Driving competitiveness through innovation

An excerpt from a CEDA presentation - watch part of Andrew's presentation here.
We live in a world that was unimaginable only yesterday. Mobile technology and social connection are continuing to challenge industries, while opening up amazing opportunities for people to connect and work in new ways, and for businesses to create new markets.

As the pace of change increases, a question I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on is how organisations better embrace these opportunities and what it takes to thrive in a digital age. And when you look at the current degree of change and realise this is probably the slowest it’s ever going to be, I don’t think it’s enough to simply respond. To succeed, organisations now need to drive change and work in fundamentally different ways.

Create experiences customers will advocate for

The dynamics between consumers and organisations has shifted such that customers now determine a brand’s reputation.

Brands are now built on what customers say about an organisation. People don’t trust what organisations say. It’s what people say and how they advocate for you that matters.

The challenge then is for organisations to create experiences so seamless and intuitive that customers love– and then to do it consistently in every single interaction be it online, over the phone or in store.

Companies that are succeeding are moving to the notion that instead of introducing a product to market, they need to produce experiences so empowering, it’s hard for people to imagine their lives without them.

By creating this intimacy and a stronger understanding of unique preferences, successful organisations are evolving business models to find new ways to create shared value with their customers – ultimately providing for increased commercial value by adding products and services that capitalise on a great customer experience and active user volumes.

I love the analogy of experiences needing to feel as intrinsic to us as the air we breathe. I recently came across a great statistic showing the first thing more than 90% of us do we do when we wake up is reach for our mobile devices to check on emails and social feeds – technology has truly interwoven itself into every facet of our lives!

“How” you work is now as critical as “what” you work on

Paradoxically, we now operate in a world where customers can’t tell us what products and services they need. We haven’t invented them yet.

One of the biggest challenges leaders face is creating an environment that encourages and embeds innovation.

The creative capacity of workforces is now more valuable than any capital investment an organisation can make. After all, it is people who drive innovation, not infrastructure.

Yet despite being a competitive asset, creativity does not tend to be celebrated enough – particularly within larger organisations that have favoured more traditional management approaches such as productive efficiency and compliance.

Culture and ability execute quickly on new ideas has been a big part of our focus at Australia Post. For us, innovation starts with the customer – and ensuring we listen, learn, and adapt to their needs.

Above all, enabling the creative talent of people starts with an insatiable appetite for learning and the courage to work in new ways.

And while no one’s got the perfect answer, successful new business models are prioritising speed and adaptability, where teams are empowered to manage uncertainty, make mistakes, and try again.

The best way to predict your future is to create it

The most important thing an organisation can do to thrive is to disrupt itself, challenge internal norms, and ensure it leaves no stone unturned in its drive to create exceptional customer experiences.

The internet age has brought with it a wealth of opportunity, and a creative culture lies at the heart of building products that create new value for customers.

Ultimately, its people who make up an organisation, so culture becomes critically important to solving how customers receive an improved experience.

For me, innovation happens is when we tap into ideas and execute on them in ways that create meaningful value.

One of my favourite quotes comes from Albert Einstein – “the best way to predict your future is to create it”…And what an incredible opportunity we now have to combine great ideas, technology and a bit of creativity to chart new futures that weren’t previously possible.

An excerpt from a CEDA presentation - watch part of Andrew’s presentation here.


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