Businesses around the world are more connected than ever before. Just ask any company how many smartphones they have, how many tablets and laptops they have, how many virtual meetings are held with clients, and how many emails, text and video messages are sent and received. Oh, and we haven’t even talked about the use of social technologies. Being connected is probably the most powerful influencer of innovation. Sometimes I really feel badly for the IT folks, their jobs have become a whole lot more complicated over the past decade.
Immediacy And Accuracy
The immediacy and accuracy of real-time data transfer has become the norm. We now have the ability to share and connect with people, groups, companies and even cultures around the world pretty much instantaneously. The quality and ease of use of today’s digital channels and their cool features are rapidly on the rise and many industries are getting in on the game because they know their future may depend on it. Online learning, MOOCs and the global reach of it have changed the face of learning. Mobile technologies, cloud based storage, computing, medicine and space have continued to amaze us year after year. Even the brick and mortar dealership model in the automobile industry has been shaken to the core with Tesla.
The list could go on. Some form of innovation touches every aspect of our life. The weird thing is, I haven’t even touched on drone technology yet.
Required To Be Competitive
In my opinion, innovation is absolutely required to be competitive today, tomorrow and in 5 years. Managing that expectation and deliverable is critical for sustainable growth to occur. In the interest of innovation and creating sustainable growth, I spoke with Kevin Wells, Executive Vice President, Global Market Development for Reach Analytics. Kevin’s comments were quite telling when discussing how to predict innovation for growth purposes.
Question: How do you predict innovation, and also leverage predictive analytics so that your business can use that information to create growth?
Kevin Wells: Predicting innovation has always been part science, part black magic and part luck. The world of data gives us the ability to maybe leverage the science and luck parts of that equation a little more. We are a predictive analytics firm so we have to eat our own dog food so to speak. We look at the trends the data uncovers and then we look at the variables that are more difficult to quantify. And then we make what we think are good business decisions. But they are based on facts more than gut. Big data uncovers things humans would overlook — if you know how to look for them.
Kevin is absolutely right in saying “Big data uncovers things humans would overlook.” The challenge is how to predict it, harness it and leverage its strengths to forge ahead in the right direction. The trick is determining the right formula for knowing how immediate and how accurate is correct. There is a fine line between just right and a complete failure. That line may determine whether innovation exists or not.
If immediacy and accuracy are critical for innovation to occur, who’s managing these components in businesses and why is innovation management so important to compete?As I continue to read through blogs and forums, I see that only the big companies are investing in innovation officers. I also see that start-ups may not have that type of position on the payroll, however, they are more inclined to hire people that have a proven innovation pedigree. Does this mean start-ups are better positioned than much bigger brands? Hmm. That just might be the case.
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