Too many businesses Stick to process and don’t put enough trust in their people and it’s holding them back when it comes to innovation, particularly digital innovation.
That was the message from Carsales.com.au’s chief information and product officer Ajay Bhatia, who was speaking at the B&T-sponsored Daze of Disruption at Crown Casino in Melbourne this morning.
Bhatia actually started his presentation by showing photos of famous Australian sporting stars and successful Australian digital entrepreneurs. Unsurprisingly, most in the audience could name the likes of Shane Warne, Cathy Freeman and Sally Pearson but few got the names of the entrepreneurs whose businesses were worth billions and employed tens of thousands. “We just don’t value our innovators.
“Too many business just rely on process,” Bhatia told the audience. “Most businesses fear chaos but chaos is where the innovation comes from. Sure you don’t want total chaos but the right amount is good.
“And when you innovate, when you have that right level of chaos, then another benefit of that is it attracts good people to your business.
“The more process (you heap) on a business then the less talent you will have, less process means you will attract better talent,” he said.
Another innovation that Carsales.com.au had introduced, Bhatia revealed, was getting staff away from the day to day processes and in front of customers. That way, he said, staff could experience customers’ gripes and frustrations first-hand and come-up with solutions to solve them.
He said the business employed a number of immigrants to handle customer queries whose English wasn’t always the best. “But we’d prefer people and not machines responded to our customers. We’d far prefer they received a response – albeit it with a few spelling mistakes – and the problem was solved rather than just some nice email with perfect grammar but nothing happens.”