Academics voice need for greater innovation – Where does it sit for you?
There are many advantages to spending lots of time on plane trips. One of these is to read and to read a lot. One one of these trips, there was an article in The Financial Review by Peter Roberts about the Australian Government’s approach to Innovation where leading academics had joined the attack by business on federal government research and development policies. Whilst praising a 25% budget rise for innovation in 2009-09, four academics led by University of Queensland professor Mark Dodgson questioned the underlying rational for government support for innovation, which is largely confined to redressing areas of failure.
The academics pointed to the importance of innovation as a driver of productivity growth rather than addressing market failure.
So where and how should we see innovation? Does a company like Apple see it as a driver of growth (check share price over the last 2 years) or as a fixer of failure? Do you only get creative when the proverbial hits the fan? How does your company view it? How does your team view it? You will often hear of company story along the lines of “We had to get really creative, things were going really bad”. What if they planned to be innovative from the start? There is a fair chance that things may never have started to go bad.
When do you think of a creative solution – from the outset or when what has been tried before continues to fail? Do you think creativity at the start of a project or mid way through? Do you think of innovation as an after-thought or the-thought? Where do you place it?