innovators and early adopters in terms of innovation? How do you address them? And what about laggards?
Michel Sérié: We should consider different attitudes toward innovation adoption and adapt our approach as appropriate. We also need to proactively engage in activities that help organizations enable and foster the culture and capabilities that support innovation, generating increased willingness to capture opportunities from innovation.
Laggards tend to wait for refined, stable, and proven products. This is fair, especially for companies that do not focus on differentiated products and business processes. However, the ability and capabilities needed to innovate is also based on cultural questions and mindsets. This is something that needs to be developed. The ability for a company to react to market opportunities and evolving trends is dependent on its willingness and capability to innovate. The desire to enhance innovation capabilities also raises the demand for a flexible IT platform as an enabler.
This is the discussion we need to drive.
Fred Isbell: Thank you, Michel, for your time. We look forward to the exciting times ahead in design thinking and innovation management.
Michel Sérié is the global head of the Service Innovation & Design Thinking Center of Excellence at SAP AG. Michel holds global responsibility for service innovation within the SAP Services organization. Michel started his career at SAP France in 1989 as a financial consultant. In 1994, he ran and grew the services business in the French-speaking part of Switzerland before being part of the founding management team of an SAP-owned startup addressing business-to-business marketplaces and portals, which eventually grew to more than 200 employees.
Fred Isbell is senior marketing director for SAP Support and Services Marketing for Thought Leadership, Demand Management, and Planning for the worldwide Services & Support Marketing team. A 15-year veteran of SAP, he formerly led SAP Global Services Marketing Field Engagement, the North American SAP Services regional marketing team and SMB Channels Marketing for the SAP Small and Midsize Business team. Prior to SAP, he held a variety of senior solutions, services, and partner marketing roles with Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Fred is an honors graduate of Yale University with a BA in Economics and Political Science, and has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he was a Fuqua Scholar.
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About Fred Isbell
Fred Isbell worked at SAP for nearly 19 years in senior roles in SAP Marketing. He is an experienced, results- and goal-oriented senior marketing executive with broad and extensive experience & expertise in high technology and marketing spanning nearly 30 years. He has a BA from Yale and an MBA from the Duke Fuqua School of Business.