Why Innovation Nation?

We are doing this for the future of Australia.

Our aspiration is to harness innovation for job creation and economic benefit to current and future generations.

We are by no means there today: According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Australia lags 22 other countries (out of 140 measured) on innovation.“ Despite world-class education and universities, it [Australia] continues to lag behind most advanced economies in innovation (23rd, up two). With global commodity prices set to remain low for the foreseeable future, along with the slowdown in China, the country must diversify further and move up the value chain” (WEF).

Crazy Might Work and partner, CEB (now Gartner) are working with the Business Council of Australia’s Innovation Task Force to respond to Australia’s innovation challenge.

What Do We Know So Far?

Australia’s Innovation Ecosystem needs to be strengthened in 4 areas:

  • Competencies
  • Commercialisation
  • Collaboration
  • Culture of innovation
Innovation Ecosystem

Here are the initiatives (in prototype) that have been developed to address these areas:

Competencies
Skills Super Highway
Skills Super Highway Resized

Youth do not have equal access to the kinds of experiences and educational programmes that stimulate interest and build capability in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) areas. This initiative aims at a more active role from Corporate Australia in identifying the skills of the future and delivery of programmes that invest in creating relevant capabilities in our youth. 

We know that there are a number of existing programs that are trying to address these issues, but inclusion seems to be a challenge and they are largely state-based and appear fragmented, limited in reach, or poorly promoted.

As a first step, we propose to surface all of the existing programs, in order to understand, what they are, how they work and who uses them. By doing this, we hope to gain an understanding of what is working well and any gaps, so that we can identify what to support, or develop. We will also determine where corporates play a more direct role in strengthening curriculums, potentially by deploying skilled staff to support the programmes in schools and offering internships/job placement to gain meaningful work experience.

1800 My Future
1800 My Future Resized

AI, robotics and other disruptions will lead to automation of certain roles that exist today and so there will be a need to help displaced workers with re-skilling. With the rate of technological change and increases in human longevity, we will need to commit to a process of lifelong learning so that we can continue to experience wage growth and do meaningful work.

This initiative is aimed at creating a career advisory service for workers looking to make a transition of their working lives one that will empower them to make future transitions more readily. People seeking to navigate these changes could call a hotline to discuss up-skilling and transition options based on their current /impending situation.  Corporate Australia can help determine the future skills required and pathways from an individual’s current role to future opportunities.

Advertising of the service would be provided by various platforms that fit with the target market e.g. TV, talk back radio, social media, RSL club posters and live chat.  This would largely consist of success stories that show how people have reinvented themselves e.g. florist to web-designer, builder to 3D printer, miner to coder, or truck driver to programmer for driver-less trucks. This will inspire others and allow them see these transitions as a real possibility.

Commercialisation
Innovation Mapping
Innovation Mapping Resized

This initiative aims to unpack the complex topic of innovation using graphics.

Mapping in data about our innovation ecosystem, we are able to depict it visually and make the insights instantly accessible. This helps us to identify strengths that can be amplified in some way e.g. industry concentrations that suggest ‘economic complexity’ that could become a competitive advantage on the international stage.

Innovation Playbook
Innovation Playbook Resized

The Innovation Playbook and Index is designed to counter the ‘short-termism’ reinforced by corporate reporting cycles, incentivising and empowering Boards and executives to connect share price with the ability to serially produce and commercialise innovative new products and services.

This idea has two key components A) a corporate index that measures innovation, linked to financial performance; and B) a playbook that captures innovative best practices. Built ‘by corporates for corporates’, the index and playbook will be cross-industry and create alignment and consistency in  how companies organise, execute, measure and communicate innovation.

Innovation Index performance will become a beacon for attracting and retaining talent and raise the profile and importance of innovation at Board, CEO and Executive levels as well as with the investor / analyst community.

Alchemy
Alchemy Resized

Alchemy addresses the tyranny of distance which affects Australia’s ability to scale solutions for international markets by looking at the attributes of successful collaborative spaces. In particular, it seeks to understand what makes some co-working spaces more successful than others.

