Just like you and everybody else, Magnani is figuring out our “new normal” as we play our part in social distancing while COVID-19 continues to spread. Our team members are at home with their husbands, wives, partners, children, dogs, cats, hamsters, etc.
A few weeks back, I was listening to an episode of the podcast “The Skeptics Guide to the Universe,” and the host, Steven Novella, was discussing the asymmetrical time frames of destruction and restoration when considering the fate of the polar ice caps. If we do nothing about climate change, the models show a significant decline in the ice caps over the next 100 years and a total disappearance within a thousand years. The next point, however, was the one that struck me as most serious. Even if we reverse all of our carbon dioxide levels and cool the climate to pre-industrial levels, once those ice caps are gone, it would take millions of years for them to build back up.
You’ve undoubtedly been in brainstorming sessions. Some of these sessions have likely been fruitful, others disappointing. We often get asked how ideation is different from brainstorming on “Brilliant.”— a podcast hosted by Magnani’s president. One guest distinguished the two types of sessions by asserting most brainstorms are simply “meetings… with better food.” But beyond that perhaps undeserved jab at brainstorming, there are several aspects that separate brainstorms from formal ideation.
There are two paths to innovation. One resides in our timeline just beyond now—solving a problem that exists today with technologies and resources available today. For comparison’s sake, let’s call it simple forecasting. The other path resides in our timeline years into the future—solving a problem that is, at least according to the tea leaves of trends and R&D pipelines, imminent, using technologies or resources that may not be currently available. That’s futurecasting.
Watching the world’s automakers respond (or not, as the case may be) to Tesla, has been interesting, to say the least. I find it fascinating to see an established market watch a competitor waltz in and secure a beachhead in a successful new category, with a near-zero response from the established powers for years.
According to Nielsen, Gen Z now comprises 26% of the media audience. And Magnani’s own proprietary research with Gen Z’s show members of this generation believe that they have been dealt a hard hand in comparison to previous generations. They are concerned about large and complicated global issues, such as climate change and gun violence. And are very aware that the actions they (and we all) take today will impact their future.
There’s a classic Venn diagram generally attributed to Ideo’s Tim Brown that points to the reality that for an idea to be considered an innovation, it needs to satisfy three criteria: desirability (people would want it), feasibility (it is something that can realistically be created) and viability (it can be made and offered in a way that makes financial sense for the business). Academics or inspired home tinkerers may be satisfied with any combination of one or two of these qualities, but a business, especially a publicly held business, needs to satisfy all three.
What most people forget about the most game-changing innovations is that, more often than not, they satisfied some unmet basic need in a simple way. The breadth and complexity of the effect of that innovation came later, as more and more people found more and more ways to utilize that innovation to address some variation of the original need. Keeping that in mind, if you’re charged with corporate innovation, there are a lot of reasons to focus on simple, small innovations. Let’s explore!
It’s a time-worn cliché. Businesses are so busy serving customers that they often neglect to improve the experiences of their own employees. Enter Digital Employee Experience design or DEX.
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