Tackling change

Inside Business: Large companies need clear objectives when they go down the capital venture route or they may well get lost, writes Roger Trapp

INNOVATION is the Holy Grail for much of business, but it is an indication of just how difficult it can be to attain that London Business School has become the latest organisation to attempt to lighten the task, writes Roger Trapp.

Its Innovation Exchange, launched this month as a joint move with the Marketing Council, is being billed as a forum for helping companies help themselves develop innovation processes that are "accessible, relevant and sustainable".

The development is strongly backed by Tony Greener, chairman of Diageo and director of the Marketing Council, which was set up three years ago to help businesses expand through marketing. It has the support of the organisation's 150 member companies. But, according to the school, the idea is that the exchange will become the "key reference point for any company seeking an innovative, customer-focused breakthrough". The initiative is designed to encourage companies to share ideas and will offer an extensive range of research, data and on-line services.

Rob Goffee, professor of organisational behaviour at LBS, will oversee the venture, to be based in a facility on the edge of London's Regent's Park. He sees the exchange as both a physical and virtual networked forum aimed at encouraging companies to swap success and failures.

"Innovation cannot be forced. One must rather create the conditions in which it can flourish," he says, adding that one of the aims of the exchange will be to assist understanding of how to create the right conditions for innovation.

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