How Micro Innovation Can Transform Your Business

Nick Sone Chief Customer Officer Linkedin Profile
How Micro Innovation Can Transform Your Business

How Micro Innovation Can Transform Your Business

– a sit down with Brennan’s Chief Customer Officer, Nick Sone.

In a fast-changing world, technology is rapidly evolving, and businesses continue to advance and transform themselves. Whilst most businesses aspire to disrupt the market, differentiate themselves against their competitors and take on major innovations (think Uber for example), I’d argue that micro innovations are often more crucial, efficient, and successful to a business than major innovations.

In fact, I recently sat on the Innovation Fireside panel at the WA IT Leadership Summit and shared my exact thoughts on this concept.

What is Micro innovation?

Micro innovation is about accessing new technology to get incremental changes in your business through measurable, achievable wins. These changes may be small, but they can result in mighty changes to your business and the fact that these incremental moves can stimulate profound organisational change makes them an integral piece of any businesses core digital transformation strategy.

Where do you begin?

I often hear from customers that they have a need for digital transformation and that they are looking at how they can harness the latest technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI) as the solution.

The challenge with this, is that AI is such a broad concept. You really need to understand the problem that you want solved. Question yourself on how AI will uniquely fit into your business and address the intricacies of your business needs.

There’s not a one size fits all approach to AI, which is why when I speak to customers, I suggest they begin by using the ‘Innovation Triangle’ to assess and understand where they’re placed in their innovation and digital transformation journey.


At the base of the Innovation Triangle are 3 critical components – your cloud environment and infrastructure, your cybersecurity and your identity management. These are the technology foundations to your business. They are your source of truth, and you need to have these solid foundations.

Putting these foundations into practice can be daunting, and you might need a good Outsourced IT partner to make sure your foundations, once solid, remain that way. It’s a great area to lean on a partner, so you can ensure your own staff have time to address the value adding parts of the triangle.

Once you have these fundamentals in place, look at your data. Your data needs to be high quality, you need a good data management strategy, and you need to ensure this data is governed. You can get help with this from partners, but it should be owned by members of your own company, it’s the data that creates insights and allows for meaningful decision making.

Only now, can you begin to look at how AI can be utilised to help support micro innovations throughout your business. AI initiatives that are going to add value to your business today will draw upon your data and well-architected infrastructure. Good data along with best practices in infrastructure configuration will lead to good initiatives.

How do we approach Micro innovation?

At Brennan we adopt a 3-step approach to micro innovation.

  1. Review your business: whether it’s your executive leadership team, practice leads, people managers or individual contributors, we always begin by reviewing our current business processes and systems in the context of the entire business, don’t review them in individual silos.
  2. Identify constraints: we then work with a domain expert to identify your biggest constraints using the Theory of Constraints (TOC)1 methodology to understand where these biggest constraints are. This is by far the hardest part. To truly identify the issues takes the most effort.
  3. Implementation of micro innovation: micro innovation is then using a new (or old) technology, in this case AI, to solve that constraint and improve the flow of the business.

A great micro innovation example that we recently implemented within Brennan came from one of our service desk team leaders (in this example they are the domain expert, they understand the business drivers). We had 8 service desk agents who were responsible for manually reviewing over 40,000 customer emails per month, assigning these emails to the appropriate resolver groups and ensuring that our customers issues were addressed in a timely manner.

Our Head of Service Operations engaged with his domain expert to understand the constraints that the team were facing with this manual process. Once they identified this constraint, they were able to implement predictive artificial intelligence to assist in automating and assigning the tickets to the appropriate resolver groups.

The AI has now been trained on this very narrow set of tasks to a 92% accuracy rate. This allowed for our Service Operations team to redeploy their 8 service desk agents and enable them to focus on the higher value work for our customers, resolving their issues.

This is a classic example of how a business can apply AI in small areas of their business to gain big benefits. Too often people get caught up in the hype of AI, especially generative AI, thinking it will solve all their business challenges, when in fact smart innovation comes from within and leverages the existing tools you already have in place.

If you are interested in digital transformation and exploring where both micro innovations and AI can be leveraged in your business, please get in touch.


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