Meet the Team – Iain Mansell
Iain Mansell is our Executive Officer for Innovation.
Tell me about your role.
In a nutshell I am looking to improve productivity and growth in the region by working with partners to help organisations become more innovative. One of the key areas I’ve been working on is establishing an Innovation Challenge Forum. This is essentially a panel of innovation experts that will review projects with the perspective of providing advice on how partners can achieve more through adopting an innovative approach. My aim is to set a gold standard for innovation across Greater Birmingham and Solihull.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Innovation is a beast of an agenda! Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the role is realising that so many key partners around the region are all up for the challenge, and getting the opportunity to collaborate with them is really something. I also live locally and I like the idea that I’m working towards something that can improve the quality of life for my family and friends.
What did you study at university and why?
My first degree was in Business as I have always been really interested in entrepreneurship and wanted to gain an all-round understanding of how a business operates – that was 15 years ago now! This year I’ve just completed my Professional Diploma in Marketing as that has become the most attractive area of business to me as it’s a place where strategy and creativity can collide!
What is your favourite place in the GBSLEP area and why?
Lichfield (not being bias as that’s where I’m from). The small city of Lichfield is a really nice place, steeped in heritage with its famous three spired cathedral, Tudor buildings and great connections to other regional assets. You can be in Birmingham city centre in little over 30 minutes but you can also be in Cannock Chase in 10 – the best of both worlds!
If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
I think it would have to be Richard Branson as he is a stand-out British entrepreneur. He has done so well for himself but has also done a lot for others in the process – which is pretty inspiring. He has this great quote “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough that they don’t want to”, I love his mentality.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Having two young sons, pretending to have superpowers is a daily occurrence in my house. My choice of superpower would be the ability to become invisible. That way I’d be able to spy of their mischievousness that’s for sure!