Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Australian businesses may be talking innovation, but most don’t have the processes and support to be able to achieve sustainable innovation within their organisations, new research claims.
According to the new report from HR and recruitment technology vendor, PageUp, nearly two-thirds of global organisations surveyed see innovation as a key priority and corporate value in the next 12 months. Yet fewer than half believe their organisation promotes risk taking and entrepreneurial behaviour, key cultural attributes seen as vital to achieving innovation.
In addition, 43 per cent of those surveyed for the Driving a Culture of Innovation report did not feel their company created an environment of trust in which they could challenge existing assumptions, try new ideas and fail without suffering significant consequences.
And while 54 per cent of respondents said they had a process in place for submitting new ideas and incorporating feedback to improve outcomes, less than four in 10 had established processes in place for prioritising these ideas.
On a more positive note, 65 per cent agreed their corporate culture promoted diversity of thought, and 63 per cent agreed their culture develops leaders to promote idea sharing in teams. This was important given the top enabler of innovation is top leadership, the report stated.
The PageUp report was based on a survey of 322 business and HR professionals including 109 from A/NZ.
When it comes to company training and education for employees to be more creative and innovative, Australian respondents were found to have rated their organisations lower than global peers (23 per cent versus 39 per cent). Local respondents were also less confident in their approach to building talent for future workforce capability compared to global peers (49 per cent versus 53 per cent), and said their organisations were less likely to reward and recognise innovation in performance management (48 per cent versus 53 per cent).
Australian respondents also scored themselves lower in terms of the presence of leadership development programs that build future capability in leaders (40 per cent versus 48 per cent globally), plus a process for moving talent from role to role (36 per cent versus 41 per cent). Locally, respondents also claimed less visibility of current and future skill gaps to support organisational goals (29 per cent versus 37 per cent).
PageUp global market researcher, Rebecca Skilbeck, prioritisation of innovation by corporates was a good sign. However, plenty of work still needs to be done to ensure employees can act on these intensions, she said.
For PageUp, the answer is better HR processes to recruit, develop and nurture talent, as well as frameworks that help develop and prioritise new ideas.
“Innovation can easily become a flash in the pan moment, rather than a long-term strategy to safeguard the organisation into the future,” she said. “A sustainable culture of innovation requires a commitment to creating company-wide capability.”