INSIGHTS

The quiet rise of green technologies

INSIGHTS

The quiet rise of green technologies

A quickly changing landscape

For many enterprises, the time of steady growth and stable market forecasts is a thing of the past. The number of companies that operate in an unpredictable context is increasing every year. From climate change to pandemics, global tensions and inflation, new challenges are raising the bar for businesses, compelling them to reinvent their operation models and develop new solutions.

The quick, erratic changes in the market create both opportunities and threats. With the world increasingly turning towards sustainable business models, new concepts are emerging and offering a unique momentum for new, green technologies to enter the market. Companies who can seize the business opportunities and navigate quickly changing landscapes will be in the vanguard of future sustainability. Yet, in such a volatile context, the conventional practices of conquering the markets often fall short and enterprises need to develop their own vision of business strategy.

From climate change to pandemics, global tensions and inflation, new challenges are raising the bar for businesses, compelling them to reinvent their operation models and develop new solutions.

green technologies

Photography: Karla Hernandez, modifications: Vadviam

While the conventional strategy approach would prompt businesses to anticipate market evolutions, choose their target customers and define long-term objectives, managers operating on quickly changing markets often find this type of planning difficult to achieve. Markets are evolving so dynamically that no business can plan for every eventuality. Because of this, some companies come to believe that continuous, active adjustment to the changing circumstances will offer more value than a passive planning. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any map will do”. This conventional saying sounds all too familiar to many leaders in new technologies markets.

Portrait of green technology

Green technology companies are young, quickly growing organizations that develop new solutions with a strong environmental impact. Their profile can be markedly different from the conventional businesses competing in more predictable markets. Because of their specifics, such enterprises often need to find unconventional commercial strategies.

The terminology around technological solutions evolves very quickly. In this article, we put aside the types of solutions and technical nuances behind them, and instead we outline the set common business features for emerging green technologies.

green technologies roadmap

New, green technology companies are often young, quickly growing organizations that develop new solutions with a strong environmental impact.

Continuous research and development

Emerging green technology businesses often decide to pursue a strong differentiation in their solution portfolio, targeting many different market segments at the same time. This strategy of often makes the companies engaged in dozens of new research and development projects at a time. The profits of successful market adoption are quickly reinvested in new R&D, which result in frequent introduction of new products. Considerable part of company team operates with a low level of formalization and is always engaged in prototyping. The repeatable production processes are being outsourced and organized ad hoc.

First-to-market organizations

Because of their unique value proposition, the companies developing new green technologies are usually seen as creators of change in their industries. They are often praised for their research and development capacities, as well as strong engineering and technical knowhow. The spirit of innovation is often a dominant driven within their enterprises. With underlying ambition to be first in the market, an important part of business activity relies on scouting the needs of ever-changing world.

Science-based business

Businesses in the sector of new green technologies can operate in different market segments, but their activity is typically built on a strong foundation in science, whether it is environmental science, process chemistry, material engineering or biology. The strong root of business within technical sciences creates both unique risks and opportunities for the enterprise. To maintain this path, enterprises need to base on teams with strong technical competence.

The strong root of business within technical sciences introduces both unique risks and opportunities for the enterprise. To maintain this path, green technology companies base on teams with strong technical competence.

green technology science based

Mural: “Science,” by Millard Owen Sheets at the Department of Interior, Washington, D.C., photography: Highsmith, Carol M., 1946

Continuous dialogue with early adopters

Since the ambition of green technology enterprises is to be the first to be a pioneer in bringing out a new product to the market early adopters, new technology businesses seldom compete only on a price basis. At a first-to-market company, the marketing and sales tactics are importantly different than within enterprises that seek to consolidate their market presence. Addressing early adopters is often linked to a long and demanding sales cycle.

The art of learning by doing

When developing innovative products, the businesses often can’t always their destination in advance. Conquering new markets or creating a new solution often involves exploration, adjustment and improvisation. The toolbox of methods used to manage those situations can appear as a very different one than the conventional approaches used in business.

Many enterprises tackling innovation notice that there are type of activities which are well managed by not enforcing detailed, in advance set of objectives. In such, the managers are convinced that the time spent planning would be better spent by doing, experimenting, and quickly incorporating the learnings in the next attempt. In some landscapes, more can be gained from experience than upfront analysis and forging the way ahead happens without detailed specifications.

Efficient business processes in such context rely on creativity and ability of following uncharted paths. In this specific approach, we argue that there are many comparisons with how artists carry their work: by experimenting, testing new concepts and iterating their works until the ideal form is found.

The art of green technologies

Charlie Chaplin in the Modern Times, 1936

Green technology enterprises rely on creativity and ability of following uncharted paths. There could be many comparisons between such approach and the way how artists carry their work.

