Today’s business conversations are no longer about the relevancy of innovation but rather how one can successfully innovate end-to-end, resulting in sustainable transformation. Often, business executives are facing management and business process complexities that prevent them from getting even close to securing their innovation agenda. Technological complexities (especially disruptive in nature) are also adding to the challenges. At employee-level, daily routines typically limit their contributions to innovation.

Why innovate?

To understand the big picture of innovation, we need to first ask ourselves – why innovate – and if we are RWA (Ready, Willing, Able). One of the constant motivations for innovation is to drive new revenue streams and profitability (no surprise!). But there are certainly a lot more behind the scene – and it starts from within the organization. As business leaders, we need to look into a few RWA questions:

– Am I ready to commit our resources to an innovation agenda?

– Am I ready to overcome day-to-day routines to make way for innovation?

– Am I willing to keep up engagement for innovation topics?

– Am I able to leverage diversity across LOB to bridge for best innovations?

– Am I able to create transparency about customer needs, solutions and ideas?

What to innovate?

Increasingly, organizations are moving away from a pure business-led innovation or technology-led innovation agenda. We are seeing more of a hybrid model where technology is driving business to innovate and IT is enabling the process from ideas to impact. Ideally, the sustainable outputs and capabilities cultivated will support organizations to run better by transforming their businesses.

To further frame the big picture of innovation, the concept of ‘innovation triangle’ is important where it has to fulfill three conditions – possible with current technology + viable in the market place + desirable to users. Without fulfilling all three, innovation will likely not be worth investing in at all.

How to innovate?

Recognizing the need for a simple innovation process, we want to offer a process-driven path that begins with Envision, Engage, Transform and lastly, Optimize. At Envision phase, we want to detect innovation potentials with Design Thinking and create a strategic innovation roadmap in order to envision new business models. At Engage phase, we explore a management framework, and bring the innovation to life at the next phase – Transform. At Optimize phase, we focus to turn the innnovation into a real and sustainable value.

Bank and breweries..

I would like to share practical examples of how a bank and a brewery have transformed their businesses with innovations. Our APJ Regional Innovation Services business team, led by Kishore KK (kk.kishore@sap.com), has been working to bring together SAP experts and LOB executives from CIMB Bank, Indonesia and DB Breweries, New Zealand in the recent months. The results are that CIMB Bank now experiences over 75% of transactional activity via branchless banking (compared to just 50% just 3 years back) and DB Breweries has enabled sales people to focus on customer needs with a business-to-employee mobile solution.

Without a doubt, these are just a fraction of the successes that are constantly inspiring us to be more innovative and committed to help draw more Big Pictures of Innovations for our customers!

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  1. Sarhan Polatates

    Many thanks John for bringing together most important facts, questions, answers and finally roadmap for individuals or companies who are willing to build their own agenda in-terms of performing “innovation”. This article is so inspiring as well as realistic, rational and mind-lining.

    I have bookmarked this valuable article and I will use it as the touchstone of my innovation journey.

    Sarhan, @beyanet_tr

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