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SA Companies Are Slow To Innovate – Shows Accenture Innovation Index

The index shows that only eight percent of companies are successfully managing to convert innovation into substantial bottom line growth.

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The pace at which South Africa is innovating needs to accelerate if the country hopes to continue to compete in the 21st century. This is according to the Accenture Innovation Index released at the Innovation Conference held yesterday in Johannesburg. The index shows that innovation has increased by four points in 2016, a pace not required to for a stable economic growth.

Analysis of the results puts the majority – 57 percent of companies surveyed that scored less than 52 points out of a possible 100 – into the innovation laggard category. Only 29 percent can be categorised as innovation leaders. However, there is one further category that is truly setting the pace – innovation value champions.

“Digging deeper into the research we found that eight percent of companies are successfully managing to convert innovation into substantial bottom line growth,” said William Mzimba Chief Executive of Accenture South Africa and Chairman of Accenture Sub-Saharan Africa.

“These innovation value champions are seeing returns on their innovations in excess of 40 percent and generate three times more value on their innovation investments than market average.”

“The innovation excellence of innovation leaders and value champions sets a benchmark for corporate South Africa. So, how can laggards close the gap to become leaders? And what is it that innovation champions are doing differently to achieve such impressive returns on their innovations? The first, most significant finding is that innovation value champions invest more in innovation,” said Mzimba.

“On average, South African companies invest 13.7 percent of their annual revenues in innovation and realising a 14.5 percent return. Innovation value champions invest 17.8 percent of revenues and their average return is 42.6 percent – almost three times higher than the market average.”

Mzimba further emphasised that investment is not the only factor that underpins their success. “A strong innovation culture is central to their innovation strategy, they use digital as a business enabler and as a revenue generator, and they leverage the power of ecosystems to gather intelligence and insights that help them differentiate their offerings in the market.”

In this year’s Accenture Innovation Index results, there are three stand-out dimensions of innovation maturity in which innovation leaders are gaining momentum: Engagement, Resources and Digital.

Engagement: Innovation embedded

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To achieve a truly sustainable innovation ecosystem, engagement needs to be encouraged and facilitated on all business and employee levels. Among South African companies surveyed, levels of engagement have increased by seven percent to 50 percent in 2016. This is driven primarily by innovation leaders who are acutely aware that for innovation to be embedded within their organisation it needs to be a persistent mindset among all employees.

Engagement is an important recurring theme in the 2016 Innovation Index with companies continuing to drive innovation from within their organisations. Notably, almost 70 percent of companies reported that their employees see innovation as an important part of their day jobs and believe it has the ability to enhance the life span of a company, its products and services.

innovation value champions see embedding innovation in their organisations as a cornerstone to their innovation strategy. Their talent development is directed at acquiring new skills to support innovation and they have a high success rate in terms of retaining top talent to support innovation, and attracting and acquiring new talent to drive innovation.

The Accenture Innovation Index results show that innovative businesses encourage their employees to be innovative and openly promote the use of interactive tools and digital platforms for employees to pursue innovation.

This is in line with Accenture’s 2016 Tech Vision report, an annual report that identifies technology trends essential to business success in the digital economy, which shows that 76 percent of South African businesses believe a more fluid workforce will improve innovation.

The index indicates that 95 percent of innovation leaders are giving more control to their employees to ideate and innovate, and are offering strong incentives and opportunities to encourage and cultivate innovation.

Incentives include professional development, varied work assignment opportunities, financial rewards and annual rewards programmes recognising innovation. 

The value of internal collaboration is also receiving strong attention – 85 percent of Innovation Leaders are making use of dedicated multi-functional innovation teams to generate new ideas, and have dedicated innovation teams set up to manage innovation. 

Resources: The power of the ecosystem

Along the innovation value chain, resources in the form of financial capital, human capital and partner relationships are needed to generate ideas, facilitate innovation and bring it to fruition.

In 2016, the Resources dimension of innovation maturity measured by the Innovation Index witnessed an impressive general increase of 20 basis points from 2014 to reach 55 points. This score was primarily driven by innovation leaders who increased their score in the Resources dimension by 32 percent to reach 77 points. 

