Forget the Pangolin, Let’s Talk About People
Let's stop for a moment: have a cup of coffee, take a step back and gain perspective on what has happened in recent times.
Let's talk about facts: from one day to the next we’ve changed our daily habits, given up our freedom in favour of more security, been part of a global experiment because we didn't know what we were facing or how to cope with it.
Let's see what has happened: In a globalised, digitised and politicised world, we, the people, are back, demonstrating our creative capacity, our humanity, our need to humanise what surrounds us - even with all the limitations of the case.
Beyond Our Own Limitations
As before the industrial age, many of us went back to working from home, with no clear boundaries between leisure, work, rest and socialising - unfortunately, via Zoom. For many, a blessing, for many others, Dante's Seventh Inferno.
Out of the many changes that took place - slowly but surely - two stand out:
· Suddenly, we realised that we had time to spare - less travel, less coffee breaks. Despite this, several "geniuses" managed to fill them with endless, unbearable and unproductive videoconferences - God Damned!
· Our new free time, on several occasions, has been transformed into those highly creative moments that we assumed were lost. Somehow, we moved beyond the limitations we put on ourselves as adults and went back to thinking like we did when we were kids.
Some people understood this novel situation as a big opportunity to convert their ideas in actions and those actions in new processes, products and services. Boosting creativity to infinity and beyond!
It's Not About the Upcoming Economic Upheaval, but Surfing the Next Wave
In this current guessing game, new consumer and business trends are emerging. New business opportunities will abound.
Given what I mentioned earlier, the global economy is in major shift, and those who can make smart bets on emerging needs may be able to redefine the rules.
Old ways of answering new questions are more of a hindrance than an advantage, hence the dinosaurs disappear because they cannot adapt quickly. This further accentuates the need for innovators to drive new ideas and shift to a new business landscape.
Is the glass half empty? We are on the brink of a major economic crisis that may paralyse creativity or trigger it. In any case, it is difficult to justify increased investment in innovation when the company may be struggling to stay alive.
When the Saints – and the Creativity -
Go Marching In
As with Jaqen H'ghar, the Faceless Man in Game of Thrones, creativity has different faces. Just as food for thought, let's look at the big shifts that could be the key to unlocking our own creativity and that of our brands:
Reimaging the cities: We have been hearing about the concept of "15' cities" for some time now. The idea is that everything we need is just a short walk or bike ride away.
This leads us to transform spaces, develop micro-commerce, promote e-bikes, open pop-up clinics and develop urban agriculture, among other things.
We are moving steadily towards urban environments that put people first. New opportunities include micro-mobility, urban agriculture and strengthening local communities.
Redesigning work patterns: It's all about infusing mental wellbeing into our daily duties.
The aim is to improve our work-life balance, including even issues related to meditation and emotional control.
The era of ignoring mental and emotional health is coming to an end.
Virtualising services: Reimagining meetings for today's mixed reality.
It's about thinking in terms of work or leisure platforms that provide answers securely and conveniently.
There is plenty of space left to refine immersion, accessibility and interaction, and to create complementary services.
Greening products: Taking unconventional routes to source greener products.
There are already companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint by allowing them to work directly with producers and ensuring they receive more money than they would at typical fair-trade prices.
It’s also to consider unconventional routes to building truly sustainable and ethical business operations.
To round off and enjoy with another coffee - or perhaps a good whisky - here are a few questions to reflect on:
How could you develop new ways of creating and capturing value, understanding this future path?
How could you rethink an experience roadmap, moving from being a traditional company to one driven by new relationship and consumption behaviours?
How could you adjust innovation patterns to ensure value creation, revenue generation and positive impact in this new scenario?
How could you redefine a category by creating a brand experience that consolidates itself in a novel and yet uncontested market space?
By Cristián Saracco
With over 30 years of international experience his focus is on catalysing company conscious growth through people, brands and experiences. He is a Founding Partner of Allegro 234, Member of The Flow Collective, the Medinge Group, and the Editorial Committee of Branders Magazine.
He holds a Ph.D. in Corporate Communication and Strategic Knowledge Management, an EMBA and surprisingly is Industrial Engineering.