8 min read

Open for Business

Why becoming a ‘Responsive Organization’ is essential to successfully compete in the digital age

Deterministic thinking is out of touch with the times… We must develop new ‘organic’ ways of working in the open, interconnected, real-time world.

Michel Zarka
Founder and Managing Partner | Theano Advisors

In creating smart, connected products, high-tech companies must meet the stringent, dynamic demands and regulations of customers around the world. Global competition won’t allow them get slowed down by complexity.

In fact, our organizations need to become more responsive and agile by facilitating collaboration, empowering innovators and unlocking the value chain of diverse stakeholders.

In this context, companies are looking at concepts like ‘modularisation’, ‘mass-customization’, ‘co-creation’ and ‘experience thinking’. These concepts are signposts to an exciting new way of creating products and solutions through digital integration, simulation and real-time collaboration. A route that will be a game-changer for high-tech innovators looking to stay responsive and competitive in volatile and unpredictable markets.

Developing a responsive business

Given increasing pressure on time and resources, companies are looking to remove the barriers and inhibitions of their current innovation practice, so they can draw on resources – internally, externally and beyond –  that might not have been available previously.


The concept of ‘Open innovation’ allows companies to move from a closed innovation process involving internal resources organized formally, to one that innovates by involving diverse talents from external resources.

By supplementing the brainpower available inside one company with input from partners, customers, consultants, government laboratories, crowdsourcing and more, the options for increasing a company’s inputs and improving its chances of finding a truly innovative solution expand exponentially,

Allan Behrens
Managing Director | Taxal Limited

explains Allan Behrens, Managing Director at Taxal and board member of the UK’s Manufacturing Services Thought Leadership Network, in his article.

Martin Duval, President and COO of Bluenove, an international open innovation consultancy, agrees: “With the increasing complexity of the environments in which we all work, including tight budgets and resources for innovation in all sectors, mastering the rapid pace of technology changes is critical to survival -  inside the company but also across the entire ecosystem (startups, SMEs, suppliers, customers, universities, associations etc.).”

Time to get braided

Michel Zarka, the CEO and founder of Theano Advisors, a consultancy to major Fortune 500 companies, has coined the term ‘Braided Organization’ to describe the transformation businesses need to undergo. 

Writing with his colleagues Isabella Raugel and Elena Kochanovskaya, he states: “Braided Organizations seek to create an optimized stakeholder experience, which will, in return, engage people more efficiently, help manage risks optimally, and ultimately boost growth.”

Braided Organizations use both network design principles (how to optimize the interaction between people) and technology (digital platforms that make it easy for users to exchange information) to create ‘braids’ that optimally weave together competencies and talent from within, as well as from outside, the organization.”

View Infographic
Responsive organization > Braided Organizations > Dassault Systèmes®
View Infographic
Responsive organization > Braided Organizations > Dassault Systèmes®
What's a Braided Organization and why should you aspire to be one?

For Zarka, the focus is on openness, agility and responsiveness – reinvigorating the innovation process, while reducing development and financial risk. Braided businesses, from startups to global players, also benefit from greatly enhanced speed in identifying and achieving solutions.

You can’t adapt if you can’t learn, and you can’t learn unless you have the freedom to experiment

Dave Gray
Founder and CEO | The school of the possible

The freedom factor

“You can’t adapt if you can’t learn, and you can’t learn unless you have the freedom to experiment,” says Dave Gray, author of ‘The Connected Company’.

“Too many companies still constrain their employees with rigid policies and procedures that make experimentation and learning impossible. Today’s business environment is uncertain and variable. It’s impossible to know in advance what kinds of actions will constitute good performance. By giving their employees the freedom to make decisions, connected companies learn and move faster. While others analyze risk, connected companies seize opportunities.”

Seizing opportunities with New Product Introduction (NPI) is clearly key for our industry. Michael Zapata, a technology industry entrepreneur and executive board chairman of Protochips, which develops analytical tools for nano-scale materials research and development, highlights three elements that high-tech companies must master to succeed at NPI:

  1. Tools, processes and methodologies, which represent “the table stakes” to even play in the game.
  2. A corporate culture of innovation exhibited at all levels of management.
  3. The right people in key positions who know how to champion and promote NPI.

He warns that a company can get the first two right and fall at the last hurdle by placing the wrong person in a key leadership post. “If he/she is talking about processes and bureaucracy, they’re just a manager,” Zapata argues. By contrast, a leader will talk about the market, the risks, and about translating ideas into action.

Companies that encourage a culture of sharing ideas (...) tend to (be) successful in their NPI processes

Robert Handfield
Executive Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative

Businesses that are getting it right

The inspirational UK inventor Sir James Dyson, founder and chief executive of Dyson Ltd, advocates creative freedom: “New ideas advance society and create growth. Creativity leads to novel technology like electric vehicles and cleaner engines. Aspiring designers need our support to turn bright ideas into products the world wants to buy.” 

“Dyson engineers start with a frustration,” he explains. “Then they get to work brainstorming ideas. They’re not bound to any methodology – in fact, the riskier the better. We call it ‘wrong thinking’, having an idea so off-base that it snowballs into something that just might work.

Once a winning idea is created, it must be produced. Manufacturing is a complex business. Improving technology, higher rates of production and shifting supply chains have made it cheaper to make products, but harder to produce good ones. But this is changing. Manufacturing is going independent. Breaking rules. Simplifying processes and cutting out the middle man through new forms of production financing.”

High-Tech success stories from around the world powered by 3DEXPERIENCE™

Fostering agility and responsiveness through open innovation and digitalization can be realized though very different means.  Which is why we would like to introduce two very different businesses and let them explain how they have leveraged 3DEXPERIENCE to achieve their goals.

Dong Yang E&P raised design issue detection from 5% to 45%

2 minutes 52

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provided our company an enterprise-wide collaborative platform.

Youn-Ik Nam
Managing Director R&D, Dong Yang E&P

In our first case study, South Korean energy and power component manufacturer Dong Yang E&P, explain how they were striving to improve the efficiency of their development teams, identify problems earlier and improve collaboration throughout the product development lifecycle.

Thanks to 3DEXPERIENCE and its Accelerated Device Industry Solution Experience, they increased their early detection rate of design issues from just 5% to an outstanding 45% – and they hope to improve this figure even further. Read the case study.

V-ZUG reduced engineering change cycle time by 50%

4 minutes 12

With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we have created a foundation that prepares us for the future.

Ernst Dober
Head of Development and Services, V-ZUG

In the second, we meet Swiss business V-ZUG, manufacturer of high-end household appliances. Facing increasingly demanding customers and regulatory requirements, they needed an innovative new platform to manage the development of their complex range of products.

It wasn’t long before High-Tech Operational Excellence solution experience helped them simplify processes and digital workflows to reduce change cycle times by an incredible 50%. Read the full Case Study

White Paper: The Braided Organization

Braided Organizations

Introduce a new value creation dynamic and create new ways for people to positively experience the enterprise.

Read the white paper by Theano Advisors to learn more.

Message from Olivier de Percin, Vice President High-Tech Industry

3 minutes 1