The a-ha moment

Harnessing creativity

15 May 2020 | Banking

Dr Rikus Grobler believes that people's creative ideas are every organisation's superpower – it just needs to be harnessed. He says his ability to recognise, believe in, and propagate this superpower is his own corporate superpower.
Grobler is not only the manager of innovation at the Capricorn Group, he is also a published author of a book on innovation.
While he studied engineering at the University of Stellenbosch, he has since broadened and diversified his expertise and skills. “After I graduated, I started working in Windhoek at Namibia Beverages (Coca-Cola) as a production manager in 1999. Subsequently, I worked in the information technology, consulting, and financial services industries and I tried a couple of ventures on my own as well,” Grobler says.
In his continued journey of self-discovery and to quench his thirst for knowledge, Grobler studied part-time in various fields. Over the past 13 years, he has obtained a law degree, an MBA, and a PhD.
“At the Capricorn Group I am responsible for supporting the company in developing and implementing a strategy to move to a greater degree of direct ownership of innovation that provides sustainable differentiation for new and existing products or services,” he says.
Grobler develops and leads the innovation strategy, design and implements the processes and tools to make innovation happen, to grow the culture and values that foster innovation in the business, and develop employee’s innovation skills.
“Regarding the importance of innovation, for me, there is one quote that summarises best why the pursuit of constant innovation is crucial. It is by the influential writer and management consultant Peter Drucker, who says that innovation is the only competitive advantage a company really has, because quality improvements and price reductions can be replicated, as can technology. Therefore, if a company could have just one major capability, it should be innovation.”
Grobler believes that people are inherently creative and have the potential to come up with great ideas to solve problems and exploit opportunities.
“What I enjoy most about my job and what motivates me every day, is when someone comes up with a useful idea and the idea is implemented, and it adds value to the business and our customers. There is nothing quite as exciting as when you are stuck with a problem, and then someone has that ‘a-ha’ moment!" he enthuses.

“There is no one true universally accepted definition for innovation. What every organisation views as innovation depends on how it is applied in the relevant context,” he says. “But what is innovation then if one single definition for it does not exist? The answer is that all the different meanings have some common denominators.”
Grobler has narrowed it down to the following three concepts that every interpretation of innovation contains in some or other form: novelty (newness), implementation, and value.
“The novelty concept is the true definition of the word. You cannot just copy and paste innovation, because it has to be novel in some form. The implementation concept is easy to explain. If you have a great idea and you do nothing about it that is all it is – an idea. An idea must be implemented for it to be innovation. Value refers to value in any form. If it does not have value for someone in some form, it is not innovation.”
Admittedly, the concept of innovation has changed and evolved throughout the years. “The two realities every business faces, is that there will always be competition, and that the market environment changes continuously. These changes can manifest in many forms. The organisation will experience the impact of change on the bottom line, growth, or the most significant one, sustainability,” he adds.
Grobler believes that an organisation’s survival within economically challenging times has become more difficult. “The principle of survival of the fittest has and will never change. To be the fittest, you need to outsmart your competitors and adapt to the changing circumstances to your best benefit.”
He is the author of the book Innovation Made Simple: A quick reference guide on organisational innovation for busy managers.
“It is a grand and exciting idea to decide you want to write a book. After a while, you realise it is a much bigger undertaking than you originally thought and requires a lot of commitment. So many times, the project stood still and I got stuck, but then you go and sit down again and just write one more paragraph.
Grobler has a real passion for innovation, invention and creativity. He has built up a wealth of knowledge on innovation through diligently studying and applying the subject-matter and engaging and learning from thought-leaders across the world.
“People's ideas made a difference in the whole history of humankind; simple ideas and complex ideas, little ideas, and big ideas. What unknown genius first discovered the wheel? Who was the person who discovered wheat could be made into bread? Our whole world is defined by the people who had the ideas that made possible the automobile, the bridge, the skyscraper, the airplane, the ocean liner, the telephone, the light which turns night into day. Innovation is your silver bullet for survival,” Grobler says.
“Innovation is not always something big like putting a man on the moon or the next technological gadget. Every idea counts. It does not matter if it is big or small or if it fits the criteria of newness, implementation and value. It is innovation and it can make a difference,” he concludes.

