Why Aussies Companies Actually Excel At Innovation

Why Aussies Companies Actually Excel At Innovation
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Dr Amantha Imber (pictured below), founder of innovation consultancy firm Inventium, takes a look a three main drivers she says any good business should have if they’re looking to stay ahead of the innovation pack…

Innovation has moved from being a buzz word thrown around by senior managers to being a cost of entry for many businesses. Indeed, the difference between a company that embraces innovation and one that turns a blind eye is often the difference between success and failure.

amantha-imber-620x330

Australia’s most innovative companies have several things in common.

  1. Customers sit at the heart of innovation

Many companies falsely believe that innovation starts with an idea. Truly innovative companies understand that innovation actually starts with the customer. Employees within Australia’s most innovative companies are obsessed with understanding the customer and learning what their biggest frustrations are. These frustrations provide a focus for innovation, because if companies can solve customer’s problems, customers will give loyalty and pay money for these solutions.

At Australian Unity, Innovation Champions are provided with broad areas on which to focus their innovation efforts. Champions are active in observing and speaking to customers in order to understand their biggest pain points and to ensure that their efforts are focused around solving a problem that actually matters to their customers.

  1. Senior leaders walk the talk

Research into the difference between leaders at innovative versus non-innovative companies has revealed a key difference between senior leaders. At highly innovative companies, senior leaders see innovation as their job, and actively go out and speak to customers, generate ideas and experiment actively around those ideas. In contrast, at less innovative companies, senior leaders actually see their role as simply delegating innovation.Australia’s most innovative companies are filled with leaders who “do” innovation. They don’t just talk about it or pay lip service to it – they actually walk the talk.

At construction company Mirvac, all members of the executive leadership team have innovation within their KPIs. All of the executive leadership team have the KPI of enabling their team to contribute to innovation at Mirvac. The KPI is measured by people providing examples of supporting or enabling their team to achieve innovation objectives. In other words, executives at Mirvac can’t simply sit back and passively observe innovation from the sidelines.

  1. They carve out time for innovation

Innovation doesn’t just happen because a CEO announces it as an organisational priority. As obvious as this may sound, many organisations fail to innovate because they don’t free up time for staff. Australia’s most innovative companies deliberately allocate time for innovation to those who want to pursue it. Sometimes, this may be in the form of a 24-hour Hackathon. Other companies have embraced their own version of Google’s 20% time, whereby staff are given a set percentage of time to pursue innovation projects. And others have moved towards innovation secondments, whereby employees are given a full-time innovation position and their jobs are back-filled. While on the innovation team, the employee’s job becomes about progressing innovation forward, which may involve unlocking customer frustrations, leading ideation sessions, and running many experiments to iterate ideas before they are scaled.

Organisations who embrace all three behaviours are significantly more likely to be producing successful innovations to market. And for companies which haven’t taken on the strategies described here, it may be time to rethink how they are approaching innovation.

Dr Amantha Imber’s latest book, The Innovation Formula, tackles the topic of how organisations can create a culture where innovation thrives.

Latest News

Tourism Campaign: Self-Confessed “Boring” Nebraska Declares “It’s Not For Everyone”
  • Campaigns

Tourism Campaign: Self-Confessed “Boring” Nebraska Declares “It’s Not For Everyone”

How do you attract tourists when, let’s be honest, your home state’s just a bit boring? That was the dilemma facing US midwestern town Nebraska which, due to a lack of things to do, was facing a visitor shortage and had been voted the “least likely state” tourists planned on visiting. Hence, its new tourist catchphrase, “Honestly, […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Boss James Warburton To Exit
  • Media

APN Outdoor Boss James Warburton To Exit

After less than a year in the role, APN Outdoor CEO James Warburton will leave the business following the completion of its acquisition by JCDecaux. The Federal Court of Australia was the latest regulator to give the JCDecaux-APN Outdoor deal the green light, announcing its approval to APN shareholders yesterday. Warburton joined APN Outdoor in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Six Tips To Getting Your Opinion Heard In Meetings
  • Opinion

Six Tips To Getting Your Opinion Heard In Meetings

Michelle Sales (pictured below) is a leadership speaker, coach and trainer and author of The Power of Real Confidence. In this book extract below, Sales offers her tips to make sure your voice gets heard at any meeting… It was Eleanor Roosevelt who once said, ‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Foster A Culture Of Creativity
  • Opinion

How To Foster A Culture Of Creativity

Emma Bannister (pictured below) is the CEO of Presentation Studio and author of the book Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations. In this guest post, Bannister offers her top tips to get the creative juices flowing… Many of us wrongly assume that to be creative, means to […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Buxton Real Estate Appoints JPD As Strategic, Creative & Digital Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Buxton Real Estate Appoints JPD As Strategic, Creative & Digital Agency

Melbourne real estate group Buxton has appointed independent agency James Phillip Design (JDP) to handle strategic, creative and digital duties. JDP managing director James Peltekis said the agency was very excited about the appointment. “We’ve been collaborating with Buxton for a while now, working on their overall brand strategy and refreshing their brand. We’re delighted […]

Federal Court Finds APN Outdoor/JCDecaux Acquisition “Legally Effective”
  • Media

Federal Court Finds APN Outdoor/JCDecaux Acquisition “Legally Effective”

The Federal Court of Australia has given JCDecaux’s acquisition of APN Outdoor the green light. According to a release from APN Outdoor, the Federal Court of Australia has “approved the scheme of arrangement in relation to the JCDecaux transaction”. It adds: “APN Outdoor confirms that an office copy of the Court orders has been lodged with […]

Amazon Launches Prime Music Down Under
  • Media

Amazon Launches Prime Music Down Under

Amazon Australia has announced the launch of Prime Music, bringing a catalogue of more than two million songs and hundreds of hand-curated playlists and stations, ad-free and on-demand with unlimited skips, to Prime members. With music listening powered by Alexa, Prime Members can also experience music streaming through the ease of using voice to find […]

WPP Scores Panadol’s Global Media Business
  • Advertising
  • Media

WPP Scores Panadol’s Global Media Business

GSK Consumer Healthcare has appointed WPP to support its global Panadol business, following a competitive pitch process. WPP will be responsible for creating integrated creative campaigns and content across advertising, digital, shopper and expert marketing, PR and communications for the global Panadol brand. The work will be delivered by a bespoke team led by CEO […]

Michelle Guthrie (Managing Director, ABC) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Michelle Guthrie To Sue ABC

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is taking her ex-employer to court, according to several media sources. As reported in The Australian, Guthrie lodged papers with the Fair Work Commission earlier this week, citing unfair dismissal. Guthrie was fired half-way through her five-year term as managing director of the public broadcaster. The move follows news last week communications […]