Once in a while, the stars align and the right people come together to drive innovation in business. They get a sniff of a trend and run with it; or they stick to their guns when everyone tells them they’re wrong; or they change the way something’s always been done before.
Do you know a truly innovative team or individual? If so, we want to shout their names from the rooftops. It’s your last chance to nominate someone for the Real Innovation Awards 2017, so don’t delay. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in November, plus there’ll be extensive media coverage in the London Business School Review and Management Today, read by 150,000 business movers and shakers.
Here are this year’s categories and the companies who won them last year – could you be joining them? It might do wonders for your reputation, at home and abroad…
1. The If At First You Don’t Succeed Award
In 2016, Dubsmash and Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) jointly won this award for trying something that didn’t work out, but then using that as a stepping stone to success. Dubsmash kept fine-tuning its lip-synching app until it became a hit (100m people now use it worldwide); while meals-on-wheels company HILS pulled itself back from the brink to become a sector leader.
2. The Masters of Reinvention Award
Steve McGuirk of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service won this award last year for refocusing his force away from traditional firefighting towards safety and prevention. His innovation was unpopular at first but ultimately successful.
3. The Best Beats First Award
This category celebrates businesses that move fast to dominate an emerging trend. Food-delivery service Deliveroo won last year, in recognition of the effort its founder, William Shu, put into researching the market and developing a complex routing algorithm.
4. The George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award
Last year, Embrace Innovations won this award – given to people who stubbornly pursue an idea against the odds – for developing affordable, non-electric incubators for premature babies.
5. The Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award
Has your company capitalised on an accidental discovery? Last year’s winner did. Andy Barr, owner of Barrnon, brilliantly spotted that his company’s scallop trawling gear could be repurposed to recover nuclear sludge. They’ve now worked on several nuclear contracts.
6. The Harnessing The Winds of Change Award
This final award celebrates those who spot what’s just round the corner soon enough to take advantage of it. 2016 winner BlaBlaCar has become the ride-sharing app of choice for social, cash-strapped millennials.
Entries for the 2017 Real Innovation Awards close on 31 May, so grab the recognition you deserve and nominate your team now.