It was taken aback by a recent insightful conversation that Australia is one of the largest exporters of systems and compliance. It made me ask the question why?
What is it about the way we work that requires us to become so good at building systems and compliance measures. How does this compare with other innovative countries around the world. Our businesses and industries are highly regulated and whilst this is beneficial, what affect does that have on our ability to be agile and more innovative? how much is it holding us back?
If we always require a system and process to guarantee an outcome and consistent result, will we ever take the risk to innovate, to throw caution to the wind.
Startups have had a bad rap of late because of their willingness to ignore the rules, but it is ignoring the rules that has made change happen and allowed its innovation to be adopted quickly.
We have seen business take great measures over the last few years to introduce innovation processes with varying success. Wrapped around it are measures and systems that are designed to focus challenges to meet strategic objectives. Ultimately as more and more systems, processes and compliance measures are introduced the creative thinking gets squeezed out of it.
And presto, we not only produce the same ideas we did before, but we produce them more consistently - yes the process works - but not as intended.
Innovating in a large business will never be easy, there are existing cultures that make innovation difficult, that may talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. They are reliant on systems and processes to manage their staff numbers, improve workflows and guarantee output, their ability to innovate will often be limited and biased by the systems needed to make them function. Many are surprised to find that their suppliers, with less resources and money can innovate better than they can.
So can big business innovate?
No permission needed
- to dream,
- to look out the window so that they can observe customers to understand their problems - for a whole day if necessary,
- to collaborate, to share ideas,
- to spend time coming up with crazy ways to solve the problem,
- to seek a different view from outside their business,
- to talk to anyone who can help make it happen,
- to ignore there rules.