The innovation landscape enabled by emerging technologies arguably is the most opportunistic in history. That is why today many organizations with progressive managers set a stretch goal of sustainable innovation over the next three to five years. Many of these organizations have come to recognize they must look to the future and the power and opportunities innovation and application of emerging technologies can bring to their organizations.
Find out more as Kevin Coleman discusses theses issues in more depth below:
Innovation, Strategy and Technology – a fearsome threesome!
After a bit of basic analysis, many organizations have come to fear and are now anticipating disruption brought about by innovation enabled by emerging technologies. They limited their disruptive threat analysis to those that are likely to have a significant impact on their organization’s existing business models.
INSIGHTS: A study by online marketing researcher Lab42 found that 84 percent of customers felt it is somewhat important or very important for a company they purchase products/services from to be innovative.
Organizations are beginning to adopt a new executive management philosophy that openly encourages the development of new products and/or services based on new and emerging technology in addition to the traditional approach of proven demand. Given that change, organizations must develop an innovative business strategy that is enabled by emerging technologies.
While affordability and fear will be two of the major influencing factors of innovation and adoption of emerging technologies in business, government and industry worldwide, some organizations put those factors based on an assessment of business model extinction. Most traditional organizations use a competitive advantage based model examining the current product and services offered by their top competitors.
It is clear that innovation goes far beyond just spending money in research and development. One executive attending one of my recent emerging technology and strategy briefings said, “To sum up what you just presented what you are saying is that today, organizations must develop their strategy to continuously evolve as these emerging technologies rapidly advance, grow and become mainstream.” Another attendee followed up and said, “We must also include an ongoing assessment of all the risks and opportunities that accompany these emerging technologies and changes to our industries.” Here are the ten technologies discussed:
Innovative Emerging Technologies
Autonomous Car Industry – Artificial Intelligence
– Robotics – Wearable Technology
– Internet of Things – Virtual and Augmented Reality
– 3d Printing – Digital Health
– Cryptocurrencies/ Blockchain – Flexible Electronic Circuits/Boards
Several strategy and technology professionals feel as I do and expressed those feelings stating it is much more difficult these days to keep up with the emerging technologies that are currently and will continue to substantially impact the majority of organizations and nearly every business and technology professional. Executives are beginning to prepare their organization for what has been called the “fourth industrial revolution.”
Many organizations have begun to launch “innovation centers” in an effort to get ahead of the technological changes that are likely to be brought about by the emergence, adoption and advancement of the ten technologies listed above. It is that best practices models have not yet evolved in these technologies because of the early stage of development that they are currently.
However, given the projected level of disruption that awaits all of us, organizations must at least position themselves to rapidly adopt emerging technologies and adapt to the changes they are likely to bring. That is where many organizations are running into difficulty!
A Shortage of Innovators?
A CFO survey by Deloitte found that CFOs cite expected shortages of innovators, specifically in the areas of “products and services, including engineers, researchers, developers, and designers.” It struck me as being odd that CFOs were concerned about the shortage of innovators. Doesn’t it strike you as off for a corporate numbers guy to feel that way?
There are a number of reasons behind this general feeling. A LinkedIn jobs search on “innovation strategy” brought back over 32,000 results! I was awe-struck with that number! While not every one of those results is likely to fit into the context behind the search, clearly there are a significant number of job postings that includes those words.
Early innovative technology adopters often time can steer and influence their local market and potentially their primary industry segment. That positions them to be seen as a thought-leader in their desired segment and can drive business.
Program and project managers must prepare themselves for the coming changes. They must not just understand the basics of the emerging technologies driven by much of this change, but why these technologies are so disruptive. Seek out and find a champion of change, get behind and support them, and have them verbally empower your team and talk about the need to keep pace with change. In addition, program and project managers must get over the fear of the disruptive change and help their teams deal with this issue as well.
Here is a hint – use lunch and learn webinars. Many of them are online and reasonably inexpensive (seek ones offered at my project management.com).
The future driven by technological advancement demands change. By far, the best thing all of us can do is begin to prepare for the changes that are likely. It is clear that in recent eras of innovation, we do not put sufficient time, and effort into the preparatory stages.
Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. We should get future focused and prepare ourselves for change. Stop and think for a moment. How prepared are you for the changes that will likely accompany the ten emerging technologies list above? Hopefully this article is your first step in a long journey to advance your career through continuous learning about the projected innovations that will likely impact all of us.
Project Management Coverage by Kevin G. Coleman – All Rights Reserved.
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