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Tim Sharp

  • Programme: Making Innovation Happen
  • Nationality: British
  • Job Post-programme: Head of Innovation Experience, Deloitte

Integrating innovation

Innovation is a hallmark of the Deloitte brand and a key driver in growing the firm and delivering results for our clients. To support this, we have a dedicated innovation programme that allows us to generate ideas and facilitate faster, better problem solving. As one of the leads responsible for embedding our innovation agenda, my challenge is to build awareness and participation, integrating innovation to such an extent that it becomes central to our culture.

Making Innovation Happen was a great programme to help me build the practical skills I need in my everyday business responsibilities. We have a partnership with London Business School (through the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship), so it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about that relationship. I was also keen to interact with and benefit from the variety of different perspectives brought to the table by such an international group of classmates.

Enhancing the practical approach

The calibre of the professors involved in delivering Making Innovation Happen was exceptional. Julian Birkinshaw deserves a lot of credit for delivering a wealth of content and insight with such gusto. We also had a great guest speaker, Leo Roodhart, who is the former Head of Strategic Innovation at Shell. Hearing from him how innovation is applied in large corporations in the wider business environment was extremely useful. Another aspect that appealed to me was the immediate parallels apparent between the corporate and academic understanding of innovation. Recognising this synergy has made it easier for me to implement the new techniques I learned.

For me, the real value lay in taking cutting edge thought leadership and using it to enhance and validate the practical approaches that we were already employing, or thinking about employing. The academic insight provided on the programme has supplemented our approach really well. One of the most topical issues for my team is how we help build a culture of innovation at Deloitte, including the formal structure that supports innovation. Back in the office, I’ve been able to use some of the concepts from the programme to help address this issue.

An invigorating experience

Harnessing the wisdom and creativity of Deloitte’s people, making innovation accessible to them and driving a long term shift in the culture and perception of the company is critical to our success going forward. Achieving this will mean we can anticipate changes in the market and help clients respond to their opportunities. Making Innovation Happen was a hugely invigorating experience and the insight gained has given me extra ammunition to implement our innovation objectives – engaging people, and helping create a culture of innovation.