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The skillsets needed to create value in the face of rapid change

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Change in business, as with most aspects of life today, is occurring exponentially and at a pace.

In this fluid and sometimes chaotic environment, it is difficult to continue to be just a provider of products. We need to find ways to benefit from the larger value to be gained from working in unison with an ecosystem of partners. That is, all businesses must become increasingly more connected and entrepreneurial. Many of the skills developed by effective start-up companies are becoming the new toolboxes for corporate entrepreneurship in more established companies.

These tools include: innovative principles and practices; co-creation along a supply chain; lateral, design-based thinking; exploration of new businesses and exploitation of existing businesses within the same organisation; innovative business models, and most importantly agility and flexibility.

Open Innovation is now one of the most practised methods of growing a company beyond its traditional core. Successful practitioners of Open Innovation have learned how to effectively out-source some important components of innovation development and commercialisation, while retaining other components essential for sustained competitive advantage. For example, Apple has outsourced the development of apps for its operating system but has retained control of the development of the portable electronic devices required for their use.

Research, prototyping, testing and analysis, combined with a good dose of creativity, can produce outstanding results. For example, a New Zealand company, Wine Grenade, has developed the means to micro-oxygenate fine wine in-situ during maturation, in order to mimic the effects of oak barrels, but with a degree of control that produces superior results. This development was made possible by close collaboration with local winemakers, who provided timely and frequent feedback during the design and testing phases.

Innovative business models are needed to realise the full value of new products and services. A great illustration of the power of new business models is the recent disruption in the razor market caused by Dollar Shave Club, recognised by their edgy videos on You Tube. Dollar Shave Club quickly took a major share of the US market away from the market leaders, Schick and Gillette, by offering home delivery with a comparable product at low subscription rates. Not surprisingly, Dollar Shave Club was recently purchased by Unilever for one billion US dollars.

To flourish in the face of rapid change and an onslaught of new technologies, successful organisations will be those equipped not only with vision and leadership but also with the best tools and the practices to use them well.

Adjunct Professor Peter Lee lectures on the University of Auckland’s Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship.

Find out more about the programme

Adjunct Professor Peter Lee

Adjunct Professor Peter Lee.

Adjunct Professor Peter Lee

Adjunct Professor Peter Lee.

social media

Change in business, as with most aspects of life today, is occurring exponentially and at a pace.

In this fluid and sometimes chaotic environment, it is difficult to continue to be just a provider of products. We need to find ways to benefit from the larger value to be gained from working in unison with an ecosystem of partners. That is, all businesses must become increasingly more connected and entrepreneurial. Many of the skills developed by effective start-up companies are becoming the new toolboxes for corporate entrepreneurship in more established companies.

These tools include: innovative principles and practices; co-creation along a supply chain; lateral, design-based thinking; exploration of new businesses and exploitation of existing businesses within the same organisation; innovative business models, and most importantly agility and flexibility.

Open Innovation is now one of the most practised methods of growing a company beyond its traditional core. Successful practitioners of Open Innovation have learned how to effectively out-source some important components of innovation development and commercialisation, while retaining other components essential for sustained competitive advantage. For example, Apple has outsourced the development of apps for its operating system but has retained control of the development of the portable electronic devices required for their use.

Research, prototyping, testing and analysis, combined with a good dose of creativity, can produce outstanding results. For example, a New Zealand company, Wine Grenade, has developed the means to micro-oxygenate fine wine in-situ during maturation, in order to mimic the effects of oak barrels, but with a degree of control that produces superior results. This development was made possible by close collaboration with local winemakers, who provided timely and frequent feedback during the design and testing phases.

Innovative business models are needed to realise the full value of new products and services. A great illustration of the power of new business models is the recent disruption in the razor market caused by Dollar Shave Club, recognised by their edgy videos on You Tube. Dollar Shave Club quickly took a major share of the US market away from the market leaders, Schick and Gillette, by offering home delivery with a comparable product at low subscription rates. Not surprisingly, Dollar Shave Club was recently purchased by Unilever for one billion US dollars.

To flourish in the face of rapid change and an onslaught of new technologies, successful organisations will be those equipped not only with vision and leadership but also with the best tools and the practices to use them well.

Adjunct Professor Peter Lee lectures on the University of Auckland’s Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship.

Find out more about the programme


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