The economy will continue to grow as a problem and opportunity and there are risks that both innovation and the economy will suffer as companies engage in belt-tightening and concentrate on survival.
The current recession has had a severe impact on businesses in all sectors. You might think that this means that new ideas and inventions are falling by the wayside as everyone focuses on their core activities.
However, even when times are tough, creativity doesn’t stop – in fact, probably the opposite. Look at some of the great companies that were founded during a time of recession – IBM, Apple and Microsoft are a few examples – and you quickly realise that hard times can stimulate innovation.
Frequently, difficult times force people to make choices. For example, someone may lose their job and decide that they’re finally going to develop the business idea they’ve always thought about, but never had time to get off the ground.
I believe that good inventions will always win through, regardless of the economic climate. Open Innovation offers inventors an effective route to market in these difficult times and, when handled correctly, provides a win-win solution for both the innovator and the organisation sourcing ideas.
Here are the 3 worst mistakes you can make in a recession that will hurt innovation:
Fire talent. Cutting back on people, especially really smart, high-priced people, is a quick Way to cut costs but talent is the single most important variable in innovation.
Reduce Risk. Innovation requires taking chances and dealing with failure. Recessions push managers to be more conservative. They need to fight this instinct.
Retreat into Walled Castles. Cutting back on outside consultancies is seen as a quick way to save money. Yet one of the key ways of introducing change into business culture is to bring in outside innovation and design consultants.
- Winners always emerge out of recessions and they almost always beat their competition on the basis of something new. Apple worked on iTunes, iPod and its retail stores during the last recession and came out swinging once growth returned to destroy its competition. Apple didn't make any of the top innovation mistakes.
I had to put this video up, it shows that more than anything innovation requires being daring, confident and fearless.
Boosting and focusing investment in innovation in areas where the UK has strength and potential future competitive advantage must be a key element of Government action during the downturn to ensure a successful recovery.
We want to make sure that Britain is the best place in the world to run an innovative business or service - this is critical to the UK's future prosperity, our quality of life and future job prospects.
Innovation is hard to grasp, companies take different approaches to creating innovation and developing it into profitable products but Innovation will help determine how quickly companies can recover once the upturn gets under way.
While the results of innovation are often highly celebrated as in the case of Apple, Microsoft, IBM, very little is done to teach the innovative mindset in a practical manner, ILSG2010 (Innovation, Leadership, Sales and Growth in 2010) is the best opportunity to learn exactly how to be innovative,