More Innovation Calls for Much More Digital Infrastructure

In the above chart, we depict how both more “small-scale innovation” (AKA incremental innovation ala Kaizen) and more “medium-scale innovation” (AKA process innovation ala Michael Hammer) call for much more digital infrastructure. (Note that for simplicity we did not include the third level of large-scale innovation, which of course calls for much stronger digital infrastructure).

To elaborate, organizations see their competitors (both current and new) adopting new digital business models; their leaders realize that they must innovate to keep pace. Think, for example, about a traditional brick and mortar chain like CVS threatened by the entry of new player (Amazon) to their market

In many cases, digital is the external force that is pushing companies to innovate, and at the same time, digital is the force that allows organizations to initiate, groom and scale their innovation. 

Digital is both friend and foe. Creating a strong digital infrastructure enables a company to innovate at a faster pace. In a way, digital innovation at its core is a meta-innovative process that enhances the digital infrastructure and thus allows other forms of innovation.

How might this work? Consider a company which is looking to innovate in the way it interacts with its customers. A manager proposes using a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. 

At a company that has a weak digital infrastructure, such a move could take months. Yet in a company with a strong digital culture and ability, where employees see the opportunity, are ready for change, and have adopted digital technologies in the past, this change can happen in days. In fact, an initial CRM system can be implemented overnight with cloud-based tools, that is fed by an already organized excel based data.

Companies too often see the digital force as a threat rather than an opportunity. Yet to thrive, companies must embrace digital — a simple attempt to “innovate” without it will not suffice. 

Digital technology has become a critical part of an organization’s ability to create a competitive advantage. Therefore, the right way to relate to digital technology is as a strategic investment. Management must use digital technology to reinvent and re-imagine their organization.

The bottom line: To enhance your innovation cycle (initiate, groom, and scale), enhance your digital infrastructure.

September 2019 Update

Welcome to our 2019 September update, where we share our latest publications on Innovating innovating.

i8 Ventures is a boutique consultancy specializing in digital transformation. 

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Yesha Sivan and the team

In this video, Chemi Peres talks venture capital success, innovation’s role in competition, and the value of human capital in entrepreneurship.

(Read More & See Video…)


i8 Research
The Top 10 Risks of Digital Transformation

To succeed in your digital transformation journey, you need to know the common ten risks and how to mitigate them. From i8 Venture’s latest publication, “Doing Digital.”

(Read More)


Orange Bike Mindfulness (OBM) Coming Soon to a Hotel Near You

Joseph Fischer, CEO of Vision Hospitality & Travel, discusses his experiences at an OBM workshop, and how mindfulness can be a useful tool for the hospitality and lodging industry.

                                                                   (More Details…)

When Your Employees Refuse to be Eaten by Software

What do you do when you want to integrate a technology into your business, but your employees push back? Uber may provide the answer.

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The Ferrari Pit Stop and the Value of Shared Goals

Watch: A Ferrari pit stop team needs only 2.5 seconds to change four tires. What’s their secret? Learn how “goal hierarchies” can make your team run like them.

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Watch: Chemi Peres on Innovating Innovating

Chemi Peres and Yaakov Eilon talk venture capital success, innovation’s role in competition, and the value of human capital in entrepreneurship. Featured on Innovating Innovating, a series on i8 venture’s e-learning platform, i8 Academy (Beta mode) :

Chemi Peres is a Managing General Partner and Co-Founder of Pitango. In 1992, he founded the Mofet Israel Technology Fund, an Israeli venture capital fund publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Prior to Mofet, Chemi held managerial positions at Decision Systems Israel (DSI). Chemi served as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force for 10 years. Chemi has served on the boards of several NASDAQ companies, such as AudioCodes, BackWeb, Magic Software Enterprises, Aladdin, VocalTec, Orckit Communications and Koor Industries, among others.

For more information about the father of Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres (past President of Israel), see his book No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel

The Top 10 Risks of Digital Transformation

It’s well known that a digital transformation can save a business —  but digital journeys are mountain climbs, not morning commutes. That means there are pitfalls along the way which could derail your climb, and false summits which will leave you lacking motivation. Although there are dozens of such risks, we’ve adapted this list of the top ten from “Doing digital” by i8 venture’s Raz Heiferman and Dr. Yesha Sivan.

