When businesses face the same challenges, it’s easier to face them together.
Take safety, for example. Many companies are looking for innovative solutions to key challenges like spotting risks before they cause harm and understanding the root cause of safety incidents.
On their own, they might task an internal innovation hub to come up with ideas or assign a working group to look at solutions to the problems.
But these internal initiatives face challenges of their own. The innovation hub often operates in a vacuum, with no input from people who really understand the issue. And working groups often find themselves pulled back into the day-to-day, putting innovation on the backburner.
Worse, having many different companies working on the same issue means many different solutions to the same problems. A more elegant and efficient approach is to work together on common challenges and share the resulting solution across the industry.
A problem shared: Co-creating safety solutions for the whole industry
That’s what LR has aimed to do with the Lloyd’s Register Safety Accelerator. It brings innovative digital startups and industry leaders together to co-create solutions to key safety challenges. If a valid solution is found, it’s then commercialised for the benefit of the whole industry.
An example of co-creation is LR’s SafetyScanner—a unique AI-based assessment tool that gives businesses an accurate picture of safety across their organisation.
Like most innovations it started with a client challenge. Health, safety and environment (HSE) management has always been critical to business success, but traditional methods often involved time-consuming reporting, fragmented safety management systems and inaccurate assessments, which left organisations at risk of major incidents and resulting reputational damage.
SafetyScanner uses Natural Language Processing and machine learning to analyse safety data in multiple formats from across the organisation’s different functions and systems, giving HSE managers a clear, evidence-based picture of where to focus safety efforts.
Companies using SafetyScanner have been able to speed up the review of near-miss events, as well as identify emerging hazard trends to prevent future incidents.
Four principles for successful innovation
LR innovation initiatives are based on four principles that we believe lie at the heart of successful innovation:
- Freedom to experiment – and permission to fail
Innovation is necessarily experimental – and not every experiment will lead to success. In many organisations, innovation is treated as a can’t-fail transformation initiative rather than a vehicle for key learnings.
Without permission to take risks and fail, innovation teams won’t find solutions that make things radically better for the industry. They need the freedom to develop ideas and solutions following the company direction, to incubate intellectual property from internal developments, and to identify step changes to totally disrupt the status quo.
- Open collaboration – both internal and external
Innovation isn’t something that can be driven by a single team or group. It’s a collaborative process that should happen across the entire organisation—and ideally beyond its walls.
Innovation is most powerful when there’s a dedicated team to act as the catalyst, driving co-creation both internally and with external partners, customers and even academia. Your organisation doesn’t have to go it alone: there are millions of innovators globally to draw upon in the quest to develop new solutions – especially solutions that can benefit from the latest thinking.
- A central place to focus innovation initiatives
Ensuring the innovation team becomes the catalyst of change can be a challenge. One effective mechanism is to create a dedicated innovation lab, running agile, fast-paced pilots with a ‘fail fast’ attitude.
The most successful innovation labs embrace partners, internal ideas and ‘out of the box’ thinking to test and deploy solutions, with success measured using predefined KPIs. If a successful solution is created, it can be scaled rapidly across the organisation and even commercialised for others to adopt.
- A smooth handover process
The handover process from innovation to development is just as important as the initial stages—and it’s too often overlooked or held back by internal processes.
To make it as smooth as possible, it’s helpful to assign the handover process to the New Product Development team or an in-house Entrepreneur team who will provide well-defined, dedicated focus aligned with performance targets.
But it doesn’t have to be an internal team—you could also consider outsourcing this step to a venture partner that can develop outside of the normal process, scale operations rapidly, and bring it back into the business later.
LR can help you take an agile approach to innovation
Our dedicated digital innovation practice can help you to adopt these innovation principles to create solutions that meet your challenges.
We’ll work with you to identify your key issues and incubate ideas on how to address them. These ideas go through rigorous testing, giving us learnings to take forward.
To ensure we have access to the best minds and the latest thinking, we bring in partners, data scientists, agile developers and subject matter experts to work alongside our own experts. Together we provide the deep, specialised knowledge required to deliver real value, as well as the capabilities to accelerate and scale the solution.
Have an innovation idea?
Contact us to put your ideas forward for funding and development.
Partnering with leading organisations such as the Alan Turing Institute, the UK Government and The Welding Institute, we’ll look to develop innovation projects that will not only accelerate your own digital transformation, but which also have the potential to benefit the entire industry.
If you’d like to learn more about our innovation projects or find out how LR could support you in becoming more innovative, please do get in touch.
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