Jasmine Towers | No Horses: Charging at the Future with Disruption and Innovation
Henry Ford is often quoted as saying that if he had asked his customers what they wanted, they would have told him they wanted faster horses. Of course, Ford wasn’t going to reinvent the horse, and as a savvy business man, he listened for what people meant rather than just what they said. He understood what his customers were really asking for: they wanted to get places faster. And in doing so, he revolutionized how we get around and his company became one of the largest and most profitable in the world, and, importantly, one of the few to survive the Great Depression.
Not every company is good at innovation, however. History is full of examples of companies that did not keep pace and did not anticipate their customers’ changing needs. Think Sears, Polaroid, Xerox, Blockbuster, MySpace. And as Dermot Strong, President of Motion Canada shared in his article The Future of Motion Canada :
- 88% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 no longer exist
- 40% of current Fortune 500 companies are predicted to no longer exist by 2029
Status quo is not an option. And our customers know this – that’s why they are asking for “faster horses” around data management, safety measures, inventory management and the Internet of Things. As Jared Newman of Fast Company shared: “Any company that dismisses the Internet of Things risks being left behind.”
We take these questions seriously which is why, even as a successful company, we are always looking at ways to change. Plus, we are taking cues from smart devices and looking at ways to gather data so we can help predict our customers’ needs and save them time, money and in some cases, their employees’ lives. For example, the data from a sensored gear can help predict when a machine will likely fail, allowing us to provide maintenance or replacement parts before accidents occur. And that is just one application of just one emerging technology.
Venture Design Thinking at Motion Canada
Innovation and disruption is the way forward. We must research, develop and deliver innovative strategies that consider our customer needs, corporate objectives and changes in the market if we want to remain an industry leader. But innovation isn’t a brilliant flash of insight and it rarely happens in a bubble. It takes time, thought leadership, courage, curiosity and partnership.
Our Venture Design Thinking is a creative yet precise process developed and honed over time. Our findings and deliverables will be the product of collaboration across a number of internal and external groups. We start by recognizing we are innovating for growth and change. We start by acknowledging that we do not have answers, but rather questions. We accept that our foundational capabilities are our launch pad to success. And we follow a prescribed journey towards delivering impactful innovation:
- Understand: Conduct research to understand the customer and the market
- Define: Analyse research and determine where pain points and possibilities exist
- Ideate: Generate a range of problem-solving techniques and possibilities
- Prototype: Develop a pilot program or sample; test, measure and finesse
- Implement: Deliver the vision to the market, continue to test, measure and finesse
We believe it’s creative processes like this that will help ensure Motion Canada remains at the forefront of industry. We think it’s creativity grounded in aptitude that has allowed us to be so successful over the years, meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs. We’re excited to share our findings with the market and gather feedback so we can continue to improve our value to our industry, so please stay tuned for updates and deliverables.
If you’re forward thinking, motivated and whip-smart, check out our job board and apply today to be a partner! And if you want to stay in the loop on the innovative things we’re doing, follow our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages!