|– Start believing you are creative|
|VANDERBIJLPARK. – Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for sources of innovation, changes and their symptoms that indicate opportunities for successful innovation.
That was the message of a high level speaker at the SMME conference recently held at the Emerald Resort & Casino.
Paul started his career in retail and quickly rose to a senior management position, and has subsequently founded numerous companies. He is currently the Managing Director of Tax Radar Underwriters, a specialized tax insurance business. He is also the Chairman of Kairos Projects, which is a foundation focusing on youth leadership development, which he established 14 years ago.
Paul has consulted on four continents in 23 countries; he has worked with numerous organisations, both in the private and public sectors, and is a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars.
Paul has been involved with organisational strategic development, performance management, specialised recruitment and leadership development for the past 25 years.
According to Paul, innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service.
ΓÇ£Innovation can be presented as a discipline; it can be learned and it can be practiced,ΓÇ¥ he told conference-goers
ΓÇ£Innovation enhances a businessΓÇÖs performance; it increases a businessΓÇÖs competitive advantage and can transform a businessΓÇÖs┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á internal capabilities.
ΓÇ£Innovation is about new ideas but the key to success is to take these ideas and put them into action,ΓÇ¥ was his advice to young entrepreneurs.
There are, however, a few ΓÇ£donΓÇÖtsΓÇ¥ regarding innovation that entrepreneurs should keep in mind, he warned.
ΓÇ£DonΓÇÖt become an ideas junkie. DonΓÇÖt confuse ideas with hard work. DonΓÇÖt forget to bounce your ideas off others. DonΓÇÖt be afraid to think creatively. DonΓÇÖt become critical of others and donΓÇÖt forget to be grateful for your great ideas.ΓÇ¥
But how can a person become innovative, especially if one did not have the opportunity to grow up in a family or school environment where innovation and creativity were stimulated?
– Paul gave the following tips:
ΓÇ£Learn the art of ΓÇÿrightΓÇÖ thinking. Start belie┬¡ving that you are creative. Read books that will stimulate your mind and stop watching junk on TV. Find a mentor and spend time with people who are innovative and successful. Speak sense and look for opportunities,ΓÇ¥ was his straight-forward advice.
* The SMME conference for upcoming entrepreneurs was organised by the Emerald Foundation and Lusa Community Chest, together with other roleplayers such as Vaalweekblad and Ster, the printmedia sponsors.