Stop Pretending, and Start Innovating

I saw a really interesting position listed on the vacancies list called Head of Innovation the other day. I love the idea of innovation and I have sometimes been called ‘innovative’ and it got me thinking, if that were me, what would innovation need to thrive? Innovation doesn’t just happen, I don’t suppose. It needs certain parameters to happen. But what might those parameters be? Too restrictive and innovation is stifled. Too broad and nothing ever gets done. So what are the components of innovation? Well, here are my ideas:


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Seven starter points for strategic thinking


My first blog about my new position is about seven starter points I’ve had to consider before I even get going on the content of the strategy. Things I thought I’d share as I guess they apply to every strategy process.

My first frame of reference for the strategy was to think about a journey. After all, a strategy sets out how you get from your starting point to somewhere else.

To help us determine the direction of travel, I needed to consider seven key things that you might want to think about for your strategy. As with any journey, there a number of considerations before you travel:

  1. What’s the destination? Where are we going?
  2. What mode of transport should we use?
  3. How do we keep the travellers safe and happy?
  4. How do we keep the drivers happy?
  5. How do we have the best journey possible? It is the fastest, most economical, most scenic or shortest?
  6. Programming the SatNav or reading the map
  7. Observing the Highway Code

Only when you know these things can we actually plan the route and get on our way.

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Where there’s the will, there IS a way

I believe that human beings have an extraordinary capacity to achieve incredible things. I think it’s mostly a question of will.


There have been a few times through my working life where I’ve really gone for it. Given the space, time and inclination to work hard on a piece of work can produce some pretty big results or pieces of work relatively quickly. The kind of stuff that people say “wow, this must have taken over your life” has actually only taken me four days. Four friggin hard days. Four mentally exhausting days. Four days where I don’t do anything but the work at hand (no emails, calls, procrastinating). But no, it hasn’t taken over my life. Am I overdoing it or is there nothing that can’t be solved in a week (except perhaps building Rome)?


To be honest, I sometimes find it a bit scary. Not scary like – “I’m going mad” or “what if I’ve spent four days producing crap”, but scary at the huge capacity of people. What if a person gave it their all ALL OF THE TIME? Think how much could be achieved. Think how good you could get at something.

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