Allies in Innovation
It’s no longer possible to develop innovative solutions in a silo. Why work in a silo when you can work with friends interested in similar outcomes. Business and technologies executives are realizing that 100% of $0.00 is still 0, and 50% of something is still something. Focus is turning to channel margins with concentration on selling price and cost plus margin opportunities. Leveraging intermediaries in the software development channel does in fact increase profit, not decrease it. Communication to customers goes down and so does that associated cost.
Partnerships don’t have to be 50/50. More and more they are focused on profit sharing. This is how innovative executives are expanding and growing their businesses – minimizing risk and maximizing exposure.
The How: Lead by establishing unassuming partnerships. Challenge the norm, to exceed normal margins.
The Role of the CIO is Fracturing
We have heard this before and this concept is not new. What is the value of your company’s social network? Do you know there are banks now that only lend based on the strength of your social network? That’s right someone with a minimal social presence and someone with a huge network of 10,000 will not get the same rates for their business loans. At what point does a credit check not even matter and it’s solely the strength of your social influence (the network effect) that will drive how close to a prime rate your business will get.
CIOs must be social. This doesn’t mean only doing speaking events, which we all do. It means having a following, sharing things you might not otherwise be shared and being at part of the crowd you seek to lead. Developing a strong visible social presence and being a social engager is the definition of the new CIO.
The How: Be social, share, communicate and be involved swirling ideas.
Trends Over the Next 3 Years
The past leads to the future, from 1870 invention of the bulb-shaped glass-encasement for Thomas Edison’s new incandescent lamp to the 1912 glass signal lanterns for America’s railroads to 1947 TV picture tubes to 1970 with the development of the first optical fiber capable of maintaining the strength of laser light signals over significant distances to Gorilla® Glass in 2007. Corning re-defines innovation again. How has Corning been so successful? A lone inventor alone in the lab? Youth innovators, ‘special people in special places?’ Large corporate funding, fueling innovation? No. They partner. They share. They grow bigger together…with help.
The How: Take your biggest competitor and explore what opportunities you have together: to partner to share to grow bigger together.
Consolidation Opens Unassuming Partnerships
Consolidation remains an effective strategic tool. Consolidation has long been used to achieve and sustain power in the marketplace. From Jay Gould’s railroad industry revolutionize post 1870, to Standard Oil achieving monopoly power through regional consolidation and vertical integration in the mid 1800’s to the U.S. Steel industry with aggressive consolidation and operational alignment. New consolidation opens competitive advantage in diverse industries. Throughout history consolidations leads to faster consumer adoption. Why? Because the alternatives erode. However, with mainstream consolidation unassuming opportunities crack the framework, enabling niche opportunities to expand where they before were restrained. Design-for-Value approaches and new market opportunities will unlock as consolidation constrains the mainstream.
The How: Find the edge of value and then find a partner to share the growth.
Enterprisers Project. (2015). FCC CIO tackles IT challenges by cultivating change agents (online image). Retrieved July 26, 2015, from https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2015/4/fcc-cio-tackles-it-challenges-cultivating-change-agents