I’ve known Simon Hill for a good few years now. Earlier last year, he said he would love to hold one of his ‘Everyday Innovation’ seminars at our Fidelity International offices in Cannon Street.

To quote from the Wazoku site, “Everyday Innovation means making innovation a real part of everyday life.”

These seminars are about bringing people together from across various industries to discuss the practicalities of running a successful innovation programme as well as the experience of peers in putting this into practise.

My work with Simon and his team has taken me to a number of these seminars over the years – and they have always been inspirational. This time around, it was the turn of Fidelity to host one (and it took a bit of planning!). Our Cannon Street meeting rooms get very busy with client meetings and our own seminars and conferences. However, we eventually found a date and, on 22nd November, hosted a large group of passionate innovators (pictured below). Many thanks to Rosemarie Diegnan and the team for helping to pull this together.

The agenda for our session was going to be a little different to past events; roundtable discussions (rather than a three-person panel) where attendees could suggest their preferences and join two tables. Rosemarie Diegnan came up with the table discussions:

  • The EveryDay Innovation mission statement – Nicola Darke, Wazoku
  • Getting Started – Zena Cox, ideasUK & Si Bellamy, RAF
  • Engaging Senior Stakeholders – Stuart Eames, Waitrose
  • Building the Culture – Richard Wilkinson, Aviva
  • Employee Engagement – Marc Penny, SSCL
  • The Physical Environment – David Cowland, Fidelity International
  • Building an External Community – SayComms

Sharing innovation stories

The tables encouraged everyone to share their stories, challenges and successes on the respective topics. My table focused on the subject of my first post Need to Innovate? The Physical environment is key. It was a lively discussion around the psychology and practicalities of how individuals interact with working spaces to drive innovation – and the importance of changing the environment to help foster a more innovative, collaborative and inclusive approach.

I was lucky enough to secure Ian Hood, Head of Digital at Fidelity International, to open the event, and he spoke about the importance of innovation, the main principles of disruption and the key attributes common to innovative companies. I also made the decision that a video of the morning would be a useful medium for summing up proceedings. Fortunately, I was able to hand this task over to my graduates, Dan Williscroft and Jessica Lachlan, who were tasked with sourcing, funding and making a video that we could distribute both internally and externally. I hope you agree that the result was definitely worth the time and effort they invested, with very little oversight from me, I might add.