The world around us is evolving at an ever increasing pace, says Unlocking Potential programme director, Allyson Glover. The way we work, play, consume and communicate is constantly changing. Businesses who recognise these changes and harness the opportunities they bring are the ones that will survive and thrive.

What are you doing to keep up? How will you seize the opportunities?

We’ve hosted some of Europe’s most interesting entrepreneurs and cutting edge thinkers at our Connect events. What we learnt is becoming more pertinent as we head into a year of significant change around the world.

Prof Eddie Obeng, learning director at Pentacle, suggested the best way to be successful now and in the future is to do something about the future, now.

Small businesses face the challenge of making the time to innovate, but with the pace of change outstripping our ability to understand it, it’s essential to make time for things that you can do to add value now, building the right platform for the future.

David Gram, senior innovation director at Lego advocates ‘disrupting yourself’ before anybody else disrupts you. That means not only identifying what might be disruptive to your business, but finding the right response. Radical innovation is the name of the game: be proactive, not reactive.

Test new ideas on a small scale – fail fast and respond quickly – and you’ll be ahead of your competitors. And don’t forget the richest source of information and inspiration are your clients. Ignore them at your peril – someone else will be listening if you’re not.

But when you’re busy running your business now, how do you stick your head above the parapet and look beyond today? How do you define your strategy, and create the time and space to execute it? How do you get the market insights you need, and bring in the new resources you need, be they people, knowledge, collaborators or equipment?

I believe in the power of learning from the best, and building a network around you who can help you achieve your ambitions. In early 2017 we’re launching a new ERDF funded service that will help you answer these and other questions. We’ll be bringing more of the best new thinking to Cornwall, and taking Cornish businesses out to learn from businesses across the UK. Our Connect events are returning, and with them a whole host of new tools you can access.

So, in 2017, look to the future, seize opportunities and make an impact. Sign up for our newsletter, get in touch or simply follow us online. Be the first to know when these services are available and stay ahead of the game.


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