Think of Innovations as Systems
In the last post we looked at Nike and the first principle wof successful innovation built around contextual user experiences. These experiences are centered around a particular offering, service or media (message). And naturally all these components are part of larger organisations, markets and offerings. This brings us to the second pillar of innvoation.
Principle 2: Think of Innovations as Systems
What do we mean by a “System”? What is “Systems Thinking”? We can define a system as any set of interacting or interdependent entities that come together to form a larger whole. In short a system is greater than the sum of its parts.
For our innovations efforts to be successful, we need to grasp how this larger ecosystem works and affects the other parts - the small systems and groups within it. What are the relationships that exists between the parts and the whole systems? What the unique attributes of each system?
As an example let’s look at Holidaying in some romantic faraway destination Island. A traditional approach would be to look at the destination and the particular chosen five star resort as the focus and defining factor of our product performance.
Now by placing the resort within the larger context of the island holiday experience and a national/international tourism market, we can develop a greater understanding of the product’s value in relation to all the touch points and actors along the way including the travellers, pilots, the flights operations (from booking to arrival), in-flight service, travel agencies, tourism information centres online and on location, advertisements, wholesale travel companies, restaurants, adventure/tourist activities, shopping, amenities, travel insurance and so forth.
Looking at whole systems and the interactions that are part and parcel of these systems, we can invest in integrated innovation across whole systems and in the process offering services and products that have greater value, and tend to offer massive competitive advantage. Why? Because value is added by ease of use not just across one system but across many that are part of the user’s journey.