1) What’s the biggest lesson you learned in 2012?
“Hire inexperience. This year we plan to hire 200 engineers–half of whom are recent grads. Young people are not burdened by years of experience. They haven’t learned–or been told–what is right or wrong. With engineering, there is no tried and tested path. You try, and fail, and fix, and fail again. The important thing is to learn from mistakes–something graduates are adept at. Our graduate engineers are working on new technology–from uncharted applications for our digital motor, to a new take on the hand dryer. With an unhindered mind, nothing is off limits.”
2) How do you think you’ll apply it in the year ahead?
“Keep supporting bright young minds. Whether it’s by hiring more graduates, or encouraging them to make a go of it on their own. We’ve just created 40 incubator units for inventors and start-ups at The Royal College of Art. Their inventions will reshape how we live. There are more problems then there are engineers to solve them so we need more young people hungry to take them on.”
More Lessons for 2013 from some of today’s most innovative business thought leaders here.