  1. Digital transformation will change your business, but focusing on the right level of change is key.

The organization should look at digital technologies as enabling technologies – that is, as technologies that allow it to act efficiently and effectively, and in step with the digital age. However, the organization should not ecstatically pounce on every new technology or business idea. Some changes can generate results that are relatively short-term, while other changes are more profound. The latter demand more time and resources.

  1. Investing in new technology is crucial for growth, but just because the technology is new, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

The organization should carefully consider which technologies are appropriate for its business goals and for the challenges it faces, rather than blindly chasing every new technology. On the other hand, boldness and openness are two traits the organization needs in order to wisely adopt new technologies that can potentially change the way the organization does business. Failures are sometimes unavoidable during the process of innovation. Hence, the key is to recover from failure as quickly as possible and move forward.

  1. Consider where your organization is on the digital transformation Journey.

It is important that the organization be aware of its state of digital maturity and the elements affecting the success of the journey, including the organizational culture, the preparedness of the management team and employees, the readiness to adopt and encourage innovation, the quality of business processes, and the readiness of the IT division. All these dimensions are no less important than the technological dimension in itself.

  1. Not everyone in your company will feel comfortable with the digital Transformation.

Technology changes at a faster pace than organizations. Yet, an organization’s workforce remains an important component in the change processes, and not all of the employees are eager to embrace change. The organization must not ignore this challenge. Instead, it should invest in change management as an integral part of the digital journey and mobilize employees for the transformation process as early as possible.

  1. It’s no good having data if you don’t know what it means.

Organizations engaged in the process of digital transformation place data at the center of their business models. Some of them are astonished to discover how inundated they are with data that does not duly serve the organization.The new tools enable an organization to draw insights and create business opportunities from its reservoir of data. From data to insights is the fuel driving the digital transformation, providing new ways for improving decision-making processes in real time, and even turning data into a new revenue source.

  1. Digital transformation won’t grow your profits overnight. Embrace change as part of a wider growth strategy with measurable goals.

Customer expectations are a major driving force behind investment in innovation. Nevertheless, it is important that the organization develop reasonable expectations regarding changes that are achievable in the short term; it should view these changes as part of a long journey of digital transformation, remembering that change is the only constant in the reality dictated by the current digital age.

  1. Digital transformation should make your business more adaptable,but it won’t make it immune to competition.-

Implementation of digital technologies enables organizations to reach a wide clientele, enter new places more easily, and respond more quickly and flexibly to customer needs. All this with a relatively low investment of resources. Ultimately, however, the organization’s managers must ensure that the potential of digital transformation is translated into an actual competitive advantage – that the digital technologies boost its business agility and enhance the way in which the organization conducts business and connects with its customers.

  1. It takes more than just technology to encourage collaboration across departments and divisions.

The organization must foster collaboration among its business units and leverage digital technologies to make the boundaries between departments and divisions more flexible, even if they are located in different regions or countries. Sometimes, investments made by particular units can be successful, but the success is only local. The new technologies should improve and facilitate the development of new business processes across units, cultivate a culture of collaboration, and encourage and empower knowledge workers. 

  1. Your customers don’t think about your digital transformation, but they do expect it to happen.

Customers are rapidly and prominently adopting digital technologies in their lives. The organization should assume that customers expect it to respond accordingly, and even take the lead in introducing advanced digital technologies. Moreover, from the organizational perspective, it is important to always be cognizant of the fact that the digital transformation affects every part of the organization. Your competitors also understand this, and startups pose a threat to every organization, large or small.

  1. You can talk the talk, but make sure you walk the walk.

Lip service is not enough to ensure that the digital transformation will penetrate and take root in the organization. Organizations must internalize the importance of the phenomenon and be prepared to invest the necessary resources in technology and innovation to become truly digital.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Case Study: The Ferrari Pit Stop and The Value of Shared Goals

