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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsIn modern times, the construction industry has sought to make buildings as tall as possible in order to capitalise on the amount of real estate. For example, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 828 meters tall and is one of the tallest buildings in the world, but it wasn't long ago that the height of a building was not the main priority. Before the invention of the elevator, construction was limited by the number of floors that could realistically be climbed. This was frustrating, as we had the tools to build extremely tall buildings, but lacked the transport technology to make it a reality. This all changed in 1852 with industrialist and engineer, Elisha Otis.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsOtis was frustrated with the risks involved in the hoist system used to lift materials to higher levels of his factory.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsHe decided to develop a safety mechanism, so that he could use the lift to travel between floors with only a single cable and without fear of it breaking.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 secondsAt the 1853 New York World's Fair, Otis had the opportunity to present his invention before the public. Otis stood high upon his constructed lift, suspended by a single rope. The crowd gathered to watch the display, curious as to what Otis was showcasing. It was at this moment that Otis cut the rope. Otis dropped a few inches before his safety mechanism locked him in place. The crowd were amazed at this new technology as it allowed them to safely travel vertically between floors. This innovation led to the development of skyscrapers as we know today, transforming real-estate worldwide. Otis saw the potential of vertical transportation, helping to re-imagine the future with his vision.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 secondsWhat other inventions have impacted the construction industry in such a way? And how would you redefine the industry, what change would you implement? Remember to comment below and consider the three key strategic management issues needed to ensure the innovation's success.

Higher and higher

The video describes how one man changed the skyline of cities around the world and redefined the industry.

What other inventions have impacted the construction industry in such a way?

How would you redefine the industry?

What change would you implement?

Consider the three key strategic management issues needed to ensure the innovation’s success – company goals, external analysis: opportunities and threats, and human resources capability as you share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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This video is from the free online course:

Business Strategy: The Art of Looking into the Future

Coventry University