Looking beyond technology for innovation

Digital disruption is not only changing our economy, our workforce and the way we do business, it is increasing the rate of societal change so we have no option but to adapt and innovate or run the very real risk of withering on the vine.

And because we’ve erroneously made innovation synonymous with technology, the innovation discussion has been almost entirely dominated by references to digital communications, digital platforms, big data, social media and the like. As a result, we’ve lost sight of the fact that technology is changing us as people, as consumers and as a society.

While technology is fundamentally important to our businesses and should be a key focus of strategy and operations, boards and drivers of change need to look well beyond it. They need to be more cognisant of how digital technology is changing customers; who they are, what they care about and what they value.

Alone, technology is just innovation without value. The strategic agenda should focus on customer innovation: the simultaneous pursuit of innovation and customer value  the only type of innovation that succeeds and the only competitive advantage in today’s changing world.

So, what does this mean for boards? What are the essential skills and competencies for effective boards? How can they bring innovation and customers to the boardroom?

I look forward to exploring these issues with you in an interactive session at Governance Institute’s National Conference in Melbourne on 4 and 5 December.

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