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27 January 2017

10 key takeaways from Mirum Opus


MiriumIn January 2017, Mirum pledged to demystify innovation with eight talks from industry heavyweights and a start-up trail blazers. The result was Mirum Opus, an event designed to debunk and rebuild our understanding of Innovation. A tall order when even the word itself has become convoluted.

Nevertheless, there are still people who know what truly new ideas look like and here are 10 key takeaways:

“Before the tsunami there are tectonic shifts”

“Look for the warning signs and react to them,” was the advice of Adobe’s Vijayanta Gupta. He identified two main trends with critical mass, IOT and AI, the knowledge and infrastructure exists now comes the application. Vijayanta spoke of Moore’s Law and its downward price curve which he thinks it will rapidly increase the creative use of said tech for a tsunami of change

Deliver micro moments

Micro moments are sequences of unpredictable but intent driven actions. Consumers aren’t immersing themselves with brands for long periods of time. They want immediate results delivered in bite size chunks. This doesn’t just mean that marketing communications need to be succinct. It means that people are online more than ever before but in short bursts, so the experience of a brand needs to be tailored to this behaviour.

Ai doesn’t have to be independent

AI has been a hot topic over the last few months. There’s trepidation and fear towards the impact it will have. Are all our careers at risk? Adam Levene, Founder, Hero says it doesn’t have to be that way, that we can work in tandem and use AI to enable our workforce. His conversational commerce platform does just that, it automates queries, allowing sales assistants the time to sell. AI can liberate all sorts of workforces from bulky and repetitive tasks to solve more human problems.

You can’t buy your way to the top

Billions are spent on R&D every year but the disparity between what is spent and what is created is far from ideal. Throwing funds into research rather than backing ideas was the key takeaway. Almost every speaker had statistics to emphasise this point - you can’t buy innovation. Inspire your teams to be inherently creative and back their plans when they show promise, rather than funding an entire department.

Give innovation a platform

Whether it’s brain swarming, banishing the fear of failure or creating an idea ecosystem, it’s key to give innovation a genuine platform. Your team needs to understand it’s importance. Don’t hide the projects or the failures, share and learn from them. Matt Webb, Mirum CTO, described this as a maker culture and other speakers like Akin Akintola from Nokia and Katz Kiely of Kiely and Co echoed the sentiment.

Make time to ideate

Running parallel to the talks at Mirum Opus was a 5-hour workshop. The team, comprised of Mirum and WaterAid colleagues, were tasked with solving a global hygiene problem. The teams had to think of new initiatives that could reinforce the behaviour of handwashing in a unique and disruptive fashion. Despite time constraints and countless distractions, the teams created many solutions and presented 3 to a packed crowd. If you don’t have time to ideate then you make time.


They say speed kills; in this case, it kills failure. Fail fast until you innovate.

Big and small companies can innovate

Big companies are cumbersome and small companies have no resources so neither of them can innovate? Of course they can, there are plenty of examples to prove this wrong. AirBnB doesn’t own a single room, Casper Mattresses sold £1 million in stock in their first 28 days and Nokia has £150 billion in patents, some of which they never put into production! The diversity of innovation was reflected in the audience which attracted industrial caterers, FMCG brands, Toy makers and many more. The application of radically new strategy is the essence of innovation and it applies to anyone.

It takes character

“CEOs who were rated as having high character by their employees see a higher return on investment,” said Tony Markovski, Head of Innovation and Emerging Technologies, Mirum. Many of the speakers over the course of the day shared similar sentiments. Innovation comes from the top and the bottom of an organisation and it must be ever-present. There isn’t a quick fix or answer to a business problem, that’s what makes it so hard, it takes a patient and understanding CEO to direct a team of innovators.

Data is the new oil

Web content spawned the CMS, customer touchpoints created the CRM and now our purchases are creating their own data. The internet of things is the new environment primed for innovation. The most successful businesses of today are specialists at data management and connect this into data stories. IOT is intrinsic to the future of customer micro moments. It is truly a tectonic shift.

Mirum Opus told us that the old rules no longer apply. A 21st century market leader has to innovate, does your business know how to do that?

By Dominik Kondziela, Client Services Manager, Mirum


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