Aussie Innovation: Lets Foster Failure

by | Mar 1, 2014

I recently sat down with Telstra to discuss Australian innovation. It comes at a critical time after a report by the Economist Business Unit listed Australia as 20th in the world in this field, behind far smaller countries and nowhere near the innovation superpowers that are China and India. So what can do to keep up?

I first recommended a change in thinking. Too often companies make the mistake of mentally pairing innovation with product, but we can easily innovate without a tangible result. Overseas companies often innovate in areas of sales, marketing, finance, service and customer experience.

We must also have a mental shift in the way we start the process. Don’t just talk about it, or expect it come from someone else in the company. Innovation must instead come from every individual.

With individual innovation a necessary factor in company success, company roles in innovation are equally significant. It all starts with the CEO who needs to show the rest of the company the importance of innovation. As we filter down each level of the company, other leaders are paramount in sharing ideas and supporting the innovation process.

These leaders must anticipate another necessary mental change. Plan to fail. It’s almost taboo in Australian culture, but failure is sometimes inevitable, particularly in the creative process, and mangers must learn to not only expect it, but laud it and analyse it. Don’t let your employees feel scared to fail, instead build your successes on these failures. And when there is success? Reward your employees with a vital dose of positive affirmation.

Innovation in Australia is now in the hands of everyone involved. It is up to all of us to break down the barriers that have currently held us back.

You can watch the full interview here.

Anna Chatburn

About Anna Chatburn

Marketing Director, The Strategy Group

Anna is driven by the belief that if organisations focus on making things better for their customers, they will retain and expand their customer-base. Anna enjoys communicating and sharing innovation expertise from The Strategy Group as it helps to transform the Australian business landscape.

An academic background in social sciences and experience working in the non-profit and education sectors underpin Anna’s interest in social and environmental innovation.

Anna has a passion for social enterprise, new technologies, sustainability, health and wellbeing. She lives in Bondi beach and loves walking the coastal path.

Anna has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sociology from Loughborough University, UK.

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Marketing Director, The Strategy Group

Anna is driven by the belief that if organisations focus on making things better for their customers, they will retain and expand their customer-base. Anna enjoys communicating and sharing innovation expertise from The Strategy Group as it helps to transform the Australian business landscape.

An academic background in social sciences and experience working in the non-profit and education sectors underpin Anna’s interest in social and environmental innovation.

Anna has a passion for social enterprise, new technologies, sustainability, health and wellbeing. She lives in Bondi beach and loves walking the coastal path.

Anna has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sociology from Loughborough University, UK.

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