by Mark Bergin
It is fascinating that we live in an era where values and purpose are driving so much of society. Here at Better Future we have three core principles: strong economics, a sustainable environment, and social equity. Any project that drives along these three principles, and does it with high innovation speed— which we refer to as ‘wild speed’—will be growing by about five to ten times the standard speed. If projects are only having an impact of one to two times, then we refer to them as having ‘mild speed’.
We know that these things are never simple. And it’s not enough to engage our values, reach wild speed and then put the brakes on. After one cycle of wild speed comes another, and then another, and before we know it we’ve entered what we call the era of product management; where product experts are able to look at the intersection of sales, engineering and market fit to make sure that we are not only solving the needs of today, but building longitudinal roadmaps and product cycles that keep our organisations, products and services wild, thriving and focused on a better future.
So the objective is clear: we want to reach wild speed. But how can we do so without losing value and opportunities along the way and also leaving space to value add? A useful analogy is to imagine our journey beginning with a half-full bucket of liquid potential. With the bucket of potential in tow, how do we reach warp speed whilst also minimising spills at each stage of transfer and creating opportunities to top up the bucket with even more liquid potential along the way? We can identify the challenge as cascading opportunities and it's all about reaching efficiency cycles that will reduce the opportunity–spill and nurturing future value creation.
Making sure there are solid foundations in place from the get-go is crucial; if we begin with a leaky bucket then we are all but destined to be left with so little opportunity by the time we arrive at our destination, even taking into consideration the contents we may add along the way. Ensuring the structural integrity of our project or organisation—that is a strong, clear values system, a united goal and a motivated team—is there before we set out on our journey is key. This way we are far better prepared to plug up any holes and maintain balance along the way. It also means we can embrace cascading opportunities and fill the bucket up with more liquid potential. Whether it’s on a macro or micro scale, our responsibility is to facilitate multi-stage value creation so that our bucket is increasing in value, instead of losing precious contents or becoming diluted. Every time we reach a new stage of the process, we are presented with both the greatest risk and the greatest opportunity. If we know how to nurture cascading opportunities then we minimise potential spillage and can value-stack. Often with mild innovation, knowledge does not transfer from one stage to another. Wild innovation occurs when we are able to develop the highest level of efficiency in transferring our existing potential forward while accumulating and integrating new potentials. If we can adopt wild speed while the liquid in our bucket rises, that’s when we will be creating space for our own success. This is wild speed.
Part of what makes high innovation speed so necessary is that with mild speed comes an insidious function that attacks projects—be they mild, wild or otherwise—meaning they are unable to fight the tide of irrelevance.
In today’s hyper-relevant society, where we can so easily name the relevant monopolies of different services—think YouTube for videos, Spotify for music—we must consider the tide of irrelevance. We do not want outstanding innovations to suffer at the hands of mild speed-generated irrelevance.
Cosmic resonance theory, which first dates back to a work of Chinese philosophy from the third century BC, dictates that ‘events and things separated in space, with no observable linear causal connection to one another, are assumed to have an invisible, instantaneous influence on one another’. Put simply, the same sets of problems—be they scientific, financial, social and so on—are likely to be solved simultaneously by different people in different corners of the globe, without collusion or plagiarism. There isn’t a logical explanation for this phenomenon, except to say that sometimes the collective consciousness of the world decides that the time has come. Many of us will have the same toolkit to deal with new problems thrown our way, however, we will drown under the ride of irrelevance unless we are travelling faster than our contemporaries. Enter wild speed.
The question is, how do we know is we are being mild or wild? What is wild speed? Well, we already know that wild solves and allows users to thrive, whereas mild merely addresses complaints. If all we do is address complaints, then we aren’t actually completing the necessary work to excite the imaginations of those who are using and buying our products or services. Addressing complaints as they arise is about satisfying management, it is not about delivering
elite performance. Being wild does not and should not cost more. Often, it mitigates the cycle of addressing consumer complaints on a surface level by removing the root cause of the issue. This is an essential element of scalability.
In 2022, Better Future is striving to enter wild speed. We want to leverage cascading opportunities, fight the tide of irrelevance and deliver an elite service to our global design community. Go wild and join us.