In a time where Ofgem’s price cap is predicted to increase by 51% in April, and the diminishing competition in the energy sector is dominating the headlines on utilities, you could be forgiven for predicting that 2022 will be a slow year for growth. However, the OECD predicted in December that the UK will have the fastest growth in the Group of Seven major economies for 2021 and 2022.
The momentum of COP26 and a renewed desire to rebound from the challenges of COVID-19 have the potential to boost the work of UK businesses and individuals, supporting our transition to net zero.
Innovation and creativity
Consistent growth requires a commitment to strategy, innovation, and excellence. Research, Development, and Innovation are fundamental drivers of productivity, which is essential to delivering long-term economic growth and prosperity that can improve the lives of citizens.
The Government’s plan to build back better aims to enhance three core pillars of growth – infrastructure, skills, and innovation – and has a vision for the UK to be a global hub for innovation by 2035. Government has committed to working with industry to build an innovative and export-led industrial base, converting Research and Development (R&D) into commercial success. For the full benefits of innovation to be realised across the economy, it needs to equally benefit organisations across all sectors and sizes.
In the UK Innovation Strategy, direct public expenditure on R&D is committed to increase to £22 billion per year. Last year, Innovate UK published its plan for action for UK business innovation, aiming to ensure that the environment is right for the country to achieve its innovation aims and for UK businesses to capitalise on the opportunities. The focus here must be on supporting business growth through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services.
Executing a growth strategy requires one or a combination of propositions to bring about new solutions, businesses, channels, brands, markets, and segments. Whether through a new entity, or transforming an existing business, strategic support services will be core to achieving the scale of economic growth that UK government is projecting.
618 has proven success in identifying and delivering the four main growth strategies – market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification – across a range of sectors. We work with leadership teams to help challenge their organisation, manage risks, and maximise growth opportunities. We work collaboratively within organisations to define winning strategies and position organisations for growth.
618 Insight has always recognised the interrelationships across utilities. Sector convergence is being driven from shareholders needs through to tactical delivery of the utility service. One example is the increasing role of decarbonisation in asset strategy planning. But we should not lose sight of the wealth of opportunities for innovation and growth within sectors, which will benefit from the increased ambition and investment from government and commercial stakeholders.
What conditions are still required for UK businesses to capitalise on the opportunities for growth in the green economic recovery? How do we ensure these ambitions will be realised?