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Innovation

Top 4 Reasons Preventing Business Innovation in Australia

sydney

Australia is one of the most developed counties in the world that enjoys one of the world’s best economies. The consistent economic growth in Australia makes it world’s second richest country which is just behind Switzerland. An important reason for Australia to achieve and maintain its economic growth is by adopting mixed market economy. Though the country is enjoying one of the best economies by adopting a well thought-out plan, but it is quite reluctant to take alternative measures that would boost its economy further.

The most prominent example is the business sector in Australia. As compared to several other developed countries that are constantly taking measures for introducing changes in their business models, Australia hasn’t shown interest in this way. The country is following the old business model since past several years and is reluctant to take revolutionary steps in bringing innovation to its business strategy.

Today, whether you are trying to create a company in highly developed country like USA or are planning to start a firm in a developing economy similar to Dubai business setup, you will find new and interesting business techniques adopted by them. But that’s not the case in Australia.

If you want to find the causes behind the slow adoption of business innovation in Australia, these 4 major reasons will provide an insight of the problem.

Less Importance in Educational Institutes:

Australian schools and higher institutes are known for producing large number of research papers on the subjects related toscience & technology, mathematics and engineering. But it seems business is not their priority at all. Australia is far behind countries like USA, the UK and South Korea that have introduced entrepreneurship in their schools.

But this culture could not be developed in Australia. Such type of education expose young people to business cultures that is instrumental in the adoption of innovation in the field.It is because fresh minds are eager to do something new and bring changes in the society.

The slow approach of Australia to introduce entrepreneurship in schools is due to unawareness of the country to see business as a driving force behind economic growth. The experts say that technology startups can add $100 billion in Australia’s GDP by 2033. But it needs 20 times the number of entrepreneurs that the country currently has.

The only way that Australia can achieve this target is by giving importance to business education in schools and providing a business-friendly environment. The problem is that Australia is critically lacking both these factors.

The problem is not limited to schools, but even Australian universities are not much eager in giving importance to business-related subjects. Most of the universities started offering entrepreneur subjects in recent years and they are also lacking experienced professionals. These universitiesare now trying to provide quality business education to students after increase in thedemand.

But as they started the whole process late, so they will take time to come close to the level of countries that are already providing good business-related education. Currently, they are far behind countries like Korea, Germany and the UK that have collaborating business with higher education. This is a major hindrance in the adoption of business innovation in Australia.

Afraid to Take Risk:

A general attitude of entrepreneurs in Australian is that they avoid taking unnecessary risks and like to remain on safer side. It is especially important as their fiscal growth is going smoothly and they don’t consider it necessary and wise to experiment new techniques and make decisions that may pose a risk to their continuous growth.

Therefore, they avoid experimenting with new techniques as their old and reliable business methods are quite beneficial for them. They want to play safe without taking undue risks associated with innovation in business. It is the reason that less than 20% Australian firms operate in international markets.

Due to this, the Australian entrepreneurs are behind entrepreneurs of USA, the UK and other major business locations. The reason is the difference in attitude in USA as compared to that in Australia. Entrepreneurs in USA think that failure is part of their business journey and the success that comes after failure is the real success. They are not afraid of the initial setbacks that they may face in adopting new business techniques and methods. This positive attitude, where they are ready to take risks,has been proved helpful for them to achieve new heights.

Australia can only expect to achieve business innovation after replacing its current attitude with a new approach of adopting global business ideas. But it will take some time to replace decades’ old tradition with a more aggressive one.

Less Support from Government:

The arrival of any new idea and product in any country demands encouragement and assistance from government. But it seems the Australian government is not ready to give business its due importance. Australian economy primarily depends on sectors like services, construction and mining. These sectors provide less business activities and the focus of government is more on these major sectors of economy.

But there are reports that business sector can contribute billions of dollars in the Australian economy in the coming years and it merely requires adoption of innovation in business strategy. This can be done with the introduction and spread of global business ideas, which is only possible with the support of government. Currently, the Australian government provides far less funds to both SMEs and large businesses as compared to countries like South Korea, Finland and Germany.

