Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article This month’s networkHow to innovate Almost every company follows a cycle that swings between expansion andcontraction (Slice of Life, Training Magazine, June 2001). As night followsday, after a period of rationalisation, whether of systems or personnel, itwonders where the next round of growth is going to come from. The next question is, why aren’t our people more innovative? The answer is that most big companies don’t allow them to be. They areidea-killers, not generators. Bureaucratic decision processes, rigid budgets,reward systems that punish risk taking, likewise career structures, politicalinfighting – any one of these can kill a good idea stone dead on the spot. Small wonder that except in a very few cases entrepreneurs would run a milerather than join a big firm. With this kind of energy deficit, a fewbrainstorming sessions are unlikely to provide useful answers. Unless the company can turn itself into a “venture engine”, inwhich generating ideas is part of its business model, periodic drives to boostentrepreneurial goals and innovation will yield little. People know from bitterexperience that at the first sign of a slowdown, managers will revert tocontraction mode, slashing budgets and head counts. New projects and peripheral activities – where most innovation comes from –are the first casualties. As this suggests, innovation is only secondarily a matter of inventing newproducts. It is, above all, an attitude of mind at top-management level. Simon Caulkin Editor-in-chief, FTdynamo.com Red tape binds MAs The analysis on Modern Apprenticeships (Training Magazine, June 2001)highlighted some interesting concerns. Within Birmingham City Council, the Department of Leisure and Culture hassuccessfully trained and retained eight Modern Apprentices ranging from libraryassistants, to horticultural trainees and play workers, over the past threeyears. The support from both managers and trainers has been phenomenal, butwhat stops the department from carrying on this successful programme is thehuge volume of paperwork that needs to be completed and the bureaucracy thatexists when trying to access the funding. We have all learnt so much from the process, but find the red tape bothtime-consuming and demotivating. Claire Riley Personnel officer, Leisure and Culture, Birmingham City Council Trainer input will make e-learning a success While e-learning continues to increase in popularity among organisations of alltypes, there is a risk that the effectiveness of many e-learning programmes isbeing undermined due to insufficient trainer-input in the development andimplementation. The best way to launch e-learning programmes is in a classroom sessionsupported by a trainer, either present or online. This ensures that, at thefirst session, learners spend sufficient time to make good initial progress sothat self-starting will be easier next time. Steve Dineen CEO and joint founder, Fuel Related posts:No related photos. NetworkOn 1 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today
The investment is in support of BP Alternative Energy’s wider low-carbon power, storage and digital energy Image: BP Ventures has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) developer Grid Edge. Photo: courtesy of rawpixel/Pixabay. Oil and gas major BP, through its investment arm BP Ventures, has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) developer Grid Edge to expand its digital energy portfolio.Grid Edge has created a cloud-based software which anticipates a building’s energy demand, allowing building managers to offset carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs.The platform uses data including expected occupancy and weather forecasts to enable customers to adapt their energy usage, leveraging periods of high renewable power generation.Grid Edge CEO Tom Anderson said: “It is only a few short years since the founding partners left Aston University to pursue our vision of putting data-driven, intelligent control into the hands of energy consumers and we’re proud to be working with some of the UK’s leading building operators to optimise their energy profile through our predictive AI technology.“We are delighted to have brought on board two world-leading investors who believe in our vision and share our ambitions to change the way people use energy.”The investment is in support of BP Alternative Energy’s wider low-carbon power, storage and digital energy strategies. The Grid Edge’s technology is claimed to enable customers to reduce carbon emissions by 10-15%, with some recording a reduction of more than 30%.BP Ventures managing director Nacho Gimenez said: “This is the most efficient way to reduce the carbon intensity and power consumption required to keep buildings comfortable.“Grid Edge’s machine learning and data-driven approach is what really sets them apart. We look forward to working closely together and welcoming them to the BP Ventures family.”In 2016, Grid Edge was spun out of Aston University’s Energy Research Institute.BP Ventures joined by Goldacre in Grid Edge’s funding round BP Ventures is joined by family office investment house in the funding round of Grid Edge.The funding is expected to allow Grid Edge to expand in the UK market and explore further opportunities in Europe.