Consider the Ferrari video above, and notice what can be achieved in 2.5 seconds: Stabilization of the vehicle, tire changes, part replacements, and finally release of the vehicle. The self-critic in you might ask, if it’s possible to do so much in that time, why has my project been stagnant for months? There’s plenty of blame to go around in an organization when results aren’t achieved. Managers may assume their subordinates are incompetent or lazy. Subordinates may blame poor working conditions, the tools given to them, or their managers lack of clarity.  Yet, even if everyone was working at full capacity, there is a common obstacle shared by both managers and subordinates: goal ambiguity. It is typically not sufficient to leave goals as one line slogans — if they are even addressed at all. In the fast, messy, and global world of today, projects are increasingly complex and require a goal-subgoal hierarchy (generated through deep planning) from day one of implementation. The goals generated should strive to be quantitative, fully prioritized, and in line with the organization’s mission.  Typically, projects begin with great fanfare, but often the nitty-gritty is not confronted in planning and a goal hierarchy is not established. This leaves team members floating, confused, and sometimes embarrassed to clarify once the project is in motion. Most importantly, once a target is set, team members will know how to aim. Tasks can be divvied up and organizational charts can be established. Thus team members, knowing exactly what their goal is, can be precise in the actions they take – from the tasks with the greatest responsibility down to crafting an email message to a client. Each person’s task becomes well defined.  Consider again the Ferrari video above. What enables the team to work so well? Surely they have the skills and training. But there are plenty of organizations that cannot thrive despite having recruited top talent.  So, what is the key? The goals are clear and hierarchical: Chiefly, make races run smoothly so that fans can be entertained and staff can earn an income. How can we do that (subgoals)? Change all four tires. Then, do it as fast as possible. Then, make a front wing change. If there’s nothing to fix, clean the front wing etc… With these goals in mind, the team is able to work in full synchronization with near-zero ambiguity, and utilize a hierarchy of priority should uncertainty arise. Everyone knows exactly what they are doing, what everyone else is doing, and why. If you want to increase the power of implementation when setting out on a new project, generate a list of goals – not a list of tasks. Tasks will come later. If planning is ineffective, implementation will be ineffective.  For an in depth analysis of the Ferrari Pit Stop and each team member’s task, check out this video:

28 July 2019, Ramat-Gan, Israel: Orange Bike Mind (OBM) workshop with PAI (the Israeli community for organizational change and development)

i8.venture and PAI (The Israeli community for Organizational change and development) are collaborating to offer a unique Orange Bike Mind Workshop on 28 July 2019. It is rather unique in that its (1) price is 900NIS (for non-PAI-members) (2) facilitation will be in Hebrew (slides in English) It will take place 28-July 2019 at 13h00 at Ramat Gan. To confirm your spot.     OBM Itinerary jULY 28th 0002 Link to our website.        

June 2019 Update

Welcome to our 2019 June update, where we share our latest publications on Innovating innovating.

i8 Ventures is a boutique consultancy specializing in digital transformation. 

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Yesha Sivan and the team
Innovating innovating = running a race car while re-designing the engine and replacing it, at the same time (video)

In this video, Prof. Yesha Sivan explains what “Innovating innovating” is about. Innovation is more than just creativity or ideas; it is the realizations of these ideas into solutions that create value.

(Read More & See Video…)

i8 Research

Agilifying Your Digital Business: Published by the Cutter Consortium

(Read More+Free Download)

“Agile” has become a strategic issue. Our article recommends 6 steps to consider when transforming into an agile organization.





Orange Bike Mind (OBM) Workshop – 28 July 2019. Collaborating with PAI (the Israeli community for organizational change and development)

Our 4 hour leadership workshop is designed to “install” mindfulness – a quality practiced by leading firms like Google & McKinsey. This “wise   intervention” workshop will teach you the 3 qualities of 21st century leaders: Focus, Openness & Control.


External Research
Prevent Turf Wars By Selecting One Digital Leader

Who should lead the digital effort?

  • A new senior executive position: CDO (Chief Digital Officer)?
  • Assign VP Digital to an executive, on top of the regular duties? Board Member?
  • Should the CEO take charge of the Digital Efforts?

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Case Study

Gogoro – a One Billion Dollar Unicorn From Taiwan That Wants To Be The Tesla of Scooters 

Taiwan’s 1st Billion Dollar Start-up is revolutionizing the scooter industry the way Tesla revolutionized the car industry. Gogoro recently rolled out their Gogoro 2 Smartscooter, and it’s really smart.

