Karl Thomas-Innovation Consultant, Creatovation

  • Dr. Karl Thomas holds a Ph.D from Trinity College Dublin and has lectured at Trinity, D.I.T and is currently a consultant and guest lecturer with Athlone Institute of Technology on their Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses.

    Karl’s company, Creatovation, provides innovation consultancy and training for organisations and entrepreneurs.


    Presentation Title

    Innovation: That Art of Not Standing Still


    Innovation has become something of a buzzword and this has led to organisations engaging with a very diluted representation of the innovation process. In turn companies are missing out on the opportunities and benefits of having a staff that are engaged with innovation practices, such as creative problem solving and critical thinking. Whether your industry is service orientated, or manufacturing based, there are always opportunities to refine, improve or adapt to increase your strength and stave off disruptive threats. Kodak serves as an excellent example of a market leader that failed to capitalize on innovative staff and found itself overtaken. In comparison, Faber Castell, on the brink of financial ruin, managed to reinvent themselves and become a market leader through the application of a variety of innovation processes.

    There are many approaches to innovation, Design Thinking being the current favourite for most, but bringing in creatives, and filling your space with beanbags is not enough. Innovation is a serious business with serious potential for increased financial outcomes. Organizations need to apply rigorous but not necessarily costly procedures to meet the growing number of threats coming from enthusiastic lean entrepreneurs. Recently, Dell implemented a process to engage their staff in innovation, from the 9000 plus submissions, only 4% were considered worthy of transition to the next phase. Adjudicating this number of projects is costly, however, it is arguable that had the staff had been better trained for innovation, they would be better placed to self-assess, thus reducing the number of submissions and increasing the number of viable projects.

    Nothing has ever been done so well that it cannot be improved, innovation is a necessity, because standing still is no longer an option