'Ghana Lacks Innovative Leaders'
Kwaku Atuahene-Gima, a Professor of Marketing & Innovation at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), says despite many overseas trips by Ghana's economic managers, they have failed to transfer the knowledge they gained into innovative solutions.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day Annual Innovation Forum in Accra on Tuesday themed: 'Unleashing Innovation Leadership in Africa,' Prof Atuahene-Gima remarked: 'Our leaders travel a lot and see a lot of things. The key question is: are they learning from these to transfer them back here and change the way we solve problems? Maybe they don't do that.'
According to him, public office holders have not promoted the interest of Ghanaians.
'One of the key things about being creative and innovative is to be able to go outside your environment to see what solutions other people are using and adapt that solution to your country.'
He also indicated that a lot of business leaders have still not come to terms with the appropriate definition of innovation and the role it could play in the day-to-day running of their enterprises. He said leaders have not been able to distinguish between creativity and innovation.
Dolapo Ogundimo, Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, for his part, said, 'Many people and organizations associate innovation with a new invention, something from white cloth or limited to practical scientific advances. But innovation is much more than that.
'Sometimes, we are too busy fighting our competitors to claim ownership of one brilliant idea or product. We need a culture where people grab ideas and take it to new levels,' he emphasised.
Furthermore, he asked leaders to integrate innovation into their strategies.
He however noted that leaders should recognize that in stimulating innovation, there are bound to be failure.
'We should encourage our people to break new frontiers and continue to challenge existing ways of doing things. These are difficult decisions. Similar to making a choice between cost-cutting and investments in new technology or innovation, leaders must make the right trade-offs because we are expected to dream and squeeze at the same time.'
By Samuel Boadi