Cross Industry Thinking


When did our industry, our office, our department or even our team become the one voice of truth?

When did we decide that we were the only people who really knew what our customers wanted from their digital experience?

Well from what I have seen repeated like a broken record is that this has always been the case. Yes, we are good at cross-departmental collaboration (or getting better) and I’m not talking about one particular company I am talking about every client side organisation I’ve ever worked in.

Bit of a harsh start but there is a point – cross-industry thinking time and time again come up with true innovations not market-matching, not better than average, but actually fill the gap between best in class and what hasn’t even been thought of yet.

  1. Professor Martin Elliott, Co-Medical Director at Great Ormond Street, looked to Formula One to improve the high risk process of moving a post-op patient out of the operating theatre (rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal). Then turned to ballet to manage the choreography of the doctors and nurses. Resulting in less errors and improved team performance.
  2. Silicon valley are turning to the fashion industry to understand the future of wearable tech. This has been seen before with Beats by Dre for headphones, but as offline and online merge so do the two industries that people use to define and express themselves.

Another key area is the academic – industry collaboration, with R&D becoming integral parts of companies today we are taking baby steps closer to turning theory into action.

The conversation we should be having is not “how / what we should do”, but,

“who does this brilliantly, because I want to talk to them”

Looking at Steven Johnson’s ‘Where good ideas come from’ – it’s more time in coffee shops (or equivalent) and less time in meeting rooms with the same people.

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