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Convergence Is Key to Innovation For Future of Work

December 4, 2017

I attended the Singularity University three day certification program on Exponential Innovation in Silicon Valley this past week and today I presented on Future of Work to the meetings and hospitality industry in Miami.

The future of work is firmly here now and digital disruptions continue to occur daily, GM announced its quest for driverless cars.

Lowe’s continues to innovate for the industry through AR technology

Every single industry is facing continued disruptions and the opportunity for leaders and teams is to build creative and collaborative solutions in order to be proactive with disruption rather than being disrupted.

Where does innovation come from? It comes from a mindset focused on possibilities and connecting unlikely things together.

Yes digitization is doing a lot of the creative heavy lifting AND as humans we need to rewire the brains and shift the mindset to be looking for convergence and creating convergence opportunities every single day.

For example in the meetings industry there has been a big shift towards experiential meetings – meetings that are more like a Coachella Festival than a structured and formatted meeting of the past. At the Singularity University event they had virtual reality stations, meditation room, augmented reality station, robot prototypes, micro biome testing and more. They brought together science, psychology, behavioural science, robotics, and health together for one meeting focused on innovation.

What struck me after the Exponential Innovation session ended was confirmation of something I have known personally which is everything really IS connected.

The possibilities of creating new optimal outcomes for business, for industry and for the planet are endless when we focus on bringing together disparate ideas together to solve a common focus which is ‘a better world for humanity’. 

So what can you do to ‘converge’ in your industry?

  1. Think and go outside your industry to bring ideas to your company – for example retail brining in agriculture perspective.
  2. Build your innovation hubs within your organization to focus on really diverse opinions from way out of the realm of the company (many innovation hubs have people from inside the company which creates a confirmation bias).
  3. Build creative thinking skills for your teams – practice converging daily by putting together seemingly different things to come up with creative connections – i.e./ what do a dog and a stove have in common ?
  4. Go way outside your comfort zone or your edge – be willing to learn something outside your realm of interests – if you hate science force yourself to read a scientific article or watch a video.
  5. Pay attention to the people and things that irritate you or your business – there’s gold there! The people or the situations that irk us the most are huge opportunities for innovation. There is something to learn from ALL so called negative situations.

As we continue to navigate the current reality with an eye to the future we must be building our thinking skills to think more about what we have in common and less on how things are different. Innovative thinking requires convergence of multiple perspectives.


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