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Prevent turf wars by selecting one digital leader

Due to both the “strategic importance” and the “organizational challenge” of the digital transformation process, a procedural question naturally arises: Who should lead the digital effort? Here are a few options: A. A new senior executive position of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to lead the digital AXA, GE, CVS, Michelin, Caterpillar, and Starbucks are among the leading organizations that chose to appoint a CDO. B. Other organizations have decided to designate one of their top executives or board members to serve as the Digital Leader or even assign the title of VP Digital, in addition to their other duties. C. In some organizations, the CEO is leading, personally take charge of the digital transformation effort. As the digital transformation evolved, additional positions with the name “digital” began to appear – despite the different focus in their role. One example is the use of the title “digital manager” for a marketing manager who is assigned responsibility for marketing and advertising in the digital channels (the website, mobile, social media, email, etc.) Digital channels are currently attracting more attention and resources at the expense of established channels (newspapers, radio. TV). The marketing digital manager usually receives responsibility for a specific area – marketing and advertising in digital channels, and not overall responsibility for leading the organization’s digital transformation Let’s look briefly at two findings from the report “A New Class of Digital Leadership” survey published in June 2017 by Strategy &, a subsidiary of PWC. This study was based on responses from 2,500 managers who serve as digital leaders in a wide range of companies, business sectors, and countries. The survey indicated that
  • 19% of the organizations had a designated digital leader in 2016, up from only 6% a year earlier.
  • About 60% of the digital leaders identified in the study were appointed to their position since 2015 – that is, the process has accelerated in recent years.
Another survey shows the distribution of officers responsible for leading the digital transformation. The survey was conducted in April 2017 by The Economist’s research unit for British Telecom and included 400 CEOs in multinational corporations in 13 countries.
  • In 47% of the organizations that participated in the survey, the CIO was placed in charge of the digital transformation;
  • In 26% of the organizations, the responsibility was assigned to the CDO, and
  • In 22% of the organizations, the CEO decided to personally lead the process.
Neutrally, there is no correct or incorrect answer here. Each organization should choose to implement this idea of designating a Digital Leader in the way best suited for its business objectives, organizational structure, work processes, organizational culture, and relevant personnel. Yet, one thing is clear: Someone must assume OVERALL responsibility for the digital transformation effort because it is a strategic mission that encompasses the entire organization – avoid the turf war (for example between the CDO and the CIO) and select ONE leader.

Innovating innovating: Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman reflects on his journey in an interview with News Anchorman Jacob Eilon

Prof. Shechtman is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. On April 8, 1982, while on sabbatical at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., Shechtman discovered the icosahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals. Shechtman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals, making him one of six Israelis who have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The full interview is here.   Jacob: Our guest today is Nobel prize winner – Prof. Dan Shechman. Take us to the Nobel Prize research of your’s great story the quasi-crystals? Dan: I Have discovered something that was in the books “Forbidden”… it was clearly forbidden and yet – there it was!. I Tried to understand it based on periodic materials with some defects called twins. I spent the whole afternoon, trying to find the twin. Couldn’t find them they were not there. it was something else, this was the day of the discovery. Jacob: So how did you react to this rejection? Skepticism even by other scientists? Dan: the other scientists that rejected me, were no small fries. I mean they were really excellent scientists. But they were not open to really something new in crystallography anyway. Jacob: You were a hundred percent sure that you were correct? Dan: a new group of avant-garde mainly young scientists around the world, Took my discovery and turned into a flourishing science. the world was exploding with new activity. Jacob: The dynamics of innovation these days? Dan: to understand the concept of innovating innovation let us look at what happened in the past. In the past innovation was done locally within the company, the arena of innovation is global now You don’t look for innovators in your hometown or in your organization, You look for innovators around the world. And you go to places where innovating thrives, you look for the brightest minds and you ask them to tell us, what’s new? Jacob: Giants like Google on one hand or Facebook or Huawei or Tencent, Huge companies. Dan: they go after the small ones the smart ones wherever they are in the world. Jacob: You can predict where the world is going? Dan: The world of innovation because you see the evolution over Subjects But you cannot predict Revolution and the large companies they should look for the revolution because if they create a revolution it’s their own, and it gives them a fantastic edge and this is why they should look for the brightest minds because these are the people that make the revolutions. Jacob: But they do fail sometimes. Dan: Oh, yes startups fail, most startups fail, but the question is okay, so you failed once what do you do next? give up go to work for somebody or say I rise again. I have a new idea I start again In some countries mainly in the Far East but also in Europe Failure is a shame. It’s a shame on you – shame on your family Maybe a shame on your city and therefore people are afraid of failure, fear of failure is the major obstacle to Innovation. Jacob: Can you teach and educate the younger generation in China, for example, to initiate more to think differently? Dan: I try to teach the gospel around the world, teach size early, As early as the kindergarten! it may change our world if you start teaching science at a very early age. Don’t look at young people as retarded adults. They are very very bright Grandchildren are amazing absolutely amazing. invest in them, Make them the future scientist and engineer of the world Jacob: What would be your best advice to the young students to the next generation if you want to innovate? Dan: You have to have broad knowledge of what’s happening you have to understand the world around you but on top of it develop one peak of expertise become an expert in something you like and I tell young people I promise you if you have broad knowledge and Become an expert in something you like you’re likely to have a wonderful future Jacob: Professor, Dan Shechtman. I thank you very much. Dan: My pleasure.    

