Is innovation in Australian business alive and well?

Is innovation in Australian business alive and well? 657 404 C-Suite Network
Is innovation in Australian business alive and well?

For 24 years, Pete Jeans has delivered competitive profitable growth for clients through sustainable strategy, continuous innovation, and the implementation of disruptive market realignment.

What’s the rate of innovation amongst Australia’s corporate sector? And what’s driving it? R&D tax incentives? Or more? The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is made up of Australia’s largest corporate entities. In January 2016, 60 members of the BCA responded to a survey on innovation intensity.

The survey showed that innovation is core to their success as companies:

  • 78% have a dedicated innovation program.
  • 75% invest in translating research and innovation into commercial opportunity.
  • 40% invest in pure research.
  • 38% say that improved R&D tax incentives would boost their innovation efforts.

But, just what is innovation? How do you define it?

  • The Business Council of Australia defines innovation as the application of knowledge and technology to create additional value.
  • Innovation can involve the creation of new products and services, improving existing products and services or applying business systems and models in new ways.
  • Innovation can be either incremental or transformational. Importantly, innovation implies that value is created. It must create benefits, whether privately through commercialisation or through the creation of public goods.
  • Demand for innovation is created from the need to solve problems, whether scientific, social or commercial.”

The BCA survey shows that “innovation is taking place across the spectrum of commercial activity, from new products and services; to advanced manufacturing methods and the introduction of robotics; to digital delivery of services and new logistics processes; to knowledge management systems and collaborative ventures.”

Drivers for innovation are apparently different to each organisation and circumstance.

Let’s see what a couple of high profile leaders say about the strategic and operational platforms in business where innovation should be aiming to create additional value. Richard McCarthy is vice-president and general manager at ramsetreid, an ITW-owned Australasian business with decades of experience in the innovation space.

I asked him whether he thought organisations that failed to innovate, lapse into mediocrity? “My view of innovation is that it is about truly, madly, deeply understanding your target customer. You do this to the extent that you’re able to make their life better in ways that they possibly hadn’t imagined.

Without this focus, businesses rapidly run the risk of not remaining relevant to their core customers and end-markets. In essence, you will cease to have…