Slaughter and May Publishes Innovation Guide

Slaughter and May has produced a major new report on innovation that will help organisations to consider the key issues related to business change.

The report, ‘Innovation explored‘, develops five key themes around the subject of innovation and transformation to act as a useful guide to management teams. The themes are:

  • Clear objectives, generate value – Clear business objectives should be the drivers.
  • Agile execution – Be open-minded about how to execute your strategy.
  • Regulatory engagement – Sometimes ambitious innovation will involve trailblazing beyond the boundaries.
  • Adjusted risk management – A well-adjusted risk management framework should be capable of evaluating both the upside and downside risks.
  • Culture is critical – Diversity of skills and actors is key to nurturing an innovative culture.

The 32-page report, spearheaded by Slaughters partners, Rob Sumroy and Ben Kingsley, and produced in association with Tromans Consulting, the strategy and innovation consultancy, explores both the theory behind innovation and looks at real world examples of what businesses have done and what can be learned from them.

Rob Sumroy said: ‘The ability to innovate is imperative in modern business. But for all of us, designing and executing an effective innovation strategy can be challenging. We hope that our report provides a solid foundation for any organisation considering an innovation project.’

And, Ben Kingsley added: ‘At Slaughter and May, we have been fortunate enough to work with many organisations designing or deploying an innovation strategy.  We tried to distil that experience into five key recommendations, which we explore and share in this report. We hope that people find it useful.’

The report concludes by suggesting that management teams should ask themselves five key questions when it comes to innovation:

  1. What are we trying to achieve? Innovation is not an end in itself. Successful innovators have clear objectives.
  2. How can we best achieve it? Agile execution is everything. Be prepared to fail – and to learn from failure.
  3. Do we play by the rules or change them? Innovation often pushes against regulatory boundaries. Sometimes it’s necessary to persuade the regulators to be innovators too.
  4. What is the risk? All innovation carries risk. A good innovation strategy weighs it against the benefits.
  5. Do we have an innovation culture? Successful businesses foster creative new thinking at every level. Innovation should be at the heart of the company culture.

The full report ‘Innovation explored’ can be downloaded from the Slaughter and May website.