August 10

An overview from my keynote on innovation culture at MI EXPO…

Love, hate and desire drive innovative cultures, says Beswick!

Only 3% of businesses can consider themselves to be truly innovative, according to Cris Beswick, innovation, strategy and leadership expert. Addressing  UTalkMarketing’s MI Expo, Beswick said that despite the fact “businesses are all competing for the same things”, only a few can say that they offer something truly unique to customers.

“In business, we are all here to differentiate, yet the reality is we all compete for similar things, in similar ways and at similar prices,” said Beswick.

“The ones [businesses] that don’t subscribe to this notion and step outside of it – the Googles and the Apples of this world, are the ones that innovate. I believe that any person in any organisation has the potential to do amazing things. Average companies do not innovate – fact.”

Beswick said he believes that the key to becoming an exceptional brand is to create a “culture of innovation” by employing the right people and by focusing on the three emotions that drive the success of a business – love, desire and hate.

“Everybody in an organisation has to love what they do. Managers cannot contractually make staff become energetic and inspired – it’s about having people working in a company that they believe is going somewhere,” he said. On the point of desire, Beswick cited the example of people queuing for hours to get hold of new Apple products.  “That’s desire – people buying with their hearts and not their heads. There are comparable products out there but people have fallen in love with that round little Apple symbol,” he said.

“And hate, [that’s about] your competitors hating you guts. You want to have them scratching their heads and saying ‘how did those guys do that?’”

Beswick outlined seven key traits that he believes can drive innovation in business; strategy, people, community, communication, environment, creativity, risk and leadership; and cited Richard Branson as an innovate individual, illustrating the point that it is often people’s quirks that allow them to innovate.

“Branson was dyslexic at school and a bit of an outcast – look at him 30 years later”, he said. “It’s often more eccentric people, who might not appear to quite fit in, or who look at the world in a different way, that have the ability to innovate,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of an organisation working as part of a team, and working flexibly, to achieve goals. “Create a team spirit, create as flat a structure in your organisation as possible,” he said, adding that getting rid of departments and silos is one of the ways organisations can encourage innovation.

“In terms of innovation, too many people want quick wins. It’s bloody hard work and won’t happen overnight,” he concluded.


Engagement, Innovation Culture, Leadership, Strategy

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