It’s more about change than technology
Innovation is a very relevant topic these days since we are seeing a revolution in computing. It is the first time individual consumers have more access to computing power, storage, and sophistication than an enterprise. A home consumer can be on the cloud, back up terabytes of music, organize and manage those terabytes, view everything on mobile devices, shoot, edit, and post videos in minutes.
Organizations just can't keep up with the home-user experience. The cloud is seen as unsafe so they are stuck with ridiculously expensive network storage appliances. Most businesses made the Blackberry decision years ago and are just now supporting iPhones. Software system implementations take months or years. IT departments are struggling under the weight of user demands.
The difference between these two groups is that individuals (and even small companies) are inherently less complex and can change and adapt rapidly. However, innovation is not only about the speed at which you can change but that the change you make improves something. In order to fulfill this requirement to innovate you need to be aware of two elements:
- Know your business well enough that you know where to innovate
- Know how to lead the change
(It is clear that Innovation is a business function not an IT function.)
The hope that I have for large organizations is that they tend to be more motivated and aware of the need for change than individuals are. As individuals, we can go through our lives with little change and still make it through 70 plus years (although this inertia will cause misery, many people go on 'living'). But an organization is very different, if it doesn't change, it will die a whole lot sooner.