Characteristics of an innovative business

When it comes to innovation – developing new ideas, creating commercial opportunities or doing things differently – there are often characteristics that individuals possess or businesses build, to aid and support the innovation process. Read our round up of what to instil in an innovative business.

29 November 2021

When it comes to innovation – developing new ideas, creating commercial opportunities or doing things differently – there are often characteristics that individuals possess or businesses build, to aid and support the innovation process. 

New ideas start with people and it’s how these ideas evolve and move forward that can turn them into a reality. As we know, a business is nothing without its people and what makes an innovative business very much depends on the characteristics of the team, the culture built by the leaders and how it is nurtured for business growth. 

Below summarises some of the key characteristics that make up and collectively contribute to creating an innovative business.  

 1. Staying focused on the vision 

Broader thinking is a necessity of coming up with new ways of doing things, however once the vision of where the business wants to be or what it will create is agreed, it’s important to remain focused in that direction.  

Having clarity of what the vision is and being able to see where you want to get to in the next three to five years, helps to keep everyone on the same path, to keep abreast of market share, target market, industry impacts and knowing where it is all leading.  

This means staying focused on the strategy, customers and reminding teams about the ‘why?’ What is the business trying to achieve? This can be helpful when developing a new product, process or service, so the team are aligned and all working to the same outcome. 

 2. An open-minded and collaborative team  

A team that is open to experiment with new ideas, a willingness to try new things, to openly embrace challenges, to constructively look at how to improve, are all what makes for an innovative business.  

This requires a certain type of leadership, one that embeds an entrepreneurial mindset and a collaborative culture where all ideas and input is welcome. An empowered team who are all unified by the vision, creates a business that can work together to introduce ideas from all areas of the business yet remain focused on the strategic vision. 

3. Drive, tenacity and commitment

Pushing the boundaries and innovating will always bring with it a level of risk - it’s unfamiliar territory. When developments, processes or projects get tough, a business needs the passion and determination to see it through, as well as the knowledge and acceptance that sometimes, things won’t work. But that there a point of learning can always be found.  

This stems from a belief that it is worth pursuing, the belief in a concept and commitment to opt for something that has the potential to be greater than the ‘norm’. 

Innovation in action: Modo25 

A company who demonstrates these innovative characteristics is Modo25, an inhousing and marketing technology provider, who secured innovation support from the LEP to develop its Digital Marketing Platform Index, BOSCO. 

Chief Operating Officer at Modo25, Abi Liddle, commented: “Innovation is creating something new and purposeful - finding the cut-through among what others are doing. Innovation is also about inclusivity and getting to those who are unknowingly innovative. 

“We encourage people to share their ideas; we don’t claim to have all the answers so if someone has an idea and it’s got sound logic behind it, then why wouldn’t we give it a go? We’re not afraid to fail - if it doesn’t work, we ask why and learn from it. We want to instil confidence in our people to come forward with ideas, to make suggestions and support them to give it the best go,” Abi concluded. 

How can the LEP support your innovation journey? 

If you’re a business with the ambition to bring your idea to reality, the LEP’s Connecting Innovation programme can help. The Kickstart Innovation Fund can help you on the first step of your innovation journey if you’re looking to collaborate with expertise for the first time. 

Kickstart Innovation Fund is a match-funded grant for projects up to £24,999 which will support the progression of an innovation project for SMEs in the Leeds City Region.  

What’s next? 

To hear more about how we can help you, contact the innovation team at or visit our innovation pages. For any other business support enquiries email or call 0113 348 1818. 


Connecting Innovation is delivered by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

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