In eight days, we’ll ring in, not only a new year but a new decade. This issue of Storypreneur focuses your thinking on the decade to ahead and what will no doubt be some surprising strategies for winning the 2020s.
Here’s a key excerpt.
COMPETING ON IMAGINATION
Companies can no longer expect to succeed by leaning predominantly on their existing business models. Long-run economic growth rates have declined in many economies, and demographics point to a continuation of that pattern. Competitive success has become less permanent over time
. And markets are increasingly shapeable, increasing the potential reward for innovation. As a result, the ability to generate new ideas is more important than ever.
However, creating new ideas is challenging for many companies. Inertia increases with age and scale, making it harder to create and harness new ideas: our analysis of companies around the world shows that older and larger companies have less vitality
, the capacity for sustainable growth and reinvention. (See Exhibit 4.) And business and managerial theory has emphasized a “mechanical” view—dominated by easily measurable variables like efficiency and financial outcomes—rather than focusing on how to create new ideas.
To overcome these challenges, companies need to compete on imagination. Imagination lies upstream of innovation: to realize new possibilities, we first need inspiration (a reason to see things differently) and then imagination (the ability to identify possibilities that are not currently the case but could be). Imagination is a uniquely human capability—artificial intelligence today can make sense only of correlative patterns in existing data. As machines automate an increasing share of routine tasks, individual managers will need to focus on imagination to stay relevant and make an impact.
How can companies compete on imagination?
- Focus on anomalies, accidents, and analogies, rather than averages, in order to spark inspiration.
- Enable the open spread and competition of ideas—for example, by limiting hierarchy and empowering employees to experiment and make imaginative proposals.
- Become a “playful corporation” that is able to effortlessly explore new possibilities.
The points above were so striking and relevant, we cited the article in our forthcoming book, Win With Decency: How to Use Your Better Angels for Better Business. We’ll keep you posted on its publication in the new year.
Since the core of who we are and what we do at communicate4IMPACT is business storytelling, we’ll close out this year and this decade with some of the best articles on the discipline we’ve come across. The first article contains some great content. It’s also loaded with links that make the article even more valuable. The last piece is all about the customer journey and what content to provide at different points along the way.
Of course, if you want to hone your storytelling skills even further and haven’t taken our Udemy course, here’s a coupon allowing you to do so at a discount https://bit.ly/2Mi4eCb