M&C chief “astounded” by innovation dearth in Australia

M&C chief “astounded” by innovation dearth in Australia
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Jaimes Leggett, CEO of M&C Saatchi Australia, has said that he’s been shocked by the lack of innovation in this country since relocating Down Under earlier this year.

Speaking at yesterday’s MAD Week Innovation Afternoon panel discussion, curated by Clear, on the topic of Australia’s slow innovation culture vs the rest of the world, Leggett (pictured) said Australian business' "inherently conservative culture" is holding back innovation.

"I’m astounded by the lack of innovation in Australia,” said the New Zealander, who was previously managing director of Ogilvy & Mather London.

"On one hand I see this conservative culture, which is about doing the same as we’ve always done, and I juxtapose that with the sort of entrepreneurial, progressive, highly competitive innovation elsewhere."

Lucinda Barlow, head of marketing at Google ANZ, agreed that “there are fundemnetal things that need to improve” for Australia to flourish as a centre for innovation.

“Australia has a lot of ingredients of an innovation nation. We are broad minded, we embrace freedom and openness, and all those things are really critical, particularly from consumers,” said Barlow.

“But we also have a track record in technology transfer, taking tech from somewhere and transferring it to another place, like agriculture or mining,” before adding, “They’re not things people on the street would think of when discussing Australia as an innovative nation.”

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