T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 1Copyright Jenny Vandyke 201...
T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 2Copyright Jenny Vandyke 201...
T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 3Copyright Jenny Vandyke 201...
T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 4Copyright Jenny Vandyke 201...
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The secret sauce of our most innovative companies 2013


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The most innovative companies in Australia and around the World have a few key ingredients in common. Trends locally and internationally in 2013 include the continuing rise of global small businesses taking on established corporates - with fewer big brands making the cut in 2013.

This report is an excerpt from Jenny Vandyke's new book, The Innovation Recipe: Key Ingredients for World-Class Results in Big Business


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The secret sauce of our most innovative companies 2013

  1. 1. T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 1Copyright Jenny Vandyke 2013www.zumbara.com.auIn this guideLEARNING FROM THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES..............................1The Fast Company Top Ten..........................................................................................................2DO ONE THING, DO IT BRILLIANTLY, THEN GROW.......................................................2AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE – AUSTRALIA’S MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES .....3The BRW Top Ten...........................................................................................................................3AFTERWORD ..................................................................................................................4Learning from the world’s most innovative companiesWhat great ideas have the worlds most innovative companies come up with? Fast Companys 2013 listof the Worlds Most Innovative Companies is a fascinating insight into what it takes to be innovative.Some of the results are quite surprising - some of the brands we often associate with innovation have notmade the cut, or else have been a fair way lower down the list than you might expect. The only majormultinational brands to make the Top 10 in 2013 are the companies that have found ways to reinventwhat they do, and theyre also not afraid to take risks and experiment.Nike tops the 2013 list for branching out from their highly successful sporting apparel and footwearproduct lines into wearable tech. Theyve also reinvented their manufacturing processes with a new shoewhich substantially cuts down on manufacturing costs without compromising quality. They acknowledgethat these successful ideas are amongst many others that ended up on the cutting room floor, never
  2. 2. T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 2Copyright Jenny Vandyke 2013www.zumbara.com.augetting past the experimental phase. They understand that investing in experimentation is critical tocoming up with those few breakthrough ideas.Amazon came in at Number Two, by reinventing their distribution processes to enable same day deliveryin key markets, an approach they are rapidly expanding on.Finally, Target scraped in at number ten, for reinventing their approach to Retail. In the US, Target is amaster of the cavernous large scale approach to retail. However, with the retail slump and unique CBDlocations coming available, they have started opening smaller scale stores, with a ‘keep it simple’approach - only stocking key items in sizes appropriate for CBD locations (think six pack not a slab ofcans of soup). These CBD stores are also offering products specifically targeted to individual markets.Theyve had to adapt their distribution approach along the way, with multiple deliveries per week tomake sure the stores stay stocked when theres less space for onsite storage.The Fast Company Top Ten1. Nike2. Amazon3. Square4. Splunk5. Fab6. Uber7. Sproxil8. Pinterest9. Safaricom10. TargetDo one thing, do it brilliantly, then growThe other thing we can learn from the Top 10 is that, when it comes to innovation. bigger is not alwaysbetter, and this is getting more the case every year. With the explosion in the App-based approach tosoftware development, global small businesses that do just one thing but do it brilliantly are taking theworld by storm. Daniel Priestley explores the Global Small Business phenomenon in his latest book, TheEntrepreneur Revolution. Let’s take a look at a few examples.Fitbit has become a leader in pedometers with an incredibly feature-rich solution in a minimalist package.This tiny, elegant pedometer does away with the bulkiness of many of its competitors (I always loved theidea of using a pedometer to measure my daily step count but didnt particularly want to accessorise mywork suits with a bulky pedometer). Its also incredibly accurate (more accurate than many of itscompetitors, measures how many floors youve climbed as well as your step count, and syncs wirelessly toyour smart phone or computer so you dont have to enter your step count manually. Fitbit also has afeature rich online dashboard, automatically tracking your progress against goals, giving you badgeswhen you hit 10,000 steps for the day, or have climbed 1000 lifetime floors, and allows you to sync upwith friends (my sister and I cheer each other’s progress despite living more than 800 kilometres apart).Fitbit does one thing and does it brilliantly, starting simple and adding features and apps along the way.
