Karl Chapman article 1

Innovation? Really?

“The leaders say: “Let’s be more innovative.” The staff says: “Bravo. When do we start?” The mid-level managers say: “Wait a minute, let’s think about that. What about… and …? Have you REALLY thought it through? Does this mean I have to change?” (Claude Legrand, co-author of ‘Innovative Intelligence – The art and practice of leading sustainable innovation in your organization).

Innovation. A much-misused word. A much-misunderstood word. A word that a friend of mine once described as the applause he received when (drunkenly) singing in a pub many years ago … think about it. But it is a very important word, if what it is describing is actually innovative.

Almost inevitably it is a word that has been devalued by its routine hijacking by PR and marketing teams to describe even the most mundane software release as ‘AI’; which probably means the PR person previously worked in property where they learnt to describe that complete wreck of a house as ‘in need of a little modernisation’. Last week I saw an ad for an apartment that said, ‘views towards the river’. I know the flat. It does have views ‘towards’ the river Thames. But there is a row of houses that prevent the potential occupants from seeing any part of the University Boat Race.

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Karl Chapman

Karl Chapman

EY Riverview Law and Kim Technologies
Karl is Strategic Adviser at EY Riverview Law and has a long pedigree in starting, growing and managing successful companies. In 1987 was Money Observer’s top-performing UK unit trust fund manager. In 1989 he set up CRT Group plc which grew to a market capitalisation of over £600 million. In 1996 CRT sold 50.1% of its equity for £109 million to Knowledge Universe, a private US-based company. In 1999 Karl left CRT and set up AdviserPlus Business Solutions in 2001. He remained as owner and non-executive until its sale in 2016. Karl joined Riverview Law, a legal services business, as Chief Executive in 2011 following its creation by AdviserPlus. Riverview Law was acquired by EY in August 2018 and Karl is a Strategic Adviser to the company. Karl is a Director at Kim Technologies. Kim is a leading no-code, configurable technology platform that helps organisations automate their workflows, case management and documents and is applicable to all sectors and functions.