In an increasingly competitive world, companies need to take advantage of a wide range of resources to innovate; they cannot rely on ideas to come only from within their organisation. Encouragingly, the use of Open Innovation, which is characterised by partnerships among a range of players in a global ecosystem, is a strong theme emerging under the Resources dimension in this year’s Innovation Index as a means to drive innovation agendas.

“Our results show that 66 percent of innovation leaders are proactively embracing innovative ideas that come from sources inside the organisation as well as platforms and channels located externally. Innovation value champions clearly see opportunities in leveraging a broader ecosystem: 71 percent look to academia, clients, customers and suppliers to crowdsource information to innovate rather than relying on traditional sources,” said Mzimba.

Digital: leading in the new

Innovation Leaders are using analytics to drive innovation – a successful strategy that laggards are not taking full advantage of. Big Data analytics enables companies to harness data and use it to identify new opportunities and more efficient ways of doing business, as well as speed up decision-making and attend to customer needs with precision.

Digital technologies are also being adopted by innovation leaders internally to support business process innovation and streamline operations. This translates into significant cost efficiencies within the business.

Digital technologies are also being used for process automation, with over half of South African organisations currently automating their core business processes, and eight in 10 innovation leaders moving to automate core business processes as part of their digital progress.

The digital environment makes a strong customer focus a competitive advantage. By leveraging digital, South African organisations can improve their cost-to-serve throughout each layer of the value chain.

Innovation Leaders are also strongly invested in reducing the time to respond to customer needs.

They are using digital technologies to improve their service delivery and, ultimately, customer satisfaction; social media for product and service promotion; and technology apps to improve route-to-market processes, ensuring market strategies are optimised for their business.

The journey from laggard to leader

Overall, South African companies understand the importance of open, collaborative innovation and the positive impact it can have on employee engagement and company performance. Accenture believes that South Africa needs to catalyse change to drive next steps.

The Innovation Index provides some insight into how the country’s innovation value champions and leaders are building successful systems of innovation. If South African companies can better mobilise their resources, engage their talent and leverage digital technologies, they can increase their innovation success.

However, the journey from innovation laggard to leader requires a new mindset and adequate investment in innovation and development. To become an innovation value champion, companies must take the next step, creating an innovation ecosystem designed to capture value and promote and reward risk-taking and performance.

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How Kiran Rai Became A Global Brand Ambassador With Over 10.5 Million Facebook Followers At The Age Of 26

Kiran Rai has been featured in 600 international newspapers worldwide and has hosted 80 major events including 50 entertainment events and 23 major sport events. Find out how one of Britain’s most influential young people has made it to the top.

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Now, Kiran Rai is a global brand ambassador traveling the world promoting Social Box. He was also recently appointed as sponsorship director of the Cake Bake and Sweet Show currently running in Australia. But his life wasn’t always global travel and fancy titles, at 23 he stood outside Waterloo station for a month holding a sign saying, “please support me.” He managed to raise £15 000, which allowed him to follow his dreams and catapult himself into the entertainment industry. Find out how he did it:

Getting started

Kiran Rai started out very young, he realised early on in life that if he didn’t take his dream and himself seriously, nobody else would. His mindset developed out of what he learnt from his school life and his family, he also developed a thick skin from watching his mom and his aunt.

“The strategy I used was phoning people constantly and making sure that people heard me, it was a gruelling process.” He says that there were even times when he would bang on directors and casting agents’ doors and send them numerous emails and letters.

He exhausted every option in trying to achieve his dream. “I would do open mics late at the night hoping that maybe someone would spot me,” he says.

Related: Making Money From Your Baking Hobby

Lessons learnt

Kiran Rai learnt quickly the importance of standing on his own two feet. “I just want to keep proving to myself that I am good at what I do, and I kept pushing whether I succeeded or not,” says Rai.

He is constantly on the move and learning new things, he feels that being versatile and gaining experience will help him achieve his dream. “I have a very fierce mentality when it comes to learning that once I complete something I need to move on to something else straight away,” he says.

