Is COVID-19 Changing How We Innovate? Lessons and Predictions from 26 Leaders

April 13, 2021


Organisations are in flux due to COVID-19. Recent reports from Harvard Business Review, McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group suggest that organisations may be responding to COVID-19 by changing how they approach innovation. However, these reports tend to be US-focused. To understand the UK context, 26 leaders were interviewed about how COVID-19 has and will impact innovation in their organisations. These interviews revealed seven main themes: radical innovation, speed of innovation, social purpose, collaboration, private-public sector relationships (in particular with the NHS), organisational culture, and the future of innovation. Crucially, whilst these themes were consistent across the interviews, there were often opposing views of each theme. For example, all interviewees discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the speed of innovation, but some reported much faster innovation, whilst others said that their organisation had almost stopped innovation projects altogether. In this recording of a live online talk Dr Anna Walker, Reader in Creative Enterprise and Innovation at Bath Spa University, explores the lessons learned and questions raised by the interviews.

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