Innovation, a necessity for modern business survival, says British don

Prof. Paul Griffith, world’s first professor of management to lead a team to launch a rocket into space, says innovation is compulsory for today’s businesses to survive uncertainties.

Griffith, a renowned British Professor of Practice will throw insights into how world leaders can better manage change in the present uncertain times at the forthcoming programme of TEXEM UK, a firm founded by Dr Alim Abubakre, a British Nigerian.

Griffith will be among the three faculty members delivering the TEXEM programme ‘Strategic Leadership Unleashed: Thriving In An Uncertain GLOCAL World’, which is scheduled to be held between May 26 and May 30 in Manchester.

Other TEXEM faculty members include Prof. Rodria Laline (the inventor of the IP being used on all ATMs globally, former SVP for Oracle in Asia Pacific and Harvard, INSEAD and IMD Professor).

The third faculty is John Peters, former Chair of the Association of MBAs (an organisation that accredits Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and IMD) and former Prisoner of War.

eaking on the content of the coming programme on TEXEM’s website,, Griffith shares insights on how leaders can unlock value and achieve sustainable competitive advantage in today’s turbulent times.

According to him, winning in these unpredictable times requires strategic insights.

‘Leaders can foster innovation by cultivating a culture that encourages experimentation and embraces failure as a learning opportunity.

‘For instance, consider the approach taken by global companies like Google, where employees are allocated time to work on projects outside their immediate responsibilities, leading to groundbreaking products like Gmail and Google News.

‘Additionally, leaders should implement agile methodologies that allow for rapid iteration and responsiveness to market changes,’ Griffith said.

He said this was effectively demonstrated by Netflix when they shifted from DVD rentals to streaming, a move that required bold decision-making and a willingness to disrupt their own business model.

reover, fostering a collaborative environment where diverse teams can bring unique perspectives to problem-solving can lead to more robust and creative solutions.

‘By empowering employees at all levels to contribute ideas and take ownership of their implementation, leaders can navigate change with resilience and innovation,’ Griffith added.

He gave some practical examples of leadership approaches that have proven effective in turbulent environments.

‘In our experiential TEXEM session, we will delve deeply into the dynamic nature of leadership and followership, roles that can interchange fluidly based on the situation at hand.

‘One practical example is the leadership approach adopted by Alan Mulally at Ford. When he took over during a financial crisis, Mulally implemented a strategy of transparency and inclusiveness, fostering an environment where employees felt safe to share challenges and collaborate on solutions.

‘This approach not only stabilized the company but also set it on a path to renewed profit
ability,’ Griffith said.

He said participants in the coming TEXEM session will engage in exercises that highlight the importance of adaptability, problem-solving, and dealing with complexity.

Griffith said these are skills exemplified by leaders like Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo, who navigated the company through significant market shifts by emphasizing innovation and a long-term vision.

‘They will also test their ability to innovate and experiment, much like how Steve Jobs continually pushed the boundaries at Apple and developed a strategic perspective that breaks down complex scenarios into actionable steps,’ he said.

Griffith spoke on critical components of an actionable leadership plan, especially for navigating complex and uncertain scenarios.

‘An actionable leadership plan is rooted in clarity and adaptability. It involves understanding the six core responsibilities of a CEO: setting the vision, building the team, managing operations, fostering innovation, ensuring financial stability, and representing t
he company externally.

‘For instance, Jeff Bezos at Amazon meticulously allocates his time to focus on customer satisfaction and innovation, ensuring the company stays ahead of its competitors.

‘Our session will dissect these responsibilities, helping leaders allocate their time effectively across these areas,’ he said.

Griffith said participants will examine case studies such as how Mary Barra led General Motors through a major recall crisis by prioritizing transparency and customer trust.

He said with such case studies, participants will learn to craft plans that are not only strategic but also adaptable to the rapid changes in today’s business landscape.

On the TEXEM programme’s impact, Griffith said it

is designed to equip executives with actionable frameworks and concepts that they can immediately apply within their organisations.

‘By mastering these insights, participants will be able to drive sustainable impact and lead their organisations through change effectively.

‘For example, by applying t
he principles of agile leadership and strategic foresight discussed in the programme, leaders can transform their organisations to be more resilient and adaptive.

‘The program’s impact is akin to how Sheryl Sandberg’s leadership at Facebook during times of exponential growth and crisis has led to a more robust and strategically agile organization,’ he said.

Griffith added that by practising these frameworks, executives will return to their roles with enhanced capabilities to foster innovation, manage complexity, and lead their organisations to thrive in the face of global challenges.

‘The TEXEM methodology is designed to ignite a profound sense of determination among participants, empowering them to enhance themselves, their teams, and their organizations, ultimately contributing to a better Nigeria,’ he said.

Griffith is also a Professor of Practice and the Senior Vice President, Products at Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School.

He is a business leader with responsibility for
developing and implementing international strategies to deliver significant profit and revenue growth.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria