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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Innovation & Execution - A Challenge of Olympic Proportions via FC

Vijay Govindarajan writes, "As companies such as Kodak show, innovation isn't the only requirement for success. Leaders need to execute on their ideas, as well".It's not just hype. New technologies really do threaten strong, proven companies. Even those that have been successful for several generations.Consider the case of Kodak. The company created the market for consumer photography way back in 1880. Nearly a century later, they controlled 90% of the US film market.Then the difficulties began. The entry of overseas challengers into the US market, especially Fuji, was difficult enough. The rise of digital photography is posing a much more serious threat. Today, Kodak's revenues have declined back to levels last seen 10 years ago. The market for film is slipping 2-3% each year, and Kodak is grappling for a secure home in the rapidly evolving new consumer world of taking, modifying, printing, and sharing pictures.In one sense, Kodak has been lucky. The rise of digital photography has played out relatively slowly. Consumers haven't caught on to the new approach to photography nearly so quickly as they adapted to, say, the glorious joys of shopping on eBay. So it is fair to ask, why has Kodak stumbled?Clearly, however, Kodak was not short on inventiveness or imagination. Still, a company's capacity for innovation is dependent on more than its ability to generate great ideas. Kodak's innovative capacity shoule be measured as the product of creativity and execution . Creativity is finding promising beginnings. Execution is commercial fulfillment.The central challenge is balancing competing needs to both engage with and disengage from the existing organization. There are several reasons to disengage. Growing a new business often requires leaving behind the most fundamental, deeply held assumptions about why the existing business is a success. Growing a new business also requires granting legitimacy and power to new employees with different areas of expertise. And, growing a new business demands an experimental approach, exactly the opposite of the traditional focus on discipline and efficiency.When it comes to innovation, execution is hard. The name of the game is Fast Vs Slow and not big or just being first in being ready - it is consistently moving fast, faster than others that holds the key..

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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