A different type of venture for a different type of challenge
Let’s be blunt – the corporate innovation industry is sick. Anecdotally we know it and in practice, we see it all the time. If “innovation” was considered a core company function, it would rank 18th out of 23 company activities. So after considering the idea for eight years, getting serious about it for the last eighteen months and intensifying what we know together for the last frenzied six months, we are launching “Futureproofing : Next”.
Futureproofing : Next is an antidote to what afflicts the innovation agenda of most companies; its overall approach, its supposed best practices and its vendor pool that support their growth aspirations. As former clients, myself and co-founder Andrea Kates, appreciate being in the hot seat required to drive not only this quarter’s results but to also peer out into the murky future and run the innovation tight rope. It’s a tough balancing act requiring equal amounts of perspiration, inspiration, aspiration and transformation.
In the future posts and pages on our newly minted website FutureproofingNext.com and in this blog, we’ll explain the specifics of the whys, hows, whats and whos that are throwing their hat in the ring with us. In this post however, we’ll focus more on the forest versus the trees. The big picture? Bigger companies have big dreams, they don’t come true for many different identifiable and manageable reasons. We’re here to fix them.
Taking Innovation to the Bank – Literally & Figuratively
As much as my business partner Andrea reminds me that elegant thought and painstaking sweat equity may be praiseworthy, simplicity is beautiful. So let’s be straightforward – we want to take your “innovation to the bank” with four clear benefits:
- We’ll make companies bigger – the more successful, innovative companies are growing 3x faster than their peers, and we know exactly what makes them tick.
- We’ll make companies bolder – 93% of executives believe additional disruption will be hitting them over the next 2 years but only 20% of them seem ready for it; we’ll give them the confidence & competence to jump into the innovation ocean with an experienced safety net.
- We’ll make companies faster – the business world, abetted by technology, has become 7.7x times faster than it was a generation ago; we are steeped in quick agile & lean approaches that actually get companies to next.
- We’ll make companies simpler – the biggest differences between innovative and bureaucratic environments are their approach to: rapid experimentation, technology, continuous learning and seizing opportunities, our no-BS, simple four step approach gets companies unstuck now.
We’re rational enough to know this is tough work and confident enough to know we have the experience and moxie to pull it off for even some of the largest companies.
The Innovation INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX – ALL Talk, NO ACTION
In our decades of leading & managing change, we’ve run across many intelligent people plying their trade in innovation circles – some are designers, some are futurists, some are academics and some are thought leaders. Very few of them are change agents, In a test tube environment, they can perfectly assess what might work but in the real world (where you and I live), their hit rate is considerably lower.
Futureproofing : Next is a response to the lack of benefit delivery that this quick remedy industry of “innovation” has allowed to happen. Clients are dissatisfied; only one third of them even finding acceptable their current innovation & technology vendors. Innovation & growth is a top three CEO challenge and board agenda item, but their needs are not being met. Here is the gallery of providers that are falling short:
- Big-box consultants – they may be great at auditing but they fall woefully short in implementing change; high billings, poor commitment, novice day-to-day staffing, recycled thinking and weak implementation are all cardinal traits.
- Innovation Boutiques – the loudest in claiming ownership of this space, and have never met a problem they didn’t like, the geeks of innovation lack market credibility, are immunized to important client insight and lead projects that go on forever and never commercialize.
- Software firms – we believe technology is a core part of all future solutions but it can’t be the tail that wags the dog; cloud & digital firms’ over-standardized approaches, blindness to customer needs and inability to deliver strategic, step change are the biggest concerns here.
- Creative Agencies – here comes the right brained saviours to save the day; but in practical experience, agency shops: focus on the shiny & new than winning in the marketplace, foster non-collaborative enmity against clients and take their eyes off execution to do this “big work”.
- Corporate Incubators – over the last decade, the world has developed a dogmatic fondness for startups; by slavishly celebrating the garage entrepreneur, these firms disregard cultural & governance concerns and ignore the advantages that larger organizations really do have.