The Australian government can change this approach with investment in well-structured programs like business hubs and incubators. Currently, the Australian government is providing some tax incentives to entrepreneurs. But direct government funding to the sector is very low and the benefits of this policy will take some time to deliver.

Non Supportive to Big Business:

Another important reason that Australia is not supporting business innovation is due to their negative imagination of big businesses. You can’t expect innovation from small and medium sized businesses as it is difficult for them to take big risks. By taking innovative steps, the entrepreneur is in fact taking risk and this attitude is only possible for big businesses. It is because these firms have enough additional capital and they can afford a single or two bad experiences with new business techniques.

But due to less support of big businesses from Australian government and corporate sector, it is unlikely that major steps can be taken in this regard.


Brenda Cagara is a part of the business consultant team RIZ & MONA in Dubai. Her work is to assist the formation of companies and help setting up business firms. Other services she takes a part in are visa processing, trade license, trade mark, bank account opening, product registration and local sponsors. Along with this, she vigilantly manages to pursue her writing career. Since the past five years, she has been writing on different niches. The top ones are business, taxation and finance.

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Innovation

Why Going Green Is Good For Your Business (& How To Do It)

windmills

The more we learn about our environmental impact, the more we understand the responsibility of supporting sustainability efforts.

Adopting a green approach to business practices shows a commitment to promoting future global ecological and social balance.

Sustainability is a long-term goal that can drive positive change in the environmental sphere when incorporated into corporate strategies.

As more consumers align with companies that share their values, going green is good for the environment and is also good for your business. Sustainability has fast become a business opportunity, benefiting your business finances, reputation, workplace culture, and employee morale.

Therefore it just makes good business sense, so let’s look at the why and how of going green.

Why Go Green?

From customer relations to tax incentives, the benefits of going green are a major drawcard for business owners looking to incorporate sustainability in their corporate strategy.

Strengthen brand reputation

Sustainability is a modern expectation of brands these days. For your brand to strengthen and retain its reputation within your industry, it’s essential to showcase your sustainability efforts. How potential customers perceive your brand will come down to multiple factors, with sustainability measures high on the list.

Build customer base

Sustainability is a central factor in how we shop these days. Eco-conscious consumers are on the rise, and this sizable demographic advocate for brands that prioritize environmental, social, and ethical standards.

The experts agree. In a recent State of the Industry report, Jenkins Freshpac Systems had this to say on making the shift to more sustainable practices:

Some businesses question – why make the switch from plastic packaging to something more sustainable? Well, from our viewpoint, a better question is: Why wouldn’t you? Consumers are making more and more purchasing decisions with sustainability in mind, so this should be enough incentive for any business to become more environmentally friendly.

A corporate sustainability strategy will help you tap into this market and build your base.

Increase customer loyalty

Plus, going green is also an opportunity to increase the loyalty of your current customers.

Sustainability is the way of the future, and we’re all jumping on board in our own time. Whether associating with ethical companies or ditching plastic packaging, consumers take their own steps to cut their environmental impact.

Many consumers are eco-warriors, so there’s an opportunity to show them you’re aware. You care too about your carbon footprint and sustainability giving your existing customers the motive to stay loyal.

Improve employee happiness

Your employees are a top priority. Did you know that employees of green companies are happier, more motivated, and feel more valued? This is because sustainability initiatives show a business has a social conscience, resulting in positive company culture and higher quality of (work) life.

Employees like to know the company they’re working for is a force for positive change. Going green will not only strengthen employee loyalty but improve applicant numbers for vacant positions.

Enjoy tax benefits

Governments worldwide incentivize corporate sustainability, offering tax-related benefits to companies that invest in green technology and renewable energy. Check out your local tax systems to see what sustainability measures to adopt to qualify for tax credits or deductions.

How do you go green?

Now that we know the business benefits of going green, it’s time to look at how to go green. Going green requires an open mind and a willingness to see the bigger picture. The sustainable measures of eco-conscious corporations – big or small – have the potential to impact our world significantly.

