The problem with fads in business, particularly technology fads, is that they often catch us out. As CEOs we’re often left asking some tough questions while people scramble to answer us. And we’re being pressured by the board, investors, shareholders, and journalists. Everyone’s suddenly getting ERP? Or data warehouses? Or business intelligence? How about analytics? Or digitalisation? Or disruption? What are we doing about it?

These buzzwords come along every so often and we all have to scramble to get our businesses on board. We’re told that if we don’t we’ll go bust. Or our competitors will leave us in the dust.

Elements of truth among the fear mongering

That may be a lot of fear mongering by technology vendors but there are also powerful elements of truth to the statements, depending on the context. Some businesses really do need to digitalise. Banks, for example, are under serious pressure. Logging companies perhaps less so. There are also arguments and counter-arguments to just how much these businesses may need to digitalise. A bank may need to deploy digital systems across the entire business while a logging company can do just fine with a lot less.

The issue is that, no matter the buzzword or the fad or the context, there will always be a new one. How do we see them coming so that we can prepare, properly, beforehand? How do we give ourselves enough time to have our people understand what the trend is, what it’s likely impact will be on our business, and what we can do about it if we, in fact, need to do anything at all?

We’ve always known the answer but not always how to achieve it

The answer has been with us for decades, centuries even. All we must do is develop the capability and capacity to innovate, consistently and regularly. We have to build our ability to manage innovation in our businesses.

In this digital age of the fourth Industrial Revolution how we foster that capability has changed slightly. We now need to support it with organisational capabilities encapsulated in the tools, people, and processes that run our companies. By intervening through training, by cultivating experience, and by empowering our people with the tools to get the job done, we can actually manipulate our ability to manage innovation.

Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all technology solution for every business requirement out there, so there’s no out-of-the-box solution to developing your organisation’s innovation ability.

We have worked with executives and managers to understand their current capabilities, designed specific interventions and implemented those in tune with their operations, to develop their innovation management capacities and keep them on steam. Talk to me and let’s see how we can do the same for you.