Innovating Success in an Accelerating Digital World


Innovating Success in an Accelerating Digital World


Teresa Spangler

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Teresa Spangler

Entrepreneur, Innovator, Speaker, Author of the book All That I Am Now That I Know & Lead Singer The Headless Chickens

Part 1: Assess, Inventory, Map, Architect Around Human-Centers of Technical Competencies

We know that digital has become core to every business’s growth. However, not every business is keeping up with the Forumla1-like speed of change! This decade will be owned by companies continuously gaining command of digital and innovating in areas of performance. But not only do you need to innovate technically companies must development of their people further preparing for the age of AI/ML. And taking that further focus strengthening partner ecosystems will be imperative (customer partners, supplier partners, development partners…). 

You say your company is already doing as much as you can? I say it simply may not be enough but kudos to moving your business forward and don’t get complacent in your actions to continue the trek forward.  So how might you break down the evolutionary change needed when your priorities already feel like a winning Formula 1 team?

Below are 4 (maybe to your company unconventional) ways to focus your innovation teams to build a success plan:

  1. Take a comprehensive view of inventorying- Assess your people further not just for leadership skills or gaps but for future technology knowledge gaps. As an example, what is the technical competencies of each individual, each department and team in technologies that will be critical to the organization? These cannot just live with your IT or technology department as everyone today needs technical savvy. Examples of these knowledge areas to inventory for are: AI, CRM, ERP, data analytics, customer engaging technologies, sensors, IoT, the list goes on! Where are the knowledge centers of competencies in each technical area. Design a way to spread those competencies out to other teams and individuals.


  1. Build your organizations chart of acronyms and tech trends: as you believe relate most to your business (hint…nearly all of them relate to your business!). Note three positive impacts to your business with this trend then note three impacts to your business if a competitor leverages this trend before you do. Below are just a few technologies (acronyms) will impact nearly every business in some way:

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  •  AI/ML: Artificial Intelligence – will become less artificial
  • Machine Learning- “Always be learning” environments will feed everything we do
  • CRM, ERP- Old standards will shift to fully integrated, cheaper services that know more about you than you know about you and will act before you ask.
  • VR, Virtual Reality – will be virtually beyond entertaining!
  • Augmented Reality

Sensory Perceptions- with nearly 100 Billion sensors in the world sensing anything, anywhere and at anytime – well let’s just say I sense this will become our future.

  • Cloud, 
  • MirrorWorld (as noted in Wired Magazine)
  • Quantum Computing (a real game changer)
  • API
  • Platform
  • BCI’s (brain-computer interfaces)
  • Robots
  • Blockchain: or no chain- what could affect your business?
  • 5G, 6G, …10G? it could happen

…the list goes on and on with 1000’s of technology innovations emerging but select 10 to 20 you feel are critical to your future! Prioritize your top 50 then further prioritize.

3. Next prioritize and organize your tech and trends according to the following:

  • Who knows the most about each one of the priorities?
  • Which will impact your business the most?
  • Organize them as to which need immediate focus and need attention now vs. those that are on your watch, learn for now
  • What departments will these technologies impact (positively, adversely?… placing people, including partners and customers, at the center for each technology!)

4. Design Around Human-Centered Focus: you know, people like you and me!

  • What will your humans need to be versed and savvy to leverage the technical evolution of your company over the coming years?
  • How will AI and your people work together in the future…. or now as the case may be
  • What efficiencies will be gained by your teams leveraging new technologies? Remember productivity improvements cannot be fully leveraged if the people in the organization do not understand fully the technologies being used.
  • How will measures of success be reframed? We know measures and metrics for people will change but how? Today there is nothing that cannot be measured but if the technologies in place today are making it difficult for the people to pull that data, assess the data and understand the data as it relates to planning and reporting then productivity gets stalled.

Teresa Spangler is Plazabridge Group. Plazabridge Group provides technology, business and innovation consulting; with focuses on technology and transformative strategies, implementation, delivery including our technology lab for seeding of emerging technologies. Teresa is also the author of All That I Am: Now That I Know: 17 Life Lessons For Women Entrepreneurs On Dreaming Big, Failing Big, And Dusting Yourself Off To Do It All Over Again! Check out the upcoming 2020 Innovation Summit


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