Employee workplace flexibility

Giving your employees the option to work from home is a win-win for you and your staff. Not only good for productivity but working from home is also an excellent sustainability initiative. Working from home requires no commuting, reducing fuel emissions with fewer cars on the road. Less staff in the office also means reduced workplace energy consumption, and there are opportunities to save on energy while running your business from home.

Energy efficiency

sustainability

Innovative technologies have given us an array of simple ways to reduce energy consumption. If you’re serious about going green, consider adopting the following energy-efficient initiatives.

  • Swap outdated light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs
  • Install heating and cooling with a high energy-efficiency rating
  • Invest in electric or hybrid vehicles to slash company fuel emissions
  • Replace glass windows with double-glazing
  • Upgrade to energy-efficient staff room appliances
  • Improve office ventilation and insulation

Plastic elimination

Packaging is a leading contributor to the world’s growing plastic problem. No matter how many ‘green’ measures your company takes, all your efforts go out the window if you package products in plastic. You won’t be taken seriously as a sustainable business if you’re stuck in the dark ages of plastic packaging.

With so many sustainable packaging options available, there is simply no reason to use plastic. Sustainable packaging is compostable or biodegradable while still offering a durable and protective seal for your products.

Paperless documentation

Digitalizing your company’s documentation can significantly reduce – possibly eliminate – the need for paper in the office. Going paperless is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. If it’s necessary to use paper, opt for recycled paper and ensure your employees print double-sided to halve your workplace consumption.

Employee sustainability training

When your business has officially ‘gone green’, sustainability will become part of your employees’ job descriptions. Staff sustainability training ensures all of your employees share and support your environmental values and understand their role in implementing them.

Summary

Green businesses understand the global dependence on sustainability. While the prospect of going green may be daunting, small steps towards a more sustainable business can have major benefits for both your business and the environment. There’s no time like the present to go green. It makes good business sense, especially when consumers are all for it!

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Innovation

What The Pandemic Has Taught Businesses About Staff

post pandemic

Businesses can be optimistic about their future post-pandemic. Countries are opening up, and customers are leaving their homes to frequent their favourite stores. If your company was performing well before the pandemic and enforced lockdown, then it stands a great chance of a quick recovery and in time thrive again.

However, there is no hard and fast rule for success; there will be challenges ahead. If your business is in a sector drastically affected from closed borders, then your business will be on a slower recovery trajectory and in the meantime, rely on Government support.

As many businesses have never been tested, COVID-19 was a shot in the arm of a new reality. Not only did owners realise they failed to have a disaster recovery plan they also had no contingency funds to see them through three to six months of low or no sales. There is a new routine and pre-pandemic business, as usual, will never return.

Company boards and owners and management team will not make the same mistakes again. Albert Einstein famously said:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

The time has come to try different approaches to every aspect of the business.

Staff Resilience and Resourcefulness

Managers have learned a thing or two about their workers’ resilience and resourcefulness during the enforced ‘working from home’ aka remote working.

No longer will managers micro-manage their team as they did before COVID-19. Remote working has thoroughly tested self-management with accountability monitored online with tracking software, social intranets, video conferencing and other team collaboration software.

Workers now want to work part of the week from home, and businesses should encourage it. Why? Well, our best work happens when we are fully rested and relaxed. The workplace has many distractions, and some people don’t get along, which is stressful for them and the coworkers around them.

Innovation

Therefore if the solution to keeping all your talented staff is remote-working part of the week and the outcome is your business has harnessed higher productivity that will deliver more value to the company. A happy team are more creative, and innovation is required in downturns, i.e. recessions.

Empower your staff to do their best work and to use their remote working time not stuck at their workstation but getting outside in the fresh air exercising. Being in the zone in a repetitive activity inspires new thoughts and inspiration.

The recovery of your business will need to lean on its workers to come up with the goods and also mix it up. They need to seek opportunities to improve on your company’s existing products and services as well as design and develop new tools and features to meet the needs of consumers today.

Invest in Online Resources

If ever there was a time for improving your online resources for customers – now is it. Even the most reluctant online user is now up to speed with online shopping, social media and video chat.

