Australia’s most innovative company has been crowned with school video streaming service provider ClickView anointed the most dynamic business brains trust in the country.
Judged by a sharp minded BRW panel, for the purpose of the awards innovation was defined as “change that adds value”, a very broad definition to capture innovation across all areas.
There were companies creating environmentally friendly bottles, coming up with best-selling chocolate bars, rolling out 24/7 lockers and bringing in daily settlements.
In awarding the most innovative company in the country, BRW teamed up with consultancy Inventium to whittle 120 entrants down to a top 30.
Rounding out the top five were the Commonwealth Bank, venture technology incubator Blue Chilli, Coca-Cola and wireless network provider Skybridge.
While there were some terrific and hugely diverse innovations, judges noted the top 30 all had one thing in common - an understanding of the culture and processes required to support innovation.
“Innovation starts on the inside,” Inventium founder Amantha Imber says, “Their leaders took it seriously, they didn’t just pay lip service to the concept of innovation.”
“They were investing resources in building the right culture.”
And this absolutely has to start from the top, incorporating the ideas and encouraging the contribution of others, Imber says.
“The senior team needs to unite in driving innovation and setting the tone. It’s also vital to embrace different points of view.”
The best innovators in Australia each had things in place to foster such an environment.
Whether it was weekly meetings, recognition systems, or incorporating innovation into KPI’s, there was some constant imperative and encouragement to do make changes that add value.
So what’s the first step in getting your company to the front of the innovative curve?
According to Imber, it starts with agreeing on what it means to innovate.
“Define what innovation means in your company first. In most organisations when you ask what innovation means, everyone has a different answer.”
“You need to get everyone on the same page.”