By studying the success and failure rates of startups moving through various incubators and accelerators, we will seek to understand and replicate the unique physical and digital attributes that combine to create successful commercialisation ecosystems.

This optimised combination of human chemistry and digital networks may give us the ‘alchemy’ that turns ordinary collocation into globally useful, commercialised solutions.

Collaboration
CoLab
CoLab Resized

CoLab presents a shared physical space (or innovation lab) that multiple corporates use for strategic problem-solving. The CoLab also provides a bureau-type service that connects corporates with strategic challenges to those in the broader startup, research, SME and student community that might be able to solve them.

This builds our innovation ecosystem by forging ‘neural’ connections between participants that would not normally have the opportunity to work together.

Co-Lab will add additional value by pre-qualifying and evaluating the innovation talent pool, curating creative, problem-solving talent from all parts of the ecosystem and choosing the ‘’dream team’’ for each of the incoming corporate challenges.

CoLab ‘Dream Team’ participants will be asked to complete profiling self-assessments online as a precursor to participation. Once they have completed a ‘dream team’ assignment, they are also then rated by their team mates on their collaborative qualities.

Innovent
Innovent Resized

Innovent is an immersive, problem-solving and experimental event, designed to make ecosystem connections, whilst solving big problems.

Activity-based, and bringing together all of Australia’s innovation ecosystem players to solve big systemic challenges, Innovent creates relationships that are re-usable outside of the events themselves. Live experimentation occurs intra-day because all of the key stakeholders (including the end users or customers) are in the room and solutions can be prototyped and validated instantaneously as we tackle and resolve significant ecosystem challenges together.

Aussie Glue
Aussie Glue Resized

Aussie Glue addresses the need for greater collaboration across our innovation ecosystem. Whilst research indicates that this kind of collaboration is predictive of better business performance, it is still relatively rare. Research institutions, Government, CSIRO, large and small companies and start-ups struggle to find one another and work together.

Aussie Glue creates a practical matching platform that brings together businesses with complementary objectives. The underpinning notion is ‘Australians sticking together’ rather than ”going it alone” in domestic and foreign markets. Examples might include:

  1. Corporates working with start-ups to match corporate needs to start-up skills and give start-ups access to corporate capabilities and assets such as their customers and insights;
  2. Connecting businesses (large and small) to use complementary strengths to more effectively enter and grow overseas with increased market relevance; and
  3. Helping businesses come together to solve common, non-competitive problems e.g. cyber security.
Culture of Innovation
My Innovation Channel
My Innovation Channel Resized

My Innovation Channel brings visibility and credibility to entrepreneurs and their innovation efforts, making this career option more attractive and aspirational for the population as a whole, and youth in particular.

This is a team-based event (similar to “My Kitchen Rules) where teams are invited to compete in commercialising an innovative business idea. Team profiles are showcased and stories are told to draw attention to the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Teams could ultimately be judged against the DNA of Innovation® i.e. Demand/desirability (validated by paying customers); Novelty (newness of the idea in the world) and Aptness (solving a real problem or aspiration in a way that provides value for money, relative to alternatives). There would be a significant prize e.g. $500k donated by Corporate Australia and the competition would be showcased via a number of channels including television and social.

Poppy to the Top
Poppy to the Top Resized

We have consistently heard through our research that Australians are poor celebrators of business success. There are strains of ‘tall poppy’ syndrome that keep our most innovative business success stories from being told and publicly acknowledged. This, in turn, prevents these stories from becoming aspirational models for our youth and affects how people make career choices relative to entrepreneurial alternatives.

The concept is to create a recognition process for innovative Australian businesses that have accomplished noteworthy achievements beyond our shores. Sample criteria might include businesses with:

  1. Australian head offices;
  2. Presence in international markets other than Australia; and
  3. Demonstration of some form of world-leading business innovation.

Candidates judged on these criteria would be invited to join the “Poppy to the Top” Hall of Fame, if successful.