Episode 13: Innovation with Bain and Co's Ed Olson-Morgan
ADAPT@Bain helps you fuel innovation and accelerate transformation while also helping you build your own in-house abilities. Bain & Company's Advanced Digital and Product Team, includes experts in human-centered design, prototyping, software engineering, digital marketing and advanced analytics.
What is Innovation? (1:01)
It's very broad. Not always disruptive or extraordinary.
--Process and/or human-based.
--Doing something different in an impactful and measureable way.
Nurturing Innovation at a Large Corporation (1:45)
Takes an appetite and empowerment for risk-taking in the organization; especially risks that might not work out.
--Innovation is built over time like good architecture. Many times this is a long series of small steps and achievements (innovations).
--How do you find and motivate innovators in a large organization? Cross discipline, focusing on a smaller scale for each innovation, listening and empowering small innovations when you see them (as a leader).
Process of Innovation (5:41)
Where do you start? Picking something on which you want to move the needle (especially a pain point tied to revenue). Then figuring out how to take action and get a result early on. 6-12-18 weeks for the first win(s). Create process that generates excitement and tangibility.
--Innovation roadmap? Good idea, not? Good tool but needs to adjust as the process executes over time. E.g. evolve the roadmap as necessary. Need to be flexible and adapative.
--Pivoting isn't giving up, it's letting go.
--Keeping the why in plain sight is critical. The goal, the why needs to remain strong.
--Innovation Side Effects: Keep an eye out for low effort, high-value process tweaks or quick wins.
--Innovation isn't just data collection. Innovation needs to deliver value immediately and then certainly, accelerate that over time.
--Nurturing a mindset of innovation at all times is key to building this muscle into the culture of a large organization.
--Many techniques: kaizen and continuous improvement
Innovation: Releasing fast or slow? (16:30)
--GE or Bell Labs vs Amazon release pacing.
--In some ways, both need to be held in balance.
--This question is mostly a result of the immense acceleration in the pace of the ability to release innovations and products. We can provision tech so quickly now.
Downside of Speed (20:40)
--The ability to move fast has allowed too many bad ideas to flourish and poor products to see the light of day.
--Not always good to move fast and break things.
--Organizational discipline helps filter bad stuff before release.
The biggest opportunities for enterprises (22:06)
--To innovate internally at the same rate at which they're trying to innovate externally.
--Equip your innovative teams internally; improve employee tools
--"What can we make self-service?"
--Embracing open-source tools.
--Be very careful, very judicious with build vs buy decisions.
Mistakes are enterprises making when thinking about innovation and tech (27:27)
--Tech-first, early-adopter thinking. Need to identify the jobs to be done first and then fit the tools/process to the use cases.
--Avoid the big bang innovation/change. One big bet/solution rarely produces organizational value as envisioned.
--MUST earn the right to complexity.
How to Thoughtful Innovation (33:20)
--People-first, small wins. Innovation really is a human problem first and foremost.
--Failing a few times and learning the lessons along the way.
--Always ask: What are the human needs involved?
--Picking the right tech to solve the problem is critical.
--Incentive structures in large organizations get in the way, too. Innovation for the sake of innovation is bad. Full stop.
--Many times, innovation is simply taking ideas/tools from one context and applying them to a new context.
--Timing and the supporting ecosystem is important for launching innovations.
--Downfall of RIM/BlackBerry and the transition to iPhone.
What's next in 2019 and Beyond (41:50)
--Few months: see how companies respond to immediate changes in the economy as staggering economic growth plateaus. Impact on business models.
--React Native and the impact on app development. A few years out: excited to see the impacts of how easy it will be to write and launch a mobile/web app. How will freed-up developers be utilized post this.
--Low/no-code platforms for data science, ML, and AI.