Updated: Nov 11, 2021
The influence of an individual on innovation is now greater than ever. The butterfly effect ensures that technological developments take off at lightning speed. With impactful consequences for market forces, the organization of work and our place in it.
Butterfly effect In 1961, when my former employer Digital Equipment was still a ‘baby’, meteorologist Edward Lorenz developed a weather forecast model. His theory was that a very small event, could set a series of events in motion, that would have a huge impact later on. He used the metaphor of a butterfly that moves its wings and a few days later causes a tornado on another continent.
Innovation What Lorenz is basically saying is that everything is connected to everything, that everything affects each other. His theory is the description of a natural process as we encounter it in our daily lives in all kinds of forms. Natural phenomena are quite often the source for technological developments. Thunder for example was the inspiration for the development of electricity. As ‘everything is connected to everything’ is the source for technology that ensures that we are hyper connected.
Contribution Hyper connectivity makes it super easy to innovate: an individual has an idea, a (international) community of like-minded helps with further development, et voila the product or service is available at lightning speed. And off it goes, a next update or innovation is on its way. This requires organizations that are agile, to which people are connected that are sold to what the organization delivers to society. Whether this organization is a company with employees or just a group of collaborating people, these people deliver their contribution to the end result by fulfilling their intrinsic craving.