The survey of 150 Australian business directors, owners, and senior managers across 10 different sectors, was conducted by PureProfile alongside a similar survey commissioned by Squiz in the UK of 200 business decision-makers.
Interestingly, the Australian survey found only 7 per cent of business leaders ranked Australia as the most innovative country in a list of 11 options, with almost the same proportion (5 per cent) ranking Australia as least innovative.
Australians ranked the United States (US) as the most innovative country, followed by Japan and Singapore. Australia also ranked their close friends from across the ditch, New Zealand, as the least innovative country.
These findings reflect a significant difference between the perceptions of local business leaders, and findings from the renowned Global Innovation Index, which this year ranked Sweden, the UK and the US as the second, third and fourth most innovative countries in the world, respectively. New Zealand, in 17th place, was also ranked as more innovative than Australia, which was in 19th place.
Squiz global marketing director, Robin Marchant, believes this gap reflects a high level of confidence among local business leaders, as well as a clear gap between understanding where Australia is innovating today and our potential to innovate in the coming years.
Marchant said, “It’s a really exciting time to be doing business in Australia. Among all the hype around innovation, is a handful of businesses that are driving genuine innovation throughout their organisations. It’s great to see this confidence and positivity around innovation in Australia reflected among business leaders. However, looking at Australia’s rankings by other measurements like the Global Innovation Index, it’s clear we still have a long way to go before we can call ourselves globally competitive when it comes to innovation.”
Contrastingly, the UK survey revealed UK business leaders rank themselves tied with the US and China as the most innovative country in the world (13 per cent). Australia was ranked among the bottom, with only 3 per cent claiming it was the world’s most innovative country.
“Australia has the potential to reach the top of that list, whether it’s according to local or international executives. However, to reach these goals, we need to recognise the need for local business leaders to shift their perceptions on how they create and adopt digital technologies. Embracing digital and accepting it’s now embedded in how we communicate, interact and conduct business, will be critical to driving genuinely innovative thinking and ways of doing business in Australia”, concluded Marchant.