I was asked to explain our innovation copilots logo enough times already that I feel I should just do it on the blog.
Here it goes:
In 2017, we moved from France to the Netherlands and decided to rebrand our agency from Merkapt to innovation (changing the market as our core skills) copilots (how we do it).
The ‘I’ of innovation is central and a constant reminder of our focus.
It’s slanted because innovation comes from a shift in perspective. And it’s only slightly slanted because in real life it’s rarely about radical turnarounds, but rather decisive sidesteps or « pas de côté ».
That’s simple enough I guess.
Now, the copilots word is another story. It’s only half visible because we are never center-stage.
A famous digital design agency working as a third party for Apple was saying in 2007 when Stéphanie and I created our business “We’re the most well known secret in the industry”.
This is who we strive to be. We’re not engineers, leaders, or communicants. We might be on stage for a keynote or to facilitate a workshop but our real job is backstage.
When the level of uncertainty gets extreme, we take commands with our customers and help them sidestep to a new opportunity, a new mindset and eventually a new culture if need be. Some customers call us well ahead of a storm, some call us when they’re already facing turmoils. But the market should not be aware of our role.
General Electric (GE) was founded right after the American civil war at the early stage of the industrial revolution. Today, with around 300,000 employees working worldwide in a dozen of markets from home appliances, to energy and aircraft engines, GE is still a force to be reckoned with. Think of it as a Google that would have emerged from the birth of electricity, not the internet. But since 2008, GE market leadership steadily declined, making it the worst stock on the Dow Jones index on a constant basis. This decline devolved abruptly in 2016 with the retirement of its CEO Jeffrey IMMELT, a market cap divided by two while the stock market was up 41%, and a cascade of divestments (some of them to the Chinese HAIER — sign of times). Since then, while GE jet engines, medical scanners or power plants are still state of the art, the company went in a spiraling free fall.
In transforming an organisation, so it can evolve with its time, there is never a one-size-fits-all method or tool. Each transformation leader has to grasp many variables, from strategic intent to environmental context, from the company’s cultural aspects to original organisation’s DNA. Any impactful transformation starts with driven leaders within who understand and live the challenges of change, whilst being concerned by the necessity of strategic effectiveness. Each experience being a source of learning, I endeavour to share such transformative stories whether considered as successes or not, in order to inspire, teach, and develop leaders’ complexity intelligence.
Blockchain is over-hyped and confusing. Can’t understand what « an append-only data structure that contains data records that are cryptographically linked together » means? This is normal. And by the time someone explains it to you you’ll feel like you already forgot what it was all about to start with.
Yet, it’s such a broad technology that the overly complex explanations and lack of real applications for now, shouldn’t deter you to wrap your head around it.
I’m not going to write an article about it. I don’t need to. Adrianne JEFFREYS just did. And it’s perfect.
Last year, I briefly teased one of the most strategic tools we’ve been using for years rebuilding innovation capabilities with industries. The innovation reverse pipeline. This way of working solves the usual conundrum of a typical innovation pipeline where you start with a hundred smart ideas, select the best ones, refine a few, invest in one or two, bake for a two to three years, launch… and fail.
A recent podcast about “How to fix your company’s culture” grabbed my attention because it illustrates how rarely big corporations actually work on their culture. Although, I would say the “fixing” entails something is broken and I wouldn’t say that corporate culture could be broken. It might be mismatched with its environment or within itself (vision and values are not aligned with behaviors), or worse, your culture might just have faded away…
The digital wake-up call you need is maybe not the one you think. You are understandably worried that you don’t own the platform where your customer experience and your brand are dissected live every second. But what is the option anyway? PR you way back to relevance?
I’ll be in Shanghai next week and Jia Tong University in partnership with Kedge Business School asked me to give a keynote on one of the topics we work on as consultants. This will probably be a small thing with around 20 persons, but if you want to attend you’re most welcome : )
Consider Mc Donald’s as the most heavily mass-market-driven company on the planet. For them digital is over:
Order on your PC in your office, from your phone in the street, or on a touch screen when you’re there. They don’t care anymore. They don’t WANT to care because it’s fairly irrelevant.