Mo Isap, Chief Executive of IN4.0 PLC.
Technology is changing our world, transforming the way some of the most traditional sectors operate almost beyond recognition.
Take banking, which has seen everything from money transfers to getting a mortgage switch to online. It’s created a whole new experience for customers, who increasingly access their accounts on mobile devices instead of on the high street, and it has improved efficiency and security for the banks.
It’s proof, if any were needed, that those who innovate thrive. The organisations that avoid trying anything new do so at their peril. Think Blockbuster, the video rental company that famously went out of business because it couldn’t shift to a digital model.
How does this happen? No-one goes into business thinking they’ll just stick with what they know. But the vision and entrepreneurial spirit that gets businesses off the ground can easily be overtaken by the all-consuming task of running the company and managing staff.
You get into a comfort zone and you try to grow the business by squeezing more out of the model you’ve created. You buy the next generation of the same kit and it might be faster, but essentially it does the same thing.
All the while, you’re losing sight of the customer, who’s looking for the next big thing. It’s a bit like adding an extra drawer to the cabinet when the customer doesn’t want a cabinet any more. We can all learn from the Silicon Valley tech companies, who are looking at where their customers want to be in five years’ time.
To future-proof your business, you’ve got to keep pace with your customers. This means being open to opportunity and being able to explore what’s possible while still keeping the business running.
IN4.0 ACCESS, our disruptive innovation accelerator for manufacturers and industrial tech start-ups, is all about helping business leaders to realise the opportunities that digital technologies offer to increase productivity, improve efficiency and boost profit.
Disruptive leadership is a key component of the programme and it’s a vital first step, helping to create the right mind-set for change. I’m talking about the mind-set of an entrepreneur, which embraces creativity, curiosity and collaboration. Entrepreneurs don’t spend too much time thinking about what could go wrong; they just focus on the end goal.
The industrial tech race may have already started, but there is still room for leaders in this space and we’ve brought in some of the early pioneers of tech disruption to show the way!
ACCESS has been created in partnership with NatWest and BAE Systems. It’s also supported by our IN4.0 Fellows, who support businesses to implement technology, from inspirational North West firms like Crystal Doors, from Rochdale, and Nelson-based Merc Aerospace.
They’re very different companies, but they’re all great examples of traditional organisations that have had to massively disrupt to bring in new technology. They’ve walked the walk and now they’re sharing what works, their ideas and experiences, and empowering others to do the same.
All the people on our ACCESS programme, they’re in business for a reason – they’re entrepreneurs – and we can help them to rediscover the entrepreneur within again.
For more information about how IN4.0 ACCESS can help your business, visit https://in40.co.uk/in4-0-access/ or give us a call on 0161 686 5770.