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Hertfordshire LEP to pilot service innovation programme to accelerate business growth

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is to pilot a Service Innovation Programme, harnessing world-class expertise to deliver service innovation, better customer experience and improved value for Hertfordshire businesses.

Leadership and development business, Estu and Royal College of Art (RCA), the number one ranked university worldwide for design teaching, are delivering the programme on behalf of Hertfordshire LEP.

Together they have worked with leading brands such as Samsung, NHSX, Adidas, McKinsey, HM Treasury, Google, the United Nations, Philips, Dyson and Apple. Now Hertfordshire businesses can apply for one of 70 places on the executive programme, which is funded by Hertfordshire LEP.

On Wednesday 17 November, organisations including BRE, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Growth Hub and Innovate UK came to Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, to hear more about the business benefits of taking part.

The programme is open to businesses at all growth stages, including divisions of larger and internationally owned organisations, and across a wide range of high value sectors including life sciences, manufacturing, healthcare, technology, film and media, hospitality, business and financial services and construction.

During the session, led by course director Clive Grinyer, Head of Service Design at RCA and previously global head of Service Design for Barclays, participants worked together to create over 120 ideas to support businesses responding to changing customer demands aligned to Net Zero. The top three ideas centred around themes of customer collaboration, empowering employees with learning and supply chain transparency.

The exercise used just one of the tools of the programme and demonstrated how quickly and enjoyably preconceptions about customer needs can be challenged, how ideas can be developed and existing value propositions can be enhanced.

Nitin Dahad, Hertfordshire LEP Board Member and Chair Enterprise and Innovation Board, said: “As Hertfordshire moves out of the acute recovery phase from COVID, supporting our high-growth businesses will be key to future economic activity and productivity. The LEP’s Enterprise and Innovation Strategy focuses on the breadth of enterprise and innovation across 60,000 businesses, offering particular opportunities for high value and ‘additional’ growth which will equip Hertfordshire to compete internationally as well as nationally. This programme is a prime example of that innovative approach being developed by the LEP in partnership with prestigious organisations.”

Norman Jennings, Operations Director, Hertfordshire LEP, said: “I am really excited to bring this executive programme to Hertfordshire and further bolster the excellent business support provision in the county. Innovation and adaptability is key if businesses are to remain competitive in this ever-changing world. This programme is in direct response to businesses seeking tailored, high quality support which, in turn, will create a huge uptick in the local economy.”

Simon Littlewood, CEO of Estu, said: “This pioneering programme will give businesses across the county access to world-class commercial and strategic design skills at the highest level and supplement the strong local business support offer already available. Thanks to the calibre of the organisations involved, Hertfordshire business leaders will, for the first time, be able tap into specialist support and innovative practices which have already been successfully applied to companies across the globe.”

** Applications now open **

Applications are now open for the four week and eight week programmes starting in January 2022. The deadline for applications is 16 December. Prospective applicants are encouraged to join this webinar on Wednesday 1 December, 9-10am. Register here.

Watch this video and download the brochure to find out more about the programme and how to apply.

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