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Democratizing Innovation

· Politics Economics Institutions

"Everybody wants to innovate. Create new business models. Avoid disruptions. The solution today is to collaborate with startups. Or accelerate, incubate and invest in them. Because they will be disrupting the big corporates." - Max Schulze

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The Corporate world seems to hold onto archaic hierarchy structures, whilst preaching Agile, Design Thinking, Collaboration and Innovation.

There is still a need to have a physical corporate structure, however there is an enormous untapped opportunity in the digital landscape to break down the Silo's that hierarchies enforce.

I've always found it odd, that Corporate looks externally when looking to build Customer Journey Maps/Strategies, Prioritizing Initiatives or identifying Pain Points. When the people who know the business the best (and are a source of truth for the consultants), are Corporate Employees.

The Employees collectively understand;

  • All the Systems and how they interact with one another
  • All the processes, and the holes that cause customers and employees pain
  • How a customer feels at any given stage of their Journey
  • The short cuts in legacy processes
  • The policies that govern behaviour
  • The culture that improves moral, and that which detracts
  • The whole story with Customer Feedback

Without Employees, the company wouldn't run... and yet Executives enter into expensive contracts to get external assistance to understand, what is already understood by the employee collective, the business.

To draw on an analogy, it is like a business buying a Hard copy of The Encyclopedia of Britannica, when employees have the knowledge and skills to build a Digital Wikipedia.

What's Missing?

In building a Wikipedia, there still needs some structure, and with current forms of Business Social media it allows for collaboration but lacks the structure or central location.

Given the focus of most corporate institutions are Customer Journey Maps, it seems logical that these maps form the basic structure for the Wikipedia.

Thus, enabling the Front line Servicing, Sales, Legal, Digital and approval teams, to contribute their perspective, collaborate and build a holistic understanding that everyone can access and be a part of.

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Interactive Customer Journey Maps

Gone are the days of Static Customer Journey Maps, enter the Interactive Customer Journey Maps.

Where we can interact with each Customer Journey at a high level, and explore the nuance at every stage and through every platform.

Giving Employees the opportunity to:

  • Develop and agree upon a baseline expectation for each stage of the journey
  • Present ideas and interact with their colleagues ideas
  • Highlight Customer and Employee Pain Points that don't appear in the data, and validate the pain that does
  • To reflect on the projects that are underway, and give individuals outside the project opportunities to contribute where possible
  • To get a sense of what an exceptional experience looks like, and to reflect on what makes a poor experience.

If you could chose between the Hierarchy Pyramid, or the Network of Teams...

Which would you pick?