Prof. Sivan in a Globes interview: “Taxpayers do not enjoy the Army’s added value”

Link to the original interview in Hebrew Reporter: Omri Zerachovitz / Globes news Date: 11- May-19 Prof. Yesha Sivan, innovating expert, describes the influence of technological changes and how they affect the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Prof. Yesha also explains why the IDF should explore the commercialization of its knowledge. In recent years, we have experienced changes in the nature of innovation, or what Sivan calls “innovating innovating.” For example, organizations used to invest 10%–20% of its energy in new products using both business development and research, while modern-day organizations invest 80%-90% of its energy and resources for the same purpose (Google, for example). Prof. Yesha Sivan, the founder and CEO of i8 ventures (, a business platform focusing on “innovating innovating”, and a visiting professor of digital, innovation, and venture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School, says that the current pace is a new example of the change in innovation. That is, things are moving faster thanks to digital power that enables links among different technologies and ultimately, the creation of an innovating system. How does such change affect an organization like the IDF? On the one hand, the IDF, like other organizations, is dealing with the change. On the other hand, the IDF, unlike civil organizations, has special challenges due to its nature—namely, an organization that deals with national security. Probing questions arise in this era of innovating innovating. For example, how do we deal with the relatively short lifecycle of most technologies? What does it mean to reduce the development price in a ratio of 1 to 1,000 that facilitates the possibility of an enemy having innovative technologies that only countries could previously access? The problem is that embracing new innovation methodologies in large organizations is a relatively slow process. However, the IDF does manage innovation processes through the Administration for Research and Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, or “Mafat” in Hebrew, in a very deep and conscious way. Does the current era require a change in the army’s concept of intellectual property? This is an extremely interesting issue. In the past, Israel has turned a blind eye to ideas developed within the army, assuming that these ideas would evolve into companies—such as Check Point—that would promote Israeli industry. In the last several years, although we have seen that ideas born in the army have become small companies, especially in the cyber field, many of them produce value primarily to foreign investors. These are companies that could move out of Israel, so the country could lose thousands of local jobs instead of producing more jobs, as companies such as Check Point have provided. This situation causes two problems: First, how does the local taxpayer enjoy the added value created by these ideas on a national scale? The second problem relates to employees within different army units that are lured by attractive offers, as the knowledge they have acquired during their service is of great relevance. “I believe that the IDF must deal with this question since this is interrupting units like 8200 in its routine work (and in the future, it might touch other technological groups as well.) The army has difficulty retaining young soldiers since the civil market is already offering doubled paychecks for the same job. The private market could thrive with the commercialization of intellectual property since companies that use the army’s technology would enjoy a successful image in the eyes of the public. In addition, the army would also have the money to help retain their employees. What special opportunities does the current era offer to the army? Innovation allows the army to offer young soldiers fascinating employment opportunities that will attract the best of our younger generation, which is the true potential of innovation. Such opportunities might appear as small issues, but they are a big challenge for the IDF, which is currently failing to retain its people in the system. To get our article by email, please complete the following form and press “send”: [email-download download_id=”4378” contact_form_id=”4372”]