I’m not sure who first promoted the idea that the greatest determiner of whether a corporation could successfully innovate is an ill-defined, immeasurable quality named “agility.” I am sure that the individual in question had a penchant for oversimplification. Just do a search for “agile business” books on Amazon, and the results are well over the 2,000 result threshold where Amazon stops counting. It’s not that a company shouldn’t have the qualities linked to the idea of agility. It’s just that agility is an emergent condition resulting from a number of more easily quantified and measurable behaviors.
In business, we should always celebrate our successes. We should all find happiness and take comfort in classic, somewhat irrefutable, business metrics, like returning a healthy net profit, growing sales and customer loyalty, to name a few. But there are anecdotal success measures most people repeat that, while they directionally point to good things, should also have you start asking whether they actually are signs of a problem. Let’s look at three of the most common.
In a perfect world, every department within every company, and all of the incentive packages of everyone working in every department making up those companies would be aligned around delivering a seamless, amazing digital customer experience. But in our professional experience, there are frequent debates (some of them quite fierce) about what department or group “owns” it. That debate arises from a number of factors. The most common, as you may have guessed from reading the opening line of this post, is misalignment between budget authority, project accountability, and controls.
Before I talk about the impending wearables market in specific, let me start by offering one possible theory of technological evolution: everything technological eco-system eventually moves to the lowest possible energy state. I mean that both literally (energy consumption) and figuratively (mental effort, etc.). New innovations catch on, or don’t, …