Accessability Links


Thursday 15th October 2015
On Wednesday 14th October we held our initial Tech//Connect event in conjunction with our client BJSS Ltd as part of Leeds Business Week

Simon Sear (Head of Digital) from BJSS hosted a talk around Digital Innovation Labs, and the evening was attended by a number of business leaders from prominent organisations across the Leeds and Yorkshire region.

Attendees included Equifax, HSCIC, GHD, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Bank / National Australia Group and Provident Financial.


Simon began the evening discussing what innovation is and why it’s important, along with what ‘digital’ really is.

This prompted some interesting discussion.  One real talking point raised was around whether companies, particularly larger companies, are prepared to tolerate the failure that can be required when innovating.  

Thomas Edison provided a great example from history, where he openly admits to failing hundreds or thousands of times before discovering the lightbulb, but due to the nature of business this is difficult to tolerate and innovation / disruption is often discouraged.

The Innovators DNA

Simon then moved on to look at Harvard’s overview of innovation and the DNA of an innovator.  This put some real theory into context, and really brought to light that actually within innovation only 20% is about the idea, the other 80% is about the execution.    

Lean / Agile Thinking

Putting innovation into a modern IT function was then introduced, particularly around Lean and Agile thinking and processes.  Something often overlooked – good old common sense – was highlighted as being key here, along with ensuring a learning loop as part of Lean thinking.  

Good Innovation

Simon then looked to tie everything together along with some open discussion around ‘What Good Innovation Looks Like’.  Everyone agreed that while there isn’t an easy answer it was important to not over complicate, be prepared to fail and subsequently learn, and to ensure you look to execute quickly but exit quickly if it’s not working.


Innovation Labs in Action

We then looked at some real life examples of projects where BJSS have set up innovation labs within their clients, and some of the astounding results they’ve achieved in a very short space of time.  

One such example was in with a large UK retail organisation, and how through a Big Data Solution they improved profits in the £millions within a 10 week innovation lab process.


The evening drew to a close with everyone discussing the points raised, and Simon sharing some final points around what BJSS feel to be important from their experience on projects.

Simon commented - “There’s lots of talk in the news about the disruption Tech Start-ups are bringing to business and consumer life, but the reality is, this is only the tip of iceberg.

A lot more sustainable innovation is coming out of medium and large organisations who have the scale and resources to make stuff happen!

The challenge for them is that innovating isn’t the same as running an operationally efficient organisation; you need different ways of working and different skills.

It was great to share and discuss many of the common challenges and, ultimately, the solutions that established organisations can implement to become more successful at undertaking innovation.”

Our MD Andrew who attended the event had this to say – “this event held with BJSS proved to be a real thought provoking session.  The event showed everyone that innovation isn’t all about having the one great idea, but that it’s about having lots and lots of small ideas and executing them quickly.

In the case of Big Data it’s really getting to the bottom of what your data is really saying and looking for the information that will make the biggest impact.”

Our next session in January should be equally thought provoking and we will be releasing information in due course.

Please feel free to add any comments or thoughts, and Andrew can be contacted on:

Linkedin / Twitter.
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