Adding Regional Innovation Management to your Region


I have been fortunate in the last few weeks to travel down south and provide some advice to key stakeholders in some further away regions. The first thing I discovered is that everyone thinks their part of the world is “God’s Own Country”. The beauty for Australia is that they are probably right – we are lucky to have such a plethora of exceptional areas. My main goal of the trip was to showcase what we have achieved on the Central Coast of NSW (very much a work in progress) but more importantly to focus regions on what I have labelled regional innovation management (RIM). Read more

Strategy and Making Hard Calls


Successful companies have clear and often simple strategies. Interestingly the game of strategy has probably never been so intense. You would expect after a few hundred years of rapid industrialisation we should by now be getting smarter at strategy. But I doubt that this is the case. Read more

Moving From Creative Destruction to Creative Construction


Australia’s manufacturing sector seems to be in a melt down. Toyota is the latest to announce a planned exit; confirming it is planning to stop making cars at the end of 2017.  Ford and Holden have similarly announced exit strategies. Read more

Great Enterprises Have Great Souls – Part 2 of 2


Ultimately a thriving enterprise has a level of authenticity pervading its people. Ultimately it comes down to a level of mutual respect and trust. If I think I am getting a fair go from my staff (top down) and they think they are getting a fair go from management (bottom-up) all is probably going reasonably well. Read more

Great Enterprises Have Great Souls – Part 1 of 2


Our 360 Degrees of Innovation Framework centralises the “soul” as a key driver of any enterprise. Marketing expert Leonard Berry wrote about the “soul” of services businesses (Discovering the Soul of Service: The Nine Drivers of Sustainable Business Success) back in the late 90s and I have adapted a similar metaphor more generally to incorporate the culture of the organisation. I regard culture as the most interesting and most important concept for any active enterprise. Read more

Doing Business in China – Lesson 2: The many faces of China


A lot has been said about the importance of building relationships in China. When I first studied the use of guanxi or favours exchanged around your connections and/or relationships there were a couple of key works available. Read more

Beginning by Understanding the Rules of the Game


We outlined the 360 Degrees of Innovation Framework in a previous blog. There are two critical aspects that I push with enterprises from the outset. Read more

What Australia can learn from the German Mittelstand


I was recently part of an Australia Industry Group (AIG) Trade Mission that had the opportunity to visit what some describe as the “hidden champions” of German trade. For those in Australian industry (or elsewhere for that matter) I have some good and bad news from this Mission. Read more

Doing Business in China – Lesson 1: Prepare for the Unexpected


My main two areas of interest are innovation and China. Coincidentally these two areas happen to go well together. The Chinese Government realise that to be truly at the top of the international game, China will need to foster a lot more innovation. They are learning that imitation and cost advantages can only get you so far.

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360 Degrees of Innovation


One of the key misunderstandings around innovation is that it refers simply to new products. I agree that new products are an important element of the innovation mix but this leaves out a whole range of equally important options. Actually creating a new idea is not that difficult. Creating a new idea that is going to make a substantial difference is the real challenge. Read more