The words of John Donne’s poem “No man (or woman) is an island” came to me as I reflected on the year ahead.
When we come into the world our need for connection is driven by our need to survive. Babies rely on the world around them to respond to their needs in order to develop the ability to attach to and develop a sense of belonging and being valued. In the world of work, co-operation is seen as an integral behaviour of high performing teams where collaboration supports the accomplishment of goals others may see as impossible.
My love of lists with carefully crafted goals is well known and oftentimes getting these completed can seem impossible with a myriad of day to day competing priorities. Many businesses I speak to regularly question “what is the art of the possible” in accomplishing a particular challenge. Who can assist? Do I have to go it alone?
The reputation of knowledge and research within Scotland’s universities and further education colleges is exemplar. What’s more it is waiting to be unlocked by the team at Interface to support “the art of the possible” for every business challenge even if it is seemingly impossible to the challenge owner.
Blue skies research can lead to revolutionary disruptive thinking. For example the history of quantum mechanics is a fundamental part of the history of modern physics and research undertaken over many years is now being exploited commercially by the QuantIC consortium to make technologies (such as sensors and imaging) faster and smaller pushing the boundaries of what we already know about how the world works. In contrast, short term demand-led research from a myriad of businesses is bringing new products, processes and services to market at a rapid pace. A recent collaboration between University of Strathclyde and Welbot has within 8 months gathered substantive evidence to support the launch of their product that helps employees stay physically and mentally well in the workplace.
Collaborating with Scottish academics can make the improbable become reality — so perhaps key business challenges can add value to the bottom line sooner than you think. What is your art of the possible for 2019?