Dion Chang offers innovation masterclass for businesses

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Dion Chang, CEO of Flux Trends.
Dion Chang, CEO of Flux Trends.

Dion Chang, founder of trend research and consulting company, Flux Trends, has introduced the Flux Trend Innovation Laboratory, an intense, interactive half-day masterclass open to all organisations and individuals.

According to Chang, the Laboratory is based on the Trends as Business Strategy module that he gives at South Africa's business colleges (Gibs in Johannesburg and the Graduate School of Business at UCT), specifically for senior executives and senior management. The class is designed to take decision-makers out of their daily operational focus, consider the future trajectory of the company, and most importantly, shift leadership thinking towards the key drivers of business disruption.

"The class is about how to nurture innovation, through looking at how digitisation affects different businesses. Technology changes are the biggest drivers of how businesses are disrupted, therefore it's important for business leaders to identify the mega-trends set to disrupt their business, and create an enabling environment for innovation in their businesses," explains Chang.

Observing the structure of companies' operating systems, he notes, most companies don't nurture innovation; they simply stumble upon it along the way. Yet there are many ways of incorporating innovation in business.

"We've identified five different ways of innovation. In most cases it revolves around implementation of new technologies, but in other cases there are other ways of innovating, depending on your sector and the type of organisation one runs. Organisations have to identify which are the best ways of incorporating innovation," continues Chang. "In a digital era, innovation is the lifeblood of the 21st century business. However, the implementation of new technologies within organisations picks up very complex problems for companies. One of the biggest mistakes some companies are making in dealing with disruption complexities, is they're trying to resolve challenges using old skills sets which they've had for ages."

In dealing with digital disruptions, organisations need a new skills set, such as hybrid skills, to adequately meet those challenges, he asserts.

Chang recently embarked on an innovation tour observing the top 50 performing and most dynamic companies in New York City (across multiple industries), to see if he could find the golden thread that links these game-changing companies.

His findings were surprising: "The companies all performed like very new agile start-up companies, the mind-set was completely different, as were the company's operating systems. None outsourced their innovation to a separate innovation hub. I discovered that innovation hubs within local companies can be counter-productive, because the organisations divorce the innovation process from the rest of the company and leave one small department to come up with silver bullet, which is expected to transform the whole company. The secret is embedding innovation throughout the whole company culture," he concludes.

Flux Trend Innovation Laboratory details:

Time: 9am to 1pm
Date: Thursday, 30 March 2017
Address: GE African Innovation Centre, 60 Glenhove Road, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg
Cost: R3859 per person (including VAT)

For more information visit Flux Trends Innovation Laboratory.

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