: Companies need to innovate – this is the simple mantra that every company should emulate to survive in the long run.
“Measures like cutting costs and jobs will work to keep companies afloat for the short term. Innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage that companies have and company executives who understand that are able to create value for their businesses and stakeholders, ” said Dr Benjamin Reid, Principal Researcher (International Innovation), Nesta.
The importance of innovation in companies is further emphasised by Nesta’s research in this field since 2009, which revealed that companies with a higher innovation capability were able to grow twice as fast on average compared to their less innovative counterparts.
Reid explained that it was the mindset of such companies that sets them apart from their peers.
Taking innovation into a broader context, these companies have moved away from the traditional focus on just research and development and shifting their focus to the formulation of new products, services, markets, business models and ways of working.
“It’s that broad understanding of what innovation is that is helping drive companies to create a culture of innovation and ultimately, be more successful,” added Reid.
The innovativeness of a company also boils down to how effectively innovation is promoted within the organisation.
The first is to have a clear message from the top with action to back it up. This includes encouraging everyone in the organisation to understand why innovation is important and that they can make a contribution to innovation in the organisation.
The second is to have the right kinds of processes in managing innovation.
“One way of doing that is to work with initiatives like Agensi Inovasi Malaysia’s National Corporate Innovation Index (NCII), which was developed with the support of Nesta. The NCII is a tool to help companies understand their strategy, processes, culture and financials that they have surrounding innovation,” said Reid.
“It’s crucial for companies to have measurements to show how their innovations are working so they can prioritise on the areas in which they should invest and understand the kinds of returns they will get.”
When companies are able to measure innovation and translate this into financial statements, which include intangibles, this will lead to greater confidence among investors, who view such companies as being more sustainable and have the potential to drive greater profitability in the long run.
Reid is a panel speaker for AIM’s upcoming Innovating Malaysia Conference (IMC) 2014, which will be held on August 28 and 29 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
He will be sharing case studies on innovative companies in the UK and how the NCII can help companies in Malaysia in the panel discussion titled “Driving Value Through Innovation Measurement” together with speakers from the Association of Certified and Chartered Accountants (ACCA) Asia Pacific and INNGOT Limited, a UK organisation whose expertise is in intellectual property valuation.
Other highlights of IMC 2014 include the launch of the conference by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Raza, the launch of Steinbeis Malaysia, a full-day pitching session for individuals and organisations seeking for intellectual commercialisation funding called the “Dragon’s Den” and a design-thinking workshop by Genovasi.
Also to be showcased at the conference are AIM’s initiatives, such as PlaTCOM Ventures, Steinbeis Malaysia, UReka, i-Think and the National Biomass Strategy under one roof and a workshop by Malaysia’s design thinking school Genovasi.
For more information on IMC 2014, head on to http://innovation.my/imc2014.