Presenting a set of opportunities that don’t reference what we know as fact gets a mixed reaction. The way the idea is received is limited by imagination.

Companies are designed to run efficiently in one direction, and anyone offering the idea that a left or right turn might be required runs the risk of getting mown down.

But here’s a fact. In most cases, to run a company, the management has reached a certain age and experience. Investors love a promising start-up, as long as they have an older advisory board.

Here’s a perspective that the management team don’t want to hear: innovation happens when people, who can see something happening in the future with crystal clarity, persuade older people so they can believe it too.

Here’s an example: electric vehicles.

At one level, people who drive regular cars know EVs are a thing. Hybrid Golfs and Outlanders now appear on company car lists, and the tax incentive to buy into emerging technology is attractive. How many of these people buy an electric second car? Not so many.

Then ‘high performance’ gets interested. Formula E takes off, and in season one it’s a novelty. Gradually, E-racing takes more gate money and the sport has traction.

Then VW throws an electric car up a hill at Goodwood faster than almost anything else except an F1 car. It proves the car has potential to scare drivers, and that humans can control it.

Next, Roborace rocks up. It sends a car up a hill without a driver, and suddenly autonomy has a shop window beyond the logistics industry. Bolt on a virtual ride and there’s the start of a race-going experience that combines gaming with VR, and a new pay-to-view/experience industry opens up before us.

Back in the boardroom, the enthusiast who went to Goodwood is filled with new ideas, while the CEO who spent the weekend on a boat or mowing the lawn isn’t convinced.

Selling innovation into your own company takes some understanding. We’ve just produced a 40-page guide called “Seeing it differently – how to sell innovation into your own company,” and it’s free to delegates on our half-day workshops:

  1. Spotting trends and signals: Seeing things differently
  2. Design Thinking – Focus on transformation
  3. Making innovation stick: a culture of change

We have some September dates available across our workshop portfolio.

You can click to dates on our website here or give us a call for old-fashioned talking on +44 (0)20 8144 9800.

Seeing it differently. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.

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