Innovation and magical thinking

28-11-2019 | Posted by Francisco Martínez

In psychology, magical thinking refers to believing that the mind is capable of changing matter, that we can alter the course of events with just our thoughts.

Companies are not immune to magical thinking. In too many cases they are unable to evaluate their actual situation using real data, they seem to believe that if they continue doing what they did in the last 20 years the results will be similar. This is especially worrying in the industrial sector, shaken by crises, digitisation, transformations, automation, etc.

pensamiento mágico

But the day finally comes when magical thinking gives way to the stark reality: there is no growth without adaptation and innovation.

A company may survive for a while but, sooner rather than later, the inevitable happens: competitors overtake us, perhaps without understanding it, as we continue doing things as before. We have a false feeling of control, we interpret chance as cause, and decision making relies more on feelings than objective data. Briefly, we still do things just as before, but results are no longer the same.


Innovation and simulation

Innovation is the blatant proof that a company is not relying on magical thinking.

And it need not be disruptive. There are many ways of innovating, such as process efficiency, which may not imply a new product. Innovation is the result of a dynamic company organisation, resilient and able to adapt to changing conditions.

Numerical simulation is at the heart of the search for solutions that improve the real world.

Products that are lighter, more durable, with better performance and more efficiently manufactured. Numerical simulation allows trying in a virtual world processes and products that do not exist in the real world, yet.

Numerous sectors are already employing numerical simulation to innovate, reaping savings in time, money and energy, using the virtual generation of products to create better ones. The 3DExperience platform and its collaborative environment allow all the departments involved to interact and contribute to innovation in any area of the company.

The future starts today and, in today’s world, we need to take decisions based on objective data and realistic simulations, not on the believe that what we did over the last 20 years would continue yielding the same results. As Ortega once said, every ignored reality prepares its revenge.

This post has been originally published on LinkedIn in November 2019

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