Ask Doug Stephens and he is clear, the best innovations come from necessity.

“I really believe that adversity is the mother of innovation,” said the founder and president of Retail Prophet, a retail marketing consultant group.

“I believe innovation comes out of diversity. Adversity is the mother of invention. Just as the Canadian market place been a more tranquil place to be, there’s been less competition, economically we have been relatively stable, we’ve had a relative robust and strong middle class fabric in Canada that has all been good for business.

“In the U.S., there’s polarization, there’s disruption and economic turmoil, and all of that is good for innovation,” added Stephens, during an interview at the Dx3 Canada conference in March, 5-6, 2013.

According to Stephen, there is no avoiding adversity any longer. Businesses need to step forward and take risks. The days of being a Fast Follower, and letting others test the marketplace are gone.

“There’s no waiting on the sidelines any more. If you want to wait on the sidelines, you better get used to being irrelevant and out of business.”

Watch the full interview and other videos from Dx3 below.