We are super excited about the new home for IEX that we are starting to build; there are some big personalities and even bigger brains that are bursting out of the current building and they are in desperate need of their own innovation space! As part of ‘norming’ our growing core IEX unit and getting everyone involved in our new build, we took on a team-building exercise recently that involved decorating a tile. The brief was: ‘What does innovation mean to you? How do you visualise innovation?’. From this, we created six tiles that will soon take pride of place as a splashback in our new IEX kitchen. As with all simple exercises of this nature, there is a deeper meaning and reasoning behind it. Read on to find out what drove each of us to decorate our tile the way we did and what innovation means to each of us:
Ehsan – The Designer
“To me, innovation is all about looking at what’s come before as well as current social, economic and environmental trends then questioning these things to figure out how we can make things better. The best innovations are typically a result of effective multidisciplinary collaboration. Whilst it may take a while to get to the best idea through a process of understanding and iteration it does eventually come and is typically worth the wait.”
Tom – The Technologist
“I find innovation to be a much-misused word, sometimes almost to the level of Orwellian doublespeak. Often it is a reaction to the recognition of stagnation within an organisation. Without a real understanding of why you want to innovate, it can become just another process going through the motions without achieving anything. I chose an image to represent vision, influenced by the great visionary William Blake. Having an idea of where you would like to be, based on an informed and inclusive picture of needs and technology can be a valuable tool to starting the journey towards genuine innovation in technical invention and how it fits into the bigger picture.”
Nigel – The Scientist
“Innovation is the process of developing radically new ideas that have the potential to transform peoples’ lives. True innovation is a blend of creativity and imagination: imagination to visualise a new and exciting destination, and creativity to come up with a clever idea of how we might get there. Not every new development is innovation – in fact, most innovation is an invention, interesting and exciting, but not radically transformative.
Innovation is found in all sectors, from the arts to the sciences, business to leisure. In the medical sector, innovation necessarily involves improving health outcomes for patients, often through identifying synergies between technologies in other sectors.
Rapid developments in technology and the continual demand for improved healthcare mean that the medical sector is a fertile area for innovation.”
Alan - The Founder
“There are many animals that can represent innovation – one of them being the duck-billed platypus. These are really fascinating animals, it’s a mammal but it lays eggs. It’s got a duck’s bill, a beaver’s tail, otter’s feet, and it’s got venom like a snake… It’s a jigsaw puzzle of different animals. It’s stayed and evolved while other creatures in its habitat have fallen away as the environment has changed. The lesson for innovators here is that it’s not a beauty contest. It’s about finding a framework that might be borrowed from different places.
Being a duck-billed platypus is about being able to take on different configurations. By combining different learnings and frameworks, businesses can handle change because they are able to adapt. Instead of trying to pre-empt the future, they can create a capacity for change.”
Edwina – The Marketer
“For me, innovation is about energy and motion. It’s a way of defining and redefining business to enable the most effective ideas and processes for future success in the marketplace. My tile shows inside my brain when I think about innovation for our clients: there are growth trajectories and strategic objectives, combined with creative ideation. It’s energetic, sometimes frenetic, but always exciting.”
Emma – The Coordinator
“As a new member of the IEX team, I am learning that innovation has a lot more than just one definition. To me, to be innovative is to be creative and open-minded – there is never a wrong answer. I chose to draw my adaptation of ‘thinking outside the box’ because if you are constrained to one set of ideas or one way of thinking (or to a box) then nothing innovative will come from it but as soon as you step out of your comfort zone within business, strategy or life that’s when things get really exciting!”
We can’t wait to get inside our new building. If you’d like to come and visit our new innovation space, please get in touch!