INVENTURES

June 2017

 

Cities Rising to Meet Urbanization Challenges Ahead

According to the United Nations, more than half of the world's population now lives in towns and cities, and by 2030 this number will swell to about 5 billion. This urbanization will require cities to transform themselves at an unprecedented pace. And technology will play a crucial role as cities attempt to reinvent themselves.

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Keeping Pace with Landscape Shifts

Technology alliances typically have a relatively short lifecycle when compared to other types of not-for-profit organizations such as business and trade associations or professional societies. With this factor in mind, it's essential to utilize unique approaches for management and strategic planning for technology alliances as standard approaches are not among the keys to success.

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Rejuvenating the Global Print Ecosystem

In a world focused on digital documentation and cloud storage, leading printer manufacturers from around the globe did the unthinkable. They made print easier for all Android users. Whether they're at home, school or work, printing is now easier than ever.

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The Science of Goals

The science of motivation can help organizations finish what they start, whether it's minor tasks or major initiatives. Findings from behavioral science suggest that teams can improve in this regard if they conceptualize their goals more effectively, design incentives to boost instead of quash motivation, and use relationships more strategically.

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imageCities Rising to Meet Urbanization Challenges Ahead

According to the United Nations, more than half of the world's population now lives in towns and cities, and by 2030 this number will swell to about 5 billion. This urbanization will require cities to transform themselves at an unprecedented pace. And technology will play a crucial role as cities attempt to reinvent themselves.

A recent Wall Street Journal insert entitled, "The Rise of the Smart City", started with this thought, "Cities have a way to go before they can be called geniuses. But they're getting smart pretty fast." And they need help from alliances and technology-driving consortia to produce needed solutions to become smarter and to overcome the challenges of housing, transporting, and safety for their future citizens.

Inventures routinely works with many of the top 50 global companies producing smart technologies that will enable city leadership to plan and to prepare for this expected migration of rural dwellers into their cities. Technologies produced in Inventures-managed alliances ranging from wireless networking to connected vehicles to smart homes have entered the marketplace and are being deployed in leading cities around the world.

For example, the GENIVI Alliance, a global automotive alliance developing technology for the connected vehicle, is currently engaged with the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility on a connected vehicle pilot project. GENIVI has produced and deployed technology to enhance pedestrian safety and improve driver awareness of traffic congestion. Instead of the city working with a single vendor, this pilot has engaged several GENIVI members ranging from automakers like Jaguar Land Rover to "big data" specialists like Hortonworks.

Another Inventures-managed organization, City Protocol Society, is working with world class cities like Dubai, Dublin, Amsterdam and Barcelona to identify and plan for new methods of increasing the mobility of their citizens - a major challenge facing many large cities worldwide. Meanwhile, they are also equipping cities to find new ways of procuring solutions more efficiently to speed up the essential processes of applying technology to their challenges. City leaders around the world are concluding that they simply cannot "build their way out" of the influx of millions of new citizens. Technology must be the new asphalt and mortar of the future. And Inventures' approach toward producing multi-stakeholder alliances that maximize collaboration is an essential building block to making future cities smarter and safer.

Perhaps your organization has a piece of a much-needed solution and needs a context in which that piece can be combined with other pieces to produce a product or standard that cities can use. If your organization wants advance its business goals by contributing its expertise to this inescapable trend toward urbanization, contact Inventures today for engagement ideas in the future of smarter cities.

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imageKeeping Pace with Landscape Shifts

Technology alliances typically have a relatively short lifecycle when compared to other types of not-for-profit organizations such as business and trade associations or professional societies. With this factor in mind, it's essential to utilize unique approaches for management and strategic planning for technology alliances as standard approaches are not among the keys to success. Technology alliances are subject to the same forces as commercial products and companies but responding to these forces, requires definition of alliance-relevant strategies, programs, and tactics. A primary tool that Inventures has found very successful in assisting with strategic planning and management of technology alliances is the Technology Alliance Lifecycle.

Technology Alliance Lifecycle

Strategic lifecycle management is essential to an organization's success and the Technology Alliance Lifecycle offers organizations a crucial tool and path for organizations to adapt, sustain, and remain relevant longer.

