Learning from our frenemies


Recently I’ve been working with an automotive client to support a series of global innovation events. Their industry has changed rapidly, through advances in technology, customer demand and environmental legislation. Another industry, the tech industry, has also started dabbling in their space. The global innovation events were a brilliant reminder to me of how innovation and creativity can help us overcome challenge and threat.

Let’s be frenemies
One of the innovation events was held in the Silicon Valley where a mix of techy type entrepreneurs, social and environmental activists, humanitarians, car engineers and c-suite leaders from across the globe came together to shape the future of mobility.  From such diversity of opinion and challenging conversations, it was amazing to see the innovation sparks fly.

As well as learning from people navigating very strong convictions, I was amazed how the dialogue between diverse people could change mindsets. It made me ask myself: how ready am I to put myself into a space where I will have my practice, viewpoint and convictions challenged? What might I be missing by being…precious? How far are we willing to take this to ensure we stay at the edge of our offering? And, are we playing it too safe?

Innovative conversations about….innovation
My brief was to collate visions for truly innovative products and services. We did that, and I couldn’t help but get excited about the by-product of our process. The challenge brought not “like minded” but “differently minded” people together to grapple with the opportunities of our future, voice some of their own concerns and exchange knowledge.

Recognising the impact of the event, the automotive organisation now runs them regularly bringing different parts of the business together to co-create innovation to challenges through diverse opinion-sharing among ‘frenemies’.


At Lane4 we understand how challenging change is. In a small way this innovative dialogue has become its own change mechanism. It is shaping culture and feels deeply embedded in my client’s change strategy. How about that? Thank you, innovation!

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