At Rush, we work every day with some of the world's top-brands in bringing new innovations to market. One observation after delivering hundreds of successful projects is that some organisations are better equipped with adopting new technologies and on-boarding the innovation compared to others
According to the below written article on 'Martec's Law', technological change has always been ahead of organisational change. Orgs in the past had a chance of keeping up, mainly through developing organisation agility. In our experience this was often done by designing flexible and dynamic organisation structures, limiting long-term technology contracts, and developing M&A strategies to move in and out of markets.
We all know that current and future technology maturity and adoption cycles are shortening. The pace that new technology leaves the lab and lands in the hands of consumer is unimaginable for the next 5-10 years. In this time period, it is critical to note that designing an agile organisation won't be enough as agility alone doesn't give organisations enough of a boost to stay close to technological change. How do organisations stay close to the exponential technological change?
Well, according to Scott Brinker, organisations have to be 'reset' every now and then to catchup with present-day technology trends. For people my age, think of this as kind of like giving your computer a major upgrade (RAM, processor etc) every couple of years. So what are the various ways to do that? From our experience, the best way to achieve this reset is by adopting one of the below 'outside in' strategies.
1) Joint Ventures to give birth to new startups. Frequently we come across customers who are willing to explore a new innovation opportunity via a JV, especially where the tech risk is high and we have to go to uncharted waters together. What's better then sharing the upside and bringing complimentary core competencies together to create something new.
2) Startup Partnerships with best-of-breed B2B and B2C startups. Startups that are bringing new products and services to market often are stifled by not having strategic distribution partnerships. If this is where your organisation can add value, especially where the technology is of interest, a partnership might be great avenue for bringing new business models to market. It can also go a long way in enhancing your brand and innovation agenda.
3) 'Big-i' Innovation at Arm's-length creating arm's length fast-paced units. Finally, of course, a tried and tested way of delivering an organisation 'reset' is through creating arm's-length units that explore, deliver and scale adjacent market opportunities. The successful models here almost always ensure that capital is starved, however ownership of strategy, operations and outcomes is usually at the unit's mercy, i.e Autonomy is key.
Of course in the future, technology in itself might provide interesting ways to keep close to the curve, but in the mean time, it's up to management and boards. Should you take the leap and enable 'resets' in your organisation?
larger organizations may be able to systematically spin up small, intrapreneurial “start-up” teams, within an incubator-like structure, without continuously rocking the operations of the parent company