Similar News


Attitude is everything

6 days ago - 25 September 2020 | Banking

Mariselle StofbergWith his people relationships and excellent communication skills, Chris Matthee understands the importance of listening and communicating clearly and with the appropriate level of...

I won't muzzle Fishrot probe - !Gawaxab

1 week ago - 18 September 2020 | Banking

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKBank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab has scoffed at claims that his appointment as the head of the central bank was politically motivated and...

Bank Windhoek announces new executive appointments

4 weeks ago - 03 September 2020 | Banking

Bank Windhoek has announced the appointment of its new chief financial officer, Zenaune Kamberipa, effective 1 September 2020. Kamberipa will be taking over from...

Nedbank launches financial booklet

4 weeks ago - 03 September 2020 | Banking

The second edition of the Nedbank Financial Education booklet was launched in the capital on Monday.The booklet was created with the aim of enhancing the...

Compassion with no boundaries

1 month - 28 August 2020 | Banking

MARISELLE STOFBERGHeleen Ries von Bergen’s story is one rooted in giving unconditional love, being authentic and brave enough to make choices that are best for...

Driven and passionate

1 month - 28 August 2020 | Banking

The 40-year-old Tomas Koneka Iindji is a positive, hardworking banker with over 20 years of banking experience. He strives to always achieve the highest standard...

SME Bank depositors to lose 75% of their cash

1 month - 27 August 2020 | Banking

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKDepositors who held money with the now defunct SME Bank have been told that they should expect to receive 25 cents for every N$1...

BoN uncovers 12 pyramid schemes

1 month - 19 August 2020 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) in 2019 and 2020 conducted investigations into 12 suspected illegal financial pyramid schemes uncovered in the country, its deputy director...

Bank Windhoek releases Green Bond Impact Report

2 months ago - 22 July 2020 | Banking

Bank Windhoek this week published its first Green Impact Report. The report details projects that received funding from its NSX listed Green Bond proceeds and...

Savvy business banking: Single pricing fee choices make sense

2 months ago - 13 July 2020 | Banking

Running a business can be stressful. Managing your money shouldn't be. Does your bank provide you with choices and helpful banking solutions by devising flexible...

Latest News

Quota auction disaster

18 hours ago | Fishing

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKA series of schoolboy errors has led to a massive failure of the government’s recent fish quota auction, which netted the state a paltry...

Uutoni has final say on...

18 hours ago | Government

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUUrban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni will have the last say as to whether 83.1738 hectares of land at Divundu in the Kavango...

Govt spends N$2.3bn to buy...

18 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe government has spent N$2.3 billion on the acquisition of 558 farms measuring 3.4 million hectares to resettle landless Namibians to date.The government started...

Nam tourism sector observes world...

18 hours ago | Business

By Ndalimpinga IitaTourism enterprises and operators in Namibia organized excursions to mark the World Tourism Day.At a popular heritage site in the Namibian capital Windhoek,...

Youth must stand up and...

18 hours ago | Opinion

Young Namibians have historically been the torchbearers of every revolution we have come to experience.In fact, that’s the story everywhere in Africa. Nelson Mandela, Yoweri...

Snared Etosha elephant calf rescued

18 hours ago | Environment

FRANCOISE STEYNBERGWINDHOEKAn elephant calf that was spotted near Namutoni in the Etosha National Park with a wire snare cutting deep into the flesh of its...

Nam upper middle-income classification misleading

18 hours ago | Economics

Namibia has a small population and is endowed with natural resources however, the country faces ongoing impediments to realising its developmental aspirations, said president Hage...

Six arrested for wildlife crimes

18 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSix suspects have been arrested in connection with wildlife crimes and two new cases were registered last week.Three of the suspects were arrested for...

Swapo processes under fire

18 hours ago | Politics

OTIS FINCKWALVIS BAYAccording to an aggrieved group, Swapo leaders assigned to the Erongo Region baffled members in the districts by pushing through disputed candidate nominations...

Load More