  3. 3. T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 3Copyright Jenny Vandyke 2013www.zumbara.com.auEvernote has become a leader in knowledge management, or as I like ot think of it, outsourcing yourbrain. I no longer use post it notes stuck to my computer screen to remind myself to do things, I jot it downin Evernote. I can take a photo of a product I want to research on my smart phone when Im out andabout. I can save text, images and URLs from a web page Ive visited for articles Id like to read orreference. And the feature set keeps getting better and better. You can share notebooks with teammembers privately within your team, saving final versions of key documents. Powerful tagging andsearch means that you can easily find that note you jotted down 3 weeks ago. The location you took thenote is tagged too, so if you went to a conference in Sydney you can search by location and find all yourSydney notes, sorted by date. Evernote does one thing and does it brilliantly, starting simple and addingfeatures and apps along the way.The Fast Company list is dominated by global small businesses that do one thing (or started with onething) do it brilliantly and are taking on the biggest brands in the world. Evernote is now taking on thelikes of Microsoft Sharepoint and Google Docs with it’s feature rich Evernote Business offering. This trendis making it even more challenging for big business to innovate. Those that are succeeding are findingways to focus, start small, do it brilliantly. Starting with one new shoe at Nike. Starting with one newstore at Target. ,Starting with one city at Amazon. Start small, do it brilliantly and grow from there.An Australian perspective – Australia’s most innovative companiesThe Business Review Weekly’s Most Innovative Companies list of 2012 paints a similar picture forAustralian businesses. The only major brands in the top ten are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia(CBA) at number two and Coca Cola Amatil at number four.The BRW Top Ten1. ClickView2. Commonwealth Bank of Australia3. Blue Chilli4. Coca-Cola Amatil5. Skybridge6. Buzz7. Ikon8. Planet Innovation9. Mail Call Couriers10. AbbVieIts pretty impressive for Australia’s largest bank to end up at number two on a ‘most innovativecompanies’ list. Banks have unique challenges when it comes to innovation. The consequences of gettingthings wrong could mean that people dont get paid or cant access their accounts - you cant put a betaversion of a new EFTPOS machine in to a local store - youve got to be 100% confident its all workingperfectly before you launch.
  4. 4. T h e s e c r e t s a u c e o f o u r m o s t i n n o v a t i v e c o m p a n i e s P a g e | 4Copyright Jenny Vandyke 2013www.zumbara.com.auAll of the major Australian banks are in the midst of replacing their core banking systems - replacingmultiple interconnected legacy systems that have been in place for many years. The longer its beensince youve done a major change, the more ingrained your current processes are, the older yourtechnology is, and the harder it is to change. Banks also have the challenges of a (rightly so) strictregulatory environment. Theres nothing like saying "you cant implement that because it might impact ourbanking licence" to get a management teams attention. Banks also rely on a reputation of trust with theirclients - its a big step to trust someone with your money. Gaining a reputation as a risk taker is notsomething the Big Four would generally court.As a side note, interestingly, this tight regulatory environment has also been an incredibly powerfulpositive for Australian banks. The Aussie banks were, on a global scale, largely unscathed by the GFCbecause we had tighter controls in place, and international financial markets have been struggling toplay catch up with their own regulations. As a result, Australias Big Four are, five years later, still in thetop twenty safest banks in the world.Despite the challenges of innovation for banks and other large conservative corporates, CBA is findingways to innovate by being open to new ideas and making bold decisions. They are ahead ofcompetitors in progress in their core banking replacement. They have launched an internal InnovationAcademy to encourage and foster bottom up ideas. They have also shown boldness in going it alone onsome big decisions. In banking there are often times when the banks need to cooperate to get thingsdone. Recently the Big Four collaborated on a joint initiative to move from weekday merchant processingto seven day merchant processing. The joint initiative fell through due to complexity and cost issues, andCBA made the bold choice to go it alone, and despite the risk of going it alone, the Return on Investment(ROI) has been well and truly worth it.In the tough environment weve been in over the last few years, its promising to see that many Australiancompanies are making bold decisions and reaping the rewards. While were talking about the bankingsector, it’s worth a look at NABs "break up" campaign where they broke away from the age-old bankingtradition that everyone ups their interest rates when the RBA does. The break up campaign courtedcontroversy, critical acclaim (winning a prestigious advertising award at Cannes), and again, the ROI hasbeen well and truly worth it.AfterwordThis is an excerpt from The Innovation Recipe: The six key ingredients to dish up world class results inevery team, my new book launching on 1st June, 2013. If you would like to be notified when the bookcomes out, or you have any feedback regarding this excerpt, please send an email toinnovationrecipe@zumbara.com.auIf you have any innovation questions you’d like answered, or you’d like to join the Innovation Recipeconversation, you can join the Innovation Recipe group on LinkedIn or join my Bloomfire community.Kind regards,Jenny Vandyke.