Insights

Innovation: a shared language.

18/06/2020
Andrew Bullmore

Author:
Andrew Bullmore, Partner

Part 1 – coming together.

“Innovation”.

…That one word inspires thoughts of entrepreneurship, creativity, technology, newness and transformation.

It’s no wonder that if you ask people to define innovation, you get a vast range of responses. It can also be interpreted as meaning many different things when applied to different situations.

For a firm like ours, it’s important to create a common language around innovation – one that acknowledges how innovation could, and should happen across all areas. It’s not just about focusing on the tools, such as technology, but finding the best solution to an issue – the activities and processes we undertake to respond to an ever-evolving future, and the business models we operate.

Our definition?

Innovation is the generation of value for our clients and wider society through the creative application and development of existing and new products, services, business processes and organic change.

What does innovation require?

To continually develop solutions to internal and external drivers requires a lot of resource, hard work and sustained attention. Innovation has to be embedded within culture, historical successes, creative diligence, and collaborative practices.

We also look beyond influencing industry best practice, to include the next generation as STEM ambassadors, visiting professors, lecturers, and course contributors. Shaping how future engineers, designers and building occupants understand the importance of their homes, schools, workplaces, and infrastructure on the wider environment means we set up a powerful ‘chain of changemakers’.

Value in our five capitals.

Innovation is not driven by technical ability but by value. It is not about innovation for innovation sake.

For the built environment to truly embrace innovation, we need to think holistically. By using our five capitals model as a framework, it’s possible to unlock value through innovation in a responsible and effective way.

  • Social: the wider benefits for society
  • Human: the impact on users
  • Physical: the building & infrastructure
  • Natural: the enhancement of the environment
  • Economic: economic success through ‘shared’ value

We do this by engaging with, adapting, and recombining technologies and systems; partnering and collaborating with our ecosystems; connecting and experimenting with pioneering customers; and pushing for regulatory change.

Our message? For our network of clients, connections, and collaborators to join us on our innovation journey. Together we can create environments where society can flourish, and our planet can thrive.

Look out for part 2 coming soon…