- Futurists & Researchers – we love data & enlightened foresight, the challenge is most of these vendors lean loo far out onto the edge into a moonshot-ty future or lean too far back into historical results without credibly leading to actionable forecast.s and implications.
Enough we say! Never mind that most of these firms only see part of what we see as the “innovation pie” (check out our #Next30 page for the reframing of innovation to futureproofing ), they simply don’t get their client firms to “see, learn, decide and commit” effectively – wasting time and momentum, killing careers and losing windows of opportunity. We have a different approach. Let’s anticipate AND deliver your future now.
Futureproofing : Next Covers off The Top Five Subjects Business Audiences Want
Our Futureproofing : Next keynotes deliver the top subject areas that business teams and people desire.
From our research report Business Stage Act, Innovation & the Future (61%), Technology & Digital (52%), Leadership & Strategy (48%), Change & Transformation (39%) and Customers & Brands (29%) is what your audience and stakeholders really wants. Tap Futureproofing : Next to over deliver it.
Four Different Levels of Futureproofing Solutions, Many Options
Futureproofing : Next will help deliver bespoke innovation solutions sized for your organization, your teams and your leadership. Find out how we outsmart, outdesign & outdeliver.
- Ankle-deep – let’s get change started with keynotes, webinars, facilitation, Innovation Days, immersions, guidebooks & reports
- Waist-deep – make a pivot statement with workshops, inbound content, custom research, leadership & team development, program design & industry roundtables
- Chest-deep – take it to the next level with innovation capacity & readiness audits, co-labs, open innovation, innovation & business model sprints
- Head-deep – make innovation everyday with training curriculum, business transformation, commercialization, futureguiding & fractional leadership.
We know one size does not fit all. Over the next few months, we might be in touch with you. Sometimes as a sounding board (we have three new research projects for 2020 in the wings), sometimes as collaborators (we are convening our first global guild Futureproofing 66° meeting this fall), sometimes as ambassadors (we already have 7 episodes of our webcast in the bag and a book launching in November) and sometimes as our future clients (we think there is a better way and we want to help your business).
From Ankle-deep to Head-deep futureproofing solutions
- Marketplace and future-driven.
- Corporate focus and company-tested with 13,000 teams.
- Expansive set of options, four core services to help inspire, direct, build and guide your next stage of growth.
What We Believe About the Future
I am an enthusiastic, but rational optimist about the future.
At Futureproofing : Next, we study the facts in tremendous detail, but also operate from the assumption that business leaders are not victims of inevitable doom.
We believe that the future is ours to create, and that the only thing that prevents companies from growth is a limited mindset.”
Andrea Kates, F:N Co-founder
At Futureproofing : Next, we operate 1-4 years ahead of current marketplace thinking. As you fixate on the current cycle, we provide the brains and bandwidth to carve out ambition, plans and delivery for an accelerated future.
We think that is the sweetspot between what will likely happen and what your company can start working on to benefit. Any shorter, and it is fashion and fads. Any longer, and it is wasteful loonshots and fanciful thinking. “
Sean Moffitt, F:N Co-founder
Whether we like the future in store for us or not, we’re going to spend most of the rest of our time there, so I say ‘let’s embrace it’”.
LEAN INTO THE FUTURE
We operate at the intersection of the future and business.
We live between early stage idea and reliable growth.
We help deliver innovation competence and confidence.
Co-Founder, Futureproofing : Next / MD - Wikibrands
Sean is a driving force behind F:N balancing out broad expertise in: business transformation & emerging tech, vision & strategy, brand & customer, talent & culture, and trends & applied innovation, to help companies deliver “innovation you can take to the bank”
As a former Fortune 500 executive, CMO, incubator executive counsel and four-time startup founder, Sean bridges large, scaling and startup culture & practices. He is a global thought leader in company innovation, author of Wikibrands and 16 marketplace studies. and has helped spearhead growth and transformation of over 200+ clients around the world.
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