Managing the “Breakthrough Decade” through innovation

Connecting dots combines the 10 most read stories on  over the last week into a single analysis that highlights our readers innovation priorities.

Sharing and jointly developing business ideas has become mainstream in growingly communicative world. At the same time, innovation experts foresee drastic organizational and technological changes that demand a high preparedness for an interconnected and data rich business environment. Beyond the ability to build trust and transparency in our economic and business models, innovation now focuses on delivering value beyond financial and commercial objectives.

Crowd-based requirements for change


Citizens and politicians, customers and providers, teachers and students: roles and responsibilities are being challenged by new models developed thanks to collaborative technologies and communication tools.

Citizens’ participation plays a major role in shaping future public policies. Not only does it develop project efficiency, but it also heightens politician’s responsibilities towards jointly defined goals.

Read more:Turning the tables“, December 2015

While positioning and sought benefits are being redefined, most experts agree on the drawbacks of our current social and economic models. Collaboration across social groups and professional barriers in that context indeed seems a welcomed initiative.

Nouriel Roubini from Project Syndicate has our opening thought: “So the global economy is flying on a single engine, the pilots must navigate menacing storm clouds, and fights are breaking out among the passengers. If only there were emergency crews on the ground.” Any volunteer?

Read more: Europe in the mirror, Emerging markets: from global to local“, November 2015

Collaborative and communication tools also bring higher efficiencies. This might be crucial in a period of time that was called, a couple of years ago already, a “Breakthrough Decade”.

Especially as the coming decade, the “Breakthrough decade” as labelled by scientists, seems to be an “all or nothing” one. As quoted from Alex Steffen’s tweet in the article from CSwire“what happens in the next 40 years (is) critical. What happens in the next 10 years sets the range of what’s possible.” Big data has a role to play, but what’s going to be ours?

Read more:The Big Picture: Society and technology – June 2014

As the tools, the strategies and models now emerge with clearer dominant shapes and identified alternatives, it seems what is left to define is the appropriate change policy and learning environment. 

Our societies indeed need structural change. The ability to renew our skills and learn to better adapt is dependent on the change policies we develop, including in the higher education area.

Read more: “How social knowledge shapes new models” November 2015

Collaborative learning


Beyond shaping the appropriate partnership and knowledge sharing infrastructure, the ability to properly analyse and recommend actions based on crisply identified needs remains critical for any development plan.

Noel Yuhanna and Mike Gualtieri remind on the Wall Street Journal “The key to success is implementing a multidimensional view that helps individualize and contextualize customer experiences, deliver new customer insights, and create new opportunities for businesses to deliver differentiated experiences.”

Read more:Market Roadmap: Now Strategy, New Marketing“, July 2015

Despite all of the identified needs and developed solutions, innovation leaders still operate in a growingly complex and uncertain market environment. Technologies, partnerships, differentiation and pricing strategies are pressuring impact to markets and confusing end user eagerness to discover new services, demanding a deeper control of the value chain and/or a disruptive approach to market.

Victor Luckerson sums up the situation for TIME Magazine: “But consumers are still reluctant to give up their credit cards. Mobile payments generated $4.9 billion in sales in 2014, a paltry figure compared to the year’s $4.8 trillion in card transactions, according to Euromonitor. (…). The transition to mobile payments is a challenging one because it requires buy-in from so many different players.”

Read more:The payment chessboard“, November 2014

As a result, the learning curve innovation professionals undertake to adapt models, processes and ensuing services to the “Breakthrough Decade” requirements appears more troublesome than expected. Cultural, technical, political and economic constraints demand to strategically redefine the place of humans and technologies in innovation.

«Drastic change is upcoming and we appear as unprepared for it. Our action right now is to best define and develop solutions to help this world get smarter, safer, sustainable. Technology developments and the rise of Data Science are augmenting our innovation impact. How do we make it good?»

Read more: “Innotrends: Augmented Innovation” July 2015

Focusing on non-commercial benefits


On a business level, it is all about prioritizing non-commercial and non-financial values to better identify services and products that make clearer sense for customers and end-users. Among those values, the social impact of innovation is opening a range of development and adaptation opportunities that experts need to investigate in more depth.

Advanced technology researches highlight areas where human questioning remains a hurdle to market, alongside high market potentials and continuous industrial developments. At a clear crossroad between a machine oriented and human oriented future, analysts and experts keep stressing the need to further investigate the social impact of innovation.

Read more: “A complex vision of tomorrow” October 2015

On a systemic level, the improvements needed should be oriented towards building trust between players by identifying and rewarding initiatives that optimize both local and global knowledge sharing. Those improvements require transparency and fair trading rules which innovation leaders still struggle to properly define and roll-out, despite an urging call for a new economic thinking from analysts.

By constructing a more transparent framework, economic unions could be in a position to define intelligent trading rules that would benefit local needs. To do this, they need to consider inviting citizens into operations, while assessing the local competences they have at their disposal. This approach would only be successful if conditioned by an objective of shared prosperity combined with a compensation for losers.

Read more: “Daily Pick: 6 questions to improve economic unions and globalization” July 2016

Global innovative efforts are implemented to better spread knowledge and intelligence across frontiers, professional and social boundaries. By doing so, experts build a multi-dimensional definition of success which should lead and inspire new projects to deliver results beyond financial growth and commercial expectations. An attitude based on creativity and smart reasoning appears as critical in reaching those higher impacts.

By presenting key attitudes and theories that could lead any change agent, within economics, politics or business area, to generate intelligent change, innovation experts and leaders elaborate a multi-dimensional definition of success. (…) Experts encourage to choose the right skills to develop human creativity and leadership, developing smart reasoning with one leitmotiv: “Think big or go home”.

Read more:Daily Pick: 11 definitions of success” May 2016

Delivering sense through diversity

By outlining key attitudes and requirements to become diversity champions, “Diversity as a success story” enables innovation practitioners, leaders and learners to understand the critical value of inner and outer diversity as a way to learn, share, develop and celebrate differences to deliver human value through innovation. To learn more, read our management report.

Innovation and diversity
Innovation and diversity writes the innovation story that thousands of innovation experts around the world constantly develop and share by on WAI social networks. Browse our knowledge library and read our management reports to learn more.

Photograph: Nirina Photography

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