My Top Three Innovations from The ABP Conference 2017 Miriam Luke

Miriam Luke - October 2017

All organisations are fully aware of the importance of innovation to continue to delight customers and stay ahead of the competition. Innovation doesn't need to be complex, sometimes the simplest of ideas can remove barriers and deliver value.

At Getfeedback we work with our clients to transform cultures through behavioural change. Attending the ABP Conference my goal was to find a few nuggets that would help me consider new innovations to help deliver behavioural change.

I came away brimming with enthusiasm for the future of business psychology and the massive impact that it is having in helping grow leaders, develop teams and improve the culture of organisations. Ultimately improving 21st Century workplaces.

My top three innovative yet simple solutions were:

Developing virtual teams using virtual facilitation.

We specialise in taking a strength based approach to building high performing teams. The need for building high performance teams has never been greater but harder to achieve. Teams are often spread in multiple locations, more complex in constitution and often working virtually with travel budgets under pressure. Many offsite face to face group meetings are cancelled last minute or don't get off the ground due to cost. Organisations that can create environments for teamwork despite these limitations will excel and outperform those that don't.

Ruth Patel from OPP shared her experience of using a virtual facilitator to organise and run virtual team off sites. They highlighted the success of approaches using Movi, VC and Webex. Advice to ensure success included the need for detailed planning and well tested and reliable technology. My own experience also highlights the need for facilitators who have strong social and emotional intelligence and experience communicating remotely.

To be effective teams must develop trust. Regular communication to agree objectives, establish relationships, resolve conflicts and review progress is a key component of this. So as teams learn and adapt to working virtually and technology advances, the virtual offsite may become the most cost effective and also environmentally friendly option!

Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Google and Amazon are upheld as the most innovative mega companies, but is copying what they do and replicating this approach in our organisations the answer? Surprisingly the country with the most entrepreneurs is allegedly Guinea in Africa, followed by Nigeria and Rwanda.

What do all entrepreneurs have in common?


70% of them fail and don't grow.


Perhaps we don't want a lot of failure in our organisation. Not surprisingly, most managers suppress innovation due to their fear of failure and the ensuing penalties.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

So what makes an innovative organisation? Dr Gorkan Ahmetoglu from Meta Profiling shared his research and tools for how organisations can transform to become more entrepreneurial.

It is a function of people that create an entrepreneurial ecosystem and the culture in which they work.

So the 'how to' tools are:

  • A flat hierarchy
  • Let employees decide the innovative projects to work on
  • Invest in R&D
  • Take risks and encourage failure
  • Build diverse teams that have a balance of innovative disruptors and those who can execute ideas, in a ratio of 1:2


Finally; 21st Century leaders of innovative people and teams have vision, can take charge and keep calm and optimistic under pressure.

Creating an environment in which innovation can flourish is perhaps the number one behavioural challenge for many organisations today. These simple guidelines can help.

Creating a Culture of Improvement using 'talk' as the medium for change.

Giving feedback is a gift but why is it so difficult to do in a way that lands well and drives improvement? The answer often lies in fear and relational damage; fear of offending someone, fear of not being heard and fear that nothing will change.

How do we feedback to our people to drive improvement? As a leadership coach I know there is a balance between ask and tell and have also found data and analytics help to bring objectivity to the feedback process.

At the ABP Conference 'SoundWave Analytics' demonstrated how they have been able to use on line analytics to raise self-awareness of an individuals preferred style of giving feedback and then to develop the individuals skill to flex feedback style. This varied from inquiry and probing, to critiquing and correcting and, to challenging and advising. Their work developed leaders to flex their style and create the opportunities for feedback interaction and recognition.

Giving and receiving feedback can create a culture of continuous improvement and change. For some this comes naturally, for most it is a skill that is learnt. The science of analytics like 360 degree feedback and sound wave analytics certainly helps. are a Talent Management organisation that provide consultancy, services and tools to support business challenges throughout the talent lifecycle.

We are hosting an event with our clients and partners to explore 21st Century Leadership. This will take place on the 9th November the in central London. If you would like to attend please contact me on