According to our 2015 student survey, almost 50% of students say that innovative thinking is the most important skill that they would like to develop! We decided we needed to find out a bit more about this key skill; is it just useful for aspiring entrepreneurs or should everyone learn how to think innovatively? Thankfully, our Business & Innovation Advisor for the north, Dawn Shand, has stepped in to give us the details!
The advisory team often has students commenting that they would love to be in business but just can’t think of an idea. In reality many of our successful student businesses are not reinventing the wheel but rather tweaking something which is already out there or applying existing technology in a way which hasn’t been done before (see Trtl and Recoil Knnepads). When you start to put the customer first and think about how you might make their life better in some way then the ideas start to flow. Just taking the time to look at the environment around you is a great place to start.
We also find that employers are constantly asking for evidence of innovative thinking. Getting involved in developing a new business idea is a great way to demonstrate this. We have some great examples of students who have done just that and who seem to leap-frog over others if they decide to take the employment route later. They have so much more to say at interview and the employer is reassured that they will be recruiting someone who is motivated and will add value to the company.
So, turns out innovative thinking is a great skill for everyone to have, no matter what they plan to do after university or college. The good news is, SIE can help! There are lots of SIE activities that can challenge you and help you to think innovatively like our competitions, masterclasses and workshops. If you’d like to attend one of these events, keep an eye on our website.
If you’d like to get in touch with Dawn or one of our other Business and Innovation Advisors, you can email them directly using this form.