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The engine of change and innovation

Change operates across different timeframes:

  • Macro forces are the long-term shifts which act across all markets and societies. These form the context against which people and organizations act.
  • At the other end of the scale, signals are localized and short-term expressions of change. They can occur at the level of a single country, or a community within a specific area, and will vary dependent on the target audience.
  • In the middle, we have trends. These are cultural attitudes and values which emerge from the interaction between people and the planet. Trends can emerge, enter into mainstream culture and fall out of practice in response to macro forces and signals.

Importantly, this model acknowledges the role of feedback loops in terms of understanding the complexity in our world. Macro forces impact trends and signals directly but the decisions made by individuals can also ladder up to impact the world through a bottom-up response.

This framework is useful to understand the engine of change and the drive towards innovation. The latter, indeed, is the natural response to an ever-changing global landscape, the materialization of macro forces into everyday life.

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