Why you should look outside of your industry to find innovation

René Carayol, leading business expert specializing in transformational change, culture and leadership discusses how you can find innovation from outside of your industry

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Adam Muspratt

In The PEX Report 2020: Global State of Process Excellence, transformation and change expert René Carayol shares some of the insights he has gained over his stoired career, including how to inject modern cultural values into businesses living in the past, why agility should be at the heart of everything you do and why you should consider looking at other industries for inspiration.

Carayol has been a visiting professor at the Cass Business School, a broadcaster and a board member at major companies such as Pepsi, Barclays and IPC Media, as well as serving as an advisor to the CBI, McKinsey and PA Consulting.

PEX Network: How important do you think agility is?

Carayol: It's easily talked about, much harder to practice. I think that there is not a business we've worked with the last 18 months that hasn't had agility as part of its mantra.

Unfortunately, it's only a mantra. A totally agile business is Dutch banking giant ING Group. The chief executive, Ralph Hamers, took over in the aftermath of the 2011 financial crisis. At the time, Ralph was running a wholly-owned subsidiary of ING bank in Romania. ING decided the new business environment needed new agility, so they skipped a generation. He was elevated to group chief executive and he put agility at the heart of everything they do.

They visited TomTom, a technology company, to identify cultural values that he wanted to infiltrate into an old, hierarchical bank. It took them five years to transform into agility. Now the whole bank runs under agile and if you really want to see agile in action and see what the benefits are, you've got to look at ING.

Read: PEX community contributor of the year, Brenton Harder, discusses leading process.

PEX Network: Are companies in a good place to take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technology?

Carayol: We've got to change the game. A great example is you can have an estate with 1,500 branches. That's a heavy, heavy pull on your balance sheet and your capital program. ASOS and Amazon have come to the game without any stores, landlords, and rates to pay – that’s agile.

Click here to read the entire interview

In the full interview, Carayol discusses a wide array of topics including creating a culture of change to implement transformation, and who should be at the forefront of transformation efforts.

Read: Good ideas have no rank: lessons from the military for excellence leaders

Key learnings:

  • Look outside your industry for bright ideas
  • Businesses don't thrive on incremental
  • Experience is becoming overrated
  • Embrace recent joiners in the organization
  • The best person for the job is the best person
    for the team