Speakers

Speaker interviews


Dr Samuel West, founder. Museum of Failure

Dr Samuel West, founder. Museum of Failure

What do you see as the biggest challenges organisations will face in the wake of the pandemic, and why are disruption’ and ‘innovation’ so crucial to navigating this time?

 

Uncertainty is and will continue to be a massive challenge. Things change so fast that prediction and control seem almost impossible. Paradoxically, disruptive innovation could actually be easier in today's turbulence. The chaos and inertia of change can be a powerful driver for innovation across industries. Look what is happening in higher education - what was unthinkable just a year ago is now standard.

 

What advice would you give to organisations to overcome these challenges?

 

I often think about the title of a popular 1990's book on mindfulness: Full Catastrophe Living. It is a powerful idea that can also apply to organizations. I like the idea of embracing the chaos rather than fighting it.

 

What are the 3 reasons delegates should virtually attend your session?

 

  • To watch me struggle with humor over a videolink...
  • Understand the difference between good and bad failure
  • Appreciate the need for vulnerability and safety for team innovation

Raelene Rorke, founder, SpringAGE

Raelene Rorke, founder, SpringAGE

What do you see as the biggest challenges organisations will face in the wake of the pandemic, and why are ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’ so crucial to navigating this time?

 

The biggest challenge for business is reflecting on how best they meet their customer where they are in these new circumstances. Very little, including buying patterns, will go back to what they use to be, customers have grown and made some significant decisions on the way they will live post pandemic and any one servicing them will have to get to know them all over again. it is only by innovating themselves and their product offering will they survive. The pandemic has offered an opportunity for business go back to basics and reassess what’s really important.

 

What advice would you give to organisations to overcome these challenges?

 

  • Talk to your customers, figure out where they are in and how you can be part of their new journey.
  • Don’t act in scarcity and fear, but in resourcefulness, curiosity and excitement - your attitude the new world order is what will set those who succeed and those who don’t.
  • Be fully open to the change keep a growth mindset - it will increase resilience and give birth to new opportunities.

 

What are the 3 reasons delegates should virtually attend your session?

 

Be wow’d by an obvious but under valued resource sitting right under their noses - youth.

 


Heidi Mottram, chief executive, Northumbrian Water Group

Heidi Mottram, chief executive, Northumbrian Water Group

What do you see as the biggest challenges organisations will face in the wake of the pandemic, and why are ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’ so crucial to navigating this time?

For an industry like ours that provides a critical service, disruption can be less than ideal. And yet, like everyone else, we find ourselves dealing with a pandemic and variety of other disruptors, not least the climate emergency. In the face of those challenges it is ever more important that we innovative. We’ve adopted a growth mindset, so the whole organisation is learning all the time. Innovation is a key part of that. Innovation is really a learning process.

We believe in open innovation as demonstrated by our recent digital Innovation Festival, which attracted nearly 3,000 participants from 900 organisations in 37 countries. Nearly ¾ of those people were from outside of our organisation, many of them from outside of the water industry. We learned a huge amount interacting with them and co-creating new ideas. Then we learn when we try to turn those ideas into value.

What advice would you give to organisations to overcome these challenges?

Innovate openly. Work together. Share and collaborate. Love your people. Support them, encourage them. Give them the space and environment to be brilliant. Get comfortable with taking risks and don’t be scared to fail. It’s part of learning and growing. Invest in digital. Increase the digital signals and make them useful by investing in data science. Whatever the challenge. Keep going and working towards your goals – change doesn’t happen overnight!

What are the 3 reasons delegates should virtually attend your session?

  • You’ll gain insight into how it is possible to innovate in a heavily regulated environment.
  • You can find out how we’ve managed to make it possible to do a year’s worth of work in a week.
  • You can find out how a water company managed to pull off one of this year’s biggest digital only events – in the form of Innovation Festival 20. And maybe even get an invite to next year’s festival!

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