It seems that 2022 is over… People are already bracing themselves for next year. In conversations with clients, partners and collaborators, everyone is cautious about the future and wondering what “surprises” 2023 will bring.
In the context of the uncertainty we’re living through (war, energy price rises, climate change, scarcity of resources, food shortage, humanitarian disasters… the list is long enough to discourage anyone in their right mind), we all need to think differently.
At wonnd, what motivates us to move forward and look at challenges with different eyes is learning from everything we do, and from everyone we work with. This year we’ve learned a lot by running projects with clients and partners from a range of challenging industries: food-tech, digital healthcare, scientific research, press and media groups, advertising groups and the food industry, among others. With all of them we worked to create strategies that envision new paradigms for the future… And we want to share our key learnings:
To make changes, a clear vision is needed.
When starting a project, always begin by asking, “Why?”. Having a clear idea about why you are doing something and understanding the purpose of each project/action provides the vision to guide your process, align the team and set the right expectations. This purpose will be your compass for navigating uncertainty.
And we need to embrace uncertainty.
Because uncertainty is part of our reality, and we have to deal with it. We need to create strategies to absorb what we cannot plan for in advance, so we can tackle any unexpected obstacles we encounter during the process. But how?
We have to address problems and challenges holistically.
As we always say at wonnd: the approach is part of the solution. When we are looking for different outcomes, the solution may not be clear at the beginning. In fact, the solution has to be unclear at the start, otherwise we’re not talking about fundamental innovation. You have to analyse the challenge from different angles, re-define the problem, and explore all the alternative solutions through cooperation…
…Because cooperation is key!
The power of collaboration is huge: we cannot meet big challenges with a single discipline or perspective. Diversity is key, different perspectives give us better chances to get novel results. We have to partner with bold people who aim at doing things differently, which will lead to better and more effective solutions. No matter what someone contributes to a project, everyone involved is part of the solution. Tolerance, respect and commitment are fundamental for successful cooperation.
Implementing strategy is not linear
And you need to keep your eyes always open, ready to make adjustments and changes during the process. Teams need a safe space to dream, experiment, test, fail and learn. And learning from failure provides the space for ideas and solutions that are not obvious, creating new and more successful iterations.
You have to be sure to bring together the right expertise profiles for tackling the challenges, and the proper methodologies to get the best outcome possible. Leave the tough decisions to the last possible moment, because outcomes that are not obvious need exploration and analysis.
We hope this is a helpful approach in times of uncertainty. To plan for an unknown future and tackle long-term challenges, we have to change our mindset and think exponentially. As we always say at wonnd: we have to build effective methodologies and strategies for finding new approaches to those challenges. We have the power to activate change with everything we do. Opportunities are out there.