Methods, methods and more methods!!

When knowledge cancels excellence.
I am still amazed by the speed at which new management strategies settle in our companies. When the competitiveness of a practice is detected, a network of supply rapidly flourishes around it and it tends to (as common sense apparently indicates) company’s self-sufficiency with respect to the solution of the problem.
The speed of technological, social and economic-cycle changes has accelerated the process by which many business models and product and service categories making them up become obsolete; it is hardly surprising that in response to that, a wide supply of services, methods and practices that have an impact on strategic innovation and business model restructuring proliferates.
Today it is virtually impossible to find companies and executives that, aware of strategic innovation, do not undertake actions to gain knowledge and methodologies for their structures, which may ensure the contribution of new concepts of products and services, the adaptation of the company and its structures to changes in the environment and in conclusion, which may guarantee its future.

The speed of technological, social and economic-cycle changes has accelerated the process by which many business models and product and service categories making them up become obsolete

Thus, we can observe how the proliferation of concepts that have an impact on the most strategic line of companies provides methods that ensure the ‘step-by-step’ for an innovating process or simply, gives tools to accelerate user’s information processes, data gathering processes, etc. Words like ‘open innovation’, funnel of ideas, creative pipe management, brainstorming, user’s observation, creative atmosphere, remuneration based on innovation, etc. are part of our daily professional life.
I have the feeling that the effort companies are making to introduce methodologies and practices is not directly related to the real level of the results obtained. According to the Real Academia Española dictionary, it is the ‘way of saying or doing something orderly’, ‘the procedure followed in science to find the truth and teach it’.
By drawing cause/effect (not lacking innocence), as a result of previous strategies and methodologies, today more than ever before, companies would be developing proposals of business models and product and service models so much intended for succeeding in the market.
We could also say that the more established innovation methodologies are in some of those sectors, the more they unify the result obtained among the companies that belong to the same sector. There’s nothing further away from the initial interest. Why does this effect occur? What causes the fact that in some cases homogenization and mediocrity are obtained when the search is for excellence and differentiation?
I try to make a list below of the three factors that, in my opinion, can give an explanation for this:
-The introduction of methodologies or ‘step-by-step’ forms for innovation makes us equal as regards knowledge with our competitor but it does not guarantee the excellence of the result. What it does guarantee is that competitive organizations follow the same steps, drink from the same fountains, analyze the same data, interview the same consumers and consequently, obtain the same results: The excellence of the method cancels the possible competitive edge to be obtained.
-Companies (none), regardless of their size, power or focus can be completely self-sufficient; even to a less extent in terms of knowledge and its application. It is very hard to find professionals or to organize departments that can guarantee something else beyond constant improvement, that can guarantee the maximization of the existing knowledge and the possibilities that this can give to our organization in order to bring about rupture changes and new horizons of exploitation.
-The value of things, of what we do, is a complex equation undergoing constant movement and adaptation. It is a continuous contrast between the knowledge drawn together by the organization (and its members) and the knowledge that exists outside (undergoing constant change), adapted to the environment and its circumstance and sifted and modified by the filter of corporate value making up the DNA of each company or professional.
I believe that the analysis of these three items should prompt us to reflect on the application and suitability of these practices, of the necessary mix for each sector and company, of when we should develop it with internal professionals and when we should look for the acceleration and viewpoint of an external team, of the limitations of the person’s dimension as regards capacity and knowledge, of how absurd it is to block the way of knowledge, change and trends affecting us; and above all, the great value of the explicit DNA of each company. Don’t let anyone or anything destroy it!!

 

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Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

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