Innovation breeds Innovation

Benchmark VisionariesI was watching Top Gear the other night, not on DAVE I might add….one of the new series and the team were evaluating and putting electric cars through their paces. I use the word pace lightly 🙂

Jeremy was driving the new Nissan Leaf and aside from complimenting the interior design of the car and its modestly cool looks he made a point on how quiet it was.

He mentioned how Nissan have had to redesign parts of the car that would not of otherwise been an issue. The silence in the vehicle had raised problems of its own. He explained how at high speeds the noise of the wind pushing past the wing mirrors had originally created a whirling noise that was not apparent in Nissan’s other models as they have an underlying noise from the engine to muffle it. So Nissan had to redesign the front head lights to make them act as a deflector to pass the wind around the wing mirrors and not through them, thus removing the noise. He also mentioned how new windscreen wipers had to me created as the standard ones used on other models were again too noisy in the silence of the electric car.

My point here is that Nissan was forced to create new solutions for problems that were not previously apparent. By designing a vehicle that ran so quietly with its non fuel based engine, they had indirectly created problems for themselves that needed to be rectified. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it shows that by coming up with new ideas and creating new products, you inevitably come up with new problems which again need new solutions. In a way, Nissan have pushed forward on the Innovation front further than they would have thought necessary when they came up with the concept of the electric car and I would be amazed if some of the new technology in this vehicle was not implemented in the future in some of its more standard vehicles.

I guess I love the idea that by being innovative and creative this forces you into being MORE innovative than you would have first thought. I’m not sure whether electric cars are the future, just look at the problems they had finding a place to plug the car in to charge and the life cycle of the batteries, but in any case it is undeniable that Nissan have helped push forward the technology which we could see in the future in the automotive industry.

If every company tried new things, came up with new solutions, you may well find it creates new problems along the way, but with these problems come new solutions.

We are due to host an innovation conference in Manchester on the 14th September with two Innovation guru’s Kjell Nordstrom & Chris Barez-Brown and I will be writing a blog based on this event in the near future so hopefully have some handy tips to share with you all on how you too can make your organisation, and yourself more creative.

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3 responses to “Innovation breeds Innovation

  1. I love top gear but it has to be said that Electric and Hybrid cars are a waste of time as the best alternative to petrol is Hydrogen which I believe they are working on now, when they first hydrogen car comes out then that will be worth getting, trouble with a lot of these hybrids are they are fairly pricey, I can’t remember how much they said the leaf was but I think it was quite dear.

    • I agree, but do you think it will be like tv’s and other tech whereby its really expensive at first and only adopted by a few people unitl the price comes down?
      I know the UK government does this incentive where they give you £5k back if you buy an electric car, buy can’t belive that Nissan Note was over £30k to start with!

  2. Yeah I think Clarkson said something like he gets £5K from the government but the overall cost of the car is still double what a petrol version would be worth. But you are right with your new technology theory, most households have broadband, flat screen tvs, hundreds of channels, and other things that were once luxuries are now standard, hopefully futuristic cars will come down in price for the mass market too.

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