“The Imperative of Innovation in times of Covid-19” via Zoom

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
When:June 23, 2020 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Where:Zoom Meeting
Contact:Beth Kingsley-Rowe

01383 223353

Panellists: Derek Norwood, Kirsty McIntosh and Geoff Marlow 

Summary for the SIBL Executive Forum

“Innovation distinguishes between being a leader and being a follower” Steve Jobs

In many varied ways we have all been going through a period of rapid change – probably both personally and professionally during the Covid-19 pandemic. As leaders the above quote hits the nail on the head whether we are looking simply to survive or are seeking new opportunities to harness. Certainly, what we have always done will not work anymore.

The panel approach offers a unique taster session that taps into the different areas of speciality & expertise of our panel of “experts in innovation”, Delegates will explore how innovation is an essential objective and item on board agendas for businesses right now.

Empirical mini-case-studies of “the Imperative of Innovation” in practice

The following link is an example of how some organisations have used innovation to adapt, and consider the wider ranging implications.


The objectives for this workshop are to:

–       Challenge our thinking in respect of being in a new environment & operational reality.

–       Recognise and discuss barriers to innovation within our own field of operations.

–       Consider opportunities for collaboration

–       Discuss and share insights  a range of areas of expertise.

–       Encourage exploration and investment in innovation during unprecedented times

–       Take advantage of the “surgery” offered by the expert speakers to raise our issues

–       Ensure that Innovation is indelibly high on our board agendas and key “to do” lists


This executive forum will consist of a panel of experts, all of whom have different backgrounds and areas of interest, but what they all share is a focus on innovation. We will have the opportunity to hear from the panel members. They will each have time to either tell their story, make a presentation, or just express their passion to provide us with an introduction to their perspectives on the imperative of Innovation in times of Covid-19”. Thereafter we will have the opportunity to work in smaller teams in our own “surgeries” with a dedicated expert to consider what is happening in our worlds just now, to ask questions, discuss barriers and develop positive thinking.

Keynote Speakers Profiles

What they look like

Derek Norwood

Kirsty McIntosh

Geoff Marlow

What their LinkedIn profile says about them
Derek runs his own consultancy and also interim COO of a small Scottish Biotechnology business.He spent 27yrs with Devro plc, including 15 as a senior executive devising and leading strategic product & process innovation and investment programmes which delivered significant EBIT growth. He was part of the leadership group which created Biofilm Ltd in 2004 and he directed the group’s IP strategy for about 20yrs.His career started with the fastest growing division of International Paint plc (was part of Courtaulds plc which was undergoing huge change in the mid-80s) and innovation was a way of life.

He’s been a member of  Scottish Government’s CanDo Innovation Forum since its inception in 2015, and often wonders about where the time has gone since he graduated (Hons Chemistry) in 1984; whilst maximising time to cycle and spend with family and friends.

Working with business leaders to define their role and deliver their innovation aspirations. I’m an ideas engine, able to think differently and make connections you may not be able to see in the current climate.With a varied business background spanning more than 30 years, I have many a tale to tell of being on the receiving end of different styles of leadership. I’ve learned to recognise what does and does not inspire me to give my work everything I’ve got.I seek to show organisations that at its most basic level, innovation simply means identifying what needs to be done and working out how to do it well. The tricky bits are how we communicate with, inspire and reward the people who are best placed to do that.

An organisation’s future-fit innovation & agility muscles can only be developed by the people who work there.That’s why hiring an external consulting ‘team’ to do the heavy lifting is the single biggest mistake you can make.Over the past 30 years I’ve helped organisations throughout Europe, Asia and the US to create a culture that’s fit for an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) future.

Many had previously allowed big consulting firms to import and impose their so-called ‘best practices’ – only to find that after all the upheaval and expense, things ended up worse than before.

How can YOU take low risk, high-leverage action to:
• cut through cultural complexity & confusion?
• resolve misunderstandings & misalignments?
• create a future-fit culture that unblocks, unlocks and unleashes individual & collective greatness?

How they answered the question when they were asked “What is your area of expertise in innovation (in the current situation)?”
I believe “innovation is a behaviour and not a job”. That said, all my jobs have been leading the practical delivery of innovation.At its heart a business only has a product or service and a paying customer. Innovation is needed to create the product, connect it with the customer and keeps them connected.The pandemic has forced huge change on business models and all our lives. Innovation capability and willingness to support it will separate the successes from failures, as has always been the case. I’m very passionate about making sure innovation isn’t seen as just invention or the privilege of the executive and therefore ‘not my job’. My biggest concern right now is that ‘innovation’ is becoming a dirty word. Something to roll your eyes at when you hear it.Every business has been forced to change because of Covid-19. If we could just show them that with the right culture and willingness to share the process, they can choose the nature of the next phase of that change.  My expertise is in helping people create a culture of innovation so their organisation is fit for an increasingly VUCA future.


a) If you would like to attend this invitation to participate a Zoom access code will be sent out.


b) This is the last scheduled event for the 2019-20 learning year. So this is a social event, as well as an important learning opportunity so BYOB and snacks, for informal & friendly chat.

c) nb The show and tell activity – bring an item from your home which demonstrates what  “innovation” means for you).

Current Programme