Conversations with Innovators - Part 4

As we work through our clients problems we have accumulated experience across most sectors and problem types (software, software/hardware, materials, health and others)

Here’s a few recent examples to give you an idea of the types of problems we take on;

  • Sustainable Packaging (Consumer Goods) – packaging options that replace plastics in laundry products with alternates
  • Emission tracking and cost optimisation of large fleets (Oil & Gas) – track, manage and make strategic decisions to improve the efficiencies of large fleets of cars, trucks and vans.
  • Pricing Life Insurance (Insurance) – a SaaS based platform that simplifies and automates the process of pricing life insurance
  • Renewable Energy (Heavy Machinery) – energy solutions that decarbonise supply chains, including hydrogen, waste optimisation, future energy, and carbon offset opportunities
  • Remote water monitoring (water utility) – Ph and chlorine testing, analysis and dosing on water pipelines in remote areas
  • Robotics & Automation (Construction) – robotic solutions that increase the speed, safety and quality of onsite residential construction
  • Forestry Management (Forestry) – solutions that generate and process data to create accurate, updated and personalized forest management plans
  • People movement in smart buildings (Manufacturer) – smart sensor solutions that can increase our client’s understanding of how people use and move in smart buildings
  • Residential water usage (Water Utility) – decreasing over irrigation and general water use in residential and commercial customers
  • Renewable Energy Sources (Electrical Manufacturer) – new revenue models based on data derived from EV, storage or solar generation
  • Cancer Detection – (Pharmaceuticals) – devices for home-based screening for various types of cancer
  • Fire and marine emergencies (Government) – improving operational efficiencies with a focus on bushfire management
  • Content Distribution (Telecommunications) – telecommunications company looking for video and content distribution solutions
  • Asset Tracking (Consumer Goods) – IoT that tracks fridges & freezers in retail outlets across metro, regional and remote areas, with 6 year battery life and location data
  • New Products (=Banking) – businesses that support multiple international money transfer service providers and can integrate their offerings into our client’s ecosystem
  • New Business Models (Chemical Manufacturer) – technology that improves the output of residential gardens, including robotics, sensors, data & others
  • Smart Homes (Manufacturer) – technology, hardware, software and new models that enable perimeter access, control and security for residential homes
  • Fleet Management (Oil & Gas) – data platforms and aggregated sources of data that enable large fleet managers to monitor & optimise heavy vehicle costs
  • Heavy Machinery (Steel Manufacturer) – using optical sensors embedded in steel to track density for maintenance scheduling
  • Health & Wealth Tech (Insurance) – detection, prevention and treatment services for mental health issues
  • Energy Storage (Machine Industry) – remote recharging of batteries for construction using renewable sources
  • Pedestrian Safety (Car Manufacturer) – hardware and devices that make pedestrians and bike riders more visible to car drivers, reducing fatalities
  • eCommerce (Consumer goods) – product, content and community for sports teams wanting to source jerseys for players
  • Predictive maintenance (Oil & Gas) – data sources from manufacturing and platforms that provide opportunities to shift from scheduled to predictive maintenance
  • Sustainable packaging (Packaging) – Maximizing fast food packaging lifecycle value through smart collection and reporting
  • Robotic Solutions for Residential Construction (Construction) advanced robotic solutions to increase the speed of residential construction

Part 1 – the different models we’ve come across as we talk to corporate innovators.

Part 2 – the themes within successful internal teams.

Part 3 – solving complex challenges, often beyond exploration and including ROI.

In this edition we’re looking at the things that are keeping our innovation clients awake at night…not literally, of course (although quite possibly!), but the areas that provide both challenges and opportunities within the context of their role in their organisation.


The things that keep innovation execs awake at night

1. Staying relevant

  • This is an obvious one…but that’s true for a good reason.
  • The rapid pace of technological change and customer preferences means that companies must continually evolve to remain relevant.
  • Heads of Innovation worry that their company might not keep up with these changes, leading to a loss of market share, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage.

2. ROI on innovation

  • Innovation initiatives require varying levels of investments in terms of time, money, and resources.
  • Our clients are concerned about the potential for these investments not yielding the expected returns, both in terms of financial gains and long-term growth for the company.

3. Lack of resources

  • Innovation requires funding, skilled personnel, and time for research and development.
  • Limited budgets, time constraints, and a shortage of talent could hinder the ability to execute projects effectively, particularly ambitious projects.

4. Resistance to change (internal and externalc

  • Introducing innovation often disrupts established workflows and processes, which can create resistance from employees or stakeholders who are comfortable with the way things are done currently, leading to challenges in implementing new ideas.

5. Market disruption

  • The rise of competitors that introduce new technologies or business models is a significant concern.
  • Heads of Innovation worry that their company could be caught off guard by these changes, impacting their market position and revenue.

6. Short term focus

  • Companies face pressure to deliver results, particularly in downturn times like we are in now, which can divert resources and attention away from longer-term innovation initiatives.
  • Striking the right balance between short-term goals and strategic innovation is an ongoing challenge.

7. Intellectual property and security

  • Developing new intellectual property and protecting this IP can be a concern.
  • There’s also the worry of ensuring data security and preventing breaches as new technologies are integrated.

8. Cultural shift

  • Cultivating a culture of innovation across the organization is important to most of our clients.
  • However, changing a company’s culture is a significant challenge, needing to overcome resistance to change and foster a mindset of creativity and experimentation.

9. The global economy

  • Economic downturns or uncertain market conditions can (and are) impact innovation budgets.
  • Heads of Innovation might worry that economic instability could limit the company’s ability to invest in and take risks on new ventures.