Innovation and digitalization will be key elements on which to bet to ensure the development of the future of work.
These are the Future Trends Forum experts’ proposals to be at the forefront of innovation:
4.1-Creating microcosms of innovation
Companies must leverage microcosms of innovation, as they enable:
- Using existing assets (data, knowledge, products, relationships) in new, innovative ways that provide competitive advantages, first internally and then encouraging open innovation with other organizations, open innovation platforms, startups, entrepreneurs, universities, etc.
- Creating a culture that promotes new ideas at all levels of an organization, via awards, rewards and recognition.
- Creating a technical and organizational environment that supports launching new ideas without hurting the existing business.
- Creating a technological, social, product and service trend observatory.
Grounds for the proposal: The Canadian initiative MaRS is an example of microcosm innovation, it supports over 1,400 science and technology companies that are working on some of the greatest social challenges, providing personalized resources for each growth stage and connecting talent, capital, clients and corporations.
4.2.- Fostering unbound curiosity
- Creating experimentation environments to learn from mistakes: developing new products and services fostered through constant trial and error and testing.
- Building a culture that promotes challenging our own success and creating technological tools to systematize the challenge.
- Promote social interactions to generate innovation through collaborative, digital platforms.
- Constantly and systematically research social science discoveries to point out what areas of our company or industry do not meet market needs.
- Create a system of constructive criticism: what are the economic, social or environmental negative consequences of the innovation being developed.
Grounds for the proposal: IconHotel provides an example of a learning lab with roots in the real world of the hospitality industry.
“Innovation is a social, cooperative process assisted by technologies”.Future Trends Forum expert
4.3.- Constant innovation
We must rethink and design new ways of using existing assets.
The way to do this effectively is with data science and the best algorithms that enable detecting trends and opportunities.
When we talk about existing assets, we must open to the world and see how we can operate intelligently and quickly the assets available in the market.
Grounds for the proposal: There are immensely powerful examples of value creation using assets available in the market: collaborative economy platforms are built on this concept. AirBnB or BlaBlaCar connect available assets (homes or cars) with users who want them. There are also specific methodologies to design disruptive business models, such as Pentagrowth, created by the Future Trends Forum expert Javier Creus .
4.4.- Creating innovation space
The proposal is to create physical and digital space in such a way that the company can be at the forefront of innovation, developing methodologies and algorithms to detect trends and opportunities.
This keeps a company alert; it brings the future closer and focuses on the right problems to solve.
In this innovation space, open innovation challenges should be put forward to attract solutions and talent.
A culture that enables professionals to take decisions and risk, or even launch their own ventures (intra-preneur spirit), where tolerance to failure will be key.
Grounds for the proposal: An example of open innovation shared by expert Cristina Aranda is Estrella Damm, and its Pier01 space in Barcelona Tech City, where innovation challenges are presented, and the most interesting initiatives supported.
4.5.-Having dedicated teams and tools
Designing and starting systems to measure real progress, lost opportunities, lessons learnt and success to be at the forefront of innovation.
It is also key to learn about new technologies in detail and identify what areas can be the most beneficial to the business in the long term: For example, could digital platforms speed up processes? Could they save time and money? Could they be used as a two-way means of communication with clients and suppliers?
In addition, the wealth of Cloud Computing services and solutions in the market force us to rethink what activities and tasks can be outsourced because they add little value to the business, and what tasks must be reinforced internally, as they are key. Then, as technology enables knowing real time data, finding things in real time and carrying out transactions in real time, the door opens to consider whether certain links of the value chain are redundant, and coordinating rather than executing them would suffice.
“Given the possibilities offered by digitalization, we must rethink what activities and assets we should own and which we should rent. In the words of the famed economist Ronald Coase, “renting is much easier than buying”.Future Trends Forum expert