Innovation and Change during Uncertainty


Innovation and Change during Uncertainty- By Associate Professor Gareth Davies Navigating Innovation & Change lecturer

The famous quote “There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change” is currently more pertinent than ever. The immediate and emerging impact of Coronavirus, to be followed by Brexit, along with their yet unknown longer-term effects presents significant challenges for public, private and third sector organisations of all sizes. However, outside of these massive upheavals there already exists the complex evolving contexts of individual organisations and the industries/communities within which they operate. Navigating these changes and realising opportunities – along with smaller ones – is a focus within the MBA programme at Swansea University’s School of Management.

While the current global crisis is some way off abating, it is important for organisations to come out of this period with offerings and business models that are more sustainable, in every sense of the word. Innovation, in both what organisations do and how they do it, will be crucial in order to emerge and build a better future for their stakeholders including shareholders, customers/users, employees and the wider community/society. There is already a notable emergence of a reinforced broader perspective of value, whereby achieving wider societal wellbeing sits alongside economic and financial imperatives.

Innovation is best played as a team sport. Recent efforts to design and manufacture medical devices and organise local community food supplies have highlighted the innovation potential in bringing together expertise and other capabilities. Working with the ecosystem of private, public and third sector organisations around the School, the MBA focuses on harnessing collaboration to achieve shared sustainable benefit. The conveyor of opportunities travelling through this ecosystem offers invaluable learning cases and network opportunities for the programme’s students and alumni.

The range of knowledge and skills for innovation is typically context-specific, though can be confronted by a mindset developed and equipped with a set of tools to realise the journey. Challenging convention is at the heart of this, for innovation is very much a learning journey and little is discovered on well-trodden paths. To achieve this, the Swansea MBA provides managers not only with structured toolsets to make sense of challenges and opportunities. Importantly, the programme combines this knowledge and understanding with development of broadened critical thinking to address these issues, travelling further both intellectually and in practice. Ultimately, this helps chart directions with confidence, which for today aims not only to navigate the current crisis, but beyond it into a successful sustainable future for all.

Find out about the MBA at School of Management, Swansea University

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