Disruptive Innovations VI

Ten More Things to Stop and Think About

When we think about innovation and the change that it brings about, there is a tendency to say things like ‘it seems to have come out of nowhere’ or ‘it happened in a heartbeat.’ The same can be said about fads. On a Monday you’ve never heard of a Click Clack, a Pet Rock, a Furby, or a Fidget Spinner, but by what seems like the lunchtime, you can’t turn a corner or walk past a school playground without seeing them everywhere. Innovation has the same feeling as a fad — we go from not thinking we need a mobile phone to not being able to leave the house without it. Over the past few years, it feels like this technological change is accelerating. But is it?

Vanessa Colella, Chief Innovation Officer at Citi, writes that innovation isn’t always instantaneous: The hardest challenges to identify and react to are the ones that arise slowly. Large-scale societal, economic, and technological trends that emerge gradually and continuously over time are easily overlooked, but in reality it is these trends that can create the biggest impact. Tracking slow change, she notes, by asking which trends are impacting businesses and clients in ways that are both accelerating and irreversible can help to create improved systems that reduce friction or shift society in such a way that returning to the old practices seems inconceivable.

In this new GPS report, we once again look at some of the leading-edge concepts across sectors and identify new products that could ultimately disrupt the marketplace.

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