I RECOMMEND 3 BOOKS AT ONCE, WHY? TO PRESENT A COMPLICATED SUBJECT IN AN EASIER AND MORE UNDERSTANDABLE WAY…
The topic is innovation and our future!
During the epidemic, businesses suffered, some are gone busted, some will revive. But how? So the quarterly business results make me suspect and research how to make our related business i.e. B2B revive and other successes continue flourish. However, changing the way we do business will make our business sustainable. Do not be complacent, your turn is also coming!
Experiencing Science and Positive Science, means reaching the truth through trial and error. We should not be content with testing and validating conclusions drawn from distilled theories of practical life. It is quite difficult for us to achieve the necessary innovations in today’s competitive conditions at the desired speed! Yet, if we were able to build a single leaf that produce energy through photosynthesis or a cow eating grass and delivering milk, meat; we would have neither hunger nor environmental problems. Hopefully one day in the future… Sometimes I ask myself, how did technology develop when there were no wheels?
Perhaps, we should put the goal at the center of life before the theory, and the lesson we will learn from life is not to focus on what happens in nature, but on how it happens.
Renato Bruni’s book Erba Volant: Neuf Histoires Formidables Et Scientifiques Sur L’esprit Pratique Des Plantes Et Leur Sens De L’innovation (BIO-INNOVATION) (1) explores the issue of LEARNING INNOVATION FROM PLANTS. Bio-innovation is a branch of science that aims to find solutions to our problems by studying and inspiring nature. It proposes both technological and sociologically sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions. We learn from the book that in bio-innovation, nature is not only an aesthetically inspiring source, but also possesses the most suitable shapes, strategies, materials and more for the field of study of dynamics. In other words, this is a science that uses the knowledge gained by examining other living things to design products that are both beneficial to people and are environmentally friendly. Importantly, it may be wrong to consider bio-innovation as just a copy of ordinary nature because biological structures are too complex to be imitated. Therefore, experts working in this field are experts who search nature extensively to find and understand the functions and systems that can be transferred to products.
A second good example is James L. Adams’, Conceptual Blockbusting: a Guide to Better Ideas, (2) which also makes us aware of the mental and physical obstacles that prevent us from creating value. Based on the human body, he tells us about our biological miracle. In order to develop a new thought, we first put ourselves and / or remove the obstacles that exist around us, allowing us to realize ourselves, our capabilities, and teach us ways to develop new thoughts. In this book written by James L. Adams, a professor of Stanford University almost 30 years ago and updated this year, how one can find a good idea is explained in great detail. We call this innovation, but how one finds the initial idea is very important. Access to information has become very easy today. When we were students, we would have to walk around the library to find resources. We used to tour through magazines so that we could come up with different ideas. Is it like that anymore? No, you have Google, the world’s wealth of information right in front of you, at your fingertips. How can we find a good idea with such abundance of resources? The answer is Adams.
Adams continues his academic career as a professor of both industrial and mechanical engineering. Prior to his academic career, he also took part in the team that designed the first spacecraft produced by NASA. Adams published the first edition of this book in 1974 for his problem solving course, has instructed for many years. This book, which has produced many editions over the years, is still up to date with the author’s own recent additions. In fact, although many topics have been taught to us, we understand that no one has taught us how to think and cannot teach it. Adams suggests that we can gain better problem solving and idea finding, especially by recognizing the various obstacles. Choosing strategy as the best way out of many ideas or concepts can work in problem solving. That’s why there are many interesting mental exercises and puzzles included in the book.
Adams talks about six basic obstacles: perceptual, emotional, cultural, environmental, intellectual and expressive. The author emphasizes how these obstacles can occur and how they should be worked out in order to eliminate them.
Perceptual obstacles are related to more people perceiving a subject. To solve a problem, it is necessary to first define it. The inability to identify a problem or access information or data required to solve a problem actually falls into this category. Our minds can create these barriers in various ways. For example, generalizing or stereotyping is a perceptual obstacle. Apart from that, defining a problem or isolating a problem is a common obstacle. Having too much data, or not being able to evaluate a subject from different perspectives or using sensory inputs can also prevent us from solving a problem; it can prevent us from finding the ideas we want. Perceptual obstacles are described in detail in this section with examples from different fields.
Emotional barriers are those that take away your ability to prevent you from solving problems. Because emotions are mixed, and not always easily identifiable. We can get drowned in emotions. We feel dark or feel happy. Apart from that, we also have fears. Emotional obstacles consist of all kinds of fear, anxiety, insecurity and other emotions that take us away from the perspective that will solve a problem. We can be afraid of taking risks, uncertainty can make us uneasy, and it may be easier to judge rather than thinking of something new. Adams says: “… It is not easy to notice the emotions you have that hinder you, but noticing what emotions you are exposed to will definitely improve your problem solving skills”.
