As part of our collaboration with B2B Marketing, we released an index back in February to shine a light on those who had demonstrated innovation in the tech marketing world over the past year.
To celebrate those who had made the index, Joel and Andrew hosted breakfast with a view (the weather was on our side for once), to share learnings and practical ways in which organisations can enable innovation and the steps they need to take.
Often the definition of innovation can be blurred by thinking it simply means ‘doing something new’. Instead, innovation should be determined by how you have pushed yourself to do things that are uncomfortable for you or the business – and the processes and barriers you have had to overcome to get to the end goal. It’s worth noting this can be contextual. Something that is innovative and boundary breaking for one business may be the norm for another, due to the level of processes and resources available.
So, with that definition in mind, what do we think we need in place to enable innovation? Four key behaviours were highlighted throughout the roundtable.
1. Be authentic
Covid-19 has given tech marketers permission to make mistakes and not get things right first time. We know we can’t go back to how things were before, so we need the confidence to be ourselves, in order to be truly authentic. Usually, business mentality is ‘if it’s not perfect it’s not going out’. But B2B audiences today buy from authentic brands with meaning, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
2. Instil a growth mindset
What does it take to have a growth mindset and can this be taught? Aside from reading Growth Mindset guides, what else can individuals do to activate their potential for growth? This initially comes down to how safe you feel when exploring new options within the business. Are new ideas embraced and developed? Or is there a stifling atmosphere where the fear of making a mistake limits room for creativity and experimentation?
3. Create a safe space
This leads us on to the importance of safety. Creating a safe space for your team to have the confidence to freely share thoughts and ideas is crucial for enabling innovation. In order to push boundaries, we need to explore options that we may have a lack of experience in. By associating this with a potential risk to the business, there is then minimal room for inspiration and creativity. So, building a safe environment where vulnerability and transparency are encouraged allows the freedom to experiment with the unknown, without being penalised.
4. Build a diverse and inclusive team
It’s very unlikely that one team member can conquer a challenging project all on their own. Looking outward to your team and inspiring others to get on-board with your mission is the key to growth and innovation. We all know how important a strong DE&I stance is for business – because this brings a variety of thought and a range of perspectives that are better equipped to recognise different opportunities. The result of having a diverse team with diverse thinking can lead to elevated innovation.
If you want to discover more about the innovators who were shortlisted within the index, take a look here.