Innovation anxiety goes mainstream


‘Change’ is racing towards us so quickly, that to choose the one thing that will make a difference to our business fortunes seems impossible. What if we get it wrong? What if we don’t get it right enough? Not so much the rabbit in the headlight but the kid in the sweet shop.

As a result, the rate of change can retard the speed at which decisions get made.

Much of what we read at the moment is no more than speculation. Open any news site or magazine and the most popular subjects are AI stealing our jobs, autonomous cars and electric vehicles. Throw in a sprinkling of badly explained CRISPR and the picture is pretty much complete.

However, when even the non-techy weekend sections talk about change anxiety, it shows an underlying concern about what we don’t know yet. One of this weekend’s supplements featured a piece* by a mother and daughter team about change anxiety and GAD-7, among other articles that centred on CRISPR and the future of transport. If these are themes that appeal to Features Editors, then the subject is surely hitting mainstream consciousness.

The answer is not simple to unpick and it won’t come in a flash of divine intervention. Continuous review and company-wide contribution are steps in the right direction. A framework such as Design Thinking is also useful.

Here’s what Kevin Ashton, the consumer sensor expert who coined the phrase ‘the Internet of Things’, said about innovation:

“I’d been lied to all my life: great innovation didn’t come from geniuses having moments of inspiration. It was about putting in the work; finding a way through and messing up and figuring out why you messed up, and then trying something different. And this incremental, step-by-step approach to innovation was just how everybody else was doing it around me, too.”

room44, innovation justified.


*This website’s subscription prevents us from linking to this article. See The Midult’s Guide To The Future. The Daily Telegraph Magazine 3rd June 2017.