As a social entity, we are a part of many cultures. We can be influenced by different cultures socially, ethnically, locally and even globally. A cultures’ habits, ways of living and thinking may also differ. Cultural obstacles are also the obstacles created by the cultures we are affected by and in which we live as a part of. Discourses such as: “let’s not discuss taboos”, “playing games is only for children”, “there is no room for humor when solving problems”, “problems are solved with budget and money” are actually cultural obstacles. Such obstacles are embedded within our own cultural codes.
Environmental barriers, like cultural barriers, develop outside our sphere of influence. These are the obstacles imposed by our social and physical environment. Anything that distracts us physically can be included in the environmental barrier category. An ongoing phone call can prevent us from focusing on message notifications, the weather, the features of the place where you work, and more. Environmental barriers also include topics such as the environment of the non-supportive person, limited resources.
Intellectual obstacles are another type of obstacle. Lack of mental tactics and functioning or approach error fall into this category. For example, if you do not have the necessary information to solve a problem or lack mental ability, you cannot solve your problem. Or you try to solve a problem with a mathematical language, but if the problem is essentially a visual problem, the obstacle you are experiencing is of an intellectual type. To eliminate such obstacles, Adams again informs us regarding important topics such as the choice of problem-solving language and flexibility in using strategies.
Expressive barriers are like intellectual barriers, but those that are related to ourselves. Barriers that suppress your ability to express your ideas not only to others but even to yourself verbally or in writing. Especially difficulties with expression are explained through very important exercises.
The value of this book emerges in the section especially regarding the language of thinking. Do we think visually or sensually? Or do we think conceptually? Adams portrays the importance of determining the language of problem solving through exercises on these issues. As you think about the conceptual issues in the book, review and practice with your own experience, and your mind becomes more prone to finding new ideas. Do you think of “brainstorming” when it comes to finding ideas? Finding ideas or solving complex problems doesn’t always happen individually. The book, which has two different chapters for teams and organizations working in groups, explains the dynamics of the group, leadership, and the methods of finding ideas and problem solving that can be applied in institutions very fluently. The book is not a guide. It is also obvious that you will force your mind while reading the Adams because the exercises in the book and the chapters that question your habits, make us better problem solvers than we are today.
Esranur Kaygin’s ‘Inovasyon mi Dediniz? (Did you say Innovation?) (3), was written very concisely as a guide for the business world. Practical, realistically written are: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF DIGITAL CONVERSION, MEASURES TO CREATE INVENTION CULTURE AND THE THREATS TO BE TAKEN AGAINST THE DESTINATIVE INNOVATION THREAT. Disruptive innovation, which I call upside down innovation is a real threat and still many businesses ignore it. However, with digital transformation, this can become an opportunity, not a threat. Companies innovate at unprecedented speeds, competition grows exponentially, so the need for innovation is no longer a ‘make/do’, it’s a question of how to do it. Approximately two thirds of the innovations made in the sector we are in will disappear within 3 years. This equates to a serious waste of resources. Consumers understand new experiences from innovation. So the story behind innovation and the scenario ahead are very important. This road is also a big challenge for us. In order to accomplish this path successfully, we spirit of creativity.
The reason why we create disruption groups at Yildiz Holding is not because we do not innovate, but is to be more disruptive, to make the results more predictable, so the value can be improved, our business improved and our innovations that strengthen our bonds with our consumers also improved. In other words, how do we internalize the innovation process by overcoming the limitations in our own minds without losing our core values, our purpose, our authenticity, and the invisible obstacles that the processes have uncovered over time and are inspired by each other? Seek the answer to the question.
IF IT IS NOT KNOWN, it’s time to INVENT IT, NOT POSSIBLE IS NOT POSSIBLE!
How can we connect those who have an idea to contribute to a problem, consumer need and/or efficiency towards a more systematic process? Radical inventions or ideas that affect people can sometimes involve a large amount of technology, sometimes uncertainty. When you have a radical invention, you may not be sure how to proceed at first. But don’t let this stop you. In other words, I want the ideas that will facilitate our way of disruption, make it clear and guarantee success. What do we do and how could our innovations disappear in 3 years?