Comprised of four phases, the Technology Alliance Lifecycle includes Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Reset/Decline. In the Introduction Phase, an organization typically is focused on market and ecosystem development and will try to build awareness and market share. A technology alliance in the Growth Phase will often emphasize development and delivery of solutions, and will also try to build brand and increase market share. If an organization is in the Maturity Phase, then driving adoption and volume is typically a priority and the organization will want to help defend market share and address saturation. As a technology alliance approaches the end of the Maturity Phase, it will reach an Inflection Point, at which time the organization should make a conscious decision to either gracefully sunset the organization and transition through the Decline Phase, or enter the Reset Phase. To Reset a technology alliance and redefine the market and product, the organization could attempt to expand its (technical) scope, move to adjacent markets, and/or modify its mission. Often the decision to enter the Decline Phase is made when an alliance has accomplished its objective(s), the technology has become obsolete, and/or the market window has closed.

Customized Guidance

As a tool, the Technology Alliance Lifecycle helps an organization know when and how to shift investment, funding, and resources to meet the phase characteristics and the needed activities of the organization. Inventures uses key criteria, such as membership growth, solutions adoption, and financial runway to determine where in the lifecycle an organization is. Depending where an alliance is in the lifecycle, emphasis in the forms of resources and funding, are placed on different activities that range from organizational structure and processes to proactive market outreach to product definition and roadmap to branding and education.

Some may perceive technology alliances as static entities but landscape shifts in forces such as technology, markets, and competition, are a fact of existence and more often than not, alliances need to shift with these forces. Inventures has assisted many alliances through various transitions and we know there's a unique lifecycle to every technology community, so we provide customized guidance along the way to seize the right opportunities and position organizations for a prosperous future.

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imageRejuvenating the Global Print Ecosystem

In a world focused on digital documentation and cloud storage, leading printer manufacturers from around the globe did the unthinkable. They made print easier for all Android users. Whether they're at home, school or work, printing is now easier than ever.

From initial incubation to launch in 2013, Inventures guided the founders as they created the Mopria Alliance. The Alliance came about as a way for the printer industry to respond to their customers, whom both wanted and needed to print. And, by helping their customers, they helped themselves. Printing was declining rapidly because people are more mobile and no longer reliant on a computer to accomplish day-to-day tasks.

Thanks to creation of the 50 language Mopria Print Service app, more than 1 million pages a day are printed from mobile device users today, and that number is only expected to grow. The Alliance set off on a daring mission to get leading mobile device manufacturers to preload the Mopria Print Service and deliver the convenience of immediate, out-of-the-box print capabilities to users everywhere.

But not every existing printer is capable of supporting mobile printing. An aggressive certification program was launched by the Alliance to deliver Mopria certified printers to the market quickly. With product development cycles estimated to take two years, speed was critical to everyone. In four short years, this program delivered more than 2,000 models to help consumers and businesses enjoy the convenience of mobile printing.

Inventures stood side-by-side with the Mopria Alliance in rejuvenating the global print ecosystem. Over the years, we've provided them membership management, financial services, communication and public relations, marketing services, certification management, program management, member meeting services, executive leadership, global headquarters services, workgroup collaboration and web/IT services. Our services allowed the Alliance to stay focused on the goal of making mobile print easy as they traveled the not always straight path to success.

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imageThe Science of Goals

The science of motivation can help organizations finish what they start, whether it's minor tasks or major initiatives. Findings from behavioral science suggest that teams can improve in this regard if they conceptualize their goals more effectively, design incentives to boost instead of quash motivation, and use relationships more strategically.

A helpful tactic is to construct a goal out of sub goals. "With each step forward," the article's author writes, "we can feel as though we're advancing toward future successes and away from past failures." To this end, annual goals can often be best achieved by setting monthly markers along the way. To reach a goal for a given week, outline daily tasks that will get the group closer to the desired end result.

Finally, the author says to "embrace competition." Pressure from elsewhere can spur individuals, as well as an entire organization, on to achieve their goals. The author says "good-old competition" is more effective than encouragement. Chicago Booth Review (02/23/17) Walton, Alice G.

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