How often is the “next big thing” hiding in your organisation without you knowing?

Fairly often is seems.

Probably the classic example, is the development of the first digital camera by a Kodak engineer , Steven Sasson in 1975.

Kodak, with a totally dominant position in the film market  had a huge amount to lose with the development of an alternative, and ironically, many of the adjacent inventions such as advances in storage volumes,  which enables the digital photographic technology to be realised, and which also made the computer industry as we now see it possible, were also developed in their labs, but put aside, as Kodak  commercial management saw little of interest to their business.

Way after the digital camera market had been populated by the likes of Sony, Kodak woke up, but way too late to preserve their market dominance, or even have a role in the shape of it.

Meanwhile, the inventor toiled away inside Kodak, watching others commercialise the technology he initiated.

The lesson here is that you need to creatively engage with all stakeholders, whilst seeing the opportunities through eyes other than those that restrict the view to the status quo.