In these times of uncertainty, innovation is key to the survival of many businesses and organizations. At the next IPx on June 4th we welcome Doberman as the host on the theme ‘the state of innovation in the corona crisis’. Through sharing and learning from each other, the digital tank meeting aims to inspire and support participants in finding new ways forward.
– Right now, many organizations are working under hard pressure. At the upcoming IPx participants will get the opportunity to share their experiences and approaches of dealing with the crisis. The goal is to inspire each other and to find new ways going forward. I believe that we should all set a goal of coming back to a better world after all of this is over, says Elin Ankerblad, Founder and Business Director at Doberman.
Doberman are an international design and innovation firm founded over 20 years ago with studios in New York City and Stockholm, on a mission to use design to accelerate radically positive futures. Since the spring 2020 Doberman are a part of the EY network.
Elin Ankerblad explains that the team at Doberman are seeing different tendencies as to what the state of innovation is at companies when dealing with the corona crisis.
– One approach is a total focus on just handling the crisis. No real time or space or energy to look further ahead; which is totally understandable. On the other hand, we see a lot of creativity, in anything from finding new ways of internal co-operation and rapid digitization to partnerships with other organizations. The health care system is a good example. They are finding new ways of organizing and securing health care services and supplies and working in a more digital way. This is a pace of change that we have not seen before.
Some organizations have a very bold approach, and a sense of ‘now or never’. They are taking the crisis as an opportunity to change.
– Many realize that the world will not be the same again and start to explore different new directions. And they talk about big changes. Like SAS putting laid off staff into training to assist the healthcare sector, or the Absolute Company producing hand sanitizers. It shows that you can change to take a bigger societal responsibility, while also building a new position and value proposition.
Why should organizations prioritize innovation in times of uncertainty and crisis?
– I don’t think there is any alternative! The world will not be the same again. Customer behaviors, the use of tech, attitudes towards sustainability and big societal questions, supply chains, the economy as a whole – everything will change. And the old cliché that “if you stand still, you lose” is more relevant than ever. If you expect to just go back and do the same as you did before, others will change the market without you. I think you need to prioritize innovation actively! As humans, we long for this to be over, “to go back to normal”, because this is painful. And it will require some mental effort to take steps forward instead of going back.
How is Doberman helping brands and organizations with their innovation efforts during these times?
– We help them to re-think how to continue to work with innovation, practically. We help to facilitate and to find new ways to work together, to use this time as a time for growth. We also help to keep innovation on the agenda. We encourage and inspire our customers to keep up with bold ambitions, despite the sense of urgency in their daily work. At the same time, we keep up the on-going projects we already do, to keep the “innovation business as usual” – however with adapted methods. And it works surprisingly well!
What advice can you give to organizations that want to focus more on innovation during the crisis?
1. Think in different time frames at the same time: short term, medium term and long term. Especially now when it’s easy to just focus on the ‘now’ I would advise to keep these time frames active. It’s crucial to also look forward. Make an effort to think in parallel time frames.
2. Accept the level of uncertainty we are seeing right now, without losing the action. Elaborate with different possible future scenarios, and get into action with ideas, prototypes, tests.
3. The most important step: take the chance to take a leap towards sustainability, to fight climate change. We have a unique window of opportunity, as we have seen what is possible, how quickly change can happen. For example, when a number of companies have had to re-think the supply and value chain, it would not make sense to not look at the future supply and value chain without thinking about sustainability. And I am quite sure a lot of us as customers will not accept old destructive solutions, or we will at least honor those actors that act responsible to big challenges.
Innovation Pioneers’ initiators and members – Register now to IPx nr 50 on June 4th – The State of Innovation in the Corona Crisis. A link from Microsoft Teams will be sent to you after registration before the online session.