Creative culture comes from within



I don’t want to burst anybody’s bubble, but I’m afraid that it is already too late to come up with the lightbulb, the Post-it note, the iPod or the internet. The same goes for powered flight, the printing press and vaccinations. Even sliced bread has already been done.

Ideas – particularly those that have changed the world or made a great deal of money – are among the most desirable of business attributes. They contain the promise of a market niche, a competitive advantage and a leap in profitability. Not surprising then that some corporations will invest vast quantities of money and time chasing the next great innovation, while start-ups with a burning idea will work night and day to try to capitalise on their potential.

It would certainly be useful if, as an organisation, you could simply employ an ideas department that clocked in for their eight hours each day and churned out a steady and never-ending stream of winning ideas that were fully prepared to take the market by storm. A creative workforce of innovators who never failed to create and who never came upon a challenge for which there wasn’t a wondrously imaginative solution.

The reality is that innovation is a far from dependable source – it won’t happen to a schedule, and its previous appearance in a particular team or individual is no guarantee of future inspiration. Some of the great inventions of history have variously come from the mind of a singular genius; the ridiculous good fortune of its inventor; or the grim pursuit of a concept in the face of near-overwhelming opposition. All are conditions that are exceptionally difficult to replicate in a different time and context, which does beg the question of how any organisation can hope to encourage a leap in its own innovative output.

From a leadership perspective, this has to come down to overall strategy. For innovation to flourish, it has to be a core part of an organisation’s values, which means, in practice, giving ideas the room to breathe.

Corporate creativity is often held back by a fundamental aversion to risk and failure. In the boardroom, this is a fear of pouring hard-earned revenue into projects that might never bear fruit. Lower down, this can be because the organisational culture might leave individuals with a perception of limited freedom to try new things. The company may appear unforgiving of failed ventures or unwilling to recognise the extra effort involved with pursuing something new. It may also simply fail to allow the time for good ideas to develop. If their employees see only fear and no benefit in creativity, then no organisation should be surprised if they appear stuck with the status quo.

Overcoming this fear of failure requires that an organisation look at its risk management processes and at how it responds to setbacks. If a workforce sees that ideas are rigorously pursued throughout an organisation then learnt from whatever the outcome, they are far more likely to embrace the challenges and risks of innovation themselves.

Another part of this is ensuring that your recruitment process is actively looking for creativity – not just for your obviously creative departments, but throughout your organisation. It is important to remember that innovation needn’t be of the scale of a truly earth-shattering idea.

Innovation for many organisations can be as much about refining processes and maximising productivity as it is with giant leaps of creativity, and this is no bad thing. A simple idea on how a basic but crucial work process can be refined could make an enormous difference to the way your organisation operates in its markets.

No organisation has a monopoly on innovation and creativity, and none can claim a consistent and unblemished flow of winning ideas. However, a business that is prepared to place a real premium on innovation and make it a pursuit in its own right is certainly going to have more success than a company that waits for inspiration to strike.

Ahmad Badr is the chief executive of Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group.

business@thenational.ae

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The National Archives, Abu Dhabi

Founded over 50 years ago, the National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the UAE, and is the oldest and richest archive relating to the Arabian Gulf.

Much of the material can be viewed on line at the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive - https://www.agda.ae/en

The Florida Project

Director: Sean Baker

Starring: Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe

Four stars

The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra by Eliot Weisman and Jennifer Valoppi
Hachette Books

The essentials

What: Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

When: Friday until March 9

Where: All main sessions are held in the InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Price: Sessions range from free entry to Dh125 tickets, with the exception of special events.

Hot Tip: If waiting for your book to be signed looks like it will be timeconsuming, ask the festival’s bookstore if they have pre-signed copies of the book you’re looking for. They should have a bunch from some of the festival’s biggest guest authors.

Information: www.emirateslitfest.com
 

THE BIO

Ms Davison came to Dubai from Kerala after her marriage in 1996 when she was 21-years-old

Since 2001, Ms Davison has worked at many affordable schools such as Our Own English High School in Sharjah, and The Apple International School and Amled School in Dubai

Favourite Book: The Alchemist

Favourite quote: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Favourite place to Travel to: Vienna

Favourite cuisine: Italian food

Favourite Movie : Scent of a Woman

 

 

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

RECORD BREAKER

Youngest debutant for Barcelona: 15 years and 290 days v Real Betis
Youngest La Liga starter in the 21st century: 16 years and 38 days v Cadiz
Youngest player to register an assist in La Liga in the 21st century: 16 years and 45 days v Villarreal
Youngest debutant for Spain: 16 years and 57 days v Georgia
Youngest goalscorer for Spain: 16 years and 57 days
Youngest player to score in a Euro qualifier: 16 years and 57 days

