The Promise of Platforms and Systems to Enable Long Term Growth

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An article published this week by consulting firm KPMG discussed the critical culture elements necessary for innovation and long term growth. Some key takeaways are:

  • The Leader and their leadership team must have a commitment to innovate for growth. Meaning that to be successful, and lower the risk of failure with innovation, the CEO should be PERSONALLY involved, either with direct participation or very public and very visible continuous support of the Innovation efforts in both word and deed. The article indicates that in most successful organizations, the executive team drives or at minimum sponsors the effort. We see this in our own work and statistics with our clients. An engaged CEO and leadership team is 85% more successful then a bottom up effort, with a sole team member trying to push up stream.
  • There is a limit to one single person’s ability to innovate. Especially in mid-market companies with a craftsman founder at the helm, or in a culture where the founder is or was directly driving the company. So, it’s necessary to provide education for the rest of the organization on the What, Why and How of Innovation. This provides a common language to innovate with a ton of diversity and stimulus to scale and grow the capability.
  • The talent make up of your team is important. Boldness and the ability to listen to customers is critical. Team members need a deep understanding of the customer. Not only to understand what customers like, don’t like or want to change about your offerings, but listening skills as to what is not said. The ability of connecting the dots to get ahead of customers and entice them to buy something they didn’t know they needed.

We are learning, at a very rapid rate, the importance of how platforms and systems are necessary to engage the company leadership and enable the employees to innovate for long term growth.

An easy way to think about a platform is as a technology that enables the creation of products, processes and services that support a present or future benefit for an end customer.

A popular example is Uber, a technology platform that requests cars as transportation, which has quickly commoditized and de-regulated the personal transportation industry.

Platforms are social networks with a purpose. The purpose of delivering value. Value for the end customer.

Systems were defined by Deming as “a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. The aim for any system should be that everybody gains, not just one part of the system at the expense of any other. In a business context this includes shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees, the community and the environment.”

There are some key questions about your company platform and system to educate, innovate and operate your company.

The questions help to identify the opportunities to learn, improve and grow.

Some basic questions are always: What? Why? and How?

What is the Aim of the company (it’s mission) or project?

Where are you looking to go?

What is Innovation? How would you know if you see it?

Why do you innovate?

How do you innovate?

What is the education platform for your teams to learn?

What is the collaboration platform for your teams to share learnings and collaborate on ideas?

What is the project management pipeline platform that captures your employees ideas that allows them to collaborate and build the idea further, problem solve the idea challenges, and accelerate your speed to market?

Do you have an operating system for your business that links your strategy to tactics?

Are the actions of the team, and projects they are working on aligned to the strategy of your company?

Can you take direct measurements from the data in your operating system platform that help you to guide the company and course correct and pivot your project or strategy as you learn?

If you would like to learn more about WHAT, WHY, and HOW with any of these questions, we are happy to share what we have learned, and what we do in our own business and with our clients to keep focused on long term growth.

Reach out to us here for a lunch and learn, a 4 hour express session, or a 1 to 1.5 Day Executive Program.

We will share the high-level process, methods, and can prove with REAL data, what companies need to do to create the culture to innovate with platforms and systems to enable long term growth.

About The Innovation Garage

The Innovation Garage is a business Innovation Firm driving long-term growth of companies and non-profits, from start-up to the fortune 50.

If you’d like to learn to more about our approach to innovation education and building business innovation operating systems for our clients contact us here.

You can also learn more, request real world deployment case studies or schedule a demo of WHAT, WHY, & HOW.

Check out our website To See Our Schedule for Upcoming Education Programs.

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