The hype around innovation right now is massive. In business today, increasing efficiency is no longer enough to ensure success. If you want to thrive, you must innovate as well. But all the excited talk leaves unanswered some of the most important questions for organisations – such as ‘How do we get started?’, ‘What is the best way to become more systematic in our innovation capability?’ and ‘How can we best manage the risk and uncertainty inherent in innovation, especially as the pace of disruptive change continues to accelerate?’. If these questions sound familiar, we should talk.
For us, innovation is executing new ideas to create value – and this is the engine of growth. We’ve been committed to this idea for many years, and consequently, we know a bit about building growth engines.
In this time of innovation hype, it’s easy to look for quick answers. We don’t think this is the right way. We’ve established Era as the home of systematic innovation capability – in other words, to promote and develop the tools, methods and frameworks needed to build your organisation’s innovation efforts into a long-term engine for growth.
Go back to our definition of innovation. You need to have great ideas to innovate. But that’s not enough – you also must be able to select ideas and execute them well. Even if you do that, there is no guarantee of success – you still need to get people to adopt your great new idea, and the only way to do this is to create value for them. Innovation isn’t just the spark of an idea, it’s a process.
As markets become more contestable and the boundaries between industries continue to blur, successful value creation increasingly requires business model innovation. This is a skill that all too often is poorly understood and therefore badly executed. As well, managing the risk of innovation at the enterprise level requires investment in a balanced portfolio of innovation initiatives, to ensure an appropriate spread of effort and optionality across time and levels of uncertainty. Again, too few organisations are pursuing this portfolio approach to innovation on a systematic basis.
All of these aspects of innovation require organisational skills that take time to build. There is no quick fix. Era is committed to addressing this challenge by building upon our combined knowledge of innovation. We first bonded over ten years ago through a shared love of economics and a deep fascination with the role of innovation in driving economic growth and development. Kate's experience has since been built through the delivery of more than sixty innovation jams and associated consulting services for some of Australia’s leading organisations as Vulture Street Innovation (Era’s predecessor). Tim’s expertise has developed through his world-leading research on the drivers of innovation success and performance across a range of industries (via his role as Associate Professor of Innovation at University of Queensland Business School), and his work on implementing innovation initiatives with organisations around the world.
We are now joined by an unrivalled team of strategy specialists and business analysts, and are fortunate to be working on a number of pioneering innovation projects for leading Australian organisations, using principles from lean start-up, design thinking, emergent strategy and portfolio management. We are passionate about helping to build an ecosystem of growing, thriving, innovative organisations ranging from start-ups to high-growth SMEs to multi-billion dollar enterprises, and are deeply committed to translating this learning into practical, accessible services for our clients and partners. We hope you will join us on the exciting journey ahead!