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.
What The Pandemic Has Taught Businesses About Staff
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.
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.
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.
How To Grab Attention On Video Conference Calls
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!
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.
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.
If you’ve been reluctant to use video conferencing, these tips will boost your confidence to use the technology without distraction.
Business Innovation Saving The Day
Innovation in business is admired at all times, but none more so than when it saves lives. In this article, we have the technology that’s helping China and Spain during coronavirus and how eateries can survive by adapting their business model.
Taking Everything Online
There’s no room for hesitation; now is the time to take whatever you do online. Even the enterprises who up to now have resisted the ‘online movement’ have committed to the move even when it means they need an entirely different business model.
Starbucks, for example, in the US and Canada have moved to an online operation, and their decision is right timing as President Trump recommends frequenting pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants and keeping group gatherings to a maximum of ten people.
There is no precedent for what we’re experiencing with the measures to contain coronavirus and business owners are in shock. They need to act fast to have a business at all. Eateries, bars and clubs reliant on social gatherings are no longer viable unless they change their business model and give it all they’ve got to make it work and earn a profit.
Eating Out Is Now Take Out
Some restaurants are reportedly increasing the distance between tables called ‘social distancing‘ however with the recommendation to avoid socialising altogether it’s likely to be in vain.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom as we need to eat and in many regions eating out every day is the norm. For example, the French spend more time eating and drinking than any other nation and that’s not about to change overnight. Call it convenience, laziness, or lifestyle, dining out with friends and family is the norm.
In France, the average total time spent eating and drinking each day is more than two hours whereas in America it’s just over an hour. Americans eat at home more and have kitchens up to the task, as do the other nations including Australia, Canada and South Africa.
You’re more likely to find city-based properties with small kitchens, particularly in Europe where they prefer to frequent a restaurant and why wouldn’t they when there are so many and eating out is affordable.
However, in a crisis like a coronavirus pandemic, these eateries need to revolutionise their business and fast to stay in business now the foot traffic has all but gone. The eateries that have taken their business online have a better chance at survival and remaining in business.
With online orders replacing foot traffic and dine in patronage, menus need to change as do staffing requirements. Drivers who deliver the food replace waiters. Front of house staff are not required with the online model, and instead online, and phone order takers and food packers are needed. The business is leaner, but it can get through a downturn by changing what they do to meet buyer demand.
Ready-Made Meals Home Delivery
UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash and many other food delivery service providers have seen a big jump in demand recently. UberEats provides technology and a system that allows the eateries to focus on what do best, create the meals while they do the rest.
With lockdowns, and, less social gatherings and self-isolation demand is predicted to grow further with contactless deliveries.
Innovation in Technology
Step up the tech innovators; your call-up is needed. Never before has there been a time where we’re reliant on AI, robots and drones. China is showing it’s innovation might, and Spain has found a novel way to keep people at home.
Spanish police are using drones with speakers in public areas to warn people to stay at home, and it’s just like what you’d see in a fictional movie, but it’s happening in real life.
China is also using drones as well as QR codes. The innovative use of colour-based QR codes, people are checked and stopped from entering public places if they’re infected says Reuters. Once you’ve completed a questionnaire providing your details, and temperature you’re in the system, and it’s used to track your travel and health history.
Also in China, the ongoing task to remove coronavirus off surfaces in public spaces is a mammoth chore but helping out with the operation are robots who can not catch the virus, nor need rest, or sustenance, unlike their human coworkers.
AI Face Recognition Software
Though the true hero appears to be AI face recognition software which is part of China’s surveillance operations. Artificial Intelligence software firms are upping the stakes with heat detection in the face recognition software, and some can detect the temperature of anyone within a five-metre radius. The delivery of the software is mobile too as it’s embedded in helmets worn by epidemic control personnel.
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