Let’s get one thing out of the way, I’m not clairvoyant.

I do not possess a corporate crystal ball that gives me the precise indication of what the future entails – I wish I did.

What I do have is the gift of hindsight and critical analysis. These two skills are sufficient enough to objectively review the past and extract relevant themes that help me formulate a cohesive narrative. Once articulated, this outline then enables me to propose strategic guesses.

That’s what I can do.

With that said, here are some tactical postulations of what I reckon corporate change innovation in would look like in 2016:

  • More prodigious goals
    2015 was the year of big companies doing big things. You had Elon Musk of Tesla Motors working towards to making the audacious goal of taking the novelty out of electric cars and his dream of taking people to Mars. Apple making innovative products that continue to enhance the human communication, and Google further distilling its processes and products to organize the world’s information.

    This year would be no different.

    This trend will trickle its way into other organisations – small, medium and large alike. Their 2016 corporate objectives I imagine will take on more fearless and boisterous tone.

    Whether it’s CEOs and CFOs doubling down on sustainability efforts that might once have been considered staggering and financially hefty, to Superiors uncovering pioneering ways of streamlining their managerial procedures to surpass productivity levels. Companies are going to push harder to reach for the stars.

  • Adoption of a “failing forward” mentality
    Indifference has always been the infection associated with success – especially for companies that are dominant players in certain industries. 2016 would see a concentrated eradicative effort for such apathetic characteristics by employing a “failing forward” mindset.

    With volatility projected to be the new normal, companies are going to (willingly or otherwise) take on a mentality, which understands and appreciates the fact that success is the derivative of repeated failure. As such, there will be a heightened tolerance towards mistakes and the role it plays towards paving the path for new and refined methods and projects.

    “Success is 99-percent failure” would become a celebrated mantra this year.

  • Proliferation of emotional intelligence
    With the extended and much touted role that emotional intelligence is said to play towards accelerating the company’s productivity needle, businesses would begin to invest in the emotional quotient of their current employees (all the way from the top to lower levels of management), and also include tests - during recruitment processes - to determine the EQ of potential hires.

  • Ambidextrous approach to business advancement
    The traditional approach towards coming up with novel ideas which has always taken an “in-house” approach (wherein innovation comes from solely within the company) will give room to a much more fluid approach that takes into account a coalition from external sources. This would become evident in the relationship between companies and their respective clients for example.

    The business as usual (and one-sided militaristic approach) where clients give their “requests” and expect that these orders will be carried out to the letter, would give rise to a deeper collaboration towards nuanced ways of building growth in their business endeavours.

  • Championing criticism over ideation towards innovation
    In the same view as the point above, this Harvard Business Review article posits that companies should (and have already started) adopting processes that celebrate the radical role that criticism plays towards identifying and capturing big innovative opportunities that are considered valuable to their consumers and external public.

    This is noteworthy because this theory is a huge departure from the orthodox rule of thumb, which is rooted in the “art of ideation”.  

    Roberto Verganti, author of Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean explains this new process as one that “engages a company’s own employees and helps them articulate their visions. These are then compared and discussed, first in pairs and later in a group, in order to distill them into a handful of even better proposals. The views of outsiders are sought only at the end.”

I’m genuinely excited to see how this year unfolds and materializes – it should be a wild and enthralling ride. Optimistically, these indicators aid in your endeavors to incorporate big change innovations policies that will rejuvenate your business.

All the best in 2016!

Written by David Fastuca @Locomote 


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