#InnovationMonth: Firestarters ignited business creativity

Ignite! was a session of TED-style turbo-charged talks with an innovative twist that ended off the 2016 SABC Education Innovation Summit with a definitive bang. Here's what you missed from a few of this year's 'firestarters' (that's Ignite! lingo for speakers at the event).
Ignite! brought together corporate innovation thought leaders with a blend of entrepreneurs, artists and entertainers for short bursts of energy-packed innovation lessons, stories and ideas.

For example, attendees heard from The ABC Band ZA, creators of "ruban" music; Paula Quinsee, the relationship and conflict expert who authored Embracing Conflict helped attendees rediscover the human intelligence we too often neglect that’s crucial for creativity to flourish; while eight-year old Kirsty-Lea Greyling, who embodies the spirit of creativity that we all unlearn all too quickly as we grow up – or is that ‘grow down’ – explained how to make a dragon. Fitting, as she describes herself as a ‘dreamer, creator and future dragon-maker’.

One of the members of ABC Band ZA, Quinsee and Greyling.
One of the members of ABC Band ZA, Quinsee and Greyling.

Below, all three share their views of business innovation, how local business can boost the power of innovation and benefit from doing things differently and their favourite examples of how to get that sometimes risky form of creative thinking and implementation just right…

1. What does business innovation mean to you?


The ABC Band ZA: For us, it means thinking out of the box and striving to provide a service or product of the best standard with the little resources that you have.

Quinsee: Finding new ways of doing business or improving/enhancing/streamlining existing business that adds value and produces better outcomes that benefit the relevant target market.

Greyling: It means inventing/making/creating something that has never been invented before/doesn’t exist. For example, a hovercraft car to dodge traffic.

2. Tell us how local business can boost the power of innovation and benefit from doing things differently.


The ABC Band ZA: By providing service excellence and not allowing limited resources to be a hindrance, businesses can inspire an innovative culture in the market place.

Quinsee: Collaborative practice amongst businesses that enables innovation through shared ideas, platforms and thinking that ultimately enables growth of people, organisations and the country as a whole.

Greyling: Stop building buildings. Live and work in and with nature. Build tree houses. It’s nicer to be outside. And the animals will be happy.

3. What’s your favourite example of brands getting that sometimes risky form of creative thinking and implementation just right?


The ABC Band ZA: We’re inspired by the Me and You Mobile offering in the telecommunication space – a 'no-sim' contract is a first and just that unique point of difference and competitive rates made it a must-have.

Quinsee: Some good examples are Netflorist, which started off as just a flower service provider and has collaborated with other service providers to offer additional supplementary products such as jewellery, alcohol, gifts and more. Airbnb and Uber are also prime examples of creative collaborative thinking.

Greyling: I don’t really know brands. I like making experiments with ingredients you can find at home, like water + corn flour + food colouring = slime. Or make snow with baking soda, shaving cream and nice-smelling oil.

From the mouths of babes… Click here and scroll through the South African Innovation Summit hashtag #SAIS2016 for more of what you missed!

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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