Etisalat hosts innovation guru at 2014 MasterClass

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In furtherance of its commitment to empowering businesses and contributing to the economic development of Nigeria, Etisalat Nigeria recently hosted distinguished professor of innovation and leadership at INSEAD Business School, France, Prof Hal Gregersen, at the 2014 BusinessDay Competitive Strategy MasterClass in Lagos.

Themed “Creating a Competitive Advantage through Innovation,” the event focused on strategy, leadership and competition, as solutions for both private and public enterprises.

The MasterClass focused on getting teams in organisations involved in bridging the gap between potential and actual national output and was attended by business owners, executives and other relevant stakeholders.

During the MasterClass, Director, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada disclosed that the company subsidised the cost of the lecture by 50 per cent for its subscribers, as a way of encouraging participation by small and medium scale entrepreneurs, because Etisalat lays priority on innovation as a key business pillar.

“We believe that the only way we could make a difference in the market having joined Nigeria’s telecoms industry as the last entrant was by being innovative. We define innovation as passionately going the extra mile by increasing the notch of value added to customers and raising the bar of quality of service. Innovation is all we do,’ he said.

Dada said the products and services rolled out by Etisalat were all created to meet the customer’s business and communication needs. “One of such products is our EasyBusiness which combines SMS, data and voice calls for a minimal monthly fee so that the enterprise owner can call as many staff as possible with ease.

“Also, gone are the days when customers were apprehensive about roaming. Now, our customers experience true value for money. Beyond the products we are rolling out, we have also used this platform to bring customers together, so that they can learn from world-class innovators. They would gain the capacity to do things differently, add extra value to customers and improve their profit potentials,” Dada said.

Lead speaker and author of ‘The Innovator’s DNA,’ Prof Gregersen spoke at two sessions; ‘The Innovators DNA’ which focused on mastering five skills of disruptive innovators and ‘The DNA’ which centered on people, processes, and philosophies of innovative companies.

According to Prof Gregersen, ‘Solving problems is what innovations are meant for. With innovation, we can make changes and a difference in our businesses and world. Like children, we need to start asking better questions and looking at issues or needs differently.

“The only way to work our way through challenges is to innovate, get a new idea or solve them differently. Ideas that have lasting impact do not happen overnight. It takes hard work to go out of one’s way to gather different viewpoint, systematically making observations to figure out what is going on by paying careful attention, talking to different people for a different angle on the challenges, getting more data and more information.”

He counseled people seeking to succeed at innovation to “Look for surprises that enable you to step back and get an answer to solve a need differently. Innovation must be done differently and it is everyday work.”

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