sharing insights on innovation in established organisations

altershape blog

October 31, 2018

Two top tips for innovation

Whenever I speak at a conference or other event, I ask the audience who is “innovating”. All hands always go up. But what is “innovation”, apart from a hype and a buzz word?

Let me draw from a few definitions I quite like.

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Have you ever been in a situation where stakeholders presented you a solution to analyse and get implemented? Where your devotion to your analysis work uncovered more insights on the real need or root cause, and brought up alternative solutions? Where you have been unable to convince your stakeholders hereof and really influence the project’s focus?

Having impact is not only of direct benefit for your organisation, it’s also important to feel valued for your work.

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When I recently cut a slice of brown bread for breakfast, I discovered a white blob in the middle. Strange. Yet I ate it, and you know what? I did not die. Seriously, I didn’t even get sick.

We really need to be ok with having more white blobs when innovating.

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May 31, 2018

The truth is out there

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in a lot of organisations is getting started with early customer validation. But it’s not so much an organisational issue, it’s mostly a personal issue. Do you have what it takes to get out and talk to potential customers?

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During trainings and workshops, I often tell about the Zappos example to explain the concepts of hypotheses and cheap validation. How many pairs of shoes did Zappos have in stock when they first launched their web site? Zero.

One time, after the Zappos example, I got an interesting question, showing how hard it is to grasp the essence of hypothesis discovery and validation.

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Agile and lean thinking are starting to produce good results, not only in the world of start-ups, but also in IT environments in established organisations. But more value can be created, and more waste eliminated, by bringing lean principles to the business and to the business analysis profession. There are lots of great resources available online. In this post, I gathered some material that inspired me.

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When you are working in a start-up with a small number of people, you can take decisions quickly, independent of existing products or services, strategies, organisational structures and so on. That’s one of the advantages of being “two kids in a garage”.┬áIn theory, you could simulate such an environment in an established organisation. In reality, it proofs difficult to keep corporate interference out of the way.

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September 28, 2016

BA is not for BAs

The BA conference 2016: Transforming Ideas into Action. Far too much inspiration to wrap up in a short blog, but still, here are some of my takeaways.

Confidence

Sometimes, it only takes twenty seconds of insane courage to get what we want. The courage to simply ask for it. Want to be involved during project initiation and not just execution? Ask. Want to try a new technique or approach your stakeholders are not used to? Do it and see what happens.

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