The coronavirus pandemic is turning out to be an international economic crisis, with ramifications for all industries and markets, similar to the crisis of 2008. A cross-border economic crisis affects companies large and small, challenging an organization's management and its employees.
We often talk about the role of innovation in an age of constant, radical disruption, as defined by the 4th industrial revolution. Within this new environment, innovation leaders should play an essential role in helping the organization thrive and drive growth.
In November, the United States Coast Guard presented at Open Nation on their Coast Guard ideas program. They talked about how lessons learned from previous extreme weather occurrences (Sandy, etc.) still hadn’t become institutional knowledge by the 2017 hurricane season when they were so desperately needed. The reason that this hadn’t happened was that all of the methods for collecting new ideas were slow and opaque.
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Rapid changes in technology, customer needs and society forces large organizations to constantly adapt to a changing context in order to remain relevant. Organizations therefore need to shift their strategy from a reactive to a pro-active approach, or in other words, they need to anticipate the future to prepare for it. Developing extreme scenarios paints a picture of the future and poses the opportunity for organizations to prepare for upcoming challenges and to make use of new opportunities.
Innovation is all about survival – how often do we hear versions of that line? But in the field of humanitarian aid this really is the case. Innovation can sometimes be a matter of life and death. It’s a world characterised by crisis – but it’s also somewhere from which we might learn some new lessons to help manage innovation.
Companies sometimes behave like the ostrich with their head in the ground while others emerge from the crisis like a phoenix. Not knowing with which new products or services your company really earns money is a bit like the ostrich. However there are effective means to gain transparency on innovation spending without too much effort. These tools also allow a comparison with your competitors to understand what they are doing differently in their approach to successfully managing their innovation activities. Finally, they help companies which currently struggle with the economic situation to become more effective and efficient in their innovation management.
The practice of collaborative innovation brings the wisdom of the crowds to bear on the unknown: unpredictable scenarios where expert intuition leads people astray. The fiscal cliff that today confronts the U.S. and world economies qualifies. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores how practitioners can help their organizations navigate this Black Swan event. The message? Act now: collaborative innovation was made for this scenario.
Western societies and the systems we depend on to make them function are becoming ever more complex. As a result, they are also becoming more vulnerable to catastrophic, systemic failure. As individuals, communities and societies we may, at the same time, be becoming less able to cope with such events as we lose basic skills, families are more scattered and communities less connected.
In the Chinese word for crisis ‘weiji’ (??), ‘wei’ ? means danger, and ‘ji’ ? means opportunity. Crisis does not have the same meaning in China as in Western society. Chinese people believe that danger can be turned into opportunity, if one acts wisely according to under the circumstances. This mentality can be clearly seen in the way that China has tackled the global financial crisis.