Executives failing innovation test

1 min read

Executives failing innovation test

Executives failing innovation test

New research has revealed a huge gap for Australian businesses between their willingness to innovate and actual outcomes, with 70 per cent of executives declaring that risk aversion and costs are barriers to innovation.

The research, a joint effort between corporate innovation provider Slingshot and the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, surveyed 300 senior innovation managers across Australia and found many business leaders believe they still don't have the capability or capacity to deliver innovation inside their companies.

Slingshot CEO and founder Craig Lambert told The Australian the results confirmed what he'd seen anecdotally in the industry.

“The research tells us that despite best efforts from many corporate businesses, there’s a lack of real commitment to innovate and poor awareness about how best to tackle that. Innovation programs have to move the needle for businesses but it’s clear that corporate innovation is something that many sectors still grapple with,” Mr Lambert said.

“Many organisations understand innovation well but I think there’s an industry wide awareness gap about what is working and how best to begin the process. It’s one thing for a board to agree that innovation is needed in a business, but unless that is actioned effectively and measured reliably, material outcomes with real, lasting impact are limited."

Sheena Jack is the CEO of HCF, which has a corporate innovation program dubbed HCF Catalyst. She describes it as Australia's leading health tech accelerator program, with a goal of making health insurance more relevant to young people, and easier to understand.

The program works with early-stage businesses that will potentially partner with HCF to drive innovation outcomes.

“Collaboration is key," Ms Jack said.

"Many of our most innovative efforts have been through working with partners to solve a common problem. That’s where the magic happens."

The research found that 70 per cent of respondents saw cost, risk aversion and business as usual demands as barriers to moving innovation through organisations quickly, while 80 per cent said there is a gap in linking innovation activity and outcome.

Nine out of ten said meanwhile that executive sponsorship is critical to the success of an innovation project.

Dr Sarah Jones, CEO of Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, said the results underlined the need for tangible skills growth to support innovation.

“The innovation ecosystem has evolved significantly in recent years, but this research shows there is still a significant confidence gap that we need to address with targeted programs for everyone,” Dr Jones said.

Article written by David Swanson. Originally published in The Australian.