• Marion Burchell

The perfect storm for innovation

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

There are a lot of articles on the importance of innovation. In fact, a Google search that took 0.55 seconds revealed there are no less than 697,000,000 artifacts in the topic.


Why is it then that organisations find it hard to implement?


There are many reasons such as lack of commitment, lack of funding, little organisational capability, the list goes on. In my experience, there is really one main reason - innovation is viewed as an "add on" to the existing business.


When you start from this base you have already failed. Don't go past "Go!", and don't collect your $200. The game is already up.


Innovation needs to be a critical part of any organisation's DNA. It needs to be integrated into the thinking, processes, approaches - the way we work. It should be part of what you do and how you do it.


That is not to say that innovation should be applied to everything, everywhere, every time.


However, the status quo doesn't serve us now.


Businesses that will survive will do so based on their ability to read the changing context and market, and be agile enough to move and respond accordingly. We have seen some fabulous examples of this including distilleries and wine makers pivoting their business to manufacture hand sanitiser when global supply chains were disrupted, demand significant, and essential services lacking supply. They found a new revenue stream that allowed them to stay open and keep their staff employed.

Other companies are looking toward new ways of reducing baseline costs with Crumpler and Tigerlily agreeing to share IT systems, warehousing and head office space in Melbourne. The need for innovative ways to reduce costs comes as no surprise with the ABS reporting clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing remaining more than 20% down on May 2019. Given the significant impact Covid-19 has had on the retail sector, and a forthcoming recession it is highly likely other resource sharing arrangements will emerge.


We are facing significant challenges for which there are no known solutions or precedence on which to base our decisions. The collusion of a global pandemic, economic recession, environmental unsustainability and geo-political tensions have created a perfect storm. It's the perfect storm for innovation, as innovation will create the opportunities, solutions and businesses of the future.


This is why innovation is so important, and why it should be part of every organisation's DNA.


About Marion:

Marion is a highly experienced and accomplished strategy, innovation and leadership professional with a focus on the enterprise and government sectors. She is a trusted advisor to CEOs and senior executives, providing practical and pragmatic solutions to the challenges they face. Marion is the Managing Director at Azolla Holdings Pty Ltd, a Board member, thought leader and member of an international entrepreneur association.

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