If your job is to get your company, team, or community to innovate, you know how organizational forces can make it hard to even try something new. Visualizing the resources available is an effective first step in overcoming some of those organizational forces. Simply being able to see, and show, what you have allows you to make a compelling case for marshalling resources and even spark some initial interactions in that direction.
Recent discoveries of exoplanets that are relatively close to our solar system are used to illustrate the importance of “visualization”—of future consumer lifestyles, work and recreation, and product and service preferences—for the process of innovation. Different aspects of the visualization concept are discussed, including distinctions between consumers and companies, the importance of widely shared images and competition, and a possible role for Zen philosophy. Particular attention is devoted to visualizations associated with digital innovations, such as smartphones, voice assistants and the internet of things. A key conclusion of the discussion below is that the concept of disruptive innovation should be expanded to include the idea of disruptive visualization. The latter phenomenon will probably become more prevalent in the future.
Do you ever find yourself stuck in a meeting that’s stalling? Does the agenda seem to accomplish no tangible outcomes? Perhaps you find yourself wondering what’s next after an important summit, or frustrated with the lack of direction after a meaningful brainstorm or discussion.
One of the challenges leaders face in times of uncertainty and rapid change is helping senior managers to engage in bigger-picture thinking. To enable this process, a growing number of companies are creating “decision rooms” – dedicated areas that help them visualize challenges and opportunities from a number of perspectives and make better decisions.