2009 – a crisis always brings urgency to unite and innovate

January 6, 2009 — Leave a comment

Collaborative innovation - when people come together and innovate to solve problems and to improve!

It’s time to let the old year in the past and to look at the new year. Listening to the sounds of the crisis upon us, the disastrous stories about of the great automotive industry, the surreal amounts of money that are necessary to ‘save’ the economy, the continuous climate change    … it would almost make you depressed and think that the world has come to an end. That would be such a waste, a crisis like this will give learning and innovation possibilities that will make us all better.

We are humans, we are the dominating on this planet. We’re not talking about an asteroied crashing into earth or something like that (some even say that such an event created earth). This whole financial system is an invention of ourselves, so we can also fix it! And it’s not the first financial crisis, though it’s one of the toughest, mankind always came on top. All the industries that are now suffering, some will even perish … so what … that’s just another side effect of a competitive market driven economy. If the service or product that a company delivers is not good enough to be bought, then there is just no space for you in the market.

We must fix it ourselves
In times like these help is not easy to get help. We all just have to look at ourselves and reach deep to get the best out of it.  Although  the comparison is fiction, anyone who has watched movies like Independence day or Deep impact or Armageddon understands how a big crisis can only be solved if people join forces to solve the problems. The bigger the problem, the better the solution … only intense collaboration will get you there. Just image … if there would be an alien force coming to destroy earth … would mankind still quarrel about religion and money? When there is a necessity, mankind usually does find a way.

We have done it before
At Componence we did it before
, that’s why we got so far. Collaborative innovation, I think it’s called, but actually nothing new. I’m lucky that at Componence there is a sound mentality to collaborate and innovate. Many of my fellow Componence team mates might not see it, but we actually change and learn continously. I mean, we’ve been doing Enterprise 2.0 before anyone of us had even heard about the trend. And it’s definitely working for us, 2008 was one of the years that Componence achieved the most improvements with a very tight budget. A new strategy, stronger and new units and a productline that has never been so innovative.

Urgency is needed, especially when things still look fine
Although the words of crisis are all around us and reach us continously through all types of media, most of us are not really feeling the urgency to do things differently. Why? Because things aren’t really changing for us. As long as we all get paid and have our jobs, the crisis is not really hitting us right? The Netherlands are a decent country, here personel is not asked to take salary cuts like in India or in Ukraine. Of course no company wants to resort to such actions, but would it be better to have a company go down or see more colleagues get fired? No, of course not, urgency is needed to prevent the worse .

That will my mission for this year… to make my people, especially my seniors, rise to the occation. Because regretting that we should have worked harder or have been more pro-active will be useless once it’s too late!


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