“The future is fluid. Each act, each decision, and each development creates new possibilities and eliminates others. The future is ours to direct.”

-Jacque Fresco

Many of us, leaders of large and small businesses, are asking ourselves the same question. How will COVID-19 impact my survival? Few of us anticipated what is happening and the anxiety that has come with it. We all wonder what these times mean for our businesses.

Despite the feeling of anxiety surrounding today’s climate, uncertainty can be an opportunity for innovation.

Schedule time to talk about the future.

The first step to experiencing opportunities that today brings is to understand ourselves. Reflect on what releases our sense of fulfillment – the aspiration we all seek. In this way, we can shift our mindset and be ready to explore other possibilities. We can begin to understand what fulfillment in the world of the future means to our customers and their customers as we share outlooks, needs and emotions. Those insights are the seeds of business reinvention.

To map our way into the future, start with ourselves. Collect inputs from your human senses to test unchartered directions. Look around, be open to seeing the world from different perspectives. Touch your customers in a way that is consistent with your brand. Speak to them and more importantly listen to what’s said as well as what’s left unsaid. You can help them learn to embrace the unchartered territory of post COVID operations. Find ways to get a taste of what it means to invent the future with your customers.  

Invention demands creativity. Creativity demands reassembling reality. And, when necessary, innovating to create a new reality. The future is ripe for innovation.

At Breakthrough, we have been thinking about some hypothetical future states that can be springboards into the future. Springboards whose energy is released by customer insights and innovative thinking. Envision opportunities and what it would take to participate in a future where one or more of these hypotheses are the reality.

  • Government will provide support to businesses to increase sourcing of domestic raw materials, products and services
  • A new set of products and services will be developed to support buyers demanding suppliers guarantee continuity of supply.
  • Value chains will be modified to reduce supply disruptions and inefficiencies.
  • Teaming and collaboration will be redefined to assure operational continuity, efficiency and acceleration of new product commercialization.
  • Made in USA will be a strong promotional factor
  • Design will be more human centered
  • Mobile robotics and drones will continue to be easier to use at lower costs and demand for them will grow rapidly 
  • Wearable sensors will expand in consumer markets

We invite you to consider development or adaptation of products and services that address possible future states having the greatest impact on your success.  

Share what you think about the future.

About the Author

Dr. Antonella Fabri is a cultural analyst with a background in social anthropology, linguistics, semiotics, and critical thinking. Her work spans several fields, converging on themes of cultural difference, social dynamics, and behavior. She has been a consultant for over fifteen years and teaches graduate courses on the application of methods and theories of anthropology to provide policy and business solutions.

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