Rethinking innovation through people-focused lens

In challenging times where companies are trying to cope with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, many have turned to new innovations to remain competitive in a post-pandemic environment. In doing so, they often equate innovation with the latest technology However, it is crucial that companies also focus their attention to fostering a culture of innovation through their people. Mark Piper, director category strategy and innovation, Fonterra outlines the need for companies to embrace diversity to drive innovation, and the potential to create value through open innovations.

For decades, across the world have moved into an innovation-driven business model, but in the pursuit for growth, a common misconception has emerged. Companies often look towards a new technological invention or product development for immediate solutions to keep up with today’s fast-changing environment, but innovation is more than that – the people and culture driving ideas forward also play a crucial role in enabling successful innovations.

The emphasis on people has never been timelier, as the world considers its next move in a post-COVID-19 era. As leaders seek to rebuild their organisations and safely navigate through the global crisis, trust established from long-standing, deep relationships with stakeholders will be more important than ever for businesses as they work to regain their footing and restart innovation pipelines.

While it is important to be agile to seize opportunities, companies must also make a conscious effort to better understand consumer needs in the new normal. Instead of simply embracing on a new tech bandwagon, they need to focus on deriving insights that will guide them in delivering products and services that meet consumers’ needs with empathy and care during such uncertain times – valuable traits that can be gained from a people-focused approach to innovation.

The full article is published on the latest edition of Food & Beverage Asia Oct/Nov 2020. To continue reading the article, click here.