Navigating people, innovation and data in a connected world
In the world which is “always on” connected people are using the power of information to drive prices down and service up, and their expectations for an outstanding experience only increases, along with their choices. To keep up with this connected world, organisations need to transform unprecedented data complexity into operational simplicity, whilst generating rich insights.
General Electric CEO Jack Welch once said “If change is happening on the outside faster than on the inside, the end is in sight”
Most organisations are structured for stability not change. This new connected society is giving way to a new consumer centred world in which companies will prosper by developing relationships with their consumers while adapting and responding to their needs. Standing out in what some call the ‘sea of sameness’ becomes critically important as we are now all playing in a global playground.
To stand out executives are recognising that their organisations must become as connected as their consumers. Most admit their organisations are not equal to the challenge and trying to understand how they can adapt to doing business by connecting people, ideas and data; these will become the three pillars of growth and prosperity in this connected world.
In Australia, some industry sectors are diminishing, yet others are flourishing. The economic, business, and jobs landscape is shifting. Government, business and people need to shift with it, or risk being left behind.
In Arthur Shelley’s book ‘Knowledge Succession’ he discusses the importance of creating and maintaining a knowledge base that keeps an organisation at its optimal performance, and why a highly interdependent modern environment requires us to be in a constant state of sensemaking to perceive how we are tracking, and how to manage the emergent changes thrust upon us.
While nothing is changing, you can continue to do what you have always done, but when everything is changing, it becomes challenging to navigate your way
Managing change in the uptake, using new ways of doing things, translating ideas into innovations, and moving an organisation forward, is a complex task. These processes of change interlock and decisions to focus on only one element will limit the potential for change. Ideas and innovative thinking are the building blocks for change, but they do not by themselves guarantee transformation.
People, ideas and data, the three pillars of prosperity start to segment the basis for change. These three pillars are dependent on each other and organisations cannot be successful without all three pillars holding up their house.
There are four dimensions comprising change: the substance, the scale and scope, the politics, and the timeframe. There are also four triggers to change, which comprise: technology, primary task (main area), people, and administrative structure. In Australia, the work of Richard Badham has rekindled interest in modern socio-technical approaches through claiming that it is not only necessary to address the interdependent and interpenetrating nature of the technical and social, but also the change process through which these elements are reconfigured.
Innovation is the culmination of people and ideas. It is the process of translating ideas into useful new products, processes and service. Organisational creativity often refers to the generation of novel and useful ideas, whereas organisational innovation is used to describe the realisation of those ideas.
And now last but not least, the data. Collecting data in an organisation is not necessarily using that data to benefit the organisation. The ‘golden nugget’ is the information that data provides and how it leads to better decision making. In various surveys, it has been identified that organisations do not know what to do with the data, and how to connect data across the various applications in their organisation, even knowing where that data resides is a challenge. When you find the nugget, seeing the glow of the golden light that shows you the way to better decisions, is where you need and want to be.
The situation has changed with the advent of the Internet of Things, combined with Data Analytics and Big Data. Traditionally, implementing these solutions required technologies that could analyse vast amounts of data and provide reports, usually produced by the IT group. Due to the manual nature of this task, it would take weeks to get the information, and usually miss the window of critical decision making, because this information was not available in real-time.
A dream has come true! After several decades the technology finally emerged that could transform the concept of Product Collaboration, Manufacturing Optimisation, Predictive Maintenance, Supply Chain Optimisation, and many other efficiency gains within an organisation. It is a breakthrough in the efficiency of production systems, in the safety of life-critical systems, and in the availability of data to work, live and play in a way that is becoming the norm, rather than the exception.
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