CI2017: What’s next? Thriving in the age of acceleration

We have noticed a growing trend in innovation. The ‘innovation race’ appears to be rapidly accelerating into an unknown future, and everyone wants to know ‘What’s next?’

Many of us are keen to hear market leaders share their predictions, hoping to pick up the latest trends and stay head of the curve. Yet the pace of change is now so fast that the future can be extremely challenging to predict.

As we heard the US chief advisor to Clinton and Obama Jeffrey Bleich explain recently, we are now the victims of ‘runaway technologies’.

‘Digital technology – while solving crucial problems – is creating or compounding others… Many of us feel that we’ve lost control over the pace of it all,’ Bleich has said, ‘The technology is driving itself.’

Dinosaurs and disruptions

It is now common to lament the fact that just a few years ago Blackberry, Borders books, Myspace, Kodak or Nokia had exciting visions for their companies’ futures before their rapid demise. As the Nokia CEO shared during a press conference to announce the company’s acquisition by Microsoft, ‘We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.’

According to the current trends, survival into the future will not be a case of excellent performance, it will be more a case of exceptional propulsion. Few organizations will be able to keep up.

There is certainly already an awareness of the need to be looking ahead to what’s much further along the track, with no shortage of popular innovation initiatives in organizations. Most people we meet are now acutely aware of the dangers of potential digital disruptions and the need for an entrepreneurial mindset.

Yet many initiatives still seem to fall short of expectations. In fact a Harvard Business School study has revealed that 95% of new products fail.

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