Six characteristics supporting excellence in service delivery innovation

Last Friday, after delivering the breakfast keynote at CPA Congress in Brisbane (more on that in another post), I ran a half-day workshop at the partner offsite of a national accounting firm network on the theme of Disruption and Innovation in Professional Services.

I spent some time giving the partners current perspectives on both disruption and innovation in professional services, with the rest of the time spent facilitating the group in generating and prioritizing initiatives to drive the members firms’ future.

I ran through the domains in which they can enhance their business models and performance. However in professional services probably the most important domain is service delivery, in which extraordinary possibilities for innovation have opened up in the network economy.

I have just recalled that eight years ago I co-authored a white paper for SAP titled Service Delivery Innovation: Creating Client Value and Enhancing Profitability. While it is not recent, the issues I covered are still completely relevant today, so I thought I’d share a section from the white paper here:
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A framework for industry leadership based on collaboration

Last week I ran a half-day workshop at the annual offsite for executives of a major airline alliance, taking the group from a broad view of macro trends shaping the future, through to the generation of specific actionable ideas to create greater value across the alliance.

As part of the workshop we used a framework that I originally developed over a decade ago in the context of collaboration in the financial services industry, but I have used in the last year in industries as diverse as healthcare, airlines, and professional services.

The future of every industry lies in value creation across organizations. To achieve that we need explicit discussions and engagements among all industry participants on what it is that they’d like to collectively achieve, and how they can get there. This framework lays out the key components:

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Click on the image for a larger version
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Collaboration and activation: the nub of the merger of physical and digital retail

Last week I visited Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as a guest of IBM and the City of Melbourne.

City of Melbourne’s over-arching vision for the annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is to position Melbourne as Australia’s premier fashion destination, and have a real economic impact by driving increased sales for retailers in the city.

MSFW

In partnering with IBM for the second year the intention was to extend the impact of the event beyond the week and to drive ticket sales and in turn sales by tapping the social currency of influencers.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is unusual in fashion shows in that everything on the runways can be bought at stores in the city. This contrasts to the traditional role of fashion shows as breaking new fashion, which may not be available for many months after it is launched.

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week used IBM Social Media Analytics on Twitter and Instagram to uncover the top 50 relevant fashion influencers, used Watson Personality Insights to work out how best to approach them, and invited them to be MSFW “insiders”, asking them what content would be most useful to them.

Ticket sales have been considerably higher than last year, with 4 of the events sold out.

The initiative is particularly interesting in showing how social analytics and engagement can help drive shoppers into shopping centers and physical stores.

While individual stores can do a great deal to merge their digital, social and physical engagement, the real power comes in bringing people to a shopping center or area, or even an entire city center.

All shopping is becoming social. Retail strategies for merging physical and digital are best envisaged and implemented on a large scale, tapping collaboration and activating buyers.

Image credit: Eva Rinaldi

Insights into the levers of innovation in 40 major cities globally

The City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CITIE), a joint venture of NESTA, Catapult, and Accenture, has just release a very interesting report on the drivers of innovation in major cities globally.

The CITIE Framework examines 9 different areas in which cities can support entrepreneurship and innovation, shown here:
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The potential of open source 3D printed housing and community

This morning I was interviewed on the Mornings program about open source 3D printed houses.

You can view a video of the segment by clicking on the image below.
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We primarily discussed the fantastic Wikihouse project, which provides Creative Commons plans for parts which can be 3D printed or machine cut and readily assembled to build inexpensive homes.
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Three critical domains of change driving the future of professional services

Yesterday professional services expert George Beaton and I ran the inaugural Clients and Firms of the Future: How to Compete conference in Sydney, bringing together around 100 senior leaders of professional services firms to look at the future of the industry.

It is just over 15 years ago now that my first book was released with the subtitle The Future of Professional Services (now out in its Second edition). While these days my work covers a far broader scope, over the years I have worked extensively with professional services firms to help them create successful futures.

There has been substantial change in the professions over the last decade, however there will unquestionably be far greater change in the years to come.

It was an absolutely fascinating day at the conference exploring the future of professional services. I will be sharing more from the conference over time, but today would just like to put down a few initial thoughts from the three themes of the day.
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A positive view on the future of human work as intelligent machines rise

I recently delivered a keynote on the Future of Work and Jobs at the Youth in Technology conference organized by the Australian Computer Society.

An article in CIO magazine titled Humans versus machines: Who will be employed in future? reviewed some of the highlights of Dawson’s speech. After the article’s opening it quotes:
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The focus of big data should be creating value FOR customers

Big Data is one of the hottest trends at the moment, as shown in this Google Trends chart below.

However much of the big data discussion is about how to market better to customers, gathering data ABOUT them so companies can sell more to them.

This seems to me to be the wrong way to think about it. Big data should be used to CREATE VALUE FOR CUSTOMERS. From that good things will flow to everyone, including of course attracting the most customers.
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Slides: Future of Business: Crowds and Sharing Economy

I am at Innovation Partnership Program, a three-day executive education program in Silicon Valley for senior executives from Fortune 100 companies, done as a joint venture between Singularity University and XPrize.

It is an exceptional program providing a deep dive into the exponential technologies driving change, including AI, robotics, crowds, 3D manufacturing, medicine, genetics, computing, digital finance and the strategic implications for enterprise.

I presented the session on crowds on the first day, providing a big picture overview of crowds, crowdsourcing and the sharing economy.

My slides are below. As always, they are not intended to be meaningful for those who did not attend the presentation, but may still be useful to others.

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Keynote slides: The Future of Healthcare

Yesterday I gave the opening keynote at the Australasian Longterm Health Conditions Conference in Auckland on The Future of Healthcare.

A conference report in NZ Doctor said that “Mr Dawson wowed delegates with examples of technology changing the way we live and work”.

The primary theme of my keynote was that power and control is shifting to the individual, an absolutely necessary shift in the world of health, and beyond.

Below are my slides. As always, my visual presentations are designed to support my keynote, not to be useful by themselves, but I share these in case they are are useful for attendees or others. The actual presentation includes quite a few embedded videos that show up as images in these slides.