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Digital Asset Innovation

2014-29-July-Dutch-Architecture.jpg"Without change, there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” — William Pollard

Innovation, an active process of introducing something “new” or “different,” involves a commitment to looking at the world differently and making the conscious effort to change. The decision to implement a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can be an innovative moment in gaining operational and intellectual control of your digital assets.

DAM brings with it great responsibility for how the organization’s assets will be efficiently and effectively managed and is essential to growth. Any successful DAM implementation requires more than just new technology; DAM requires a foundation for digital strategy. Creating the whole DAM solution — and connecting it throughout your ecosystem — means that your digital assets can be part of this innovation by generating revenue, increasing efficiencies and enhancing your ability to meet new and emerging market opportunities for your users.

If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” — Peter F. Drucker 

Innovation Starts at Home

Every strategy needs a foundation — that solid base upon which a structure rests and where meaning may be established. Many structures deserve attention and preparedness for the roadmap of work to be done when building the “House of DAM.” More importantly, these structures should be reviewed 
and discussed long before any technology has been considered, let alone purchased. Technology should never lead the decision-making process for DAM — the business sets the foundation for strategy first. Technology is important, and the vendor review and selection process is a critical step in this process, but that step must follow the business requirements and digital strategy.

DAM encompasses the management tasks and technological functionality designed to enhance the inventory, control and distribution of digital assets. Digital assets include rich media such as photographs, videos, graphics, logos, marketing collateral. While most systems are initially required to house the large variety of media, DAM must also consider workflow surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets for use and reuse in marketing or business operations. The metadata or descriptive information embedded in the asset adds these processes and increases the asset's value. 

From
 IT staff to all users (past and present), keeping a record of what’s happened to the assets and how they were used will help inspire others who seek to innovate for their future use. Expanding markets and complex supply chains for digital images demand constant updating, rethinking and redesign of DAM. Innovative thinking is required to keep apace with the change.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs

Innovation Process

Drawing inspiration from Rod Collins’ book, “Wiki Management: A Revolutionary New Model for a Rapidly Changing and Collaborative World," there are five fundamental phases to the innovation and change management process that have a direct impact on how digital assets and DAM are understood and managed within an organization:

1. Understand What’s Most Important to Customers

Innovative leaders understand that the purpose of a business is to create customer value. The most effective organizations today are collaborative networks focused on delighting their customers.

The beginning of your DAM process must ask the question, “what’s most important to your customers?” Customer / user value is a moving target influenced by many factors both inside and outside the organization. This Initial Picture of the values influencing consumer choices and the developments that might reshape future market behavior will collate observations from:

  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Market Analyses
  • Customer Segmentation Data
  • Industry Trends
  • Disruptive Developments
  • Financial Analyses
  • Winning Value Propositions

2. Aggregate and Leverage Collective Intelligence

The most effective organizations are those that have the capacity to quickly access and leverage their collective intelligence. An effective method to process the Initial Picture with your staff is in a Collective Intelligence Lab, where a microcosm of your organization is gathered to:

  • Collectively process key information
  • Work cross-functionally in small groups to think holistically and expansively about new and different ways to achieve better results
  • Engage in innovative large group processes to identify the best solutions and their related requirements

This work results in an Innovation Portfolio, a strategic framework for proactively managing the growth of your company in a time of change whether that be for maintenance, incremental change, platform change or disruptive change.

3. Build Shared Understanding by Bringing Everyone Together in Open Conversations

People are more likely to enthusiastically implement what they create. Fostering co-creation can be achieved with Collaboration Work-Through and Iterative Check-In sessions. A Collaboration Work-Through is a facilitated meeting process that empowers a diverse group of individuals to:

 

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