While many businesses would like to consider themselves leaders in innovation, it appears that not all work environments are conducive to change. The danger for businesses that obstinately resist transformation is that they can be left behind in the fluid nature of today's market.
This is according to the latest findings from Microsoft's Culturing Success report, which indicates that almost seven out of 10 SMEs are being held back from achieving their full potential for growth due to the underlying workplace culture.
The report explains that without the right mentality and approach towards change and development, businesses won't see the encouragement and growth of innovative ideas.
Corporate anthropologist Michael Henderson teamed up with Microsoft to survey over 500 Australian businesses in an attempt to pinpoint underlying behaviours and trends which define an innovative business.
By studying workplace culture, the study grouped businesses into three distinct innovation categories, or "tribes":
- Leaders - these are the 33 per cent of organisations which encourage employee innovation without the fear of failure. Constantly pushing the envelope, this tribe grows faster than its competitors, with better reported customer loyalty and staff retention.
- Cruisers - as the 43 per cent majority, while these businesses are said to recognise the importance of innovation, they lack the tools and support to reap the benefits of innovative behaviour.
- Laggards - as their name suggests, the 24 per cent of Australian businesses which make up this third tribe lags behind on innovation, and doesn't have a real commitment to change.
Fortunately, businesses aren't confined to these tribes for life, with many having the potential to establish a workplace culture which better supports innovation. One of the ways a business can work towards this is through greater flexibility and collaboration, which is where a teleconferencing service can help.
"We know small business people are time poor, but innovation within business processes can drive efficiencies," said Bruce Billson, Federal Minister for Small Business. "As the Culturing Success report shows, improving workplace culture drives innovation so it is a good investment to make."
Managing Director of Microsoft Australia, Pip Marlow, called innovation a 'vital' part of any business's success, noting that the main obstacles facing Australian companies include a fear of failing, poor collaboration and distrust amongst employees.
By implementing teleconferences or web conferencing calls into your strategy, you can enable your organisation to see greater collaboration and communication surrounding innovation as well as encouraging a more productive workplace culture.