The best explanation I’ve ever heard


Priscilla Du Preez
Priscilla Du Preez

Have you ever found yourself stuck trying to explain what you do day to day? When I worked as a food technologist in retail and brands, I often had to resort to gesticulating wildly, or drawing pictures. I must confess I was often frustrated and doubtless this will have negatively impacted the other person or people I was talking at! Food technology is hard to explain but at least there is something universal and physical to reference (we all eat something, we are all interested in how food is made or where it is from on some level) it is far harder to explain innovation.

Innovation is a big word, off-putting and if we aren’t careful we get drawn into debate, the need to define it, understand it and then resource it. In my experience so much time and effort is devoted to this that the actual work can be delayed and hampered.

Being an innovator within a business (sometimes called an ‘intrapreneur’) can be a real uphill battle. Often the whole process of identifying opportunity, filling a funnel, assessing and validating ideas, and building a pipeline can fall to just one person or a small team. This ‘delegation’ of the process can make it difficult to deliver innovation – as this is frequently done by a separate team, measured and rewarded differently, and likely reporting to and managed by a separate structure.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

This podcast hosted by Jens Heitland is one of the very best conversations I have ever heard about the challenges of corporate innovation, both as an internal team member and as a consultant. The creator of The Six I’s of innovation model, Natalie Turner shares not only her lived experience but also offers the model up as a way out of the very human treacle, and into a productive system of getting value from ideas by empowering teams to access mindsets and confidence so that they can fulfil their full potential.

This is not quite the story of my life (both past and present in my own business) but so much of this podcast resonates with me, and I recognise absolutely both the mistakes I made in the past (now very much forgiven as I understand everybody makes them) and the better innovation I contribute to as a Certified Practitioner of The Six I’s of innovation model.

Put this on in the background, have a listen, and if you want to know more, give me or Neil a shout.

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