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Cris Beswick

Author, Speaker + Strategic Advisor on Innovation

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Succeeding Through Innovation in 2015 and Beyond

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Traditionally the turning of one year into the next is a time of reflection. A time of looking back and looking forwards, of working out what we need to do better in the next year and learning from the mistakes of the past. But In reality the changing of days, the ticking of the clock from one year into another is only an artificial contrivance, one which has had a spotlight shone on it recently by the announcement of a new theory that when the big bang happened time split with our universe moving forward and a mirror universe moving backwards through time. 

But as we look forward not just to 2015 but onwards it is a time of hope, a time of growth, a time in which we can truly start to make the most of the potential which innovation can bring us. It is in this reflective mood that the EU has made Innovation Union one of the key planks of its Europe 2020 strategy. And in this context the Euro-CASE innovation platform recognises innovation not solely in terms of new inventions but rather promotes a “broad concept of innovation that includes both research-driven innovation and innovation in business models, design, branding and services that add value for producers and consumers alike.”

The EU announcement therefore calls for a “cultural change that embraces risk taking and values entrepreneurial activities when it comes to innovation” adding that this “would help to unleash much of today's unused potential.” But are businesses ready to unleash their innovation potential?  Statistics say not. Although 69% of UK corporates now name innovation in their top three priorities, 53% of executives admit that their board doesn’t really know what adopting a culture of innovation means. In effect businesses are talking about innovation but are not yet truly to taking the plunge into a new way of working which will drive them forward not just through 2015 but beyond.

Innovation isn’t rocket science but it does require planning and a shift in culture. Next Generation Organisations, those which understand and embrace the importance of innovation in driving future prosperity, know that to truly embrace innovation businesses have to focus on three things; intelligence, collaboration and adaptability.

·Why Intelligence: because 60% of UK companies admit their leadership teams fail to understand their customers.

·Why Collaboration: because 66% of major UK business leaders claim their current organisational structure makes it difficult to share knowledge and understanding.

·Why Adaptability: because 68% of UK corporates take just as long to innovate and get solutions to market now as they did five years ago.

Changing mindsets, embracing innovation, will for most organisations require a substantial investment in learning and development. Leaders have to be helped to adopt new approaches and new mindsets; employees need to learn to work together in more collaborative ways and the entire organisation has to become more outward looking as it embraces ideas such as ‘open-innovation’ or co-creation with clients, suppliers and others. Yes this will take time and effort as new attitudes and values are learnt and put into action, but there really is no option. When innovation moved out of the preserve of the few and onto the global stage then businesses, which are not gearing up for, a new way of working will soon be left behind. 

If you’d like to learn more about adopting a ‘Next Generation Organisation’ framework take a look at this white paper. In the meantime if you’ve got a question on innovation feel free to email Cris at cris@crisbeswick.com or visit www.crisbeswick.com for more information on how Cris and his team help some of the worlds smartest companies succeed through innovation.

Author Profile Picture
Cris Beswick

Author, Speaker + Strategic Advisor on Innovation

Read more from Cris Beswick
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