The Unintended Consequences From Innovation Adoption S13 Ep22

The pace of innovation continues to accelerate and in many instences, we are surprised from the unintended consequences from innovation adoption. While innovators focus on the adoption, we overlook the need for society to adapt to these new innovations and the impact it has.

Some adaptations are conscious while others are thrust upon society with both positive and unintended consequences.

Innovation Adoption Examples

One example would be the rapid adoption of social networks and how society has adapted itself to its role in how people share and receive information. While social networks have allowed people to stay connected, it has also redefined what it means to be friends and the role of trust when it comes to the information that is shared.

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Another example would be the retail sector. It has seen a never ending wave of innovation that has disrupted even the well established retailers. It started with the “big box” retailers disrupting the small local and regional retailers. Now its the online retailers such as Amazon disrupting the big box retailers.

Unintended Consequences

There are many more examples of the unintended consequences of innovation disruption.

So what is the role of innovators to help those that are being disrupted? Do we just play the role of disruptor and let everyone else figure out the consequences?

I would suggest that we as innovators need to go beyond simply launching our disruption. We need to spend time thinking about the possible unintended consequences. When we identify them, we can then understand what we can do about them.

There are many examples where innovators go out and launch in hopes that those impacted (e.g. local, state and federal governments) won't be able to keep up thus creating some unique advantage over established models.

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Is that the right thing to do?

I would argue that ethical innovation calls for us to think beyond just the adoption of a new innovation. We need to acknowledge that others will need to adapt to it and the possible unintended consequences.

Do you agree??

Listen to the full show to hear my thoughts …


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One thought on “The Unintended Consequences From Innovation Adoption S13 Ep22

  1. Great show, Phil, congratulations!
    I believe the issue is if we are ruled just by “the law of the jungle” and Natural Selection. I believe we are not, as Humankind, unless the rest of the Animal kingdom (although sometimes we are worse than any animal), doesn’t leave the weak behind. We take care of the elderley and of the sick, there is charity and welfare, and we tend to help those in need (generally).
    So yes, I agree with your point. As innovators we should also think or even account for the adaptation of Society to the innovations we push forward. But business in general is not a very kind environment, so it would be very interesting to talk about how to blend business interest with social conscience regarding disruptive innovations (Sustainable Innovation movement?). If you know of someone doing it, it would make for a great interview.
    Keep up the good work,