The Innovation Imperative

A recent Innovation Survey AIM conducted with Melbourne University highlighted a prevailing lack of business leadership as the primary impairment to workplace innovation and business profitability in Australia. In light of this, I sat down recently with Federal Minister for Small Business the Hon. Bruce Billson, and innovation expert Professor Danny Sampson recently and discussed how we can better foster a culture of innovation in Australian workplaces. Below are some simple steps we all agreed business leaders could take to ensure a profitable and sustainable culture of innovation…

Be at the main game

Don’t wait for innovation to happen to your business – go out and find it! Look everywhere from your own backyard to the far corners of the globe. Inspiration for innovation is everywhere but it won’t just fall into your lap.

Show your hand

Be a mentor. Get a mentor. There’s a serious cultural flaw in Australia of great innovation being a closely guarded secret. Sharing smart innovation and the processes that inspired it generates more and better innovation – it’s a healthy and productive cycle.

Put your money where your mouth is

Be willing to invest time, energy and resources into the cultivation and execution of innovative ideas. Keep an open mind to new processes and approaches and don’t be scared of failing – if you’re not failing sometimes, you’re not truly innovating! Really great ideas are often inherently risky – if they weren’t, everyone would be doing them.

Know When to Call Stumps

Make sure you’re measuring the impact of new initiatives. If you’ve given it everything you’ve got and it’s just not working, shut it down and move onto the next great idea. There’s no point clinging to an idea that’s not working out purely because you’ve already invested in it.