Spreading the Innovation Virus

Spreading the Innovation Virus
Written by Mavim

As companies around the world are rethinking what it means to be customer-centric in a rapidly shifting digital landscape, Nancy Rademaker and the thought leaders at Nexxworks are taking the lead in spreading “the innovation virus.” Here at Mavim, we are always interested in learning more from the experts, so we sat down with Nancy to learn more about Nexxworks’ vision on innovation, transformation, and customer-centricity.

On what is driving transformation:

“The need for transformation comes from one thing and one thing only—and that’s the customer. The customer has changed a lot over the past decade, and yet companies still look to their customers not as persons but as rational beings. What they are finding out now is that emotions drive customers. They want to have a really good customer experience. They want it to be fast, fun, and easy, but most of all it has to be very convenient.”

On why transformations fail:

“A lot of transformations fail because companies tend to think inside out instead of outside in. So if you don’t listen to your customer, you are bound to fail. When transforming or creating new business models that aim to put the customer in the center, many companies tend to keep their old values, hierarchical structure, and KPIs. That produces a contradiction. If you keep your old KPIs focused on revenues and financial performance, you will never be able to put the customer first.”

On what has changed the past ten years:

“The biggest difference between now and a decade ago is that when transforming, you have to do this in a very speedy manner. Speed is the main difference. If you don’t assimilate to the speed of the outside world, then you are not going to survive. Look at the Fortune 500. A lot of them have disappeared over the last fifty years. You can see that companies that have taken too much time to transform are the first victims.”

On how to ensure your transformation succeeds:

“Sometimes these innovative ideas exist within a company, but they don’t get executed because most organizations lack the right digital toolkit. In order to align your innovation initiatives with the strategic vision of your company, you need the right digital tools to support that. The Mavim solution enables easy ways to discuss, communicate, and spread the innovation virus within your entire organization. It also provides dynamic insights so that you can adapt to a changing environment very rapidly. And as I said before, it really highlights this link to the strategic vision of the company. “

On the role of IT in driving change:

“I think the IT department has become much more important within the organization. It used to be a separate department that had to fulfill the needs of, for instance, the sales and marketing department, but now you are seeing a business IT fusion, where IT plays an equally important role within the organization. CIOs now play a major role driving innovation within a company.“

On the challenges of the CIO:

“Nowadays you have all these different innovative technologies; for example, artificial intelligence, blockchain but also machine learning or deep learning. I think it’s a big challenge for CIOs to determine whether they should be doing something about that within their organization. I think the main challenge for them is to evaluate all these new developments and experiment rapidly to see what will create the greatest impact. If you refrain from experimenting, you tend to get disrupted. Not just by your competitors, but by entirely separate industries. We often use self-driving cars as an example. If you have self-driving cars, you will not have as many accidents and that is disruptive for the insurance industry. If you have zero emission, its disruptive for the oil industry. CIOs and the whole management team should look at these new developments thoroughly and experiment early on to survive digital disruption.”

On her advice for CIOs:

"My advice would be to look within your own organization. Get all of the ideas from within your organization. People tend to look to the outside for inspiration, but what they should do is stimulate their own people to become more creative and innovative. Take these ideas and experiment. Don’t be afraid to fail. It is something you can learn from startups. They fail fast. They fail forwards.”

On what Nexxworks does:

“At Nexxworks, we inspire companies and we coach them to develop strategies for this new normal and to radically reinvent their business model. We look at the developments in the outside world and we translate them to these organizations. We also advise companies on how to change their business models rapidly in order to cope with this new, customer-centric world.”