Namaqualand Daisy
Using innovation to break cultural, social and economic barriers

Many of the country’s aspiring female entrepreneurs remain constrained by cultural, social and economic barriers. How can we use innovation to break down these barriers and unlock the potential economic spark in South African businesswomen?
Innovation Rules in my opinion but unfortunately there are barriers that influence the success in my opinion.

The single biggest reason why most organizations and individuals do not achieve their full potential is fear of failure. There are no guarantees that any new idea will work. We must accept failing is an important part of learning, development, and progress.

Lack of leadership
Innovation must be led from the top. Often, trustees, chief executives, and directors do not support or are not in agreement as to the strategic importance of innovation as a business driver and what it would look like for their organization. Consequently, they continue to do what they have always done.

Short term thinking
Most Companies calculate on one year return on investment. Any new innovation is expected to have an immediate impact. Under the pressure to deliver return quickly we conduct inadequate research and rush processes, leading to failure, the idea being ditched and innovation being perceived as not working.

Lack of resource/capacity
Linked to thinking in the short term, companies are apprehensive about investing in something that does not have a guaranteed return on investment and often takes a scattergun approach to innovation or under-resourced it. This has a knock-on effect of it not delivering the impact that it should or could.

Lack of collaboration
Internal budgeting and structures don’t always facilitate collaboration between teams. Individual income targets mean people fight over budgets and are reluctant to ‘share’ in the "budget", even if the return for the organization could be potentially higher if teams worked together.

No time
There is an understandable focus on available funds here and now. However, if we don’t start to make time to take a more long-term view and develop and test new ways to generate income, companies will not move on with times and the long term effect can result in a struggle to survive.

Lack of focus
If an organization is not clear on where to focus, it can easily spend time on an activity that won’t make a difference. It’s easy to become distracted by new products and new technology, but if it isn’t helping you achieve your mission then you should not be investing time and resources in it.

Lots of ideas, no delivery to market
Having ideas is not a problem for most organizations, but having relevant ideas and progressing them can be incredibly hard.

No clear process
A process is critical to filter and drive ideas forward, +/- 30% of companies have a clear process in place for innovation.

Lack of urgency
Despite significant changes to the funding landscape and the economic environment, companies are not responding with urgency to change. Perhaps they believe that if they do nothing they will be OK, or it seems too difficult to think strategically with so many immediate day-to-day pressures.

As a mom, wife, and businesswoman I believe that all the above barriers can be overcome as we are women, we have the ability to conquer fear, we take leadership as a mom in various areas in our lives, we think about long term positive and negative effects daily, we are always on the run with lack of an extra pair of hands(resources/capacity), our time management have to be phenomenal, we always have to deliver on time, keep our focus, have a clear process of how our week is flowing and know what the urgency of any task is, from a netball game, choir practice even a PTA meeting.

In short, ladies break the culture by going out there and doing what you do well every single day as a female because we are innovative in everything we do.
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