If you aren't innovating, you are going backwards

Richard Branson

Spent the past few days in London thinking about business and innovation. The two words are not used in the same sentence enough - unless the words "needs more" are put between them.

Innovation is the lifeblood of successful businesses. If you aren't innovating, you are going backwards. We launched The B Team yesterday, a global non-profit incubated by Virgin Unitethat wants to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritises people and the planet alongside profit.

The B Team leaders have all had success in various business sectors by taking calculated risks and not simply standing back to admire their achievements. They want to keep innovating.

There were plenty more keen innovators at the Founders Forum for Good, where everything from talking robots, to new social initiatives, to brilliant bike light idea Blaze Components, showcased the spirit of innovation is alive and kicking. There was a great spirit of optimism and listening. You can see Holly above flying a helicopter using brain power alone!

Today we are at the G8 Innovation Conference. Rohan Silva talked about how Tech City in the UK has gone from 200 companies to nearly 2000 in a few short years. I spoke about the importance of failure for eventual success. A young entrepreneur in the audience called Ben Stevenson illustrated my point perfectly (he wasn't a plant, honest!)

His first business, an augmented reality project, has just failed. But he said he had learned more through going broke than he had at any other point. He was optimistic about starting another business and we offered him our help. Often, the second time around is more likely to work than the first.

As long as you keep an open mind, the path from an initial idea will lead you to many other brilliant ideas. Out of these, the businesses of the future will be born.

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