The Innovation Race Keynote

Who wins, who loses, who gets eliminated — and why we need to change the game?

Why have some great countries, cultures and companies charged ahead at the forefront of innovation, while others have struggled to survive? Who are the most innovative cultures in the world and why? And what does this mean for organizations today and for the race to survive and thrive?

Through drawing out fascinating insights from different cultures around the world this keynote presentation reveals principles we can all use to improve the way we think about innovation and ultimately change the game. Fast-paced entertainment and humor are blended with deep social and anthropological research, with profound implications for facing contemporary challenges. Along the way participants discover the enduring cultural traits that foster true creative thinking and innovation. They identify how (organizational) culture can shape creative and innovative thinking – and in turn how creative thinking can shape organizational culture for ultimate success.

Keynote 1: Who wins, who loses, who gets eliminated?
The Traveller, the Tourist, and the Reality of the Innovation Race:

Research shows that organisations that innovate better perform better. These organisations have more productivity (up to 50 per cent more), better employee engagement, and higher decision-making effectiveness. The study of global innovation maps reveals that some countries and companies have thrived while others have floundered, and they are a reminder of how critical it is for all leaders to understand what can lead to innovation success. This knowledge helps to unlock innovation in any organization, and enables the development of clear strategies on how to stay ahead. Through the presentation, potential ‘roadblocks’, ‘detours’ and ‘fast forward’ strategies are identified and addressed in a unique and memorable way. Participants soon discover that it is not possible to be an ‘armchair viewer’ who can passively sit back and watch innovation pass them by as inaction too often leads to elimination. Using an interactive transformational learning experience (which has been shown to boast creative thinking), participants are out of their comfort zone and on a unique international tour. Rather than being passive ‘tourists’, they learn to become actively engaged ‘travellers’. Through this process the savvy leader learns to take the best of each culture’s contribution and apply it to their building a strong innovation culture in their organization. This session is a highly motivating and highly practical guide to innovation that lasts.

For many years there has been an enduring belief that innovation is ignited by being open and taking risks. While this is partially true, Gaia Grant has discovered from her research with the University of Sydney Business School that much more is needed for sustainable innovation. By identifying the key innovation paradoxes, Gaia has found it is possible to learn how navigate the process more productively and successfully. Balancing the two sides of a paradox, the interdependent ‘paradoxical pairings’, can create a powerful dynamic that fuels innovation more effectively over the long term. Failing to balance them effectively will inevitably lead to frustration and ineffectiveness. By avoiding the typical swing between one state or the other, the ‘polar positioning’ strategy revels how it is possible to avoid oscillation, compromising and sidelining important innovation factors. This fast-paced global adventure reveals how different cultures and companies around the world have effectively managed the key Preservation / Exploration innovation paradox, along with the 4 contributing sub-paradoxes. It provides a fascinating insight into strategic innovation for all contemporary organization leaders - leads into the full workshop / game options

How often do we stop to think about why and how we innovate? Are we in danger of innovating for the sake of innovating? The invention of products that don’t appear to meet any real needs like purple Pepsi may indicate that perhaps innovation for the sake of innovation has gone too far. This session dives deep below the surface of the most innovative cultures, and challenges the typical assumption that innovation is simply about designing bigger, better, and faster products and services. It suggests, instead, that innovation should be about creative culture change. By turning the standard ‘success’ paradigm upside down, the real meaning of progress is examined and a better way forward is identified. It demonstrates how it is possible to transform an organization at the most fundamental levels through truly human-centric ethical and responsible innovation.

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