We had the privilege of attending the BRW breakfast which served as the awards presentation for the most Innovate Companies in Australia earlier this year.
The top three most innovative companies were:
1. Click View (educational software company)
2. CBA (commbank)
3. Blue Chilli (small incubator for start ups)
These companies are industry leaders when it comes to innovation. Wondering how they do it day in, day out? Throughout the morning, we learned some tricks on how to get the innovation flowing before a meeting:
1. Squeeze your left hand for 5 seconds (no less!)
2. Raise your eyebrows
3. Open body language (sit back, broad shoulders, open arms – you can keep your legs closed ladies)
There’s definitely a lot more to creating an innovative company and mindset but these three points are an easy place to start. : )
We also took away from the morning one key word – EMPOWER!
The guy from Blue Chilli told this story: he is involved in the Kid-preneur Club which teaches 8-12 year olds about business. He was at a market and one of the children decided to set up a lemonade stand. The child was selling a glass of fresh lemonade for $0.50. His mentor approached him and said, why don’t you put your price up to $1 and see what happens – so the child did and nothing changed. He was still selling the same amount of lemonade.
As the day wore on, he saw that the market wasn’t as busy so he enlisted his brother to take a pitcher of lemonade around to other areas of the market and anything he sold he would split the $1 with him (50/50). This was completely unprompted and when you look at it, in essence he had just franchised his lemonade stand. His brother ended up doing so well running back and forth with full pitchers that he was over it and realised he was missing out on money each time. SO the brothers rounded up a friend to be the runner. One was squeezing the lemons and making the drinks while the runner was going back and forth. This way there was always a full pitcher available and the sales man was selling. Aside from the mentor suggesting a change in price, the three young boys managed everything else and expanded their little stall in the space of four hours.
We loved this story because the boys showed incredible initiative and felt empowered by their mentors to do so.
So without going off on a complete tangent – this story and all the presentations I watched this morning made me realise how important it is to keep innovation top of mind, in both the big and small challenges we face everyday.