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Media Release

Creativity driving innovation in South Australia

Creativity driving innovation in South Australia

Commonwealth Bank Pop Up Innovation Lab arrives in Adelaide as research into business innovation in SA is revealed

Businesses in South Australia are more innovative than the average Australian business, Commonwealth Bank research shows.

A total of 51 per cent of SA businesses are innovation active, as assessed against an international standard*, compared to a national rate of 44 per cent.

The research comes as Commonwealth Bank prepares to open its Adelaide Pop Up Innovation Lab on Tuesday 3 October. The Innovation Lab will host a series of events, workshops, design jams and tours until Friday 13 October to help more businesses in the state understand and put innovation into action.

South Australian businesses that have implemented an innovation estimate it adds on average $264,000 to the bottom line, however, this is lower than the national average of $405,000 in estimated improved company earnings from innovation.

“This research provides evidence that innovation helps the financial performance of a business,” says Adam Bennett, Group Executive, Business and Private Banking at Commonwealth Bank. “The research also found that the innovation rate is highest for businesses that have either a really positive or a really negative revenue outlook.

“When compared to the national average, more South Australian businesses are genuinely innovating than the national average, but they say they are generating less return from that innovation. While we don’t know why they are reporting less pay off, we do know what the drivers of innovation are for SA businesses,” says Mr Bennett.

Businesses that are innovating tend to be supported by a workforce that is curious and unafraid to challenge the status quo, have employees that are looking for new ideas, especially in technology and in their market, and have staff who are not afraid to take risks and fail.

The findings come from analysis of Commonwealth Bank’s Business Insights Report: Unlocking Everyday Innovation which surveyed businesses, measuring attitudes and practices related to business improvement and innovation, as part of a national research initiative.

Adelaide Pop Up Innovation Lab

In addition to a range of client tours, workshops and design jams to solve problems and brainstorm business opportunities, the following events are taking place:

  • 3 October – launch event “Innovation in Leadership”, with keynote speaker from Adelaide University, along with Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Labs head and South Australian boss.
  • 5 October – Future Innovators event, with another speaker from University of Adelaide, and Commonwealth Bank’s Head of Social Robotics.
  • 6 October – Future Tech Symposium – a day-long event with a range of experts from Commonwealth Bank
  • 10 October – Mindset Keynote, by innovation leader and expert.

Research findings - innovation in South Australian business

Other findings and analysis of the South Australian data from Commonwealth Bank’s Business Insights Report: Unlocking Everyday Innovation:

  • 80 per cent of businesses claim to innovate but when tested against the OECD international standard*, 51 per cent are innovation active, compared to a national average of 44 per cent.
  • Of those who are innovation active, key motives are: 58 per cent of businesses by the challenge of building a successful business, the same percentage seeking to achieve the lifestyle they want for themselves/their family, and 51 per cent are driven by wealth creation.
  • Indicatively, businesses that are most likely to be innovating are either large ($20 million+ revenue) or small ($500,000 to $2 million), compared to medium sized businesses ($2 million-$20 million).
  • The greatest concentration of innovation is taking place in marketing* where 28 per cent of businesses are innovation active, followed by processes with 25 per cent of businesses active, then product (16 per cent) and organisational methods (15 per cent).

About the research
Commonwealth Bank Business Insights Report: Unlocking Everyday Innovation is a wide-ranging quantitative survey of 2,195 business owners, decision makers and managers. Participants were drawn from businesses across Australia with an annual turnover of over $500,000 and at least two employees. Of the total sample, 152 businesses were in South Australia.

The survey was designed to benchmark the innovation performance of each business, identifying the key motivations and drivers influencing their performance, and highlighting best practice. It was conducted on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank by DBM Consultants between August and September 2016, with further analysis by the Commonwealth Bank.

* Using the guidelines for innovation outlined in the OECD’s Oslo Manual, the report defines innovation as a new or significant improvement in one of the following four areas – products and services, business processes, organisational methods and marketing practices.