In a recent McKinsey poll* 85 per cent of people said that fear of criticism, fear of uncertainty and fear of a negative impact on their career holds back innovation efforts in their organisations.
iamproperty has created a culture of innovation in the workplace by actively encouraging and rewarding innovative thinking from their employees. The company describes innovation as being at its core, emphasising the importance of respecting differences and encouraging healthy debate.
Co-Founders Ben Ridgway and Jamie Cooke discuss how creating new solutions whilst maintaining and constantly evolving existing technology comes with its challenges as the property industry is heavily regulated and can often change.
Jamie says: “We’re working from a roadmap which involves a lot of moving parts, we might be a technology business, but it’s not code or tech functionality that drives our innovation or adds value to our Partner Agents, it’s the people in our team who are making big changes in our industry. With this in mind, we asked key people around our business what innovation means to them and how it has evolved over time.”
Jamie continues: “We’ve come a long way since Ben and I were the original innovation team when we started the business. Long gone are the days where we were the only ‘ideas guys’, or where innovation came from us challenging each other’s wild ideas in the pub.”
The iamproperty founders emphasise finding the right people to innovate is key. Jamie said: “Finding the right people to innovate with is a big part of being able to keep innovating at pace and comes from selecting people to work with who have the same goals as the business. That doesn’t mean they have the same idea of how to get there, but they ultimately want the same thing for the industry and are unafraid to challenge ideas.”
The company is keen to continue to make big changes in the property sector and make it clear they look for people willing to change the traditional way of the industry and challenge the norm.
Ben explains: “Layers of decision making can cancel ideas quickly. Great ideas can come from anyone who works with us or in our supply chain and Partner Agent network and it’s exciting to see how that is developing every day.”
For Ben and Jamie, creating a culture of innovation is about creating a place where ideas are encouraged, from not being afraid of challenging one another and enjoying some healthy conflict, in the diversity of the team recruitment and in having an investment strategy that enables innovation so people know their ideas can be tested and taken forward.
Jamie says one thing he would keep hold of as the business continues to grow is getting face-to-face with his team. He said: “We operate really flexible working, but you can’t beat a session with everyone in the room for finding the big ideas or challenging what’s on the table to get to something better.”
Members of the team also shared their opinion on how innovation at the company works.
Deborah Watson, Product Manager for iamsold commented: “Innovation isn’t just about one team working in silo, it’s about collaborating internally with our stakeholders, working with our Estate Agent network and the wider external property community.
“A big thing for us as we’ve grown has been to make sure we take everyone on the journey with us and appreciate every team has their own growth and innovations to deal with alongside what we’re doing with the auction services.”
Tania Bonesi, Product Manager for movebutler added: “The most important part of innovation for me is our ability to be agile and that comes from being able to collaborate and by making it an expectation to have a ‘let’s do it again but better’ culture, where nothing is ever completely finished – we should always be striving for more. There aren’t many jobs that give you that buzz of seeing something you created making a change in your sector, and we celebrate that together as a team.”
iamproperty has launched the second edition of Tech of a Life which is packed with conversations like this about disruption in the property industry. Read it here https://readymag.com/u2303212762/3853867/
*Ben Ridgway is managing director of iamproperty