Make sure you a chatbot, so your visitors have instant access to your business support crew. Also, remember your front window is now many sites, not just your website.

Social Media Presence

Your business Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter feed are just a few of the many sites available with millions of users. Find the social media platform that works for your business. For example, LinkedIn is typically the site for professional services, whereas Facebook and Instagram are perfect for hospitality and retail.

Dedicate ample time to these channels and delegate the task to the team members best suited to the role. Remember if you enjoy something you will spend more time doing it. Therefore give the responsibility of managing your Facebook page to the employee who gets a lot of satisfaction from it.

Summary

The pandemic has taught businesses to trust their workers while they work from home. Reverting to how it was before is not an option, so changing it up to meet the new normal is the path to success.

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Innovation

How To Grab Attention On Video Conference Calls

woman on phone

We are in the age of ‘COVID-19’, and our lives will never be the same again. We’ll be working from home more often and using video conferencing for meetings with colleagues, management and customers. In-person meetings allow for verbal and non-verbal cues. Body language can play a significant role in negotiation, for example.

Changes in body language or small facial expressions can provide observers, i.e. the meeting attendees messages on how to respond to get the right outcome. If you’re someone who uses non-verbal cues to sway discussion in your favour, then video-conferencing is a challenge. So how can we get what we need from these online meetings using what we have at hand, i.e. the small visuals of meeting attendees?

In this article, we provide tips on how you can get your points across, even when the other attendees are more extroverted than you.

Use The Camera

Focus on the camera and what it can do for you. There is a temptation to stare at your screen and the other attendees in the meeting. Get past this action as soon as you can. Allow yourself a few minutes to view all the other participants then turn your attention to the meeting’s contents.

Active listening is required and if it helps you to remember what is being discussed – take notes. To assist this action further say which participant explained the point, for example, Attendee John (Manager): “we will now always work from home two days a week”.

When you’re talking stare into the camera and not at the attendees faces on your screen. While this is very unnatural, and at first, you’ll think you’re rude or ill-mannered by not looking at the attendees like you would if you were in an in-person meeting. However, looking deeply into the camera not only focuses you on what you’re saying, but you also won’t get distracted with attendees non-verbal distractions.

Mastering the skills for video conferencing productivity will take practice. The multi-tasking of taking notes while actively listening and remembering to optimise the time spent looking into the camera will be your juggling act!

What you’re working against is human nature and the obsession we have with ourself. Dale Carnegie says if we’re not thinking about a project, we’re thinking about ourselves. A lot of time is spent and indeed wasted thinking about how we feel, what we want, and what other people think of us, so you can see what you’re up against to master video conference meetings as an active participant or meeting lead.

Use Your Voice

Understanding the basics of human nature can be gained from studying neuroscience or neurolinguistic programming. Introverts are less likely to sit tall or speak up than extroverts; however, they can practice doing both, and without the non-verbal cues getting in the way, video conferencing is a great levelling feature.

When you’re on a video call, always speak louder than your usual speaking voice. Plus use your voice to express yourself through using pitch, high and low, vary it to keep your audience engaged. For extroverts, they are experts in changing tone and adding volume to grab attention and express themselves. Introverts will also master this skill in the knowledge that they are in the room with the meeting attendees and that no one is spending much time thinking about them!

Backgrounds

What is in the background when you’re on a video conference call? Take care to have a bland background, so your frame is not the meeting’s distraction! Ideally use a plain white wall for your background. If that’s not possible, make sure the shelves behind you have only the objects you don’t mind your work colleagues and customers viewing, i.e. do not place intimate or personal items on the shelves that will end up being the topic of discussion.

Visual Appearance

Even though you’re working remotely and most often from your home, avoid wearing your leisure apparel. Your appearance should be what your colleagues would expect to see if they were sitting next to or opposite you in a meeting room. Once again, the objective with your appearance is to avoid being the distraction.

Summary

If you’ve been reluctant to use video conferencing, these tips will boost your confidence to use the technology without distraction.

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