When one of Telos Partner’s major clients expressed interest in working with us to help stimulate innovation throughout their organisation, the request became the catalyst for the creation of a popular and successful Roundtable group. This saw business leaders from a diverse range of industries coming together to talk openly about their challenges and successes – and sharing ideas about the best ways to inspire innovative thinking ...




A major influence on business success
For many of our clients, innovation is becoming a critical challenge for their business. They have recognised that their ability to not only respond to the fast-moving environment they operate within but to also identify and create new opportunities will be a major influence on their future success.

Many organisations have implemented sophisticated innovation processes to ensure they generate new ideas, provide early investment, sort and sift through initiatives. They have labs, hot houses, war rooms and project teams – often working in isolation from the day-to-day business. The real challenge is to create an organisational culture within which all staff to see innovation as a key part of their role – so businesses can find a way to realise and tap into the collective creativity of their people.

Sharing challenges and experiences
The Innovation Roundtable was conceived in partnership with one of our major clients, a global leader in the drinks industry. The idea was to bring together senior leaders from companies in different industry sectors to share their challenges and experiences on the topic. This included leading organisations in sectors as diverse as airlines, banking, consumer electronics, telecommunications, aerospace and infrastructure development. Along with insights from experts in the fields of creativity and innovation, we were able to challenge conventional thinking and help the Roundtable participants identify opportunities and barriers for their own individual businesses.

Rewarding unconventional thinking
Our Innovation Roundtable provided a platform for leaders to identify and discuss a number of common challenges. These included how best to establish members of the leadership team as advocates and role models for innovation, and the importance of putting the customer at the heart of the innovation process. Participants also discussed re-defining organisational approach to risk and the need to reward and recognise risk-taking and out-of-the-box thinking. Other key content included thoughts on encouraging patience and persistence and protecting new ideas from the pressures of short-term results.

Shaping future approaches
Well-received by all involved, the Innovation Roundtable has helped to clarify thinking around these issues and is shaping the future approach of these organisations. We continue to work with participating companies to apply the collaborative thinking and learning to their own organisations. Members of the group have also expressed interest in similar working sessions on other common challenges.

Hard components

  • Interview-based research to identify the different organisational issues and challenges
  • Injection of innovation best practice and expertise
  • Non-competitive cross-industry senior leadership participation

Soft components

  • Creating the environment to encourage openness and sharing
  • Appropriate mix of expert input and delegate participation
  • Ongoing dialogue and cross-group networking

 

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"The idea was to bring together senior leaders from companies in different industry sectors to share their challenges and experiences…"