Part Two: SAP Partner Ricoh Weighs in on Innovation


Organisations need to better align the role or purpose of innovation with the perceived capability to deliver outcomes.

Innovation and Productivity

Innovation is often associated with “big ideas” but Australian organisations have a lot to gain by leveraging innovation for productivity. Innovation is a goal but is often stifled by the immediate requirement for day-to-day productivity.

To uncover where innovation-productivity gaps lie, the Workplace Innovation Index looked at how Australian organisations are managing their internal systems and processes. The findings show that most (60{03109690c9fc9f1b535ab98dc2ba9c0463415cd7a0be82ac50ffc646ddfcf418}) Australian organisations do not have a required level of clarity around systems and processes and this is holding back increases in efficiency.

Nearly twice the rate of senior executives are more likely to feel internal policies and processes are ‘clear and consistent’ compared with their line of business manager colleagues, indicating a clear disconnect between the C-suite and those who are closer to the coalface.

Worryingly, nearly two-thirds (61{03109690c9fc9f1b535ab98dc2ba9c0463415cd7a0be82ac50ffc646ddfcf418}) of business leaders report productivity loss when new systems and processes are introduced. This is a clear indicator that better implementation and change management is needed when new systems are deployed.

Most (65{03109690c9fc9f1b535ab98dc2ba9c0463415cd7a0be82ac50ffc646ddfcf418}) Australian organisations are in the middle of, or planning to, reorganise internal systems and processes, indicating the appetite for transformation is alive and well, which can easily lead to more innovative practices.

A Change in Culture

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

The research showed how better collaboration can result in real change:

  • A little more than half (51{03109690c9fc9f1b535ab98dc2ba9c0463415cd7a0be82ac50ffc646ddfcf418}) of the respondents reported their organisation involves staff in the introduction of new technology “sometimes”, with 12 per cent saying staff are “rarely” involved.
  • When staff are always involved in new technology introduction, 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”.
  • Organisations need better ways of collaborating and communicating. And there remains a considerable lack of consultation with staff when it comes to having the right tools to work together.

Australian organisations have collaboration technology available, however, more than one-third (36{03109690c9fc9f1b535ab98dc2ba9c0463415cd7a0be82ac50ffc646ddfcf418}) of business leaders say the organisation does not use collaboration tools in an integrated or systematic way.

A culture of innovation and change will be developed with the right people and collaboration technology. Even with the best ideas, innovation can easily get caught up with legacy business models or a sheer reluctance to change.

According to Ricoh’s Andy Berry, 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.

“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,” Berry says.

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