November 30

Cautious Innovation

One of the key strategic ambitions for Next Generation Organisations is to build an agile and adaptable framework. This should enable businesses to speed up product development, thereby bringing products, services and experiences to market at a time when they meet customer needs rather than some years later.

So why title this article cautious innovation; surely caution and agility don’t sit easily together. When in actual fact they do. Agility or adaptability is not concerned with just doing stuff for the sake of it. There is little point in rushing products to market if those products are patently not fit for purpose. So speed has to be tempered with caution and product development has to be tempered with the innovation ideal of creating a product or service which provides a real solution.

Let’s look at an example. We may smile at the fact that a Google self drive car was pulled over in California for driving too slowly, with the police report noting that the car was ‘over cautious’ but it is that very caution which will hopefully eventually result in the release of a robust and safe car to the marketplace. With 90% of all car accidents being attributed to human error, ironically one of the main challenges for designers of self drive cars is allowing for that human error factor in the design and behaviour of the vehicles. So whilst the cars could in theory be released to the market now, testing them in a real environment will enable the development to be taken to the point at which they are driving safely and offering a viable solution for potential road users.


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