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Dr. Shikoh Gitau on what it takes to be innovativey successful

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Having an innovative idea that has the potential to solve societal problems is one thing. Implementing your idea and seeing it through to completion is an entirely different skill.

There are certain things that you must do in order to drive it to a successful business and implement your solution correctly.

It starts and ends with people

It is no secret that a business is built around and for people. Putting your people at the center of your business will increase their engagement and productivity.

Innovating is all about people, according to Doctor Shikoh Gitau, CEO of Qhala, a Digital Innovation company that catalyzes digital transformation capabilities for organizations across Africa.

“Innovation begins and ends with your people,” she said, adding that “you must also support your people on the ground.”

She stated that it is important to support your team while also putting your customers first, even if the process may not be rewarding at first.

“Place your customer at the center; it may not have immediate monetary value, but it will in the long run.”

It is a patience game

Ghandi once said that losing patience is losing the battle; this is another ingredient Dr. Shikoh believes is essential in building success.

Not every idea you have will bear immediate fruit or be immediately successful. According to the CEO of Qhala, patience is required.

She explained that it takes time for a new idea to adapt to the market and attract customers and inventors, so patience is essential.

“Be patient, because innovation is a patient game,” she advised. “You have that light bulb concept, but it takes time for people to believe in it and invest in it.”

Embrace risk

Risk is an inherent part of any business; at times, you will be forced to make decisions that will determine the fate and outcome of your company, which can be frightening.

However, you must keep in mind that risk is an inherent part of the business. Shikoh stated that if one is acting rationally, they must be confident in their actions.

“You have to convince your board about the return,” she said, “and you have to be confident that you are doing so for a good reason.”

She also stated that while it is possible to take the wrong risks, you cannot give up. “Be willing to take risks. Fail fast, fail forward.”

Execution should be different

“Someone can steal your idea, but not your execution.”

According to Dr. Shikoh Gitau, many people have ideas but are afraid to put them into action for fear of being copied.

She also mentioned that some people do not implement their ideas because they believe they are similar to other ideas; she clarified that the only difference between your idea and other ideas is how it is implemented.

People, she claims, will not carry out their ideas in the same way.

“Be cautious; execution is critical,” she advised. “While others may steal your ideas, your executions will always be unique.”

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