Innovate to adapt, innovate to disrupt, innovate to survive. In this era of rapid technological change, innovation is the lifeblood of growth in businesses. The nature and geographies of these industries may differ, but the future is the same – it will be electrified, autonomous, connected and shared.
The rise of disruptive companies such as SpaceX and Uber are threatening traditional corporations and business models. To stay relevant, brands must be flexible to innovate and make strategic changes. Challenges brought about by the innovation means market leaders must never rest on their laurels and keep evolving to keep pace with shifting technology and customer demand.
Innovation is also anyone’s game now. The West may have led the way for global disruptive innovation in the past, but Asian companies are increasingly taking up the baton in leading technological change. One prominent example is Musical.ly, a China-developed live-streaming video application with more than 90 million users worldwide and count celebrities such as Jason Derulo among its users.
To effectively solve the problems intrinsic to its own community, Asia’s model of innovation must naturally differ from the Western models to cater to the different cultures, consumer lifestyles and needs. In the future, more innovators from Asia will be coming up with solutions for problems intrinsic to Asia.
At the heart of the innovation charge is a culture of embracing risk and the courage to fail. Traditional Asian corporations may initially find this dissonant to their prevailing culture and mindset, but as Nestle R&D Centre Singapore Managing Director, Dr Tan Sze puts it, “You need to fail often, you need to fail early but fail forward.”
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