Breakdown to Breakthrough — Your Key to Future Success?

Welcome to the new era of breakdown and breakthrough…the big opportunity for your enterprise to do good and do well at the same time—becoming a hero to your investors as well as future generations to follow.


Everyday we read about breakdown—breakdown of financial institutions and businesses, the healthcare system, government, education, environmental breakdown and a climate crisis that threatens our survivability.

And everyday we read about breakthrough—breakthroughs in new energy solutions, radical innovations in bio-nano-tech, new approaches to regenerative sustainability, global knowledge flows, and a creativity/innovation renaissance that is sweeping the world.

This is a new era of paradox—we are experiencing “ain’t it awful” and “isn’t it wonderful” at the same time. These era changes have happened before but never on the interconnected global scale that we have today. For the first time the entire world is involved in a massive civilization transformation.

The good news is that companies and social enterprises everywhere are recognizing that each breakdown always comes attached with the opportunity to breakthrough.

All you have to do is turn on the TV, read a magazine, or tap into online reporting and you will see countless stories of breakdown-breakthrough success. A few examples from the business sector:

Water and Infrastructure

  • Breakdown—In cities like San Francisco, NYC and DC, old water pipes lose as much as 50% of the water running through them (and water is one of our endangered resources).

  • Breakthrough—As part of the Smart Cities Initiative, IBM is using its technology to detect breakdown points in underground pipelines so that the water loss can be stopped. Who would’ve thought that old Big Blue, the computer box company king of the past, would be solving our water problems?

Fossil Fuels

  • Breakdown—Finding renewable sources of energy that don’t pollute is critical to our future.

  • Breakthrough—K.R. Sidhar, a former NASA scientist, developed the “Bloom Box”, a fuel cell no bigger than a stack of CDs that can power a house, bring power to a village or in aggregated big Bloom Boxes power companies and cities.

Environment and Healthcare

  • Breakdown—Our healthcare system is the most expensive in the world and yet its rising costs and growing lack of access to many constitutes a real crisis. The breakdown of our ecosystems holds challenging implications for all sectors of society, threatening our ability to live in balance with our environment and our use of resources.

  • Breakthrough—GE has dedicated huge areas of its business to bringing innovation to Environment and Healthcare issues…Ecoimagination and Heathymagination. Pay-offs to the company and to these breakdown issues are already enormous.

More and more each day, enterprises of all sizes and types see huge benefits to themselves and to the world of turning breakdowns into breakthroughs.

What are the breakdowns in your world and how can you turn them into breakthroughs?