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

FIVE TRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE UAE BANKING

• The digitisation of financial services will continue

• Managing and using data effectively will become a competitive advantage

• Digitisation will require continued adjustment of operating models

• Banks will expand their role in the customer life through ecosystems

• The structure of the sector will change

RESULTS

Main card

Bantamweight 56.4kg: Mehdi Eljamari (MAR) beat Abrorbek Madiminbekov (UZB), Split points decision

Super heavyweight 94+kg: Adnan Mohammad (IRN) beat Mohammed Ajaraam (MAR), Split points decision

Lightweight 60kg:  Zakaria Eljamari (UAE) beat Faridoon Alik Zai (AFG), RSC round 3

Light heavyweight 81.4kg: Taha Marrouni (MAR) beat Mahmood Amin (EGY), Unanimous points decision

Light welterweight 64.5kg: Siyovush Gulmamadov (TJK) beat Nouredine Samir (UAE), Unanimous points decision

Light heavyweight 81.4kg:  Ilyass Habibali (UAE) beat Haroun Baka (ALG), KO second round

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Supy
Started: 2021
Founders: Dani El-Zein, Yazeed bin Busayyis, Ibrahim Bou Ncoula
Based: Dubai
Industry: Food and beverage, tech, hospitality software, Saas
Funding size: Bootstrapped for six months; pre-seed round of $1.5 million; seed round of $8 million
Investors: Beco Capital, Cotu Ventures, Valia Ventures and Global Ventures

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

DUBAI SEVENS 2018 DRAW

Gulf Men’s League
Pool A – Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes, Bahrain, Dubai Sports City Eagles
Pool B – Jebel Ali Dragons, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Al Ain Amblers

Gulf Men’s Open
Pool A – Bahrain Firbolgs, Arabian Knights, Yalla Rugby, Muscat
Pool B – Amman Citadel, APB Dubai Sharks, Jebel Ali Dragons 2, Saudi Rugby
Pool C – Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2, Roberts Construction, Dubai Exiles 2
Pool D – Dubai Tigers, UAE Shaheen, Sharjah Wanderers, Amman Citadel 2

Gulf U19 Boys
Pool A – Deira International School, Dubai Hurricanes, British School Al Khubairat, Jumeirah English Speaking School B
Pool B – Dubai English Speaking College 2, Jumeirah College, Dubai College A, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2
Pool C – Bahrain Colts, Al Yasmina School, DESC, DC B
Pool D – Al Ain Amblers, Repton Royals, Dubai Exiles, Gems World Academy Dubai
Pool E – JESS A, Abu Dhabi Sharks, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 1, EC

Gulf Women
Pool A – Kuwait Scorpions, Black Ruggers, Dubai Sports City Eagles, Dubai Hurricanes 2
Pool B – Emirates Firebirds, Sharjah Wanderers, RAK Rides, Beirut Aconites
Pool C – Dubai Hurricanes, Emirates Firebirds 2, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Transforma Panthers
Pool D – AUC Wolves, Dubai Hawks, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Al Ain Amblers

Gulf U19 Girls
Pool A – Dubai Exiles, BSAK, DESC, Al Maha
Pool B – Arabian Knights, Dubai Hurricanes, Al Ain Amblers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins

BACK TO ALEXANDRIA

Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

COMPANY PROFILE

Founder: Hani Abu Ghazaleh
Based: Abu Dhabi, with an office in Montreal
Founded: 2018
Sector: Virtual Reality
Investment raised: $1.2 million, and nearing close of $5 million new funding round
Number of employees: 12

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
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The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

Zidane's managerial achievements

La Liga: 2016/17
Spanish Super Cup: 2017
Uefa Champions League: 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18
Uefa Super Cup: 2016, 2017
Fifa Club World Cup: 2016, 2017

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

The biog:

From: Wimbledon, London, UK

Education: Medical doctor

Hobbies: Travelling, meeting new people and cultures 

Favourite animals: All of them 

ABU DHABI ORDER OF PLAY

Starting at 10am:

Daria Kasatkina v Qiang Wang

Veronika Kudermetova v Annet Kontaveit (10)

Maria Sakkari (9) v Anastasia Potapova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Ons Jabeur (15)

Donna Vekic (16) v Bernarda Pera 

Ekaterina Alexandrova v Zarina Diyas

Essentials

The flights
Etihad and Emirates fly direct from the UAE to Delhi from about Dh950 return including taxes.
The hotels
Double rooms at Tijara Fort-Palace cost from 6,670 rupees (Dh377), including breakfast.
Doubles at Fort Bishangarh cost from 29,030 rupees (Dh1,641), including breakfast. Doubles at Narendra Bhawan cost from 15,360 rupees (Dh869). Doubles at Chanoud Garh cost from 19,840 rupees (Dh1,122), full board. Doubles at Fort Begu cost from 10,000 rupees (Dh565), including breakfast.
The tours 
Amar Grover travelled with Wild Frontiers. A tailor-made, nine-day itinerary via New Delhi, with one night in Tijara and two nights in each of the remaining properties, including car/driver, costs from £1,445 (Dh6,968) per person.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5