What Innovation Requires: Revolution Not Just Evolution

Innovations and R&D | Co-creation | Published 15. Feb. 17

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There are a lot of examples of companies that have gone down because of playing it safe. Instead of braving it out in a new area, they chose to stay with and improve on their current business strategy, only to find out too late that it wasn't enough.

evolution

“Innovation is driven by curiosity and a will to improve, both on a company and personal level,” shares Nordics Regional Director, Mattias Bolander, “And at Workday, we also believe in ‘paying it forward’ in terms of emerging new technologies. We want to share all the new innovations that come out of this new world.” 

Asked for what could be the next big thing in innovation, Bolander said a solution to give people more time, “Time is becoming scarce in the western world, so the race is on to come up with services that will give people more time. With trillions of devices in existence, companies will be busy data mining, which gives them more opportunities to tailor a life experience that suits individuals. With improved DNA and health apps, people will get more advice on how to live longer.” 

But as exciting as innovation sounds, it often requires drastic change, which is never easy, “Better jump straight in, but respect the complexity, and note that the faster you can evolve the more competitive you’ll be. A common misunderstanding with Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” is that people took it as the strongest being the one who survives, but actually, it’s the most adaptable to change who survives and thrives.”

Radical Top Down Cultural Change

As innovation is an organizational call, “It needs to come from the top. If your top executives don’t reward curiosity and don’t embrace it themselves, then that culture will trickle down through the whole organization. If your top management doesn’t want to leave their comfort zone, then the company will stay there. There are also a lot of companies that are just improving old technology instead of starting on a blank paper, not realizing that innovating on legacy is not only costly but hard.” 

But why the need for a revolutionary kind of innovation? “We have moved from a reality where access to modern technology is only possible at work, to a reality where there’s more modern technology at home than at work. It’s gotten to a point where most employees feel they’re going back in time when they come to work.” 

Down with Competition, Up with Cooperation

The Internet and smart phones have changed everything, “Businesses went global and consumers were enabled to trade with companies from any country in the world. With smart phones, how people communicate and market themselves and their companies have leveled-up. They’ve also allowed consumers to get transparency on prices, salaries, work opportunity etc.” 

And transparency is a big word in a global society, “Here, your customer is also your partner, as well as your vendor, so it’s even more important to share best practices and be highly transparent. And since the threshold for market entry is becoming lower and lower, companies need to find other differentiators. They also have to pay close attention to customer satisfaction, as consumers have become more vocal about their customer experience.”


Workday will be attending 600Minutes CFO on the 30th of May 2017 in Norway as a solution provider. Event discussions include:

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  • Changing Role of CFO in the Era of Digital Transformation
  • How can the CFO best cooperate with the board?
  • Performance Management

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