Innovation intro

Innovation is considered by many to be a crucible for mixing exotic ideas with the rationality of commercialisation.

Is innovation the by-product of strategic initiatives at a corporate level – developed by wailing and gnashing of corporate teeth in the boardroom?

Are innovators the creative gurus of the 21st century knowledge economy – having zen moments whilst riding trick scooters at a South Bank skate park?

Businesses in the current age are faced with different challenges to their forbearer. Past success does not breed future capabilities. Old markets are being displaced by new geographical and technological markets.

Human capital is forced to confront these changes in real-time, technology redundancy is the greatest threat to western civilisation since the industrial revolution. Jobs are lost and consumers are effectively removed from the value chain in one fell swoop – no job, no money, no disposable income. The rise of the machines that ‘take our jobs’ ultimately lead to an absence of customers – the machines wont be buying a mobile phone any day soon.

Too often a business will become absorbed in a moment of success without realising that we do not live in a static universe – there is always change. Therefore to be looking, learning, adapting and enhancing your commercial offering is a way to ensure that you remain relevant. Furthermore it allows a business time to adapt their business model to accommodate change and what comes with that is time for the workforce to adapt their working styles to move with these changes.

I once had a meeting with several highly positioned retail executives and we spent some time discussing his topic. They asked me, if I were in their position where dwindling footfall in store is reducing overall consumer spending – what would I suggest they do? My answer was swift and tongue in cheek – Start selling lubricant, robots need lubricant!

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