Innovation is an act of hope in a C-shift world

The world has changed radically – away from command and control, from compliance, and a belief in certainty and enduring answers – towards a world of constant change and connectivity, with challenges that absolutely require collaboration and creativity.

This “C-shift” makes radically new demands on how we live, work and lead – and quite frankly, we’re still trying to figure much of this out.

The economic turmoil of the last few weeks are more indicators of how fundamentally our world is shifting. From this perspective, innovation expert Scott Anthony’s recent HBR post on his experience with how companies in Singapore are responding to the crisis is quite interesting.

Instead of panic and despair, he found calmness – an acceptance that this IS the kind of world we live in.

With such acceptance of the radically new environment, we are more likely to continue thinking creatively and innovatively about a new tomorrow. And indeed, Anthony’s recommendation is that innovators should continue to do exactly what they were doing before the latest round of crises. Here’s some more about his recommendations for innovators:

  1. Reconsider where you are making your innovation investments. Shift towards investing more in efforts that will help you be a player in tomorrow’s new markets.
  2. Engage with the big problems of our time such as climate change, health care costs, and poverty. See them as opportunities to do good and to build big business around. As Anthony puts it: These are “problems of scale that require solutions of scale”.
  3. Think like an entrepreneur and figure out how to tap into the many low-cost innovation resources available outside the organization. This is advice aligned with the notion that the C-shift world requires connection and collaboration across traditional boundaries. For those who want to do this, it means having the courage to take risks, and the skills to connect and have smart conversations across boundaries.

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