Has our Curiosity Become Lazy?

February 9, 2011 - 0 Comments

“Growth in output and median incomes has slowed in rich countries because the pace of innovation has slowed” The Economist

This article sets out the argument that aside from the obvious “revolution” in computer technology and the internet not much has changed in the world’s rich nations in the past 40 years. It asserts that this is because it is much harder to create breakthrough research. We have started to look for the known unknowns, rather than the unknown unknowns. For example, scientists looking for asteroids that they know, statistically, must be out there. Looking for known unknowns is far less risky, but most of the time with far fewer rewards.

The same can be said for business. Are we simply looking for opportunities that we know are out there? How can we start searching for the unknown unknowns? Searching for sales opportunities, employee talent and new markets in unknown territory can bring a new dimension to any business, but what are the risks? And can they be outweighed by the rewards?

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