Get messy and vote for great innovation

Real innovation is messy, hard and often elusive – celebrate how innovation actually happens

399204  Debrief newsletter September  RIA VOTE NOW v106

“Innovation is frequently presented as almost effortless, but real innovation is messy, hard and often elusive. Nothing like what you see in the text books.”

This is the view of Professor Julian Birkinshaw of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School who leads the School’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and oversees the Real Innovation Awards in partnership with Management Today.

The Real Innovation Awards are a celebration of how innovation actually happens. Last year the awards attracted hundreds of nominations and in 2017 the interest has grown considerably, with exciting companies and entrepreneurs all being put forward.

The London Business School and Management Today judging panel have shortlisted up to five finalists in each of the six categories:

  • If At First You Don’t Succeed Award – for an idea that spectacularly failed but paved the way for a future success.

  • Master of Reinvention Award – for the company that most successfully reinvented itself when faced with a major disruption to its traditional business.

  • Best Beats First Award – for the company that moved quickly to dominate an emerging market category, typically with a different and better business model than the first mover.

  • George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award – for the individual who most stubbornly insisted their idea would work, when everyone else thought they were wrong.

  • Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award – for an invention that was chanced upon and developed while its inventor was pursuing something completely different.

  • Harnessing the Winds of Change Award – for perfect timing in launching a radically new product or service.

In each category there will be a winner chosen by expert judges, and also a “People’s Choice” winner chosen through popular vote.

What are we looking for in the winners?

Innovation is a means of creating value from ideas. And it’s not all about making money, social value is critically important too. “Innovation can potentially come from anywhere,” says Professor Birkinshaw. “It’ far messier and more time-consuming than most people imagine, involving serendipity, random discovery and people committing lots of raw effort for, in some instances, many years.  These awards are celebrating all the different ways that innovation can emerge.”

The awards will be judged by the following experts in the field of innovation:

Luis Cilimingras, Managing Director at Ideo UK
Matthew Gwyther, former editor of Management Today;
Adam Gale, Associate, Web Editor at Management Today;
Vimi Grewal-Carr, Managing Partner Innovation, Global Lead Client Services Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte;
Tim Brooks, Executive Fellow at LBS;
Charlie Dawson, Partner at The Foundation;
Sarah Wren MBE, CEO of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service and Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy of Entrepreneurship at LBS and Director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The winners will be announced at our awards ceremony at London Business School on the 2nd November. They will be featured and profiled by both Management Today and the London Business School Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

You have until the end of September to cast your People’s Choice vote for which nominee in each of these categories stands out as the winner. 
So, in the spirit of true innovation, get messy and vote now!