This is a great article from Adam Brandenberger, one of the Professors at Stern and NYU, about how in developing truly game-changing strategies or when reshaping business content rather than just cataloguing it, we need more than just data, analytics and rigour. He argues we need more connections between different ways of thinking, more sparks of intuition, more dreaming and more creativity, and, to help enable this, he discusses four approaches with examples and tools to enable better breakthrough strategies.
Voice control is everywhere, right? From where I sit I can ‘ask Siri’ on my Homepod to turn the heat down, ask my TV to find me a programme rather than go through a painful typed search and if I yell loudly enough, I can even get Alexa to turn down the volume in my kid’s bedroom (yelling required due to the Alexa in question being in her bedroom). Voice control even stars in the doppleganger shocker movie ‘US’ in the guise of a virtual assistant called Aphelia, there to remind us we are worshipping the wrong things. And yet...it doesn’t feel like voice control has really arrived yet (or if we all want it). So, with many industry experts suggesting that nearly every application will integrate voice technology in the next five years we thought this was a useful summary of some of the high level predictions being made about the evolution of voice control and how businesses will have to adapt to utilise the potential, avoiding the pitfalls.
Understating and pre-adapting to how we will live in the future has always been a key element in genuine long-term business success. In the next two articles we look at two very different approaches to profitable prediction. The first features that hardy perennial innovator Ikea. Their approach was to survey twenty-two thousand people in twenty-two countries in order to design room settings which have actual sociological resonance with how we will live together and as individuals. Gone are the clean, minimalist spaces usually associated with Ikea catalogues and in are the building blocks for self-expression, flexibility and dare we say it, clutter.
The second approach is a little more out there. Of late a trend has been developing to use almost pure imagination to predict the future and prepare for it. From exploring how to get to work in different climate change scenarios to shaping policy on AI, science fiction writers are being asked to imagine worlds which are beyond even the dreams of professional futurists. This article brings to life some of the interesting uses of sci-fi prediction and although it then wants you to decide if it's a good thing or not, we’d defer to Einstein’s view "imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
Sometimes it’s just good to see the power of a simple, smart idea. From this winter, the fridges of every Asda store will be working as virtual batteries for the National Grid – a smart idea for Asda, for the National Grid and, given the recent outages, good for all of us too. It’s a great example of how revolutionary or upside down thinking can lead to a range of benefits to the bottom line.
You might have seen the frankly unbelievable, super-human capabilities of Olympic superstar Simone Biles over the last few days. Here is a brilliant explainer of the physics of how on earth she does it.