This Week’s 5 Must-Read Stories You May Have Missed
Sainsbury's teams up with Deliveroo, the French army drafts in sci-writers and SpaceX launches a test version of its rocket.
We caught up with our columnist, business transformation expert, author of The Interim Revolution and founder and CEO of Sullivan and Stanley, Pat Lynes, to discuss the biggest news stories you wouldn’t have wanted to miss last week.
1. Kar-go delivery vehicle to hit the streets
UK-based Academy of Robotics has created what it describes as “Europe’s first road-worthy autonomous delivery vehicle”. Resembling what I believe to be a cross between a green egg and an F1 race car, the all-electric AI lead vehicle allows customers, through an app, to choose when and where they want their packages delivered. With the production of this car, the company aims is to reduce the cost of the last stage of the online delivery packages journey – from the local depot to a customer’s front door.
Although Kar-go car has announced it expects to be delivering parcels to people in Surrey by the end of this year, it is currently still only one of its kind. As the company continues to look for funding in the coming months, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the several competitor startups, which are also putting robotics and AI innovations at the forefront of their businesses. I can’t imagine it will be long before we start seeing some of these futuristic solutions in our daily lives.
2. The British heatwave raises a few eyebrows
Well, not to state the obvious, but it was hot last week. Stories on the rising temperatures, commuter issues and a potential revival of profits in retailers and pub chains flooded the news. However, the story which caught my eye and I wanted to talk about this week was the Trades Union Congress urging businesses to allow flexible working and relaxed dress codes.
It shouldn’t take a “national emergency” (stated by Public Health England) for organisations to think and talk about flexible work and dress codes. The business world is changing, meaning the way people work and what they want from their jobs is evolving. If businesses start treating their staff like adults, giving them the flexibility they need, they will create trusting relationships, which increases productively and employee retention. It seems like such a simple solution, however, businesses today need to understand that the days of command and control leadership is nearly over.
3. Sainsbury’s teams up with Deliveroo
Sainsbury’s is joining the booming food delivery market by partnering with Deliveroo for a new pizza takeaway service. This two-month pilot, which will be available in four UK cities – Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, and London – is part of Sainsbury’s move into exploring new growth ideas.
It’s smart for Sainsbury’s to be joining the UK’s food delivery market, which is reeling in £8.1 billion – money it is taking away from supermarket sales. In response, other supermarkets also need to be innovating, utilising current and new technologies to compete with this ever-growing market.
4. The French army drafts in a ‘red team’ of sci-fi writers
In response to future threats, the French army has created a ‘red team’ of four to five sci-writers who will imagine new “scenarios of disruption” that its military strategists may not envisage. In the new report by the Defence Innovation Agency (DIA), it was revealed that France is trying to innovate its approaches to defence and figure out every possible threat its armed forces might face.
It’s certainly a different and forward-thinking approach to managing future disruption. However, the model behind it – to draft in the right experts to outline the issues and create solutions, is right on the mark. I believe in the full power of this model, that I created my business Sullivan & Stanley around it. By bringing the best minds, with the most complex problems it creates a perfect marriage and environment to help all layers of businesses to thrive.
5. SpaceX launches next-generation Starship rocket
It may seem like a small feat, however, it’s a step in the right direction for SpaceX, which launched a test version of its space rocket from Texas. Granted, it only hovered in the air for a couple of seconds before it landed back on solid ground, but it was the first time this next-generation rocket engine flex detached from the ground. What it did prove, however, is that a fully reusable rocket, which can launch, land and launch again is feasible. Although there is still a long way to go before SpaceX gets humans on the Moon and Mars, it’s looking closer and closer every day.