Open for comment - INNOVATION

This post was created and posted in 2014 and given recent statements made here in Australia, I thought it would be worthwhile to raise it again - Josh Keegan

Currently, Innovation is one of the biggest buzzwords around the world in a number of different countries.  Innovation takes on numerous faces and is found in organisations both large and small.  You can also find it widely talked about and mentioned in forums and blogs (including this one).  There are experts, courses and it is endlessly talked about by academics and researched with a multitude of papers, extracts, excerpts and books on the topic.  Even a "simple" search using the word in Google will yield about 130,000,000 results.

With all current methodology, and it is the same here, there are both leaders and followers.  Of these, some are true innovators providing the cutting edge truly leading the pack; and then there are those who like to think they are innovating when really, they’re not.  Similarly, there are those who claim they innovating, and just happen to be following something someone has done before (shhh, don't tell anyone).  In extreme cases, there are those who desire to innovate but don’t really want to change anything or upset the status quo.

There is software to help assist with innovation.  Many differing and varied programs have been created, offering a pre-packaged solution to assist with being innovative, removing the human element and providing a structured, repeatable approach.

Innovation doesn't seem to be industry specific, however Silicon Valley in the United States of America appears to be the model that is often upheld with various cities attempting to replicate the success (yes, even here in Brisbane, Australia local government is trying to distil and replicate Silicon Valley). 

More recently, the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as part of his "innovation statement", has indicated universities need to "...harness knowledge generation and drive improved productivity.." (Source: AFR) effectively bringing them out of the academic arena and into the business world. This has been met with both applause and apprehension on both sides of the argument.

Now we have set the scene, we would like to hear from you.

What do you think is needed to be true innovators?  Is it something specific?  Or is innovation something that is intuitive that can’t be taught, governed, mentored or trained?  Is it something that can be set up by a government and created in a city? Is it something which can be legislated? Or should government just provide opportunities for it to develop? Should innovation be structured or unstructured?

We value your opinion and would like you to weigh into the debate. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.