Just after nightfall, on a crisp evening in 1986, my family drove down a series of dark back roads to a secluded farm in Cranbury, New Jersey. I got out of the car and trudged out to the middle of an empty field. I planted my feet, tilted my head to the sky, and there it was… a blurry blob. Or, as it is also known, Halley’s Comet. So, why was I standing in the cold, staring at a distant cosmic smudge? Because Halley’s Comet is only visible to the naked eye from Earth for a short time, once every 76-ish years. It might have been my only chance to witness this truly rare event.
Looking back, I realize I could have this experience because of a couple of seemingly apparent advantages. I was aware of all aspects of the timeframe within which I would have to take action (the start, end, and duration of the comet’s visibility window). And, the only effort I had to put forward was to look upon a clear night. If I lacked information about the timing or if I was dead-set on living a life in which I only look straight ahead, I would likely have missed out.
Media and Entertainment is currently living through a moment almost as rare. Right now, there is a real opportunity to give the industry a big evolutionary push forward. Creatives often contribute to shaping the future of M&E by raising the bar on the quality and ingenuity of their work product, artistic content. But often overlooked is the ability to develop new techniques and workflows – the overall work process – that ultimately leads to better work products. Most people may only have one chance within their respective lifetimes to be a part of steering an entire industry. And the first step is to recognize when the right moment to take action has arrived, so it doesn’t pass you by.
Well, it’s here. Don’t blink.
Now, I’m not suggesting that significant breakthroughs can only occur within a specific timeframe or that I predict evolution will soon grind to a complete halt. There will always be new ideas. The question is: Are those ideas getting through? Are they making an impact?
The magic within an innovation window timespan occurs when industry-wide circumstances encourage open-mindedness, collaboration, and a fervent drive to problem-solve. Innovation only succeeds when there is adoption. However, many consider their own creative processes to be precious and unique, which might be true on an individual level. Therefore, resistance is to be expected when asked to change the way they operate. So, widespread adoption can be difficult to attain. But there are commonly accepted practices and workflows that are relied upon across the M&E landscape. And it is these general approaches that are best positioned for improvements, reengineering, or re-imagining.
When the COVID pandemic forced people to leave the office, creatives, operations, and IT had to jump into a damage-control mode in order to mitigate disruption to content creation. There were many problems to solve – accessing and sharing files, data security, remote collaboration, variable in-home network speeds, unanticipated hardware expenses, and so much more.
Overall, organizations did a pretty good job of cobbling together solutions, often one by one, to address these new challenges. And that was enough to keep the content machine chugging along. By design, these solutions were developed and implemented with the express purpose of repairing broken workflows, attempting to recreate the in-office work experience from remote locations. So, superficially, it would seem the pipeline has been made whole again. But, if the problem-solving process ceases because the pain points have all been addressed, the opportunity for true innovation could slip away. While resources have been brought in to backfill missing or now-arduous functions from old workflows, it is essential to look at the bigger picture and consider the implications and possibilities that come with implementing new solutions.
Instead of saying, “Look, now we can work from anywhere,” innovators and thought leaders are asking, “Because we can work from anywhere, what can we do now that we were unable to do previously?” And the answers to that question could include:
The pandemic caused a collective disruption in M&E, and the whole industry has been engaged in a prolonged period of compulsory problem-solving.
Individuals and organizations need to be prepared for workflow changes, and business continuity dictates that individuals be open to new ideas, suggestions, and experimentation. They cannot afford to be dismissive simply to preserve their past processes.
So, the stage is ripe for innovation. The industry is actively seeking solutions. People are open-minded, willing to change workflows, and primed for the adoption of revolutionary ideas. COVID may have forced the industry to take one step backward temporarily. But now, organizations must decide whether to step back up to the line or step past the line with two giant steps forward into the future. This unusual appetite for change indicates an active window for sweeping innovation, and the time for action is now.
It’s time to innovate, communicate, collaborate, experiment, fail, learn, dream, share your contributions and impact how the creative community operates. The clock is ticking, and organizations are beginning to write their new strategies in stone. Take this opportunity to push your messages and ideas forward while the industry is not only receptive but looking to be wowed. The window is closing and, once it is closed, wielding influence and drive for adoption will become significantly more complicated.
LucidLink has developed breakthrough technology that makes data universally, securely, and seamlessly accessible to everyone, everywhere. Our cloud-native file system allows users to stream data directly from the cloud, transforming the cloud into local storage, increasing productivity and collaboration. Sign up here for a 14-day free trial. And, with LucidLink solving the challenges of shifting to remote and hybrid workflows, you can focus on how these new capabilities can improve the way creatives across the industry operate. Just be sure to act now. Who knows when the next opportunity with such potential for impact will come along?
We would love to hear about how you are using LucidLink to unlock new possibilities for the creative workflows of the future.
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