Study finds that Australian businesses aren’t doing enough when it comes to innovation

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Following the inaugural Business Readiness Index on Information Security, Canon Australia has today announced a second module focused on innovation.

Conducted by GfK Australia, the report is based on surveys with more than 530 local business leaders, with a focus on attitudes and actions aimed at staying ahead of the curve.

While 78 per cent of businesses surveyed believe being innovative is important to being successful in the modern economy, businesses have implemented an average of just three initiatives. Furthermore, only 38 per cent of the respondents considered their business to be innovative.

According to the study, most businesses are not doing enough to drive innovation, with 40 per cent implementing just one innovation initiative. While challenges vary by business size and across industries, a lack of budget is perceived as the biggest inhibitor and resistance to change also features prominently.

The study also found a range of emotional barriers that hold organisations back from implementing measures to drive innovation. For medium to large businesses, conflicting agendas and a breakdown in communication are cited as the biggest struggle for 63 per cent (medium) and 70 per cent (large), respectively. Self-doubt is also a concern (49 per cent) of small businesses, where leaders lose faith in the value of original ideas over time.

The report suggests that the divide between highly innovative companies, and those that rated themselves lower on the scale, is a culture that encourages new ways of thinking and working. Seventy-four per cent of highly innovative businesses believe it comes down to fostering an innovative culture, with 69 per cent building this from the inside out.

“Not only do innovative businesses place a stronger recognition on skills such as digital literacy and data science, they also value curiosity, independent thinking, and a sense of initiative more than their counterparts,” Canon Information Systems Research Australia Research Manager Dr Jeroen Vendrig said.

“To facilitate a dynamic environment where employees can learn and grow, and where ideas can thrive, reward attempts even if they ‘fail’ – like a badge of honour. It’s not really failure if you learnt something along the way.”

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