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Real Innovation Awards are open for entries

12 Jul 2016

The Real Innovation Awards are open for creative organisations that embrace change and drive the engine of economic progress.

In partnership with Management Today, the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship will celebrate the people and companies that innovate in an authentic and exciting way.

These awards celebrate real innovation, according to Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of the Deloitte Institute.

"There are dozens of innovation awards and rankings, but they all focus on the wrong things,” he said. “The typical award celebrates some famous person and suggests that figure had brilliant foresight in coming up with some brand new business or product that nobody else had ever thought of. It suggests the whole process was seamless and perfectly executed.”

"Real innovation doesn’t happen like that. Real innovation is messy; it involves a lot of serendipity, random discovery and people slaving away for months – if not years – on prototypes until they eventually come up with something that works.”

Individuals, team or company that matches the key criteria for one of the six award categories have now been nominated.

All entries relate to products and services that launched in the past five years.

The six awards categories are:

  • If At First You Don’t Succeed Award – for an individual or team whose idea did not work out, but later proved a hit when taken forward by a colleague
  • The Masters of Reinvention Award – honouring the company that most successfully and aggressively pushed a new idea at the expense of the existing business
  • The Best Beats First Award – celebrating an organisation that managed to develop a competitor’s failed business concept into a successful venture
  • George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award – for someone who has shown enormous tenacity and stubbornness when pursuing an idea that everyone told them to abandon
  • Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award – paying tribute to an innovator who stumbled on an idea in the most unexpected or surprising way
  • Harnessing the Winds of Change Award – for someone who is ahead of the curve when spotting a new idea that will change their industry

The winners will appear in Management Today’s magazine, which has 150,000 readers, online news stories, daily bulletins and social media. They will also be featured in London Business School Review.

Up to five entries for each category have been nominated on 1 September by representatives from Management Today and Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

A public vote is now running for the People’s choice award, the results of which will not influence the judges’ decision. The verdicts from the public vote will appear in the post-award write-ups. Voting for the shortlisted nominees is open until Friday 30 September. In parallel to this the judging panel including Matthew Gwyther, editor of Management Today, Professor Birkinshaw and Vimi Grewal-Carr, managing partner, innovation and delivery models, Deloitte, will decide on the final winner for each category which will be announced at our inaugural event on 10 November 2016.

For more information and to nominate, please visit our Real Innovation Awards page.

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About Julian Birkinshaw

Julian Birkinshaw is a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. He is also an Academic Director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship


He teaches on the following programmes: