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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 https://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1001285058
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 (http://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.

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Carlsberg and Copenhagen Business School Crowdsource Innovation

Innovation is a must, and most companies recognize this need. The challenge is the source of new and fresh innovations. Many companies believe that innovation must come from internal sources (like R&D labs) and external sources (like Hackathons and startup incubators). Only a few companies use crowdsourcing to find and introduce new and fresh innovations. The famous Danish Carlsberg brewery is one of them. Let’s have a look at how they do it.

For a number of years, the Carlsberg Group has been an honorary partner of Copenhagen Business School’s (CBS) annual Case Competition, which is one of the largest university case competitions for undergraduates, attracting students from top universities around the world.

Carlsberg has defined a strategy based on the assumption that digital has an important role to play and has set a strategy titled SAIL’ 22 as a multi-year digital transformation of the brewery group. Digital has a powerful role to play in fueling the company’s traditional business with innovative growth opportunities and smart operational efficiencies.

Carlsberg has decided to leverage the 2019 CBS Case Competition as a response to the increasingly digitalized world. More than 3,000 undergraduate students from 61 countries have signed up to participate in the Global 2019 online competition through CBS Case Competition’s own online platform.

Through this competition, the students will contribute ideas and concepts for how Carlsberg can further leverage digital innovation to disrupt the on-trade scene and transform its partnership with bars, restaurants, and cafes in Western Europe. The top three teams will be invited to Copenhagen to compete in the finals.

“From a strategic perspective, the rationale to invest in digital products and services is simple: if Carlsberg is able to provide insightful and valuable experiences and services to its customers alongside its great beer and beverage portfolio, it will enhance Carlsberg’s value as a successful, professional and attractive business partner and not just as a legendary brewery group,” says Nancy Cruickshank, Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation.

”We’re investing heavily in digital transformation activities across our business, and we were intrigued by the Global 2019 online competition to learn how the world’s best undergraduate students would prioritize if they ran this brewery group. We want to learn from digital natives how they would address high-impact, strategically important areas with multi-market potentials, such as customer engagement, distribution or e-commerce. The goal is to improve Carlsberg’s competitive position, and to stay at the forefront of innovation within our industry,’’ says Nancy Cruickshank.

Unlike the incubator model used by many large corporations, in which small teams are tasked with disrupting traditional business almost as an external start-up, the lighthouse projects are intended to be deeply embedded in the brewery group. This is to ensure the relevance of the business issue in question and to minimize integration and roll-out difficulties.

One of the projects already rolled out in markets such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK and lately also Switzerland is Carlsberg Online. With Carlsberg Online, the Carlsberg Group became an international front-runner on the brewery scene, which is still characterized by being relatively analog. In addition to online ordering, the team behind Carlsberg Online is constantly expanding the platform, improving content with do-it-yourself videos and providing insights never before available for on-trade customers on markets, consumer behaviors, new trends, etc.
By participating in the CBS Case Competition, Carlsberg aims to harness even more innovative ideas that can potentially be applied to the business, while providing an opportunity for students to apply theory to a real-life business case.

Link to the WebWire news site that published the article

In Chapter 5 of our e-book (Hebrew) “Doing Digital,” we describe the importance of innovation, and we show several models and ways companies innovate. The idea of “Innovating innovating” we love to use, is the idea behind the need to innovate the way companies innovate. Using crowdsourcing and competitions is a great example of this idea. Not all good ideas can be created internally or even by hackathons with startups. Using a well-established competition, as the CBS one, provides the company access to many students who are digital natives, and can provide new and outstanding ideas for digital innovation. That’s the world they are living in.

Now, New, Next: Innovating the Way Organizations Innovate. Why McKinsey’s 3 Horizons Model of Innovation No Longer Applies

“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again” – what a great line from Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister’s speech at the Davos 2018 World Economic Forum meeting. The pace of change and disruption is accelerating and will continue to accelerate in the future. To cope with this challenge, organizations will have to rely more and more on innovation and agility.

Innovation by itself has to change, what we call “Innovating innovating.” One of the changes in the innovation process and management was highlighted by Steve Blank, the developer of the methodology that, eventually, became the foundation of the Lean Startup movement and he’s currently an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford University and lecturer at other universities. On February 2019 He published an HBR (Harvard Business Review) article titled “McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model Defined Innovation for Years. Here’s Why It No Longer Applies.”

Steve Blank’s article.

McKinsey’s experts published in 2016 a model of three-time horizons for managing the innovation portfolio, in their article “Now, New, Next: How Growth Champions Create New Value.” The model describes the idea that companies should manage their innovation portfolio in three-time horizons (time-buckets):

  • Horizon 1: Now – new ideas based on the current business model and existing core capabilities to provide continuous innovation (also called sustainable by Prof. Christensen).
  • Horizon 2: New – new ideas that extend a company’s existing business model and core capabilities to new customers or markets.
  • Horizon 3: Next – the creation of new capabilities to take advantage of or respond to disruptive opportunities.

McKinsey’s article.

This model was also described in chapter 5 of our e-book “Doing Digital” (https://bit.ly/2odl5th). Steve Blank now claims that in the 21st century, this model has a fatal flaw that risks making companies lag behind their competitors. His main claim is that the focus on the horizons is based on time-frame of each horizon. The Horizon 1 focused on innovations that could be delivered in a short term of 3 to 12 months. Horizon 2 could be delivered in 24 to 36 months and Horizon 3, focused on creating new disruptive business models, could be delivered in 36 to 72 months. This time-based definitions made sense in the past, but are no longer valid in our current and future dynamic business environment. Today, Horizon 3 innovations could be delivered as fast as Horizon 1 innovations.

To make his point Steve Blank uses some examples. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, Tesla, Netflix built their disruptive business models using existing technologies (smartphones, GPS, Mobile internet, Big Data and many more) and deployed their solutions in extremely short periods of time. They have used the Minimum Viable Product concept to enter the market with barely finished, iterative, and incremental prototypes (what we call agile working methods). Incumbent companies can’t wait 36 to 72 months to deploy their counter solutions. It’s too late! Therefore organizations must find ways to shorten the Horizon 3 innovations.

Steve Blank provides some ways that incumbent organizations can deal with that challenge:

  • Using startups to build and deliver products rapidly for incumbent organizations.
  • Acquiring external innovators who can operate at the speed of the disruptors.
  • Copy some of the new innovations and use the incumbent business model to dominate.
  • Innovate better than disruptors.

None of the above alternatives are easy for incumbents, but waiting 36 to 72 months for Horizon 3 innovations to be deployed is not an option, in some cases.

In chapter 9 of the e-book “Doing Digital” Raz Heiferman & Prof. Yesha Sivan propose organizations to understand the five platforms for innovation. This conceptual framework provides some ideas of how organizations can speed up their innovation processes (e.g., using ready-made digital components for innovation).

Do we Need More or Less Government Input in the Venture Ecosystem?

GCV Symposium 2017 – London, May 23-24, 2017

Paul Morris, Chief Investment Officer, VC Unit, DIT (Department for International Trade) and Yesha Sivan, CEO at Coller Institute of Venture, engage in a lively debate during their panel discussion at the 2017 GCV Symposium, on whether more or less government input in the venture ecosystem is for the better.

In its seventh year (2017,) the GCV (Global, Corporate, Venturing) Symposium is the leading event for global corporate venturing professionals and has experienced exponential growth, attracting an enviable list of speakers and international senior delegates. 400+ business leaders from the corporate venturing and wider high growth business ecosystem participate in the two-day 2017 GCV Symposium covering innovation and strategy.

Full panel video. Moderator: Prof. Yesha Sivan.