In the past 50 years we have seen a litany of innovations that have, without a doubt, changed the world, and to many of us life without them would be almost unrecognisable. Perhaps three of the most visible have been the personal computer, the internet, and mobile telecommunications. Each of these has, singularly and combined, changed our society forever and they continue to do so; being leveraged and reimagined in a number of ways.
Our world have changed, digital life is now so pervasive that even in some of the poorest communities in the developing world mobile payments are commonplace and billions of people use social media. The last 50 years of innovation have led us all to live in a digital world that is growing more with each day as technology continues to advance. Arguably this has reshaped the way we engage and act, created issues for governments, individuals and organisations but has also created many opportunities for connecting people, enhancing the quality of life and spawning countless other innovations.
We currently sit at a precipice with technology and human capital advancing innovations in areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, energy generation, and transportation that will again push the limits of what was once considered possible. However it is clear that this is the limits of our innovative capacity are yet to be reached and it is exciting to ponder what exactly will be possible in the next 50 years given the path taken in the previous half a century.
Acknowledging this is key for existing organisations and for those in leadership positions as ignoring it is detrimental to the ability of any strategy to be achieved. This does not mean that any organisation or leader who does not seek to be innovative at every turn will not be successful (indeed innovation for the sake of innovation can be disastrous) but for those that carry on as if in a vacuum and do not adapt to a more dynamic and uncertain world will have an almost impossible time realising growth strategies and defending the status quo. More importantly, leaders need to acknowledge the changing relationships between innovation and various sectors as previously stagnant areas of the economy are seeing a faster pace of innovation, increasing stakeholder expectations and a less certain horizon.
This is exactly why competitions such as the Innovators Race 50 are so important, and why there needs to be encouragement of that same innovative spirit that Serge Kampf possessed when he founded the Capgemini Group. We need to have people enquire, to build things, both big and small if we are ever to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves and to combat the threats that will undoubtedly appear along the way.