Innovation isn’t just thinking outside the box, it’s creating a new box!

No matter how small the industry, businesses have always faced challenges. Issues with supply, sales, competitors and technological advancement have been around for hundreds of years and only seem to be getting more acute in the digital age.

The growth of the UK manufacturing sector has been slowing for several years and lots of different factors have been named as contributing to the problem. A strong pound, expensive British labour costs, competition from developing nations and cheaper imports have all played their part, leading to concerns about the future of manufacturing in the UK.

A long history

Great Britain has long been identified as a place that knows how to make things, at the forefront of many inventions that have literally changed the world. The television, telephone and even the World Wide Web were invented by British people, while cars like the Mini Cooper and Jaguar E-Type have become world famous icons of style and quality.

While many people believe that those days are over, Britain is still a country with a desire to design and produce world-changing inventions which enhance modern living. The key to reinvigorating the UK manufacturing sector, however, could lie more in solving the problems facing industry than in creating new products.

Leading the way forward

Good leadership is vitally important to the UK manufacturing sector. Leaders who can create innovative solutions to problems in operations, supply chain, technology, efficiency and process could make a huge difference, not only to their business, but to the industry as a whole.

Recent reports of the death of the high street claimed that brick and mortar retail was on the decline. The leadership shown in the retail sector not only managed to slow the decline, but in some cases has turned around the business and saved entire groups of companies. High-quality leadership has the potential to do the same for manufacturing.

Innovation as a way of thinking

While many think of innovation as a lightning flash “Eureka!” moment of inspiration, having an innovative mindset is actually a teachable skill. With this in mind, the University of York has created a 100% online MSc in Innovation, Leadership and Management to enable people to learn and develop their leadership skills with an innovative and inventive outlook. Core skills such as critical approaches to problem solving and effective communication not only help you to lead and manage a team but can also pave the way to becoming an influential figure in your chosen sector.

As all teaching is delivered online, you have the flexibility to study when it suits you, without taking a career break and sacrificing your current salary. There are six start dates throughout the year, so you can begin as soon as you’re ready and apply what you learn in your current role. The University of York runs online MSc programmes on a pay-per-module basis, removing the burden of large, up-front payments. Gaining a Masters degree from a prestigious Russell Group university while maintaining your career trajectory and being able to show employers an ability to lead, manage, think critically and conceive radical answers to widespread problems could be a real boost to your prospects.