Put time aside for something new: innovation fails in a vacuum

Put time aside for something new: innovation fails in a vacuum

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file000078Innovative culture is no accident; it requires people to fail; and comes from constant learning. Three big themes from our recent Oystercatchers’ Club Event.

During our conversations with CEOs and senior marketers, we’ve heard that innovation and re-ignition of entrepreneurial spirit are agenda-topping concerns. So, we grabbed the opportunity to invite some of the most inspirational innovators of our times to share their experience and insights – and they did not disappoint…

Hosted by Suki , Twitter UK’s Managing Director Bruce DaisleyEwen Sturgeon, CEO DigitasLBi  and Charmaine Eggberry, Director of Wayra UK ,  provoked a positive storm of debate fuelled by powerful thinking, electrifying ideas and real life examples of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Innovative culture is no accident

Consider Twitter Hack Week – a week-long event held every quarter dedicated purely to innovation. Why so? As Bruce explained, “We recognise that the only ones who survive are those who innovate and give consumers what they want now and for the future.” And he referenced the iconic Netflix culture credo as inspired thinking  http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664 –  now adopted by enterprises worldwide.

DigitasLBi also sets time aside for original thinking with its Foundation – a community of 200-250 innovators, constantly socialising ideas and creating innovation programmes for clients and for the agency too.  Ewen revealed, “We are institutionalising competition” and shared his principles for innovation: Try and solve a real problem relevant to the client. Collect an eclectic view. Don’t talk theoretically. Build something quickly. Create something the client can see. Make it real, tactical and make it solve a problem. Be committed.

“Innovation is real time – not a hot house”, argued Charmaine from Wayra Telefonica’s remarkable digital entrepreneurial business accelerator. Wayra invests in up to two businesses a week as it searches out, mentors and creates funding for the best digital talent on earth. Wayra believes best practice is to interrogate both the people and the idea, that “the idea is only as good as the people who create it. It sets two week milestones; places teams to sit next to each other to learn; creates transparency across all office space. Every psychological benefit is brought to play to make sure work succeeds”.

Innovation requires failure

“How do you handle failure? What you have learnt?”: Wayra’s very first question to would-be entrepreneurs.  Charmaine’s take is that when you’re focused on people succeeding, you embrace failure. Ewen concurred, “Innovation requires people to fail. When you innovate, most of what you produce, won’t be right”. Twitter itself followed a failed business model.

Learning at the heart of innovative

“Entrepreneurs need to learn to pivot, learn to be agile, and, learn all they can about the consumer. Everything focuses on collaboration and innovation.” claimed Charmaine, who firmly believes that the key to successful innovation lies in constant learning.

At the end of the evening we quizzed Simon Derungs, BT’s Head of Marketing Communication, who declared it ”an Inspirational evening. Great line up of interesting contributors with very different perspectives. It left me full of ideas to share at BT – quickly!”

A big thank you to all our presenters and our guests.

Victoria Sinclair