Is Your Company in Survival or Re-invention Mode? Have you hired a Creative/Innovation Catalyst?

During and after the pandemic, one of the newest positions that organisations will be looking to fill immediately is that of The Innovation/Creative Catalyst.

Written by: Lana Leas-Roy; CEO Goats2Unicorns


Given the highly complex, uncertain and dynamic environments facing all firms currently, it is more important than ever to prepare your organisation to tackle any business challenge with an innovative and creative mind-set. That is the only way to transform existing and emerging threats into opportunities for future success. If the Corona Virus has shown us anything, the need to turn threats into opportunities is not something that is happening in the future but something that is needed NOW. Simon Sinek in his latest Youtube video speaks about survival mode vs re-invention mode. He says that though we might think these are unprecedented times- they are actually not. He says the world has always been faced with challenges e.g. Uber vs Taxi, the Internet vs old school business etc. and if you do not reinvent yourself and organisation – you will be left behind. He speaks to his staff telling them “How will we as an organisation bring our message to people in a new way? What new job can you create for yourself?” He leaves them with these questions to ponder.


In my creative thinking workshops and masterclasses, I run an exercise called “The Ten Threats of the Future”. Here we look at 10 threats that could see the demise of an organisation in the future. We then take one threat as an example and turn it into an opportunity using my DCOM methodology process. To this day, I do not think a world virus has ever featured as a threat turned opportunity in any organisational workshop. Most people think very linearly but this needs to change.  The world will never be the same again during and after the Corona Virus. We will not go back to doing work as we have always done. If we do we will be like the organisations that did not see the internet as a threat and carried on selling old school.


After a number of years of research and working with some of Africa’s innovative companies, it has given me a sufficient opportunity to study their current cultures of work with regards to innovation and creativity. I’ve seen what distinguishes innovative companies from others – it is a set of three fundamental capabilities:

  • The ability to uncover user-centred insights and transform them into innovation opportunities
  • The ability to transcend existing problem-solving approaches and ideate novel, creative solutions to business challenges
  • An aptitude for enabling agile and adaptable experimentation

To break it down further, innovation/creativity catalysts are characterised by their insightfulness, creative thinking and agility.


Every organisation needs innovation/creative catalysts at all levels of the organisation– the larger the organisation, the more of them it needs. As things stand, there are not enough of these precious individuals to go around. That is the bad news. The good news, however, is that the three key skills outlined above can certainly be learnt and people in your organisation can learn to take on the role of innovation/creative catalysts.

Goats2Unicorns is one of the only innovation/creativity catalyst training organisations in Africa that help organisations build an arsenal of creative and innovative thinkers and ultimately catalysts. We team up with some of the best Thought Leaders, Professors of Innovation, Authors and Innovation and Creative Strategists to bring you our offering.

Time is waiting for no one. The time is truly now to learn the art of creative and innovative thinking.

To ask how and what we do please contact us on or +27 82 376 1377



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