“I’ve also learnt to be humble – it’s the most important thing. Yes, there are times when you need to be confident to show people that you know what you’re doing but being arrogant puts people off,” says Kai. “I’ve learnt to keep pushing despite people telling me no, I’ve had so much rejection and I still get rejected, I just learn to handle it.”

Putting in the time and effort

“I’ve produced my own work for years, and I’ve put in the time and effort. I’ve learnt my craft and travelled across the world to make my dream happen. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me and for how far I’ve come,” he says.

“Working with Cake Bake has really improved my business mindset and thanks to Ralph and Binu Pillai and Aka Samara who have made this happen for me. I have great mentors around me, who motivate me to try harder.

There have been times when I’ve become demoralised as it’s difficult to see where my career is headed, but I just keep reminding myself that it will take time to realise my dream and improve myself.

Related: How To Start A Bakery Guide

What he’s up to now

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“I’m just a 26-year-old having fun, travelling the world and being able to achieve my dreams and work with great brands including Social Box, 3LT and of course being the sponsorship director of Cake Bake and Sweet Show in Australia,” says Rai.

“Currently, I’m leading a team of 8 and it’s incredible to work with a great company. I will be presenting on stage at the Cake and Bake Show happening in Sydney and Melbourne and I’m excited about it.”

Plans for the future

“My plans are to head to Mumbai and Los Angeles. I am targeting both cities as my dream is to become an established actor. I am also learning Hindi right now to improve my chances when auditioning for Bollywood projects. But I’ll also continue to keep pushing and never settle,” he says.

“The Cake Bake and Sweet Show is a great opportunity to learn. I’m learning how to work with people and work in a team, whereas previously I was very much on my own hustling every day and I haven’t worked closely with people for numerous of years,” says Rai. 

A word of advice

To the youth looking to follow their dreams he says: “Do whatever you can, don’t be scared and make your voice heard. Never let others keep you down.”

He continues to say that you should remember to focus on your education. “I’ve learnt the hard way that it’s important, and that I should haven listened to my parents and followed their advice.”

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South Africa Joins Global Impact Investing Body

South Africa will take another step toward meeting its development challenges this week when it becomes the first African country to join the Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investing.

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A global body promoting investments that not only generate a financial return, but deliver positive environmental and social outcomes as well, the GSG currently comprises 21 countries, plus the European Union.

South Africa will be represented on this important global body by the National Task Force for Impact Investing – that was established recently to grow local support for the impact investment sector. The Task Force is made up of representatives from government, private capital and research institutions. The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is acting as the secretariat for this new initiative.

“This is an amazing development, as it signifies South Africa’s leadership role in the area of impact investing,” says Elias Masilela, Executive Chairman of DNA Economics and Chair of the Impact Investing National Task Force. “South Africa’s entry into the GSG will usher in a new perspective in thinking about investing.”

According to the Global Impact Investing Network, the amount of money committed to impact investing around the world has doubled in the last year. From $114 billion in mid-2017, there is now $230 billion in funds targeting investments that not only generate a financial return, but deliver positive environmental and social outcomes as well.

This rapid growth has been largely due to a greater awareness of how private investment can contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Yet there is still a long way to go. It is estimated that the world needs $2.5 trillion per year to hit the UN’s targets.

Meeting these goals is crucial in South Africa, where poverty and inequality remain significant challenges. Attracting more private capital to support projects in fields such as education, housing and water is imperative.

Related: Investment Support For Black Business

According to Susan de Witt, Innovative Finance Lead at the Bertha Centre and head of the Impact Investing National Task Force Secretariat, being part of the GSG will give the movement in South Africa international credibility and allow the country to learn from the experiences of other countries.

“One of the major advantages of joining the GSG is that local representatives from the mainstream capital markets will be exposed to the global shifts in asset allocation,” says de Witt. “They will also be able to develop the appropriate contextual vehicles and tools to do this effectively spurred on by the efforts of major players such as Blackrock, Credit Suisse and UBS.

