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Here are the top 5 insights from the event:
Innovation can be defined as responding to the environment you’re in by doing things in different ways. Innovation is having the ability to adapt to a new environment by choosing to action change, rather than talking about it. Sometimes it will be competitor pressure that pushes the transformation, because someone else who can adapt better will do better. Everyone is experiencing the same procurement, governance, structure, resource and budget constraints, it’s what innovative action you take to keep improving that matters. Don’t let things get to a point of not being good enough, or down the track it could be too late to achieve change that impacts business for the better.
You can’t command innovation, because it’s an art form - not something that can be forced. Instead, it needs to be encouraged to grow. The right environment will allow it to flourish. Look at your organisation’s structures and process, values and culture - could you easily embed innovative thinking and practices into the day-to-day? With better models and organisation, your business will be able to adapt quickly to changing conditions that allows innovation to be part of every day. Mindset is a start, then the transformation to a more creative and imaginative culture can begin.
As a nation, there needs to be better innovation linkages between all parties. Government, industry and businesses need to talk in unison. We don’t have a problem with great ideas in this country - but it’s the ability to foster them that stifles our innovative identity. The translation of ideas from universities and accelerators needs industry support. Success and failure is a reality and we need the environment that accepts the ‘new’, along with all the risks. There’s an element of permission that is holding us, and our co-operative behaviours, back - and this needs to change. Let failure happen - reward it even. This culture will empower people to take the risks and enable us to move forward.
When thinking about innovation, think about actions. A balanced idea of your short term goals and long term objectives will set the path for success. Depending on industry, big impactful challenges might require a larger focus on the end game, but overall, understand that innovation comes in different forms and there’s no single metric or measurements. Different parts of community will need different barometers, and sometimes the most meaningful things will not be easily measurable. Make observing, listening and learning part of the businesses DNA. Take the time to find out what interesting insights your customers can offer about your business. What’s frustrating them? What would they like from your business to make their lives easier? Have those interactions and get that direct feedback.
Education is needed to nurture innovation. Innovation is identified as a ‘soft skill’ - but it’s a critical skill that equips individuals for life. Technical skills have a used-by date. Critical skills are enduring and transferable and organisations should look to help build these skills amongst employees. Collaboration, problem-solving and creativity are all takeaways for life. Our younger generations know they need to top-up these skills to continue to stay relevant. Encourage an appetite for risk, curiosity to learn, tenacity, communication and expressive behaviour, plus layers of ambiguity. Teaching, learning and growing makes for interested and engaged people.
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