#35 Harnessing Digital Disruption with Pascal Dennis and Laurent Simon - part 2 of 2.

Proudly brought to you in association with S A Partners, a world-leading business transformation consultancy.


Welcome to episode 35 of the Enterprise Excellence Podcast. It is terrific to have Pascal Denis and Laurent Simon back for the second episode of this two-part series. Today we will be exploring the 2nd and third roadmap elements from their book Harnessing Digital Disruption. Let's get into the episode, Laurent and Pascal. Thank you for joining us again today.


A fun and bluesy start to this one! Pascal has another passion in life apart from business improvement, and it is music. Check out his international blues band here

Pascal quotes Albert King "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die". It is so pertinent in this discussion about the digital innovation tree. Remember those juicy fruits at the top of the tree? We all want those juicy fruits, but we don't understand what it takes to get there.

Overview of the previous episode

Sustained transformation requires these three swimlanes to be run in parallel:

  1. good soil - leadership development program, clarity of purpose and strategic logic

  2. trunk - flex your innovation muscles and maintain it

  3. fruits - protect core business and ignite new growth

It is essential to conduct these three swimlanes in parallel. If you don't, you won't have a sound basis for reaching the top. The foundation of digital literacy, leaders leading by example, enabling the right behaviours, enabling suitable investments to drive business is vital. How do you balance the contradictory objectives: protect core business while investing in building the future with a new business model? We dove into Swimlane 1 in episode 34, and if this is of interest to you, please listen to that here #34 Harnessing Digital Disruption with Pascal Dennis and Laurent Simon - part 1 of 2.

In this episode,we will deep dive into:

  • Swimlane #2 - Develop your Digital Innovation Capability, Your Innovation Muscle, Team of Capable Innovators

  • Swimlane #3 - Deploy Impactful Innovation Projects

  • The Four Battles to Fight and Win

We have provided many soundbites of this episode, and will make them available on our YouTube channel.

Swimlane #2 - Develop your Digital Innovation Capability

Pascal and Laurent believe that there should be 1 per 100 innovators in your organisation, and supporting them well is vital. This swimlane involves them installing a pragmatic, scalable innovation system at your company.

There are four elements to the innovation system that Pascal and Laurent's team installs.

  1. The Pragmatic Innovators Framework

  2. The Pragmatic Innovators Academy

  3. The Pragmatic Innovators Network

  4. Focused Interventions

2.1 The Pragmatic Innovators Framework

Pascal and Lauren will help you to establish a robust, scalable, teachable framework that gives shared language and logic.

  • Customer focus - desirability - design thinking - does the system WoW?

  • Rapid prototyping - feasibility - agile - does it work?

  • Scaling fast - viability - growth hacking - can we make money?

These three areas are enabled with lean experimentation - where the shift happens - making data-driven decisions. This framework becomes the curriculum in the academy.

2.2 The Pragmatic Innovators Academy

Pascal and Laurent will help you to teach your innovators through an academy. You will look at core skills, assess existing skills, identify gaps and learning solutions to close the gap and establish a certification system.

Specifically, the academy would teach innovators how to launch a new product. Imagine a hockey stick's shape. With any new launch, you want to ascend the hockey stick curve as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, 90% of innovation projects end just as they enter the turn.

Here is a selection of the ideas covered:

  • How to explore and ideate - your customer problem fit - do we understand our customers? Do we know their top 3 problems causing pain and that we can validate.

  • How to design and validate the problem-solution fit with prototypes design.

  • How to build and validate - build the minimum viable product.

  • How to launch: market the pilot, product-market fit - measure

  • How to scale - 10x growth - the marketing and sales experiments that will help find many sweet spots in global markets.

2.3 The Pragmatic Innovators Network

Pascal and Laurent will help you to organise your community of intrapreneurs and establish a regular communication rhythm. Ideally, seven communication channels are set up for the network. These could include boot camps, monthly teleconferences, 3 min video to share every significant milestone, and study or learning groups.

2.4 Focused Interventions

Finally, make it easy for your people to innovate - have a corporate innovation program - Pascal and Laurent name this the Innobox process. It is similar to the shark tank approach. Innovation cannot be measured well with conventional accounting, as all measures are zero. You will need innovation accounting. Innovation accounting applies to igniting new growth, which sits at the top of the tree. Regular accounting takes care of the core business.

Swimlane #3 - Deploy Impactful Innovation Projects