Now showing items tagged Innovation
Within a society driven by capitalist aims – efficiency, accumulation, profits – the endless innovation of new products is a worthy practice. Keeping consumers keen for new products is key, and so the clever marketing, regular new releases and planned obsolescence begin. After all, why would a customer buy a new product if they are satisfied with what they have?
Any of us who are familiar with the process of writing will no doubt know the critical importance of fresh perspectives. You can write the work, edit it, proofread it, reread it, and still miss the most glaringly obvious of mistakes. Within seconds, a set of new eyes picks up errors that had simply disappeared into the rest of the writing.
The power and importance of outsiders’ perspectives cannot be overlooked across all works, not least of which our businesses. Falling into comfortable patterns, familiar rhythms and efficient systems is an impulse that is hard to avoid in organisations, but nothing will kill agility, creativity and innovation faster than these.
When did you last truly look at your organization from an outsider’s perspective?
Flying cars and driverless vehicles have almost become a cliché of futurism since the early days of sci-fi. Today’s transport, however, reveals a cliché that is quickly proving itself to be true. With autonomous technology invading both our automotive and aerospace industries, accelerated by the demands of COVID, our transport is moving faster than we thought.
Almost every business wants to be known for being innovative, but in a world saturated with systems and bureaucracy, not all businesses have the mindset that will get them there. When it comes to innovation, I often recall a quote by former business professor of the University of San Francisco Oren Harari, ‘The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.’
Years ago, I visited an acupuncturist following the recommendation of a friend, interested to see how the experience would differ from the dozens of chiropractors and physiotherapists I had seen. It did not disappoint. Where I would have expected him to examine my posture, ask about medical history and order X-rays, this acupuncturist asked to examine my tongue and somehow read with complete accuracy the state of my stress levels, diet and sleeping patterns.
Downturns and hard times are often perceived as a curse in business. When lockdowns hit, sales dry up and market share dwindles, leaders often long for the former glory days of growth and prosperity. However, in the same way that nature has seasons, industries have cycles that serve an important purpose. The key to surviving, thriving and achieving enduring relevance in the long-term is to work with rather than war against seasons and cycles – especially the adverse ones.
Last year threw a spanner in the works of human movement. While we were on an unwavering trajectory towards an urbanised and globalised world, widespread lockdowns sent us back to the confines of our homes, into the borders of our own countries and towards suburbs beyond the cities. With a new balance of working from home and at the office, and real estate booming beyond the major cities, we are seeing a version of our future emerging faster and more differently than we ever could have predicted. The notion of city living is expanding in its definition as are the innovations that are accompanying it.
The next decade will undoubtedly be dominated by the large-scale trends we have long anticipated. Driverless cars, passenger drones and the rise of the robots all represent developments that are impossible to miss and will be defining for our era. However, while it’s easy to be dazzled by large-scale trends, it is equally undeniable that some of the most exciting breakthroughs that will shape the coming decade will occur at a much, much smaller scale… in fact, they will be microscopic.
We often think of emerging technology as the field of high-level businesspeople and Silicon Valley tech wizards. We don’t often see today’s innovations as being a tool for enhancing accessibility, increasing affordability and empowering equality.
However, recent developments have seen it do just this. Here are 3 fields in which technology is making everyday life more affordable and more accessible for the everyday consumer.