4 August 2016

Innovation is a word we hear a lot these days, but what does it actually mean?lawrence jones mbe

For me, it’s a synonym to creativity. Being creative and being innovative go hand in hand, and that’s not limited to technology where innovation is used the most.

Whilst, of course, new products and services and new processes are innovative, I prefer seeing the sparks of innovation in everyday life. Where people have created a solution to something that wasn’t working as well as it could – that could come from tucking your earphone cable down your shirt in the gym so that it doesn’t catch or wearing plastic bags inside your biker boots to keep your feet extra dry on the ride home (as one person in UKFast is regularly seen doing).

Innovation also relies on more than just technological advancement. Technology is here to help us achieve our dreams, not to become the focus of them.

It’s easy to forget that it’s all about our humanity; about what we really want to achieve and the reasons behind this.

Just think of people travelling on public transport. They use the many apps on their phones to connect with their friends and family, or even talk to strangers about the news or on forums. Yet they are sitting next to people who would be there to instantly interact with them in real life. In this scenario, how has tech improved communication?

That’s exactly how I look at business. For example, at UKFast whilst we provide the tech infrastructure to help our clients achieve their goals, we also match this with the human side of business. We set a focus on building strong relationships and getting to know people and their businesses. How can you know what their needs are if you don’t know them personally?

Sometimes it can feel like we are all on an individual mission, but we need to work together. What we actually need to bring to innovation, is more creativity and working collaboratively, rather than aiming solely to create products that have a new functionality.

How would you define innovation?

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