Companies must innovate or face stagnation, explained former MI5 boss Dame Stella Rimington at an event this week.

Speaking at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London, she said: “All companies atrophy unless people are willing to take risks. But they can’t do that with a culture of blame,” reports

Dame Stella explained how a blame culture had existed when she took over as director general at Britain’s secretive security agency in the early nineties, with consequences for wrong decisions being “disastrous”. She stressed instead that business leaders should encourage free thinking and innovation in order to succeed.

Also speaking at the event, Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella echoed these sentiments: “Most importantly you have to have a culture that’s also evolving to support the new capabilities and new concepts,” he said. “That’s what any organisation needs to be able to innovate to reinvent themselves.”

He added that reinventing productivity is “about being able to empower every individual and every organisation to do more and achieve more” reports

Nadella urged companies to take on a three-point strategy in order to thrive, saying: “You have to have new concepts, because you can’t just continue with the concepts you’ve invented in the past. And this needs to be complemented with new capabilities that you as an organisation have,”

He also praised the UK in his speech for its rapid adoption of cloud technology.

Author: Chloe Menage