4 Changes We’re Making On Our Way to Enterprise Agility and Innovation

We just concluded the fifth orange.jpgannual innovation summit in beautiful Cancun, and the focus this year was the Agile Enterprise: what large companies can do – and are doing – to respond and triumph in the face of fast-moving market conditions, competitive threats and opportunities.

Our focus on the agile enterprise is mirrored by an initiative we ourselves have undertaken as part of our own efforts to become an agile enterprise. As an IT services provider we have seen the need to become innovative for our customers and for ourselves, and we believe continuous innovation is key to enterprise agility. 

A few years ago we initiated Innoventures, an internal program to encourage and develop innovation within Softtek, and bring ideas to fruition as real, market-ready products.

The Original idea for Innoventures: Program to Find and Encourage Innovation

When we founded Innoventures in 2013, and I took on the leadership role, our main goal was to recruit innovators internal to Softtek and encourage them to develop ideas that could become products or businesses.

In my blog post introducing the program I said Innoventures: “…is a deliberate and rigorous program that is aimed to motivate each associate to make an impact by seeking the potential of an idea.”








The New Innoventures: Distributed Innovation and the Future of the Agile Enterprise

But as I explained in my latest post, things are changing, and the implications are important not just for Softtek, but for enterprises in general. Innoventures has gone from being a center of innovation to becoming a catalyst for innovation throughout the enterprise:

“It seems that I am no longer required to innovate…however, the change itself will come from all avenues and corners of a company. We are, so to speak, simply the innovation evangelists.”

Here are four ways innovation is changing within Softtek, and how it must change for large enterprises if they want to complete their transition into agile enterprises:

Old Innoventures

New Innoventures

Innovation officers innovate.
Previously, the role of the innovation officer was to be the innovator.  The rest of the company was safe from having to innovate, knowing I was there to make innovation happen.

Innovation officers encourage innovation.
Now the innovation officer’s role is to encourage innovation. Innovation has to come from all quarters, not just from me and my team. I’m just there to provide the encouragement, nurturing and knowledge.

Innovation officers seek out innovation. 
As part of the old Innoventures paradigm, My role was to seek out pockets of innovation within the company, wherever they may be.

Building a collaborative innovation environment.
My new prerogative is to build a collaborative innovation environment. In other words, a culture of innovation. Now part of your job is not just your daily “to-do” list, but to think about how you can innovate.

Annual accelerator. The crowning event of the old Innoventures was the annual accelerator, or bootcamp. These were one-time events that served a purpose: to bring innovative ideas to life. But they had a limitation: they were one-time events held once a year.

Platform to enable anyone at any time to offer strategic, market-facing applications. Now Innoventures is building a platform to enable anyone at any time to create, develop and validate strategic, market-facing applications that can help Softtek’s business and clients.

Centralized innovation via innovation officer.

If you wanted to innovate at Softtek, you had to go through me, the innovation officer. “Oh you want to innovate? Gotta call Rakhee,” was the mindset.

Sending innovation out to the edges of the company, the consultants in the field. Innovation now doesn’t need a distinct, separate department. Innovation IS the company, and as such it needs to be centered on those that are in the field and in direct contact with the customers: Softtek’s most valuable asset, the consultants.

Conclusion: What Are the Implications of Softtek’s Innoventures Program Changes for Enterprise Agility?

At Innoventures we are now modeling what our customers should be doing. We’re drinking our own champagne, experimenting in our own petri dish, creating our own blueprint that we hope to share with all of you.

This is by no means an exact science. Nobody knows this stuff cold yet – everybody’s making it up as they go along. But we feel we’ve found the right path, and we’ve already achieved some great results – both for ourselves as well as for our clients.

We hope you can join us in this journey, and learn what we’re doing by subscribing to updates here!

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