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Innovation is a strategic game with long-term results. To play it right, one must ask the right questions, and create the proper context and space to help people thrive. 

Join Bradley and Eoin Woods this week as they discuss a subject very important to him and Endava – innovation in technology. Delve a bit into how we foster innovation within our teams and what it means for everyone involved. 

Bradley Howard: Eoin,  today  I  really  want  to  talk  about  how  to  incubate  innovation.  So what are  the  essential  preconditions  for  novelty  of  cultures  within  organizations?

Eoin Woods: Thanks  Bradley.  It's  a  complicated  question,  isn't  it?  Because  so  many  people  talk  about  innovation and  so  many  people  say  they've  delivered  innovation  and  yet  sometimes  it's  quite  hard  to  know  what  they  mean.  For  me,  innovation  is,  I  think  what  you  said  in  the  introduction  is  real  impactful  change  to  the  way  the  organizations  either  work  or  deliver  the  services  or  the  products  that  they  create.  I  think  the  most  essential  precondition  for  innovation  within  an  organization  is  an  acceptance  of  failure.  I  hear  quite  a  lot  of,  we  sometimes  even  get  this  with  our  clients  who  are,  hear  quite  a  lot  of  organizations  talking  about  the  need  for  innovation  and  how  they  want  to  innovate  and  then  when  they  start  talking  to  people  about  let's  start  doing  some  innovation  they  say, " How  long  will  it  take?  How  much  will  it  cost,  and  what  will  I  get?"  And I  always  look  at  them  slightly  confused.

 Well  if  it's  innovation  you  won't  know  any  of  those  things in  the  beginning.  I'm  afraid  that's  just  development  or  business  development  or  whatever  it is.  I  think  taking  risks,  I  think  being  prepared  to  learn  from  failures  and  doing  failures  is  a  positive  thing,  which  is  much  easier  said  than  done  especially  when  it's  your  money  you're  spending.  I  really  do  feel  for  senior  managers  who  just  feel  that  they're  abandoning  money  to  a  black  hole  but  they  do  have  to  let  go  and  just  see  what  happens.  And  I  think  the  other  precondition  is  the  fact  that  innovation  is  actually  done  in  the  business.

 The  biggest  anti  pattern  I  see  in  innovation  is  a  separate  innovation  center.  You  can  always  tell  innovation  centers  because  the  people  dress  differently  and they  have  totally  non- standard  IT  hardware.  If  the  organization  is  a  window  center,  they  will  inevitably  have  max.  If  the  main  organization  is  a  max  center,  they  will  inevitably  have  Linux  machines  and  they  go  off  and  innovate  in  a  bubble  and  then  when  they  try  and  come  back  and  apply  that  innovation,  the  organization  kind  of  rejects  the  organism  because  it  just  doesn't  fit  with  the  way  the  organization  works  and  its  real  needs.


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