Being brave - new ways of thinking

By Rob Southwell - October 9, 2017

The concept of innovation is being discussed around boardroom tables, at business forums and in lunch rooms all around the globe.

Wikipedia describes innovation as a “new idea, device or method”. However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

While this is factually correct, it is not just about the way you do things, underlying innovation is real process around changing mindsets.

While ride sharing giant, Uber, and online hospitality marketplace, Airbnb, were developed as innovative ways to challenge the archaic travel and accommodation sector, the real driving force behind their success is people’s shifting mindsets. Once upon a time you would never imagine allowing random strangers to stay in your home or consider allowing someone other than a licensed cab driver to take you home. Without a real shift in the way we allow or consider travel, these two businesses would never have succeeded.

Innovation is also about being brave.

The historic agreement between French renewable energy provider Neoen, the South Australian government, and Tesla will put South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology. The project was a result of a bet Elon Musk made on Twitter with Atlassian co-founder Mike CannonBrookes. The infamous comment that the Tesla operational battery system would solve Australia’s energy problems in 100 days or the batteries would be free has been included in the official contract on the insistence of Musk. 

Couldn’t be a better example of innovation and bravery colliding.

However, innovation is not all about cool offices, bean bags and ping pong tables in the break out room. Innovation is not just about coming up with the next big revolutionary way to change people’s lives.

Innovation, at its simplest, is adding value to an organisation or its customers. Building a culture of innovation can be simple. Innovation does not need to be solely invention. It needs to be balanced with the ongoing daily demands of the business.

Fostering a culture of brainstorming, allowing people to try, yet learn from failures, implementing and rewarding change from innovative ideas is what builds a culture of innovation. 

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Rob Southwell


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