Being open to new ideas sparks innovation
Innovation is absolutely critical for any business to grow and actually what does innovation mean? It means different things for different businesses. At a very base level it’s just about giving people within the business the space, the freedom, to think up new ideas which are going to boost the company’s performance.
You see some companies doing things like one day a fortnight employees have 24 hours to work on a new business idea and they can do whatever they like, but they have to be in a position to report on it 24 hours later and it generates such good ideas that it can have a marked improvement on the business.
So being open to innovation in that way is important, but also the more kind of nuts and bolts of R&D is important. Are you investing in new technology? Are you adopting digital in a way that’s going to give you the best chance for success? And here I think the UK economy does slightly less well in terms of our overall investment – that’s public and private investment – in R&D. So we think there needs to be a bit of a boost there, stimulated by some government spending, on things like Innovate UK which is the innovation agency which has partnerships with small and medium sized businesses and really gives them a nudge to invest in some of these technologies.
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