“Innovation is not about creating something new. It’s about embracing change.” Many business leaders talk about putting people at the heart of their organisation, but how many achieve it?
“Everything starts with communication,” says Robert Camp, Director of Strategic Innovation at Stephens Scown LLP. “Understanding ‘the why’ makes it much more achievable to talk about the ‘how’.”
When Robert was appointed Managing Partner of the South West legal firm in 2010, annual turnover was £10.5m and net profit £2.9m. By the time he stepped down in 30 April 2019, turnover had reached £20m and profit £5.9m, with the firm expanding from 150 to 313 employees. For Robert, limiting innovation to processes or systems inhibits potential outcomes. “Innovation distils down to how you empower people, embrace change and use it to your advantage across a whole organisation.
“We’ve tried to create a culture of innovation, so everybody can come forward with ideas. Today we have an Innovation Hub with around 35 people. Early on it was more ‘from the ground’.”
Reusable coffee cups for the Love Where You Live campaign were a familiar feature of the firm’s Exeter, St Austell and Truro offices, years before other brands took similar steps.