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Innovation and Risk in the Clouds - III

Business innovation, strategy, organization, culture, and cloud computing

Early Bird at Cloud Expo

In part 1 and part 2 we covered the alignment between strategy, organizational culture, innovation, and cloud computing; and discussed the risk of innovation in the cloud.  Now lets turn our attention towards our respective organizations.

Innovation in the world of business occurs in organizations ready to take an acceptable level of managed, calculated, and measured risks.

While it’s true that an airplane is safest in the hangar, that’s not what airplanes are for, and it would likely make for one unhappy pilot, wasting her skill, education, and training while she does nothing more than continuous upkeep on the airplane in the hangar, for a flight that won’t happen.

Success is not guaranteed.  That is the nature of risk taking.

Organizations where a positive risk taking culture exists, where employees are empowered and are doing motivating work, and where trust, and open communications exists between the senior executive management, and the team that will execute; will be the organizations that will meet the challenges posed by the cloud computing business model.

Senior executive management will have to take the lead and transform their organizations to a highly innovative, collaborative organization that leverages the power of cloud computing, and to do so they will need strength and true leadership (spanning in and out leadership styles), as well as, excellent strategy, exceptional planning, agile management, and open communications.

Which enterprises are more open to innovation and risk taking?  Which are risk averse?  Traditionally, it has been the mid-level enterprises that are more flexible and open to taking chances.  It is somewhat ironic considering that large enterprises with massive corporate war chests can afford to take on considerably more risk, and yet, those are the very organizations which are often risk averse; they are also the organizations that are at greater risk if they stand still and do not continuously innovate.

Innovation, like risk, is a double-edged sword, producing both great wins and losses, but only through risk taking can the great wins materialize.  It’s true, the risk of failure exists as well.  Although the greatest risk of all belongs to the largest enterprises, those unable or unwilling to adapt to the changing environment for fear that it is too risky.

In the field of capitalism, where companies play, growth comes from innovation and risk taking.

Does your corporate culture support risk taking?  Does it support the employees who take risks, or does it relegate them to the bench when they take a risk and fail?  Is there room for creativity, change, collaboration, and innovation in your corporate culture?  Do you have a corporate innovation team – one tasked to continually watch the marketplace for innovative approaches, and emerging technologies?  Do you have any employees devoted to thinking about, and considering these matters?

Be a pirate, and do what’s right for your stakeholders and shareholders alike, take a risk on innovation in cloud computing, by changing your organizational culture, and enabling your new, open, innovative, empowered, trusted, risk-taking culture, to transform your business into a world leader, and in the process, change the world.

The world needs innovation leaders like you, now more than ever, take a risk, and reach for the clouds.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ray DePena

Ray DePena worked at IBM for over 12 years in various senior global roles in managed hosting sales, services sales, global marketing programs (business innovation), marketing management, partner management, and global business development.
His background includes software development, computer networking, systems engineering, and IT project management. He holds an MBA in Information Systems, Marketing, and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a BBA in Computer Systems from the City University of New York at Baruch College.

Named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers in 2009, Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2010, and Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2011, he is the Founder and Editor of Amazon.com Journal,Competitive Business Innovation Journal,and Salesforce.com Journal.

He currently serves as an Industry Advisor for the Higher Education Sector on a National Science Foundation Initiative on Computational Thinking. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. DePena now lives in northern California. He can be followed on:

Twitter: @RayDePena   |   LinkedIn   |   Facebook   |   Google+

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