Individuals effectively working together asks for common support.
Overcoming subjective disagreements regarding the task ahead is often a significant hurdle when pursuing innovation through an interactive process involving a number of individuals. Factbases provide an organization with the concrete data required to serve as a shared basis for the innovation process. Synocus employs various factbase solutions, including: data warehouses, data marts and profitability management.
Forming a common understanding
When pursuing innovation with a number of individuals involved, the problem is that each participant enters the discussion with a clear view of the task ahead, but often this view is not consistent with what the others see. This leads to a situation resembling the famous problem of people with their eyes shot trying to describe an elephant based on touching the animal. To address this problem we need to find ways to establish some common denominators that everybody can relate to in order to be able to better communicate with the others.
Research (see e.g. the book Business Orchestration) has suggested that scenarios and facilitating consultants can provide support in uncertain situations. Such support is needed to speed up learning and reduce anxiety related to the complex nature of the task at hand.
Selecting the correct solution
Synocus has experimented with a number of different types of support solutions during its business transformation projects. We have found two types of solutions that have proven to work well in cases where the focus is on pursuing breakthrough innovations. Which one to use, depends on the nature of the envisaged new product or service. If the challenge is to generate something which truly sets the company apart in the market we recommend conducting a customer base analysis. If the challenge is to provide significant cost innovation, then the preferable solution is an activity analysis. These factbases provide direction and focus for the innovation activities.
Customer base analysis
A customer base analysis addresses questions like: who do we sell to right now, what do we sell, how profitable are our present customers, and our products and services? And how has the market changed over the last couple of years based on the answers to the previous questions? The analysis can be based on both hard facts (most naturally obtained from the sales ledger) as well as qualitative analyses based on interviewing both sales personnel and customer representatives. – The engagement in the gradually deepening of the customer base analysis offers focus of the discussion on real world external issues, which in themselves will nurture the necessary creative associations. Synocus has developed software solutions to make a customer base analysis as smooth and efficient as possible, providing tools both for a one-time analysis and continuous customer-based reporting.
Activity based management
Activity based management is rooted in accounting, but can be seen as a broader platform for analyzing and synthesizing the configuration of roles and responsibilities in an emergent orchestrated ecosystem. Synocus’ platform for activity management addresses three critical aspects: multidimensionality, complexity, and information architecture. To be able to address multiple dimensions, Synocus’ methodology uses fractal design, with the same patterns, but on different levels of granularity to deal with business units, organizations and the integrated network.
Synocus’ approach reduces complexity by separating what is complicated from what is uncertain. Combining internal and external information reduces uncertainty. The information architecture rests on Synocus’ conceptual frameworks regarding value creation and business dynamics.