Formula 1 Regulation changes are made in order to drive innovation and create competition to ensure the requirements of the users (us the public) are maintained (or more simply to keep us glued to the screen to watch the next season!). The FIA continues to adapt and refine the regulations and design criteria, this is done EVERY Year. Now consider for a moment our own technology markets, there are no changing rules (ok the occasional intervention by the regulatory body to ensure some form of “parenting” is in place to “protect” the end consumer.), there are no demands on how we must run a certain technology, of course if they ever did we all gasp in horror and demand immediate justice! Right? … So is this an article about technology regulation? Absolutely Not! There are far smarter people than I to have that discussion, what I would like to discuss is the importance of adaptability to Innovation. Phew that took a while but ok now we are finally here.
I stand in admiration of Formula one team's who manage to build a brand new Formula 1 car every year, despite the continuous changes they are asked to adapt to. Take this year for example, A Kinetic Energy booster has been allowed, OR an additional weight of 25kg, a movable rear wing, new tyres which fall apart after 15 laps, changes to the dimension of the cars (again), and the list goes on. Now I can hear you thinking so they are Formula 1 teams that is what they do … right? Now consider the technology space, what if Regulators suddenly decided that the frequency used by mobile operators or the signalling in Networks would be changed from year to year, or even better policy for Voice handover or that Network interconnects had to offer the end user a choice of which network they could roam onto using a NEW Internet Protocol (for the techies out there and no I am not plugging IPv6.)
How long would it take for the technology industry to adapt? 6 months? A year? Longer? Consider the upheaval that Millennium Bug brought about, these were transformational programs and I am sure many businesses internally are hoping not to have to do that again! I have read with some interest the articles posted by Technology magazines that Telecom operators need to change their business models, I would challenge though that the Technology industry as a whole needs to consider new ways of working AND new business models.
The world around us is changing and the ability to adapt to that change will be crucial, I believe that the next two to three years will see innovation cycles significantly reduced as start-up and entrepreneurs alike find new vehicles to leverage and introduce their product/solution/idea to the market. The world we live in is digitally smaller than it has ever been with our friends, colleagues and supply chain reachable through the richest and most diverse communication mediums ever seen.
Change is upon us, it is now a question of when we will notice and how we respond, we are currently in a Push frame of mind when it comes to Innovation Acceleration, we need to start adapting for a new wave of Innovation which will “Pull” businesses kicking and screaming, to the point that for many organizations it will be a case of Adapt or Die, which do you choose?