By Jon Spratley, Managing Director at 42 Technology
If you can’t juggle the present and the future, you don’t have a future.
– Kevin Fitzpatrick, SVP Nissan [ref: CBI Annual Conference].
I was struck as to how succinctly this quote has summed up 2021 for me. There is a huge amount of present uncertainty to juggle in business, from supply chain issues and talent shortages, to dealing with environmental impacts…oh yeah, and we are still in the middle of a global pandemic (as Omicron has decided to remind us).
Just writing that list makes me want to hide under my duvet! However, what stops me (other than the knowledge that three children would soon be jumping on me) is that the vast majority of people and businesses that I talk to are optimistic and upbeat. It’s really inspiring.
Whether it’s innovating that next breakthrough product, re-spinning a manufacturing process to reduce carbon footprint, or inventing a whole new way of doing something, businesses seem to be juggling well.
Innovation is the key component of juggling for the future. What are you going to change? And how far will you disrupt yourself, your competitors and your industry?
That’s not to say it’s easy. A lot of the uncertainty listed above is acting as a brake on innovation. Supply chain squeezes are forcing precious engineering innovation firepower to be focused on assessing options to maintain current products rather than develop the future ones. And a very competitive job market is reducing ability to scale or even maintain teams with high quality talent.
We are seeing many clients reaching out to us to support them through these restrictions. Bringing in the right external team can allow you to scale quickly, innovate faster and apply broader expertise to the challenge. Think of it as a helping pair of hands to keep all the balls spinning in the air!
I see the climate crisis as mostly innovation-positive (which is a small silver lining). We all know there is a problem – and it is big and scary – but it’s up to us to solve it. Disrupting what we do, and how we do it, is the only solution.
The good news is that companies seem to be grasping the nettle much faster than governments are making commitments. A colleague, who predominantly deals with Consumer blue-chip companies, recently reported that:
If my clients don’t mention carbon reduction as one (or all) of their top three innovation priorities, it is because they have assumed that I will take that for granted.
This sentiment is echoed across the other sectors we deal with too, and we also see an increased seriousness in tackling other big environmental topics of our time such as water use, microplastics and ocean waste.
Likewise, healthcare is an incredibly innovative space right now and – whilst the pandemic has been a big disruption – it has changed how we think about our healthcare systems, providers, our data and what the future of healthcare needs to be. It will be an exciting and rewarding journey to be part of, for those who manage to juggle for that future.
We have two particular points of focus in 42T’s healthcare team currently: addressing healthcare inequality and women’s health challenges.
By developing better biomarker sensors, diagnostics and consumer health products we can bring a better quality of life to people no matter their gender, socio-economic position or the country they live in.
You will see more content coming from our healthcare team, helping educate on the current women’s health and healthcare inequality landscapes.
So, how is 42T disrupting itself and juggling for the future? As well as our bread-and-butter of delivering excellent innovative product and technology developments for our clients, we have invested heavily in growing our team and facilities and have been really lucky in recruiting some excellent new team members, which has expanded our healthcare, mechanical, electronics, physics and optics capabilities.
And as you may have noticed, we have been talking more about the areas that we passionately care about and can make a difference:
I am excited to trail that we will be launching a new brand early next year. No spoilers here, but please look out for a new look 42T!
And last (but definitely not least) we are working on our own Net Zero journey. As a service provider our direct impact is rather limited, but with a long thorny tail in our supply chain – which is a familiar pattern across many companies. The things we buy or use indirectly are least in our control and therefore the hardest to manage – but manage them we must.
Here are some of our recent thoughts and news that you may find of interest:
Wishing you a happy holiday, a positive 2022, and keep on juggling!
Chief Executive Officer
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