British Council-Strategic innovation

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British Council

British Council-Strategic innovation

 

 

Transcript of the podcast

I = interviewer
DW = Dana White

…I: So, Dana, you managed the innovation project at Cucin-Tech

.DW: I did indeed

…I: Well then, first up, congratulations! It seems to have been very successful

.DW: Thanks, yes…I really helped things turn round at Cucin-Tech

?I: Was the revival in their fortunes entirely due to strategic innovation

DW: Yes, yes, I think it was. CucinTech was a company who were very much following the pack, doing what everyone else was doing…and getting rapidly left behind. I could see there was a lot of talent there, and some great potential – particularly in their product development. I just had to harness that somehow

?I: Was innovation at the core of the project

DW: Absolutely. If it doesn’t sound like too much of a cliché, our world is constantly changing, and it’s changing quickly. We need to be innovating constantly to keep up with this. Stand still, and you’re lost

?I: No stopping to sniff the roses

DW: Well, I’ll do that in my personal life…sure (laughs), erm, but as a business strategy…I’m afraid there’s no stopping, no

?I: What exactly is strategic innovation, then

DW: Strategic innovation is the process of managing innovation, of making sure it takes place at all levels of the company, and that it’s related to the company’s overall strategy

…I: I see

DW: So, instead of innovation for innovation’s sake, new products being created simply because the technology is there, or the design idea is there, for example, the company culture must switch from these point-in-time innovations to a continuous pipeline of innovations from everywhere and everyone

…I: So strategic innovation is more than simply developing exciting new products

DW: Exactly. The process must form part of the company mindset. A strategy has to be aligned throughout the company – otherwise it’s just an idea, worthless on its own unless it’s put into practice. The company’s overall strategy is innovation

?I: How did you align strategies throughout the company

DW: I rapidly became aware that campaigning is useless. People take no notice. Simply, it came about through good practice trickling down, a ripple effect. This built consent – people could see it was the best way to work

?I: So the entire company becomes the r&d laboratory, in effect

DW: That’s a good way to put it… Innovation can exist in logistics systems, organisational structure, recruitment policies, communications and distribution channels and other areas

…I: It’s not just about product development

DW: Absolutely not. The consumer might see new products and services – but this is only the tip of the iceberg, only the effect of what is really going on in the company

?I: Does innovation on this scale really give a competitive advantage

DW: I’m certain of it. Absolutely. Especially if it is difficult for a competitor to copy – the risk is, of course, that innovation may frequently lead to imitation

…I: But not if it’s strategic

!DW: Precisely

…I: Thanks for talking to us

!DW: Thank you

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British Council-Strategic innovation
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