Giving Africa a voice in this forum is a crucial development, says Masilela. “With the strategic role that the country holds on the continent, as well as its representative voice on BRICS and other global fora, it is imperative that South Africa continues to drum up the need for this consciousness towards investment.”

Not only will the country benefit enormously from the learning opportunities, but it will be able to make a meaningful contribution to discussions as well. As many international impact investing projects are focused on Africa, there is a need for local insights to guide international investment allocations.

“Having sat in a number of these meetings, there a noticeable lack of African opinion,” says de Witt. “Working groups with an international strategy often focus on Africa, but there is rarely an African in the room.”

As a member of the GSG, South Africa will be a fully-fledged member of the global impact investing movement. This will unlock meaningful opportunities for the country.

“There is no better time than now,” Masilela says. “Done right, it will reverse many of the domestic and global imbalances we face. It is particularly important, with South Africa’s economy struggling to record a much needed turnaround.”

Along with South Africa, similar Advisory Boards in New Zealand and Bangladesh will also be admitted to the CSG this month.

“The impact revolution is a truly global movement, and its expansion to Bangladesh, New Zealand, and South Africa underscores that the pivot to risk, return, and impact is spreading to all corners of our world,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, founder and chair of the GSG.

The GSG’s Board of Trustees approved the new member countries amid preparations for the annual Impact Summit on 8-9 October in New Delhi, India. The Board also approved sites for its next two Impact Summits: Santiago, Chile on 7-8 November 2019, and Johannesburg, South Africa in 2020.

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FNB Announces The 7th Franchise Leadership Summit

FNB is hosting the 7th Franchise Leadership Summit at Montecasino on Tuesday, 13 November 2018. The summit is a well-attended industry discussion amongst high calibre franchisors and industry stakeholders.

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The Summit is aptly themed “Equipping you to future proof your franchise”. The discussions will include exploring the impact of technology on the franchising industry.

To this end, Morne Cronje, Head of Franchising at FNB Business explains that “the rise in online applications in franchising means we need to find innovative ways on how to continue to grow and improve this new dimension to this already robust industry.”

The South African Fast Food Landscape Report of 2018 backs the position that Cronje speaks to as it revealed that a growing number of consumers are opting for the convenience of online delivery services when purchasing fast food, this has a far reaching impact that the Summit will begin to talk to in this year’s leg.

Related: Don’t Tread On Toes – Why Investing In A HIQ Franchise Will Offer You More Opportunities

The speaker line-up includes:

  • Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business; Marcel Klaassen, Executive Head at FNB Business: Opening address
  • Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya, Chief Economist at FNB: She will talk about the state of the economy and what it means for entrepreneurs.
  • Morne Cronje – Head of Franchising at FNB Business; Eric Parker – Franchising Consultant at Franchising Plus; Stephen Walters – GIS Specialist and Co-Founder at Fernridge Consulting & Tony da Fonseca – MD at OBC Chicken: Panel discussion on future proofing franchise.
  • Richard Mulholland – founder: Beware of the Fox, a look at the actual impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on business
  • Andy Higgins, Founder of Bidorbuy and Managing Director of uAfrica.com: Will E-commerce replace traditional retail? – How to adapt your business model.
  • Dion Chang – Trends Analyst: Pivoting your skills for the second wave of disruption.
  • Dr. Sarah Britten – Independent shopper marketing and social media strategist: Check ins and check outs – how franchises can use social media to build their businesses.
  • Dr. Rosy Ndhlovu – Founder: Social Franchising – Is this the future for Healthcare?

Cronje says the great line-up of industry experts will go beyond the digital discussion and the subsequent challenges it presents, each speaker will offer workable solutions on how to improve and navigate the move to the 4th Industrial Revolution as a business.

“Franchising is a healthy and resilient industry in South Africa. However, we need to continuously improve it and keep adapting to the ever-changing landscape. Therefore, unpacking online applications and trends in franchising is at the centre of this summit amongst other things,” concludes Cronje.

Buy tickets or find out more information on the Summit here: www.franchisesummit.co.za

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