Turn challenges in your favour
Creativity and innovation are essential for the growth and success of business in Namibia because they can lead to transformative change in the country, according to the Managing Director of Liberty Life Namibia, Monique Cloete.
Cloete highlighted this at the breakfast hosted by the Economist Businesswomen Club held on 15 September at Am Weinberg in Windhoek.
Cloete said growth can not be expected if you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, that is the definition of insanity. “One of my favourite phrases is if I always do what I have always done, I will always get, what I have already got, so what is this beast that we call creative innovation?” she asked.
She said that her creative innovation is developing new and creative ideas, products, services, and solutions and it must lead to something new. “As women what is the opportunity for us, when we look at creativity and innovation? We bring a different perspective, we have deeper insights into the market, we understand customers, we take the time to listen to them, which helps us create solutions for a broader audience,” she added.
She urged the ladies to tap into these skills that they have, to impact changes in the future, and to have role models in their network. “We need to create this network of women because we know we have fewer senior female executives, but we need those role models to inspire young women and the girl children in the country, to pursue careers in innovation and traditionally male fields of expertise,” she emphasized.
She said women face more challenges that are difficult, which include networking, career, and family responsibilities are also not easy to manage, and women are underrepresented in leadership roles which limits the influence that they have over decision-making, and driving innovation agendas in the workplace. “These are some of the challenges women face, but they are not insurmountable, they should be seen as areas that we can improve in and be dealt with proactively, to turn them into our favour,” she said.
Cloete said when people speak of innovation, they do not only speak of new technology or gadgets. “Innovation is a mindset, it is a culture, it is a commitment to do things differently, to do them smarter, to do them better. It is about fostering an environment where creative ideas are welcomed, nurtured, they are allowed to flourish. Creativity is the heartbeat of innovation, it is the soul of progress, it is the foundation upon which we will build a better future,” she said.
She expressed that creativity is a compass and it guides us toward uncharted territories of possibilities, it is not just a business advantage, it will impact society. “When we think about creativity it is all around us, we are inherently creative, even the way you are dressed is creative, it is evident in every aspect of our lives,” she emphasized.
She urged the ladies to have the courage to challenge the status quo step out of their comfort zone and explore these uncharted territories. “It is not easy, it is a tough, balancing act that we have to have,” she said.
Cloete asked the question, why should Namibian businesswomen embrace innovation and more why should we embrace creativity with open arms? “It improves competitiveness, customers are evolving and we need to evolve with them and it will keep us relevant,” she concluded.
She further urged the ladies to take a leap into the world of innovation and not fear the change. “Let us embrace it, let us foster a culture where innovation is not just encouraged, but celebrated. Let us encourage innovation, to make our vision, of the world, the place we want to live in a reality. It is hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world,” she concluded.