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Why is innovation more important than ever?

Because of its urgency

The influence of innovation is nothing new. What is new is that organisations will fail, and fail fast, if they don’t pursue it. Innovation is no longer just about competitive advantage over time. It carries a sense of urgency as a survival mechanism. Not to mention how much it’s needed to help solve environmental and social problems.

Because of its context

We live in unprecedented global complexity. The infrastructures we have in place are not built for this level of complexity, nor the associated demands placed on them by stakeholders. A form of sense-and-respond way of existing is now the required norm and innovation as a way of being forms a large part of the solution. Organisations must become learning organisations, with innovation at their core.

Because of its type

It’s not products and services we need to focus on: it is organisational structures and business models. We have moved from an industrial to an information-based economy. Systems built to thrive in the old dynamic can’t cope with the new one: innovating not only with what we produce but how we organise ourselves to achieve it is the way to thrive.

Because of its essentialness

All organisations, small or large, must step up to survive. Large organisations are no longer safe from disruption and their average lifespan continues to shrink: the SMP500 average in the 1920s was approximately 70 years, now it is just 15. And it’s not just businesses: there is a clear (perhaps even urgent) need to reimagine the functionality of other areas of society such as the education system and the NGO model.

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  1. Georgie Wiles

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