Interviews

Innovation Station Podcast: Episode 4 - Why approaching work in a new way can unleash innovation for SMEs

  • Can a fresh way of thinking really awaken new potential in SMEs to drive growth? According to all the research, it’s a resounding yes. “Design thinking” is already used by 60% of Fortune 500 firms and now Irish SMEs are starting to catch up.

    Dr. Peter Robbins of Dublin City University Business School is one of Ireland’s foremost experts in innovation. In a masterclass held recently at Ryan Academy, he explains how the ‘Design Thinking’ toolkit can harness innovation and radically improve processes for small businesses.

    Speaking to InterTradeIreland’s Innovation Station podcast, Peter explains that Design Thinking can ‘de-risk’ complex innovation projects by testing and prototyping the entire process, which in turn then maximises the return on investment at the end.

    “There is a tool book and methodology to Design Thinking as opposed to blue sky thinking or naval gazing. It is something that needs ‘top down’ support, but Design Thinking is quite accessible and if companies commit, it is a process that delivers results.”

    Peter stresses that businesses shouldn’t be put off by the term Design Thinking or assume it is more suited to creative companies. Like other innovation processes, it’s one that requires determination and a focus on customers.

    “Design Thinking helps SMEs find other access points to understand the marketplace. If you can create a product, service or experience that hits the ‘sweet spot’ of being desirable, feasible and viable, then you are right at the heart of innovation success.”

    About the ‘Innovation Station’ podcast series

    Released fortnightly, the Innovation Station podcast series will feature international thought leaders in the field of innovation, sharing their experiences and insights on how to succeed in the current economic climate. Each episode is captured live from an InterTradeIreland ‘All-Island Innovation Programme’ masterclass delivered by a world-renowned expert.

    Attracting thousands of business leaders, policy makers, students and academics each year, the All-Island Innovation Programme’ series of free masterclasses explores a wide range of topics including upcoming industry trends, management development, as well as the latest thinking in business growth, with the aim of promoting innovation and to encourage cross border cooperation.

    Together with Queen’s University Belfast, the National University of Ireland, Galway, University College Cork and Dublin City University the programme promotes and encourages small business owners to innovate by sharing practical advice, as well as international best-practice.

    For more information on InterTradeIreland’s ‘All-Island Innovation Programme’ visit: https://intertradeireland.com/innovation/all-island-innovation-programme/

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