Guest blog: Daniel Burton – Making the most of your innovation

Last month, Nexus teamed up with KPMG to bring our brand-new event series to the heart of Leeds. We kicked off the Beyond Breakfast series with an interactive session exploring how to make the most of your innovation, hosted by innovation advisory expert Daniel Burton (Senior Manager, Innovation Advisory, KPMG).

Read more from Dan below as he addresses the challenges to defining innovation governance and gives insight into how to innovate effectively.

Organisations face an extraordinary pace of change in technology, regulatory requirements and customer demands. Earlier trends that called for changes like digitisation and new tech are now amplified with climate change, a war for talent, remote working and other shifts caused by the pandemic.

Staying relevant and fending off competition no longer only requires transformations to the core. It also asks that you look for new paths of growth. Innovation is one of the key instruments to support this, yet many organisations often struggle to turn ideas into practical realities.

Project approvals tend to be based on who has the best presentation, the most beautiful slides, lobbies the hardest, has networks in the highest places, or whose opinions can be heard the loudest. But for innovation to contribute to an organisation, it needs to be designed as a process throughout its lifecycle. We know that corporate innovation is mostly ad hoc and unstructured. In fact, 88% of companies manage innovation haphazardly. You might be thinking ‘so what?’. Research shows, time and time again, that companies with defined innovation management processes are outperforming companies that do not – in one Accenture study, it was found that organisations with “extensive innovation governance” are achieving double the revenue growth of companies that do not.

A snapshot of Beyond Breakfast

Dan gives an interactive presentation at Beyond Breakfast: Making the most of your innovation.

Organisations that lack strong innovation governance on an organisational, portfolio and initiative level find it progressively more difficult to manage innovation as ideas move into development and then into commercialisation. You and your teams may get stuck in the ‘R’of R&D. Or you may find your organisation investing too much in projects that don’t hit the sweet spot of business model innovation (of desirability, feasibility and viability).

While there is no one size fits all approach, there are some key themes that need to underpin organisational processes and behaviours for effective innovation:

  • Including a diversity of opinions and experiences yields more creativity.
  • Rarely is a lack of ideas about the problem, it’s what to do with them. Robust and recurring portfolio management is essential to ensure that the portfolio of projects is appropriate to meet the vision and strategy of the business in a timely manner.
  • Creating a culture of innovation that permeates throughout the organisation promotes an environment where innovation is everyone’s business and learning is seen as critical.
  • Innovation performance needs to be measured, managed, and improved just like any other facet of business performance to ensure that value is being delivered.
  • Agile ways of working accelerate learning – from both failures and successes – and, ultimately, the delivery of value.
  • Integration of innovation into business operation and organisational design.

When managed properly, innovation turns opportunities into reliable, financially effective and practical realities that can differentiate an organisation. At KPMG, our Innovation Advisory experts support organisations from all sectors to transform innovation teams into a value adding business function.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

Beyond Breakfast: The importance of ESG in growing your business
On Thursday 25 May, Beyond Breakfast will continue with ‘The importance of ESG in growing your business’.

We’ll be joined by speakers from a diverse range of businesses who’ll share how they’re making an impact on society and the environment. They’ll also provide practical tips on how you and your business can act more sustainably. You’ll also have the chance to ask questions and network with like-minded business leaders over breakfast.


Find out more and register now