Esranur Kaygin summarized the basic texts of Innovation in an eclectic way in her nearly 100-page book. The basic logic of the book is in the articles of “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave” written by Professor Clayton M. Christensen. In this article, Christensen first describes two distinct definitions of innovation that disrupt. The first is to move from the lower segment of an existing market to the upper segment, and the second is to create a new market with an innovation that upsets the new market. For example, Tesla is an upside down innovation starting from the upper segment of the market and moving to the lower segment. In addition, the disruptive business models of such as Spotify, Linkedin, Facebook, Google, Alibaba, Uber, Apple and Netflix are examined, and it is seen that each are one of the two approaches mentioned by Christensen. Another brand that turns the upper segment upside down is Dyson. When Dyson launched its first vacuum, it was at the price of $3,000. With its modern design, water absorption feature, it was astonishing for many people in the upper segment. Today, the price of the vacuum is $300 because Dyson has reduced its price using technological progress. Thus, it started to take a share from the lower segment. The important thing in innovation is undoubtedly to know which type of innovation will be suitable for the company’s innovation strategy. In order to comply with the strategy, it is necessary to ask two questions;
1) How well did you describe the problem?
2) How well defined is the area?
Such a systematic way of thinking is important to distinguish between randomly generated ideas and organized ideas. Indeed, if you have absorbed what innovation is, you immediately realize that all four types are valid in your company. These are basic research (the type of innovation done at universities and R&D laboratories), better done (maintaining innovation), innovation that turns the category, the market upside down, and the combination of a product with the functionality of many different products. For example, Amazon merged book sales with Kindle and sold more books.
Esranur Kaygın also talks about the importance of corporate culture in order to create disruptive business models and technologies in a company. We all know about the failure of Kodak, but the details are in the book. In 1975, Steve Sasson (a Kodak employee) developed the digital camera, but his bosses told him to keep it to himself. Because this idea had the potential to threaten their core business. We all know the result: Kodak, which has been operating for 132 years, applied for bankruptcy protection in 2012 because it was not innovative. What did Fuji do in return, fearlessly introduced its first digital camera to the world by adapting disruptive innovation to its main business and successfully continued its business. We all know that all kinds of initiatives, start-ups, and ideas that turn upside down require marketing knowledge.
Esranur Kaygin has devoted part of her book on how to adapt innovation to the market. While innovation is weighed as an idea, she states that it should be evaluated in the fields of structuring, proposal and experience. She explains how the revenue model should be revealed during the configuration phase, how to explain value to business partners, how to organize the company’s capabilities and assets to implement the new idea, how to create the supply chain of the product or service, how to download the product to the customer, and how to create customer loyalty. If you want to learn about this in depth, it is necessary to look at the details from other resources.
In short, in order to cope with the inevitable changes in front of us, we must simply repeat the same things every day, as we always do, and to try to do better/more every other day. However it is not enough, so for continuing success we must change the way we do business. Do not be complacent, your turn is also coming!
The Three Books:
1) Bruni, Renato, and Françoise Bouillot. Biyo-İnovasyon: İnovasyonu Bitkilerden Öğrenmek (Erba Volant: Neuf Histoires Formidables Et Scientifiques Sur L’esprit Pratique Des Plantes Et Leur Sens De L’innovation, TheKitap Pub., 2019.
* The original of Bruni’s book is in Italian. Currently it has been translated into Turkish and French only.
2) Adams, James L. Conceptual Blockbusting: a Guide to Better Ideas. Basic Books, 2019.
3) Kaygin, Esranur. Inovasyon Mu Dediniz? (Did you say Innovation?), Sola Unitas, 2009.
* The original language of Kaygin’s book is Turkish. Seven basic related resources can be accessed from the links below in References.
Note: This article, which is open source, can be cited by mentioning the author. Copyright not required.
Abbosh, O. Et.al. The Big Squeeze: How Compression Threatens Old Industries, MIT Sloan, March, 2017. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-big-squeeze-how-compression-threatens-old-industries/
Christensen, M.C. et.al. What is Disruptive innovation? HBR, December, 2015. https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation
Covert, A. The true story of Microsoft Courier’s tragic death, www.gizmodo.com, January, 2011. https://gizmodo.com/the-true-story-of-the-microsoft-couriers-tragic-death-5855260
Mansell-Casdesus, R. Hilti fleet management, ‘Turning a successful business model on its head research’, May 2017. https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=52550
Narsalay, Raghav & Brunswicker, Sabine & Bagherzadeh, Mehdi. (2016), The smart way to open your innovation process. Outlook: The journal of Accenture high-performance business, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308382635_The_smart_way_to_open_your_innovation_process
Satell, G. The 4 types of innovation and the problems they solve, Harvard Business Review, June 2017. https://hbr.org/2017/06/the-4-types-of-innovation-and-the-problems-they-solve
Woods, Tim “Using the Ten Types of Innovation Framework.” LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/pulse/using-ten-types-innovation-framework-tim-woods/