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What it takes to win the Queen's Award for Innovation in digital transformation

In a world where everyone markets what they do as ‘innovation’, how does a company prove it’s an innovation expert? At a time when the misuse of data and technology frequently make the headlines, how can you demonstrate that your company is technically highly capable, reliably delivers business impact and also stands by the ethical values of ‘tech for good’.

The answer is that you win the Queen’s Award for Innovation; which is without doubt the definitive benchmark and most prestigious accolade for business in the UK.  It is only awarded to exceptional organisations, in recognition of outstanding and consistent achievements in innovation.

Informed Solutions was recently the fortunate recipient of the Queen’s Award for Innovation, representing the highest endorsement of our consistent track record of harnessing digital innovation in ways that make a positive difference to people’s lives, as well as deliver better business outcomes.  The award was officially presented by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr. Warren J. Smith at our Manchester Headquarters on the 24th September.

Informed Solutions’ Global CEO, Elizabeth Vega, reflects on the reasons for Informed’s enduring success in delivering transformational innovation, using digital and data technologies to meet some of the most demanding business challenges.

 

 

The Queen's Award for Innovation recognises our significant and consistent innovation achievements over many years.  Critically, our success is underpinned by investing in great people, developing their skills and creating a culture of diversity, trust, collaboration and continual learning.  It’s this mix that delivers award-winning results and motivates our people to give their best; working through the inevitable challenges of delivering large, complex digital transformation outcomes and using technology for good, as well as to deliver business impact.  It’s not the easy road to building up a business.  It does however produce a highly regarded and resilient company and an incredibly satisfying workplace for those of us that want to make a positive difference through their work.

 

“A transparent, collaborative approach”

Collaboration lies at the heart of our innovation approach.  We specialise in delivering secure, large scale and complex digital solutions.  To be effective, our people must be confident and comfortable integrating into multi-disciplinary teams and working closely alongside clients, diverse user communities and a range of domain and subject matter experts.  We invest in our people, so they are highly trained and multi-skilled but we are also committed to working with respect, integrity and honesty.   As a result, clients can be confident in the professional capabilities and guidance that we offer.  It’s important that we find the best options which navigate a client through their transformation journey, whilst trusting in and enjoying the experience of working together.

 

 

“Investing in our people”

At a practical level, we have invested significantly in developing agile, user research and iterative solution development methodologies that deliver user-centred digital services and also work towards business transformation outcomes for clients.  We foster a ‘one-team’ ethos, promoting focus, accountability, continuous feedback, learning and improvement.  In this way, we deliver innovation that genuinely transforms and modernises a service for the benefit of both users and the client’s business.

As a high-performing organisation reliant on market leading capabilities, we’re clear that our people and their skills are our business.  We foster a dynamic workplace environment that encourages curiosity, problem solving, personal development and learning balanced with team working, professional discipline and accountability.  InformedACADEMY, provides a flexible, tailorable professional development platform for our people and (frequently) clients to upskill and re-skill themselves in a rapidly changing workplace.  The care and investment we make in our people cultivates a supportive learning environment which enables everyone to play to their personal strengths whilst ensuring that their skills remain relevant to the evolving nature of their jobs.

 

"Contributing to our community”

As a global business with offices in Australia and the UK, serving clients in over 40 countries, Informed Solutions is proud to be UK headquartered in Manchester.  We play an active role in the Northern Powerhouse economy and aim to meaningfully contribute to every local community where we do business.

Reflecting our commitment to local communities and creating social value, our celebration had a distinctly regional flavour.  All the suppliers for our Queen's Award event were local companies who share our business values and passion for innovative, superior quality products and services.  These included the Manchester-based Four Sisters and Zymurgorium gin distilleries that are renowned for their distinctive, delicious products whilst striving to do business with integrity, including reducing their carbon footprint.  Altrincham-based Francs Events provided a personal experience which ensured that we were all fabulously taken care of.  Also we’d like to call out our local farm shop and artisan ice-cream maker,  Posh Cow,  which proved a firm favourite with staff and guests, many of whom went back for second and third servings.

 

 

Elizabeth finishes her retrospective with a personal reflection on how authentic, inclusive relationships help build a successful and enduring business that people enjoy working for and with:

“Every one of our people is undeniably proud that their efforts have been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Innovation. We’re also delighted and touched by the effort that so many of our clients, business partners, local community and business leaders made, to join us and share in the happy celebrations. One of the most amusing highlights for me was the Lord Lieutenant’s hushed observation, “You have an incredibly young company”. My response was, “Yes, Sir, we do. The average age is just below 32, which obviously includes some of us that push that average up a little”. Below is a favourite picture of the Lord Lieutenant with our current graduate programme and work placement people. Informed Solutions is a vibrant and energising place to work, where you can be inspired by the diversity of people that you work with, the many opportunities to grow and develop as a person, and the extraordinary things that you can achieve together.”

