Illustrious Professor Wim Vanhaverbeke, professor of Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship at University of Surrey and ESADE Visiting professor and open innovation and Dr Tony Raven, CEO of Cambridge University Enterprise since 2011, are faculties on TEXEM’s forthcoming programme Leading And Driving Innovation For Success During Tough Times scheduled to hold between 26-27 May. Under Dr Tony Raven’s leadership, the number of spin-outs created by Cambridge University Enterprise, where Dr Tony Raven is the CEO, has gone up by 250%. The Cambridge University Enterprise venture funding capacity has grown by 730%. Compared to its
international peers, the Cambridge University Enterprise generates more licences per £/$ of research funding and the lowest cost per license. Compared to its global peers, it generates more licences per £/$ of research funding and the lowest cost per licence. Also, Cambridge University spin-outs have raised the largest amount of investment in total over the past five years.

Starting in academia and before coming back into academia, Tony had a long history as a successful technology entrepreneur. The companies Dr Tony Raven has founded include Summit Technology, the pioneer of laser refractive surgery, which Nestle Alcon acquired in 2000 for $893 million; publicly quoted Cambridge technology consultancy Sagentia plc; and Diomed Inc., a pioneer of surgical diode lasers, which was listed in the US in 2002 before being acquired by Angiodynamics Inc. in 2008. Dr Tony Raven shares insights into why leading and driving innovation in tough times is critical and why executives should attend TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming programme slated to hold later this month in this interview.

– Why is it necessary for all leaders to be innovative?

It is not necessary to be innovative in everything you do. Still, if your organisation does not innovate in its core products and services, others will do it for you vide Kodak, Nokia, Blackberry, Polaroid…… Better to obsolete your products and services with innovations than have someone else do it for you.

– Is organisational success attainable during tough times?

Absolutely. It is easy to prosper in good times, but it needs good leadership and management with a clear focus on how to thrive in tough times. Moreover, when you emerge from the tough times, the well-managed companies that are still standing will have a market cleared of the less well-managed competitors that did not make it.

– How could executives optimise the benefits of virtual executive development programmes?

This is not an exercise in cut and paste what you have heard/learnt. It’s about stimulating you
to think deeply about your context and how to make it work for you. As my mentor said to
me, “Don’t follow what’s written in the leadership textbooks, do the things the next textbooks
will be written about”. There is a whole range of successful leadership styles out there, from
autocratic to leaderless.
Work out which one is you, and then be true to yourself. Very few can carry off the sustained
act of being someone they are not. During this forthcoming programme, Prof Wim and I
would be leveraging TEXEM’s tested and proven methodology to deliver a truly exciting,
inspiring and valuable experience on how to win through innovation.

Dr. Tony Raven, CEO, Cambridge University Enterprise

– What are the skills necessary to drive innovation?

A mind that is open to new possibilities and a belief that you will succeed. We will be
exploring this and more during this programme.

– What’s the role of the leader during tough times?

To act early, understand the environment or potential environment, share your vision and
communicate, communicate, communicate what is happening and what you want from the team.

– What would happen if leaders refuse to innovate?

Others will do it for you and take your business from you in the process. This TEXEM’s forthcoming leadership programme will offer valuable insights into this.

– How can leaders spot opportunities in tough times and harness them?

Tough times are the best times for spotting opportunities and doing something about them because everyone sees the imperative to change. The most challenging times to innovate are the good times where complacency is the enemy of doing something new. Would we have discovered all the new ways in which we now work if the pandemic hadn’t forced it to happen?

– Why is Texem Uk’s Leading and Driving Innovation programme important for all executives to attend?

There are three types of people: those that make things happen, those that watch things happen or those that wonder what’s happened. Innovation is the way you make things happen.

This programme leading and driving innovation in tough times would inspire you on how to be a successful innovative leader.

No executive and aspiring strategic leader can afford to miss this programme. Participant such as CEOs, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Innovation Officers, Head of Product Development, Human Resource Managers, General Managers, Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Accounting Officers, and Chief Procurement Officers are welcome on this programme.
In addition, participants could include Chief Publicity Officers, Chief Commercial Officers, Chief Sales Officers, Chief Technical Officers, Chief Learning Officers and everyone else who occupies a leadership position. Dear visionary leader, this TEXEM UK’s leadership programme is a rare opportunity to glean valuable and requisite actionable insights to thrive irrespective of your challenging and fast-paced operating context. You can choose to apply as an individual or as a group from your organisation.

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