The Path to Innovation

Fast Company rates Amazon as the No.1 Innovative company in 2017 ( Not surprisingly the other nine in the list of the top 10 are Google, Apple, Uber, Apple, Snap, Facebook, Netflix, Twilio, Chobani and Spotify in that order. It goes without saying that Innovation is the very lifeblood in these enterprises. This is exemplified as Bezos puts it, using the “divine discontent of the customer as a North Star,” Amazon is energizing a culture of relentless progress.

The key to an enterprise progress is seen as elevating the aspirations of the customer that effectively contributes to growth.

The entire business model of Twilio is built around the context of "Unified Communications Platform" that large and small enterprise customers find so hard to construct internally and manage it seamlessly across device, channel and medium that services their customers. It is therefore important for Twilio to not just be resting on its initial idea but constantly retaining its maturity at Excellence in delivering to Customers the platform that keeps it relevant to the customer cause.

The first and foremost step in the direction of Innovation that most enterprise aspirants need to take is to understand that Innovation is no longer a 'Eureka Moment or Event' but a 'Continuous Process' that involves everyone that the enterprise is connected with.

In a recent conversation with a Senior Executive of a major US multinational, with a great sense of authority and forbearance he expressed that 'Innovation is Sexy & it is not for us for now. We are more focused on getting other priorities in order'. He is wrong and somebody needs to tell him that. Because he is not running his private enterprise but is a mere employee of a Publicly funded corporation whose Value he has no right to destroy. Especially in the digital context in which we find ourselves today, no matter which part of the globe we might be, enterprises have to Innovate everyday and every time and that is not a privilege but rather an imperative for successful corporations.

There is a lot of noise about the Culture of Innovation. But Culture doesn't descend from heaven. It needs to be created and practiced by the people in the connected enterprise of this modern digital economy. And this requires the maturity to understand that the context of digital demands a constant Simplification and Modernization of the Customer Interface and Integration with the Enterprise and its Systems to succeed in Innovation. Please refer to the above illustration where:

  • Simplification demands the Engineering / Reengineering of the Process to derive Roles driven Customer Experience.

  • Modernization demands a seamless means to cooperate and collaborate with enterprise legacy systems without compromising the Customer Engagement & Experience while also not passing on the burden of the costs to the Customer.

Innovation is nothing if it cannot succeed commercially in the context of time and economy. In the current digital economy there is an additional challenge to massify personally every single engagement and experience with a customer assuring Quality, Service and Flexibility as well.

The enterprise needs to learn how to connect its Thinking with Action in the marketplace as the above illustration suggests. The departure from the past that demands a fundamental transformation in Culture is the need for Customer Immersion and Involvement right from the Conceptualizing thru Engineering, Industrialization and Commercialization.

The cornerstone of Innovation in the digital context is the integration of Business (Physical + AR + VR) in Cloud, Digital IOT with AI/ML and Information Technologies (Enterprise & Legacy Systems) styled with Customer Adaptation that assures Risk and catalyzes growth through the process of making a significant contribution to life itself.

We are at a significant cusp in the journey of life in our different capacities of Personal, Professional and Emotional as Individuals, Enterprises and Societies. There are lessons to be learnt from the previous Cultural Renaissance and Industrial Revolutions. Because this Digital Revolution rolls on top of them and significantly changes the way in which people on this planet will exist and thrive in the future. The top ten innovators of 2017 mentioned above are also just placing their toes in the Ocean of Potential Possibilities but they have a head start and they are capitalizing on the headwinds already blowing in the direction of the future. Can anyone afford not to be inspired enough to take the steps in that right direction NOW?

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