 

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@InformedTweet One week to go until @NorthernPowerWomen’s Futures festival in #Manchester, exploring exciting upcoming projects fo… https://t.co/5dQCagpV0I
@InformedTweet “Scaleups remain ambitious, confident to scale further, highly innovative, and global.” – Insightful and exciting c… https://t.co/XzKVTRYmnp
@InformedTweet Thank you for insightful, thought provoking and fun #GeoCom18 well done to all those involved pic.twitter.com/jqPZXcNLhn
@InformedTweet And the 4th and final session of the day kicks off with Shan He from Uber #GeoCom18 pic.twitter.com/lKxIE2S6cb
@InformedTweet Great to see colleague and Geospatial Information Systems guru @lizstutchbury chairing the Puzzle Piece sessions at… https://t.co/FU3PruUOWR
@InformedTweet Surprise speaker Oliver Dowden discussing the importance of harnessing the power of location data to drive innovati… https://t.co/vewcGEE4b5
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@InformedTweet It's been so good to meet so many enthusiastic people today @LeedsUniCareers ! Come and join us in the last half ho… https://t.co/AfIAGXoI3q
@InformedTweet Having great talks at the #UoLCareersFair about our fantastic placement student and graduate opportunities. Join us… https://t.co/FPloMFdldZ
@InformedTweet Great discussion on innovation in govtech with Minister Oliver Dowden and @GDSTeam at @techUK this morning. We need… https://t.co/FuN7brIv5j
@InformedTweet Very proud to be supporting #WearItPink day at our office in Altrincham . Thank you to our team for getting involve… https://t.co/lQP7aLE1k2
@InformedTweet Congratulations to Simone Roche, Founder and CEO of @NorthernPowerWomen, who has been listed in the FT's list of ex… https://t.co/ZPQR4FFdBn
@InformedTweet Fantastic talk discussing how the future of tech and investment in new skills can #supercharge18 the Northern econo… https://t.co/DN8wXyqLb0
@InformedTweet Looking forward to the start of #Supercharging18 with @techUK pic.twitter.com/5lC1eVpltA
@InformedTweet Our Global CEO @ElizabethTVega is looking forward to participating in the expert Panel Discussion: 'What does this… https://t.co/GnGUyjPPZ4
@InformedTweet Tech is boosting productivity in new areas: we are looking forward to sharing our experience of digital transformat… https://t.co/Q0Q1vDicNm
@InformedTweet Looking forward to the start of the first GOV Design Manchester meetup #govdesign #gds pic.twitter.com/QBXhNkInuS
@InformedTweet Fantastic evening at the Altrincham and Sale Chamber of Commerce Awards dinner last night. Brilliant event and deli… https://t.co/1e7YOEnui5
@InformedTweet Great experience working with the Shell Geomatics community today in Rijswijk and the global teams who joined via v… https://t.co/oxzKkEoqoV
@InformedTweet We are celebrating Ada Lovelace, whose 1842 article describing the 'Analytical Engine' included insights into the p… https://t.co/4VX5PmnA9O
@InformedTweet We're excited to be attending the UNSW Diversity Showcase today! #UNSWDS18 pic.twitter.com/KaTpG5nTDP
@InformedTweet Just gearing up for the afternoon session at ScotSoft2018, looking at building great digital organisations for Scot… https://t.co/c79t2vVF0y
@InformedTweet A great picture of our UK CEO Seth Finegan, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Great Manchester, Mr. Warren J. Smith… https://t.co/mHit61NCV5
@InformedTweet Our Graduate Charities Initiative Group has raised £230.82 for @JeansforGenes! Thanks also to Global CEO… https://t.co/VGpblsG49i
@InformedTweet Enjoying a delicious lunch in celebration with our clients, friends and colleagues! @TheQueensAwards pic.twitter.com/G4ethxO21v
@InformedTweet We are all very excited to welcome the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren James Smith, to present us wit… https://t.co/OTCesWgpge
@InformedTweet Our CEO Seth Finegan, leading off a round table on Digital Transformation and AI as part of our Queen's award cele… https://t.co/7c9Wl0qa5S
@InformedTweet Today we are supporting @JeansforGenes with the Informed team. Half a million children living in the UK have a gene… https://t.co/dhip0NY0q8
@InformedTweet Our London team is joining in too... #NationalCodingWeek pic.twitter.com/MrkatiA9zY
@InformedTweet To celebrate #NationalCodingWeek we wanted to demonstrate the breadth of our #DigitalSkills, and the coding languag… https://t.co/u1nfl5uRNf
@InformedTweet Celebrating #NationalCodingWeek with our outstanding team of technical experts! pic.twitter.com/k2Zd5hI2Ar
@InformedTweet We are proud that Informed Solutions, utilising its Queen’s Award-winning Digital Platform, InformedCONSULT©, has h… https://t.co/fdbBbXzhdV
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@InformedTweet Great to hear @digital_nsw keen to form partnerships with industry to mature #digital capability and services acros… https://t.co/PGU621Mahp
@InformedTweet Well done #Shaehoward for bringing together a great line up of speakers today for the NSW #digitalmarketplace .
@InformedTweet Really insightful analysis from Kevin Noonan @Ovum about the importance of the 'experience' of moving to the cloud.… https://t.co/u8Ib5RATxW
@InformedTweet Good to hear that #data is at the core of achieving real outcomes across NSW Government's 12 policy priorities. @InformedTweet gets that.

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