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Café Innovation – Reinvention is the Key… 2010 and Beyond

I happened to see a Tweet from my friend Jon Reed (@jonerp) and it struck me that the 140 characters in that message encapsulated a very powerful idea. In this case it is the simple thought that “Reinvention is the Key”. As I re-tweeted this thought out, I knew this had to be brought up here as we get ready to close this year.

The year has been consumed by discussions around H1N1, TARP, Afghanistan, Health Care, corporate turbulence, and employment woes among others. Most of these issues have called for us to think out of the box (obviously some more than others). All of these issues continue to demand a certain level of creativity. All require us to look at reinventing ourselves individually and as groups! I have certainly taken a step in that direction by departing from the conventional SI consulting type of environment for the excitement of a startup.

This applies equally well to the SAP business world too. My last post here titled, “Are you ready to employ the “jugaad” approach?,” generated some interesting discussion. Interestingly, what emerged was that this was yet another way individuals and businesses could reinvent themselves. The closing issue of the Harvard Business Review for the year is basically a “Spotlight on Innovation.” For those organizations that are still shell-shocked by the turbulence of the economy, the content of this issue should come as a wake-up call: this is an important topic and one that needs to be acted on. Each organization will need to define its own tolerance to the innovation subject, but those that will withhold budget/resources will do so only at the peril of their own success or even survival. “How Open Innovation Can Help You Cope in Lean Times,” by H.W. Chesbrough and A. R. Garman (Harvard Business Review, December 2009) is basically about how strategic moves can keep R&D going without sacrificing growth. “Enterprise 2.0: How a Connected Workforce Innovates?” is a conversation conducted with A. P. McAfee by A. P. Raman (Harvard Business Review, December 2009) where it is made clear how new social technologies will transform innovation efforts. The way I see it, this is a clear endorsement of the notion of collaborative innovation – collaboration enabled by social technologies.

So what does this mean for the SAP customer who is in some ways relieved to see this year ending and a little apprehensive about the one around the corner? The message for such an SAP customer is clear. Make a conscious effort to work at where you want to be past the turbulent times; this will entail making a determined move toward making the organization one where the culture of process primacy prevails. Empower your business process experts to go beyond the boundaries set years ago and allow them to engage the power of collaborative innovation. Allow them to help you reinvent – reinvention is the key.

It is my hope that many in our ecosystem will really embrace the notion of making a go of reinventing themselves. As economic recovery picks up momentum, there will be even more opportunities for those willing to reinvent themselves. I am certainly looking forward to the New Year!

Happy Holidays!

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    • Hi Manas,
      Thank you. I have read your post and it appears our thoughts are convergent. It is a pity that while some of us see the need to reinvent there are so many who are not willing to step out of their comfort zone - they do not realize that what appears to be a "comfort zone" today could very well be at risk itself if they do not reinvent.

      - Puneet

  • I've written on this topic some time back.  In fact, long before I moved the content to this site I was trying to pioneer this whole idea at Hitachi Consulting BEFORE Y2K.

    The idea of using collaboration tools to create a "learning organization" which is critical to effective consulting companies.

    I wrote this a few years ago on EXACTLY how to integrate SAP with collaborative social media tools like forums for business benefit:

    SAP, ERP III, SOA — Learning Organizations through Social Media Collaboration

    In my opinion, as the article lays out, effective social media and collaboration tools INSIDE the corporate walls are the key to effective SOA initiatives AND to next generation ERP.  Although it has not gotten widespread attention some commentators are slowly coming around to the idea of social media collaboration within the enterprise as a kind of "ERP III".  Integrated within the application suite and more free form than the structured Solution Manager ticketing process.