6 key themes from our first Perspectives event

6 key themes from our first Perspectives event

Our first Perspectives event, organised by Kaleidoscope and Hilary Berg Consulting, took place on 2nd March with a highly interesting and valuable roundtable discussion on the issue of social innovation. The discussion was led by Iain Hennessey, Clinical Innovation Director at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, who gave an insight into the fantastic partnership work with organisations such as Panasonic and Sony that is leading to some true innovation in the fight to improve children’s health.

The discussion then went on to cover many different aspects of innovation and how cross-sector partnerships can be established to deliver against some of the big challenges facing our society. Six key themes have been pulled out below, although there were many other points raised through the course of the session:

1. Problems create excitement
What might be a challenge for you could be an inspiration for someone else. People love to solve problems and get really excited by them, so be open and share your challenges with others, and just see what happens. And don’t be constrained by your organisational boundaries.

2. Individual relationships matter
Charismatic leadership is really important but in many cases, the best relationships to cultivate innovation are new and individual ones that spark new thinking, rather than the tried and tested corporate ones. It’s about a cultural fit and a shared personal vision for doing something different – whatever that may be.

3. Be radical!
To drive truly innovative thinking, we need to do things differently to conventional planning models. We need to be radical and adopt an ‘anti-strategy’ approach in which we’re comfortable not knowing exactly what we’re going to achieve but having the confidence to back ourselves.

4. Language is a challenge
There is a need for a common language for social innovation that all sectors can understand and engage with. Too often opportunities are missed or projects are dropped because of a lack of understanding or confidence amongst partners that is driven by conflicting terminology.

5. We need to define ‘value’
For any innovation-focused project to be sustained it must show a return and deliver ‘value’ to everyone involved. However, establishing a common definition of what value means to organisations can be incredibly challenging when partners from the public, private and third sectors come together.

6. Don’t be afraid to fail
Part of the secret of success for social entrepreneurs lies in risk taking and trying new things, in the knowledge that some of them might fail. What matters is creating a culture where people are encouraged to reflect and apply the learning from these experiences to do it better next time.

Our next event is planned for 18th May - click here for further information.