Adaptation versus risk, what is the better idea for the future?


Is it the case as Olaf Sziedat, Business director Europe and West Africa at Hempel, recently said: “Only who adapts as the fastest, will be the lead.”

I need to ask: is the adaption really the key for innovation and technology leadership?

Unadapted behaviour means revolution

To behave unadapted could lead to new thinking processes, it is a point of friction – discussions included. But just by this, existing patterns of thinking can be broken and new links created. In my opinion, the one who adapts fastest to the market, may lead the herd on existing trails, but will never discover new ways!

A company like Nokia didn’t even adjust and was without success for a longer period, but a company like Apple took some risks to implement new ideas. The market was interested and started following these ideas.

What counts in the coatings industry?

How much revolution and how much adjusted behaviour is common in our industry?

For me the development of waterborne coatings for example is adapted behavior, as it was first only due to regulations.. For some segments and industries, legal requirements were less strict, so this technology could have turned into something like a revolution. But these segments were not interested. Why? The pressure to test it was too low, the costs too high. The conservative way to handle coatings seemed to be the safest way for the upcoming business.

This is what I can fully understand. After all it is better to lead the herd on known trails. But I am sad, that no one is really the hero to explore new worlds. Who knows what chances are waiting out there!

Let me know what you think!

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