Without catalysts, the facts you see are the facts as they are – not as they will be. The analysis was right, but the facts were wrong.

If you’ve read much of room44’s content over the last few years, you’ll know that our passion is revealing insight and trends from unexpected places.

Analysis paralysis

The purpose is to see things differently and it can be a battle to get this idea over the line.

Client teams know what they have to do when faced with a market landscape that’s changing. They must react, respond and evolve to meet customer need. The problem with this is agreeing what the customer need will be – which is where our particular view of the world helps.

Future thinking catalysts

Let’s look at a few examples. No-one plans to work for 100 years but, for some reason, employees tend to think of companies as being permanent things. John Elkann at Fiat says that only 49 companies per million last beyond 100 years. The implication is that every business will succeed for a while and ultimately fail if it doesn’t adapt or lead a change.

Have a look at this list of questions that were due to be answered at EXPO 2020 in Dubai. Interestingly, since COVID put paid to this event, a number of the questions have been superseded too.

You are a product of your environment

Although COVID has torpedoed many plans, one theme remains constant: that sustainable behaviours are imperative if the planet is to avoid irreversible environmental damage. The UK government is making it clear that vehicle-related carbon emissions will fall and is squeezing internal combustion engines out of the market.

But, as Robert Macfarlane writes in his book, The Old Ways: “There are nearly thirty million (30M) cars in use in Britain and two hundred and ten thousand (210,000) miles of road on the mainland alone… During rush hours, the car-borne population across Britain and Ireland is estimated to exceed the resident population of central London.”

We may have a sense of this and, hearing it from a non-business source, tells us with a new clarity that there is more mobility disruption to come. Particulate emission from tyre wear is just one more concern that won’t go away when electric vehicles are dominant, so we can expect pressure to make fewer journeys and to limit how far we go.

Lockdown showed us we can do it

The slow release from lockdown is showing us that companies, to a large degree, want their people back in a room. The two trends don’t match up. Already the analysis was right but the facts were wrong.

The point is, these unrelated facts probably wouldn’t be considered by most management teams operating outside of mobility or vehicle design – and yet, you can see that they knit together to present a different view of customer and consumer behaviour alongside a timeline.

Your challenge is our job

For the broad-minded and forward-thinking, these little nuggets of insight are amazing catalysts for change. They help drive a need to innovate into team thinking with a resulting effect on longer term planning and, by implication, strategy.

Without catalysts, the facts you see are the facts as they are – not as they will be. Definitely a case that the analysis was right but the facts were wrong. This is where we earn our (very reasonable) money.

Working with our team challenges what you know, presents a different lens and takes you to new opportunities.

Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do. Give us a call: 0208 123 9018.

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