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The next phase of innovation for a new generation

By HCL Tech Sri Lanka

For a generation that grew up with technology, the future of innovations has already begun. As the world is radically transformed by technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, internet of things and more, the next generation is entering a more unpredictable world than ever before. With a shift in priorities in the post-pandemic world, we’re seeing just how different business will look like in the next decade. Globalism driven by the flow of information and data is levelling the playing field for any ambitious entrepreneur, and the workplace of the future might not even be physical. Millennials and Generation Z have a unique challenge ahead of them, and it’s only the unique circumstances of their upbringing that can prepare them for it.

In the last year, automation and additive manufacturing (3D printing) have shifted the attention from labour to capital and remote working is becoming a widely accepted option. The workforce of the future will be more dynamic and flexible than ever before, and the nature of work will require more analytical and creative thinking. This comes with a change in perceptions about work itself, with a bigger focus on work-life balance and more attention on diversity and inclusion.

The challenges of the future will define the innovations of the future. Since generation Z, there has been a decline in brand consciousness and a rise in social awareness. With the rise of social platforms and influencer culture, this generation has a unique perspective on corporations, and are more likely to connect with brands that maintain a sense of authenticity. In a Pew Research Centre survey of 697 tech and business professional and social leaders, 84% believe that there will be significant social and civic innovation by the year 2030. This growing social consciousness will influence generation of innovators to come.

To keep up with a new movement in innovation, brands are already embracing social awareness, with some going as far as activism. At an economic level, open innovation and global collaboration will break down barriers and open up opportunities. In the workplace, inclusivity and equality will define internal cultures. Open-minded and idea-driven cultures are catalysts for innovation, and these values should be embedded in an organizations culture beyond a surface level. This generation has grown up with more media exposure than any other, and that means that they can spot inauthenticity immediately. The most successful innovative cultures commit more than just performative statements, and only the brands that want to make a difference will resonate.

When innovation is part of an organization’s DNA, like in the case of HCL Technologies’ IdeapreneurshipTM culture, attracting a new generation of innovators is inevitable. This culture empowers the workforce by instilling these values in every aspect of business. By creating an environment of disruptive innovation, HCL Technologies has built a worldwide network of over 150,000 Ideapreneurs working in 46 countries, serving leading enterprises across key industries, including 250 of the Fortune 500 and 650 of the Global 2000. This culture of innovation brings with it an important understanding about the future of innovation: that it’s already here. To stay relevant and authentic in the rapid globalization of the world, adaptation is essential, and systems like HCL Technologies’ IdeapreneurshipTM will define the new generation of innovation.