16 May 2017

If you didn't manage to make it along to May’s London Peer Learning Group event, on-the-night facilitator and regular attendee Adrian Gregory has provided a summary here:

Everyone wants innovation, whether it be novelty or an improved way of being enterprising. Innovation is very much a process – starting with ‘creative thinking’ (or ‘dreaming’); followed by ‘crossing the stream’ – gaining ‘concept acceptance’ and ‘implementing the new approach’. Getting across the ‘stream of uncertainty’ often takes resilience. But “crossing the stream”, the perspiration part of the Innovation process is often just as important as the inspiration. Thomas Edison famously said invention was 1% inspiration; 99% perspiration. He obviously had a natural mastery at crafting inspiration!

The joint CMI & BCS Session was focused to try to capture all attendees’ views and experiences towards creative thinking, selecting the best ideas and discussing the practicality of implementation for success. Everything is changing, “events” are dominating work and how we interact based on our options and our choices. The stream of uncertainties of not knowing what actual outcomes could be, particularly for certain commodities and political considerations, could take another 18 months of even more uncertainty – maybe even much longer – this could be the new normal: being events-led, with consequential risks to be sorted.

However, new opportunities do emerge based on “swans in the room” and consequential “black elephants” – so innovation, especially ‘Big Innovation’ was a very timely topic to discuss peer2peer with CMI & BCS members. Having different perspectives are all part of the innovation process. Thus innovation techniques are now being applied in other business arenas such as Strategy and the quest for Sustainable Working.

Innovation was defined as the introduction of a new or improved approach to a known process or product – achieving an incremental improvement. Attendees wanted innovation to achieve market advantage, to solve problems, to adapt and secure change; for commercial differentiation; to be creative, to fulfil needs, wants and aspirations; and to simply improve. The attendees highlighted their challenges to innovation: organisational resistance, comfort when looking backwards; fear of complications, compatibility and institutional politics; resourcing time and associated costs, lack of budgets; creating a purposeful culture for change. Clearly, perspiration is a big challenge.

Some tools of ‘innovation’ were used to investigate solutions to Sustainable Working, specifically ‘Player’ Engagement -- creating more passion and purpose will working. Passionate working being defined as completing tasks which ‘pull at the heart strings’. Great energy was demonstrated during this session while using these tools; with the ideas created enhanced by the very wide spread roles and responsibilities held in the captive audience.

At the end of the evening, we had all crossed the stream - we all can dream, about things that have yet to happen!

Adrian is a Principal Upstream Consultant at MORE Oil & Gas Plc and can be contacted via email.

This month’s event was hosted by at the BCS: Chartered Institute for IT and was open to their members too.

The Chartered Management Institute London Peer Learning Group is where like-minded managers and leaders of all levels of experience, sectors and locations meet monthly to share their experience and views in a group discussion format. The Group is a part of the London and South-East Region.

If you would like to join our future events, we meet on the second Wednesday of the month. Please register for your place on the dedicated CMI Events: London Peer Learning Group page.

Please contact a member of the management team: Martyn Brett-Lee, Charlotte Eisenhart, Gintare Williams or Megan Butler.