The intimate and informal session kicked off with a thought provoking talk from Glyn Britton from Albion who talked about the multiple meanings of innovation, and how fluid it is, even among those of us who have it in our job titles. He defines it as ‘inventing and reinventing businesses to make them remarkable’ – a nice thought borne out by his case studies of work they have done for Skype and Betfair. He warns we should be careful to distinguish true innovation from novelty, creativity and invention – all arguably strong and necessary in their own right but not the same thing.
Next we had a talk from Daniele Fiandaca from Cheil who put forward his thoughts on the recent Cannes Innovation Lions. He made a compelling case for renaming them the Technology Lions, giving case studies which show the ‘breakthrough tech’ which the judges see to be their core. Some of the better examples here:
He warned not to get caught up in thinking that innovation ‘always needs new stuff’… a very good point, given there are supposedly no ‘new’ ideas anymore.
One of the most interesting sessions of the day came from BBH Labs, who talked us through some of their ‘experiments’ – some good, some not so much. But they were careful to share the learnings and lessons to be taken from them, providing useful insights into their ‘hit and run’ strategy – do something quickly then retreat to ‘assess the damage’…
John Willshire, an ex-PHDer then spoke of how to bring the internet into experiences, rather than putting an experience on the internet – a refreshing approach which led to a truly brilliant sounding C-suite leadership course at Oxford University – something to aim for one day!
Overall, an eclectic mix of speakers and something I’d recommend attending in the future – it’s given me plenty of ideas!