For MANUFACTURERS of ergonomic chairs new ideas can create both threats and opportunities , once both familiarity and normalcy biases are overcome. Creative disruption works.
This has happened many times in recent history: comfortable incumbents, making incremental changes to their designs and then a disruptor emerges, and they’re dead. Kodak is an example. The car industry is an ongoing example. Performance has improved compared to that of a car of only ten years ago. But the experience of driving is essentially the same and the gains are marginal. They are now threatened by the new technology of outsiders who have very little to lose. These can disrupt the market so fundamentally that everyone else has to change their business model or go bust. Traditional car firms are worried about the likes of Google (driverless cars). Tesla (driverless and long range electric). And Apple ( Project Titan?). This is also happening in the office chair industry. The ergonomics have been improved incrementally for upright sitting with only limited benefit and has come to the end of a road. A new fix is required if the increasing incidense of spinal conditions associated with prolonged sitting are to be reduced. A paradigm change?
Business theorist Clay Christensen says :
“The reason [for why great companies failed] is that good management itself was the root cause. Managers played the game the way it’s supposed to be played. The very decision-making and resource allocation processes that are key to the success of established companies are the very processes that reject disruptive technologies: listening to customers; tracking competitors actions carefully; and investing resources to design and build higher-performance, higher-quality products that will yield greater profit.
“These are the reasons why great firms stumbled or failed when confronted with disruptive technology change.
The 2Tilt concept.
- Spinal bio-mechanics dictates that prolonged sitting should be performed in a reclined position.
This involves a number of requirements.
- To be effective these are detailed in the 2 Tilt (2T) concept. By remediating the adverse bio-mechanical factors in prolonged sitting, the more 2T compliant the model becomes.
- A fully 2T compliant chair is fully ergonomically optimised (and optimally comfortable).
- This concept will inevitably and logically move into the mainstream of chair design.
- The bias holdup
Failure to understand familiarity and normalcy bias is likely to lead to serious problems for firms, however big. We are hardwired to believe the world we live in today and to which we are acclimatised so that we become incapable of comprehending and believing that change is coming (→Familiarity bias). It’s a dangerous trap for manufacturers of ergonomic office chairs to fall into and it can blind recognition to a very real and credible threat.
- Prospective manufacturers can be helped to leap ahead of the field.
- ☛ For Implications & likely uptake→..
- 2T chairs may become obligatory for prolonged sedentary use. In this event there will be considerable loss to manufacturers and offices that use mid-upright chairs if they fail to upgrade.
- Only a few firms wish to have a ‘retro’ look. Most want to project a cutting edge image. ‘Coolness’ is the word. A 2T chair answers this exactly and in addition reduces LBP and increases productivity by lessened morbidity and stress.
- Once a 2T chair hits the market there will be much media interest providing automatic PR. Firms without a 2T model are likely to be disadvantaged.
Some MANUFACTURERS of ergonomic chairs are mentioned in ‘ Various chairs. How do they measure up? ‘ Intended only to illustrate points in relation to the 2T concept and include :-
- Hermann Miller Web Page→
- Hawarth Zody -task→
- PESKA peska.uk→
- Altmark altwork.com→
- Okamura Atlas→
- Steelcase Corporate Brochure→
The mention of these companies indicate that they are interesting for various reasons.
- LBP (& 2T) is already of interest to Insurance.
THE OFFICE OF THE FUTURE See→
With the advent of AI and robotics affices will be geared to the emotional and physiological requirements of the highly paid staff. 2 Tilt chairs and their 4M derivatives will be exactly relevant.
The Global environment. Where does the 2T chair stand in relation to the global environment and recycling?
- The 2T simplicity of design allows it to have the potential to be superior to any other equivalent task chair for impact on environmental factors like global warming, smog, resource depletion, and waste.
- With virtually no, or fewer, complex moving parts, controls and widgets, manufacturing processes and costs are reduced.
- Manufacturing cost usually account for a large proportion of the energy cost of a product.
- Any materials considered safe to the environment can be used.
- Recycling. Components can be either used as biological nutrients or transformed into commercial commodities available for industry.
- Disassembly. With fewer widgets and working parts this is easier than other high-end task chairs.
- Large amounts of oil, gas, and coal is required to mine raw ores, crush them, transport them, smelt them down and turn them into stock, transport them again, and turn them into end-products. . . then transport them again.