Only 25 per cent of Australian organisations have innovation as a core value according to a new workplace innovation index.

The index, commissioned on behalf of Ricoh StollzNow Research studied the challenges Australian organisations face through driving innovation and adapting to change.

From that survey, 40 per cent of businesses said they must innovate for survival and nearly two-thirds say they have the capability to drive innovation programs.

Andy Berry, CEO of Ricoh Australia said innovation is a must and shouldn’t be seen as a “nice to have” or a department.

He said, “The research reveals significant disparities between what Australian organisations are pursuing and what is seen as important.

“We know innovation can deliver operational improvements and new business opportunities, but we’re not elevating its strategy value, from the boardroom to front-line staff.”

The report noted Australian organisations have the talent to innovate but lack a strategic focus or urgency to bring new ideas to life.

From the report, 26 per cent of business leaders say innovation is important but they concede the organisation is tied down with a need to focus on current operations.

Eighty two per cent of business leaders believe innovation starts with senior management.

To develop this innovation culture, the study said there needs to be “more focus on people and processes, and how technology can support this change”.

New collaboration culture

The innovation index said Australian organisations looking to bridge the gap between innovation skills and outcomes must look towards a new future of collaboration and cultural change.

Andy Berry, CEO, Ricoh Australia

From the report, 51 per cent said their organisation involves staff in the introduction of new technology sometimes and 12 per cent saying staff are rarely involved.  

When staff are always involved in the introduction of new technology, the productivity loss rate reduces to 57 per cent.

A high 43 per cent reported having “slightly fragmented” systems and processes, with 14 per cent having “a patchwork of tools”.

Australian organisations have collaboration technology available however, 36 per cent of business leaders say the organisation does not use collaboration tools in an integrated or systematic way.

Berry said the culture of any large organisation cannot be shifted unless your people are willing to change, no matter how solid your business case or how stark the threat of disruption.

He explained, “The best thing we can do as leaders is to answer the big inevitable question: Why? The clearer we can explain why we are changing, where we are heading, or how we will get there, the more our people will trust us to lead them there.”

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