By Henra Mayer.

Balancing the demands of the business of today with the business of tomorrow is a skill. Strategic thinking needs to be elevated to the next level, aligned and resourced to focus on driving new results. Being relevant in today’s disruptive business environment demands innovation from everybody, without fail.

To recognise and reward South Africa’s innovation leaders, the annual South African Innovation League focuses on SA’s top companies and recognise them for playing a role in SA’s innovation and economic growth.

The SA Innovation League is an annual Innocentrix initiative, in collaboration with Milpark Business School. The approach applies the internationally recognised Innovation Readiness Model (IRM) developed by French Business School INSEAD, in collaboration with UK based firm Logica (now CGI). It provides an unique way of benchmarking an organisation’s ability to apply leading edge thinking to the topic of collaborative innovation. It considers four key areas: Leadership and ambition; Organisation and collaboration; People and culture and Implementation and measurement. The SA Innovation League provides valuable insights into the local innovation landscape, fostering learning and growth.

Milpark Business School plays a central role in the validation and application of the instrument, while keeping it relevant into the future.



The SA Innovation League Awards took place on 20 June at Milpark Business School and were announced by Henra Mayer, CEO Innocentrix.

Henra says, “It was great to see a statistically significant improvement in innovation capability across all pillars. It is evident that we are systematically growing an innovation capability as a country. It was a very close contest! The results demonstrated that locally our emerging enterprises were the most innovative, whereas our medium sized organisations were ranked as least innovative. The most significant improvement in innovation capability was in our leadership and ambition pillar.  We could however do much, much better at collaborating effectively to demonstrate a better ROI on innovation.”

The Top SA Innovation League Companies

In terms of the 4 pillars assessed, the winners per category were as follows:


Emerging organisations category

First place: Together Prickly Pear and Recycles Production

Second place: Reata Development Projects

Third Place: Niche Integrated Solutions


Small organisation category

First place: Aromus Construction and Projects

Second place: Smoke Customer Intelligence

Third place: Bramhope Group (Pty) Ltd


Medium Organisations category

First place: Metro Minds

Second place: SSG Consulting

Third place: Space Advisory Company


Large organisations category:

First place: Legal Aid South Africa

Second place: Vodacom

Third place: FNB

In preparation for the 2019 Innovation League, Innocentrix is partnering with Africa-focused research and publishing firm, In On Africa (IOA), as the League expands into Africa. The company is also associated with The Future Shapers, a global network of thought-leaders, innovation practitioners, business leaders, academics and speakers with the aim of helping businesses and other organisations to shape and create innovative futures. The Future Shapers is currently disrupting the digital media market with their crowdfunding initiative to develop an Ethereum Smart Contract technology to manage the digital rights & royalties of trusted experts. Entrenching a global community providing business leaders with curated & trusted content to ‘Return Value Back to Knowledge!