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Innovation – from concept to adoption

In podcast episode 28, we talk about innovation with Karl Turner, Solutions Architect designer from Virgin Media O2’s ‘The Lab’.

Throughout the recent months the pandemic and associated lockdowns have shown that many of us are far more resilient, creative and adaptable than we appreciated. These are all ideal attributes to foster a culture of innovation, but there are questions to ask before you can ensure disruption turns into opportunity. What exactly is innovation? Where to start? What problem are you trying to solve? How do ideas go from concept to adoption?

Karl began by explaining that The Lab is the innovation team within Virgin Media O2. Although ten years old, it’s like a start up within the business, where we harness all the skills that a new technology startup needs, with the additional benefit of Virgin Media O2 backing and support.

Karl summarised how the innovation process works at The Lab:

“We take a problem, or an idea that isn’t fully formed, strip it right back to the ideation stage, and then explore potential, innovative ways that technology can provide the solution.”

Karl and I talked about:

  • The impact of digital exclusion, and how we have been looking at ways that customers might support the most vulnerable by returning their unused data each month.
  • How the innovation process begins with a problem that needs to be solved, or a goal or target that you want to reach – which is then broken down into distinct parts, each considering an alternative route or path to take.
  • The role of innovation in enabling remote working during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
  • How Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can help teams to meet virtually and collaborate effectively.
  • The importance of 5G for tomorrow’s innovative solutions.

You can listen to full episode here.

Innovation takes co-operation and collaboration. There’s risk involved, and no matter how we want to defend it, risk matters, and many of us are risk adverse. The challenge is to identify how to innovate in a timely manner to generate excitement and energy. And how do we convince other people we need to try new or different things – and that we may need their resource and budgets to make it happen?

Catchup on all the Blue Door Podcast episodes here.

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