What is Innovation?

Published on 15/07/2020 by ATI

Throughout the month of June, ATI has been developing a conversation on social media about the meaning of innovation.  It’s clear from the responses that we have had, innovation means a variety of things to different people.

From being “open to change” (Chris Hassall, ATI Business Innovation Advisor) to considering that “leaps in innovation are not completely new ideas, they’re often the recombination of existing ideas from two very separate fields” (Richard Shotton, author of ‘The Choice Factory’), the responses explored an abundance of ideas about what innovation is.  What is clear is that innovations should bring value to the world and as Dr Katharine Willis stated, “innovation is really about delivering benefits to people and understanding how people live in the world.  So thinking about innovation in the way that we interact as a society, in the way that we bring benefits, or we include those that are excluded or we make lives better.  People are key.”

Thinking about innovation and why it is important to individuals, businesses and more widely society, is vital in considering what should be at the heart of a business strategy.  If we learn nothing else from the current crisis, it’s that we need to adapt to change.  Human beings have incredible resilience and it is this which drives our survival.  The world of business is a constantly shifting entity and survival within this environment will be determined by business leaders developing a strategy that takes into account that the world is a shapeshifter.

Innovation is not only a vital element of a sustainable business but is also valuable to the individual, whether you are an employee or a business leader.  As a motivator, encouraging innovation serves to maintain interest in our daily worklives.  After all, we spend the majority of our days at work, so it’s important to find interest and value in what we do.

Our next exploration is the importance of creating a culture of innovation within your business.  Get involved by sharing the ways you create a culture of innovation within your own business.  This could be ways in which you maintain a mindset for you as an individual or how you foster a culture of sharing ideas and taking risks in your employees.  If you’d like to share some ideas, get in touch with atimarketing@plymouth.ac.uk or tag us in on Twitter (@ATI_Cornwall) including #InnovateToRegenerate

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