Over the past few months we have had many conversations with clients about our collective experiences of the best approaches that can be employed to deliver specific benefits and ensure the best business outcome from innovation or technology-based projects. Challenges experienced in innovation projects are often not primarily related to the detail and complexity of the data or the modelling, for example, but tend to concern the wider issues that can be forgotten in our excitement to be innovative. These issues have a nasty habit of creeping up on us and reducing, or even destroying the potential value add.
We have developed a framework to assist with this – our 'Innovation Volcano'.
Obviously, a framework is just a means to an end but it can be helpful in articulating the full landscape of challenges and opportunities.
One example of an area highlighted in our discussions with clients is that it is very important to actively understand, identify and address any unintentional consequences of what you are doing. This consideration needs to cover whether the possible impact of each consequence would be good, bad or indifferent to your business and its strategic objectives. For example, if you launch a brand-new product that uses a fancy new technology, you may unexpectedly change the demographic profile of your customer base.
People often talk about mitigating these issues, implying negative consequences, but what if we also looked at this in another way?
Companies could actively try to find good uses for those hidden consequences (or second order impacts) by re-purposing them in a beneficial way, whether for the good of the business, other businesses or for the good of our wider society.
Perhaps we would then be like wombles; making good use of the things that we find.
In the current environment, where we see communities pulling together, it is right that we should be thinking about more than just ourselves and our own businesses.
An example of this is with lead generation. There are offerings available that are aimed at increasing leads or providing better quality leads. In fact, at Crowe we have 'Business PinPoint' that does exactly that. We use Artificial Intelligence to generate leads for clients that sell financial service products to customers (both business and individuals). In addition to delivering the top leads to our clients, we realised that we can also identify customers that:
Using this information our clients can, for example, help customers to pre-empt cashflow problems or an insurance need, enabling them to be proactive and take remedial actions so that they get a better outcome or be more resilient.
Even if these leads do not turn into new sales for our clients, perhaps we collectively have helped customers by highlighting that these financial services products are available and have started them on a journey that is beneficial to them.
For further information, please contact Daniel Bruce, Partner, Risk Consulting
Small steps, big wins.
Unintended Consequences: The Midas Touch