Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Innovation requires Execution for Success.

One of the biggest challenges facing organizations is their inability to execute. Organizations that focus on agility and execution across business units and functions - are more successful that those that are locked in analysis paralysis.

The levers to enhance execution capacity include: information systems flexibility and adaptiveness to meet changing business needs, corporate priorities clarity and keeping people focused to drive results vs shifting gears, ensuring robust talent management and employee engagement practices are in place.

What is a killer in many Fortune 500s we work with is the bureaucracy and process burden that distract people from being focused on the real work - of selling and delivering new products and services.

We have made some balancing act mistakes.

The recent ending economic boom drove companies to invest heavily in leadership development practices has often left middle managers with more limited training opportunities as they were focused on the nuts and bolts and often keeping the lights and wiring working in many organizations.

While many leaders are leaping into conversations in organizations -- are they doing sufficient execution heavy lifting to demonstrate real value to the bottom line?

What should you have your execution innovation eye attentive to?

1.) Ensuring you can spot new opportunities. Thinking like a Venture Capitalist is always a good skill to develop in your workforce. Real time data, formal reports supplemented with direct observations from the field widely shared across the organizations is key. Getting out to visit customers, talk to new employees, retiring employees. Always have the alert on to learn and grow is critical. Complacency and status quo is a killer.

2.)Ensure operational levers are well greased. Ensuring your organizational hydraulics - processes are translating into clear priorities into cascading group and indvidual objectives is critial to align the organization. How often does management review these goals with their employees... setting them and looking at them once a year or 2x /year in review cycles is simply no longer enough. Real time iterative learning is needed which means managers need real time conversations linked to online priority management.

3.) Reward for performance and not mediocrity. When I was at Xerox as a Full time employee this is something the culture did very well... sometimes too well for sales people.. always recognizing the service and administration resources is always something organizations need to balance out between the revenue producers and the revenue service enabling structures. Incentives need to be smartly balanced between the long and short term.

4.)Core Values that are memorable and believable. Having values with teeth is important. Too many core values sound the same from company to company and often employees cannot remember what they even are... and often even C level executives are caught exposed.. Try it some time in your board meetings too. Clearly articulated values that underpin agility and value execution are critical. Ensuring the right people are promoted along the way that really are role model in core values.

5.)Ensure you are building an organization of constant focused pressure vs heoric efforts. Senior leaders who clearly set clear priorities and inject continual pressure, rather than set and fight fires.

In summary, five high five requirements to help get your organization's innovation needs driving forward to achieve execution succes..

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Google hunting iPhone and Blackberry customers

Google has now entered the mobile telephony market and is unleashing another disruptive innovation. The Google Nexus phone is positioned against the Apple iPhone and RIM's blackberry.

Google is unleashing a tremendous amount of encouragement into the development community to build innovative apps for its Android Operating System, an open source operating system.

Apple has a very controlled approach in terms of carefully vetting which apps get into the Apple store, while Google exercises minimal control. Their approach is based on the abundance theory.. translated as "have fun" We will check back with you later." Creativity and openness oozes out of Google's strategy.

Developers can get started by going to (android.com/market).

Google is putting an interesting spider web together, dropping different pieces in front of the enterprise with little barriers.

As cloud computing increases in acceptance, enterprises will start to look at the costs of Software licences and evaluate the value given increased operating costs of IT infrastructure continue to be high and the need to secure cost savings to re-invest in the future will become more acute over the next ten years.

With Apple, Microsoft and RIM in the proprietary software business, and Google positoning itself in the open source market.

As developers are jumping on the Google Nexus jet plane, the dynamics will shift over time in the market.

Although the odds seem to be stacked against Google, one factor that none of us can predict is the creativity of start up organizations who see only new possibilities in supporting Google's dream.
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