Innovation in Business – nature or nurture?

19 March 2019

No business can thrive without innovation. It is the cornerstone to keeping things fresh – continuing to meet customers’ ever changing needs, differentiating in a highly competitive and crowded environment, achieving business growth and attracting the best talent.

With spectacular views of the river Thames and iconic Tower Bridge, Collinson co-hosted a debate with London & Partners discussing Innovation in Business, and whether it is a case of nature or nurture.

The panel comprised accomplished professionals from a variety of backgrounds – from a founder of a successful start-up and a global innovation director, to the creator of multiple accelerator programmes.

During the debate, the speakers shared their experience and thoughts on what innovation means to them; what drives it in a start-up or larger corporate environment; how the external landscape is key in cultivating and promoting innovation; and why London is a prime location to grow a business.

They all agreed that there are multiple elements that can help us to become more innovative and determine whether an idea is truly an improved solution to people’s pain points or unmet needs.

 

So what fosters innovation?

  • Individuals themselves
    Innovation isn’t just an approach; it is a specific mind-set that requires resilience and determination. It is about observation, connecting the dots, being creative but also analytical, optimistic and open to new ideas.

  • A conducive environment and culture
    The environment and its culture should allow people to express themselves, experiment and meet new like-minded individuals. From the transport system, investment scene and attracting talented employees, the city in which you live can also play a part.

  • Other people 
    Interacting with individuals of differing backgrounds, professions and strengths – these external perspectives can help you make unexpected connections between different ideas.

  • Experimentation and failure
    Ideas can start as one thing, evolve and flip into another. Be ready to fail and if it happens, learn from it. It’s important to know when enough is enough. Recognising failure and taking a step back to re-evaluate are part of the process. 

Peter Dingle, Product Development and Innovation Director at Collinson, commented: “Thank you to the panellists, co-organisers and guests for bringing this debate to life and helping to inspire the next generation of innovators to drive creative ideas in the business space.

“Innovation has been an integral part of Collinson’s DNA for over 30 years. We remain true to our entrepreneurial spirit and global vision by constantly looking to keep our products and solutions fresh, whether that comes through internal innovation or looking externally for opportunities to collaborate with thriving start-ups and larger companies. This all comes together to craft customer experiences that win competitive edge for our clients, helping them to differentiate their offerings, and acquire, engage and retain customers.”

Having recently ranked in Britain’s top 200 mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, Collinson is also an official partner of the Mayor’s International Business Programme, which helps fast-growing technology, life sciences, urban and creative companies grow from a brilliant idea into the next global leader. As a partner, Collinson will be nurturing some of the best start-ups in the life sciences, technology and urban sectors, making its worldwide network and skillset available to help them expand to new global locations and achieve international growth.

 

The “Innovation in Business – Nature or Nurture?” event panel. From left to right: Jacob Wedderburn-Day from Stasher, the world’s first luggage storage network (moderator); Ashley Abdelmoula from Setoo, the travel insurance start-up; Diane Perlman from Blis, the data location technology provider; Lauren Quigley from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency; and Peter Dingle from Collinson