The work of artist in a public opinion is often imagined as a mysterious strike of inspiration that leads to a genius outcome. Yet, most of the artists begin by researching the subject and attempting dozens, if not hundreds of repeated trials and errors. In the process of painting Guernica – one of the world’s famous paintings, created by Picasso on request of Spanish government – dozens of sketches were done, in which the great artist tested his initial ideas for the task, possible themes, composition, light and factures.

This artistic process, reliant on the innovation, creativity and exploration of new, emerging concepts, can bear a striking similarity to processes involved in development of new technologies. Its close examination shows us that artists can be very capable of innovating, achieving exceptional results, and delivering solutions under the pressure of deadlines.

In Vadviam we argue that the more the businesses relate to innovation and conquering uncharted fields, the more their processes will become close to the artistic. Understanding the latter can therefore bring a great advantage to the enterprise.

Activities reliant on the innovation, creativity and exploration of new, emerging concepts can bear a striking similarity to processes involved in development of new technologies.

Getting comfortable with challenges

No matter how much the innovation process resembles artistic creation, green technology companies still tackle several challenges related to operating within such business models, such as:

  • the inherent flexibility of operations often causes difficulties in achieving repeatability in all activities, which makes business at risk of not optimising their process enough and loosing efficiency to respond quickly to the customer needs
  • the constant rotation of new products and potential markets may cause organization resources to be stretched too thin, exhaust their capacity and generate too large costs, when they focus on exploring paths which are uncertain to yield positive outcomes
  • ever-evolving markets and quickly changing technical features of their solutions make it difficult to establish stable organization structures, both within their own workforce, as well as supply chain side. That can often lead to conflicts, miscommunications and confusion, underutilizing resources, or multiplying the work done.

Ever-evolving markets and quickly changing products often make it difficult to establish stable organization structures within emerging, green technology companies. 

green technology metaphor

Embrasement déplorable de la Machine Aërostatique des Srs Miolan et Janinet le dimanche 11 juillet 1784 – collection of Musée Carnavalet, Paris

Strategies for driving innovation

However big the challenges might be, navigating the new markets is well worth of effort. Below we list some good practices that can help in achieving the goals within organizations introducing green technologies.

Map the experimentation processes in the enterprise

Whether it comes to navigating innovative businesses, or artistic work, high level mapping of the processes involved is possible and can bring a big value. Create internal workflows which provide the frames to the experimentation, designate people responsible for decision making and expected outcomes of the work.

Identify trigger points and metrics of commercial activity

Defining commercial pipeline at an ever-changing market might come across as a fruitless process, yet the experience of many enterprises in that field can be outlined into a more detailed steps and work sequences. Translating the commercial activity into a tangible process with its milestones and metrics can reap many benefits in the field of efficiency and speed of work.

Translating the commercial activity into a tangible process with its milestones and metrics can reap many benefits in the field of efficiency and speed of work.

Francis A. Beckett – Blacksmith Shop, c. 1880

Translating the commercial activity into a tangible process with its milestones and metrics can reap many benefits in the field of efficiency and speed of work.

Automate your activity wherever it’s possible

Quickly growing enterprises often tackle a challenge of falling short on resources. Having detailed the processes and pipeline described above, it is feasible to select the repetitive parts of work and search for automation and improvements in its efficiency. There are multiple tools available on the market which can aid in that objective and save the precious time of your team.

Develop impeccable product literature

Well-structured and easily understandable product literature is a resource that can replace countless hours of your team involvement in-person. This can sound as obvious truth, and yet, many of the introduction materials available for green technologies fall shorter than 1000 words and lacking the information that prospects are looking for. The technical solutions complexity, versality and sensitive character of information are often not easy to capture in words – yet our experience in Vadviam demonstrates that there can be a milieu found between the needs of the market and sufficient explanation of even most technically complex, unique and innovative solutions.

Consider wider context of your impact

In quickly evolving ESG landscape, the customers take a special care about the double bottom line. Organizations that can prove their positive impact on both people and the planet will be at the forefront of the economic growth.

However big the challenges might be, navigating the new markets and developing green technologies is well worth of effort. 

About us

At Vadviam, we believe that technology should be more than just efficient and competitive. It should also be well understood, contribute to social progress, and open onto a viable and desirable future.
Environment, Society and Governance: by leaning on these three pillars of sustainability, and by combining years of experience in green technologies, customer relations and storytelling practice, we help enterprises enhance both their ESG performance and the market presence of their innovative solutions.
Our value added: adding meaning, clarity and relevance to our customers’ projects by working at the nexus of technology, business and the arts.

Stay tuned about our next steps by joining the newsletter: