Megan Goodwin is founder of www.thevision.biz. She is a creative entrepreneur who has worked at the cross section between psychology, technology, gaming and media for 20 years. Megan was able to bring her experience in change across the creative and digital industries to an eager audience at Venturefest West Midlands on 1st March 2023 to focus on the ‘Three C’s of Future Markets: Collaboration, Challenge and Crossovers’.
Megan encouraged us all to spot and embrace change. She suggested that large companies are not very good at adapting quickly to new technology and markets. Of course, to pick one example, Kodak knew digital cameras were coming, they just didn’t know how to adapt quickly enough. In contrast, small businesses may be better placed to address ‘cognitive shock’. But one way or another, we all must adapt to a world of constant change, from world events and technological development.
Change creates Challenges, and Megan gave the audience an insight into how certain brands have risen to these challenges and been able to re-design work practices to adapt and scale, in particular citing examples of where problems have been solved by individuals not directly involved in an organisation’s core area of work. For example, noting that 70% of the problems solved at NASA were addressed by experts from outside the aerospace sector. Or, in the West Midlands, Quanta re-designing valves in kidney dialysis machines based on valves which filter pulp in juice dispensers, leading to the development of a new home dialysis machine with SmallFry.
Megan considered the needs and role of people in responding constructively to change. Skills need constant updating – it is predicted that 94% of us will need to be re-skilled by 2030 – but it is also people, not just technology, that can disrupt the norm. Here, Megan encouraged businesses to address challenges in the following ways:
- Encourage cross-sector thinking
- Encourage us to disagree (constructively) at work, engage in critical thinking
- Break down any hierarchy or conformation bias
- Create a safe space for different people to debate, contradict and engage
The benefits of such cross-sector collaboration were clearly demonstrated through all Megan’s case studies, and technology as an enabler came out strong. An example of this is a digital twin developed in the Metaverse for Thames Water – now used as a simulation to view and predict the effects of shortages and flooding.
Megan’s final take-home message was the importance of creating a culture of ‘cognitive dexterity’ in businesses, to take the challenges of change and turn them into opportunity through collaboration and crossovers.
From a West Midlands perspective, the keynote was a highly inspiring summary of the real benefits of collaboration between industrial sectors – something the West Midlands is very good at. So, our call to action is to all head off and create our own safe spaces to start exploring how we could disrupt our own markets with the support of colleagues from across the region.
You can access speaker slides here.
With thanks to our sponsors and partners: