case study

How do leading organisations innovate?

Insights from the Public Sector Innovation Awards

The Hargraves Study Tour was arranged to allow finalists in the Public Sector Innovation Awards to collaborate and share insights with leading innovative organisations across diverse sectors and industries.

The following case studies were written for Hargraves by Adam Costantini, Contract Management Officer, Directorate of Base Services: Management, Integration & Coordination, Department of Defence. Adam participated as a guest of Hargraves.

“I was lucky enough to be included in the Study Tour to showcase industry approaches to innovation, which was organised by Hargraves Institute for finalists of the APS Innovation Awards. As well as the finalists, a small number of Hargraves’ members and guests were invited to attend, so the cohort included representatives from academia, private and public sector industries.”

Innovation @ Microsoft

Shared learnings on how being social is essential for collaboration and innovation

Microsoft hosted the cohort in collaboration with Scott Ward, a specialist in social innovation through digital platforms.

In this session, Scott presented on how social platforms such as Yammer can increase productivity and innovation throughout the workplace.

Key insights

  • Digital platforms enable insight and collaboration at all levels (i.e., a travel policy example was used to demonstrate how feedback from the grassroots level can influence senior leadership decisions).
  • It is important that the leadership team is prepared to engage positively in these exercises.
  • People need some new skills to use and be confident using social media well.
  • Applications within Yammer can be used as a crowdsourcing method.
  • Industry relies on crowdsourcing for idea selection and development.
  • Online communities can also provide other means of networking within an organisation.
  • The BILIT™ model (brokerage, integration, leadership, incentive, trust).

Innovation @ Hewlett Packard Enterprise

A fascinating insight into the opportunities and processes for digital transformation

In this session, HPE Chief Technologists (Roger Lawrence, Giro Villano, and Jack Story) provided an overview of emerging trends in technology (augmented reality/virtual reality) and how these can be applied in a commercial context. They also explained the ‘Internet of Things’ and the emergence of DevOps (the collaboration of development, operations and testing) throughout the information industry.

Key insights

  • The complexity of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and information trends across industry has resulted in more ‘collaboration’ than competition as firms understand they don’t have the ‘full’ solution to solving complex problems in an ‘IoT’ space.
  • We are moving from a product ownership model to a service access model.
  • There is a process to help organisations transform their digital operations.
  • Virtual and augmented reality has unlimited potential in many industries. (A range of examples was provided ranging from medical, automotive, facilities maintenance, etc.)

Innovation @ CSIRO

CSIRO’s ON Program helps scientists become innovators, from idea to application and beyond

CSIRO has a rich history in research and innovation. David Burt (Innovation Manager) provided an overview of CSIRO’s ‘ON Program’, a three-month program for teams of CSIRO specialists to contribute to the ‘market validation and commercialisation’ stages of research.

Key insights

Innovation at CSIRO

  • CSIRO underwent a cultural and mindset change and realised that bringing people along on the ‘innovation’ journey is critical (i.e., in this context, taking scientists out of the ‘lab’ and equipping them with the ability to engage end-users).
  • They are now using multi-role and discipline teams to increase collaboration and innovation throughout the organisation.
  • Creating physical and digital spaces to share ideas is important.
  • The role of an ‘innovation manager’ is not to innovate but to ‘connect’ groups/personnel who apply innovation to their roles every day—a catalyst for innovation.
  • CSIRO is also increasing customer focus, engaging the ‘end user’.
  • The cohort discussed the importance of ‘mentors’/’champions’ to promote initiatives.
  • Risk management was discussed in the context of the tolerance of private versus public sector research.
  • Crowdsourcing is very powerful for insight (when done correctly).
  • While on a break, several ‘infographics’ detailing service delivery outcomes for ‘waste’ at CSIRO were observed — a great way to communicate key points to customers quickly.

CSIRO Future Industries Sector is a Hargraves Advisory Council Alumni.

Innovation @ CSR

Engaging people for ideas for improvement and innovation with tangible success

The CSR team provided an overview of their people-based approach to continuous improvement and innovation. They started with the CSR Way, which has operated successfully in the manufacturing division for over a decade and has been hugely successful in improving quality, increasing productivity and efficiency, and helping CSR become a global leader in building products. CSR is building on the CSR Way and engaging people from all parts of the organisation in innovation through our Catalyst Program. Already they are seeing great results from their network of catalysts who operate in different divisions and locations.

Key insights

  • People are the best commodity (Innovation is ‘people’ solving problems and enhancing the customer experience).
  • CSR Way success is built on a minimum framework. (A Stage-Gate process exists for ‘complex’ ideas and requires management approval). A core philosophy of their approach is ‘complex processes breed simple behaviour, simple processes breed complex behaviour’.
  • CSR can share innovation and experiences across a number of business entities. A range of cross-function initiatives breaks down the silos of the wider organisation.
  • CSR is working to remove the ‘black-art’ culture from their business.
  • CSR uses an alternative ‘risk profile’ for innovative activity. This enables ‘risky’ behaviour to be promoted in the right conditions.
  • CSR brought ‘product managers’ to the coal-face, i.e. a tiling manufacturer visiting building sites to understand the ‘need’ from customers.
  • There is no lack of ideas, the implementation of ideas is the difficult part.
  • Finding the right catalysts is important. CSR used a service provider (SWOOP Analytics) to help identify the go-to people for innovation within the organisation.

CSR Building Products is a Hargraves Advisory Council Alumni.

We thank all our PSIA Study Tour hosts, including Coca-Cola Amatil, CSIRO, CSR Building Products, Google, Griffith Hack, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intersective, KPMG and Microsoft.

Hargraves is Australia’s leading community of practice of innovation and collaboration. Since 2006, we’ve worked with leading organisations to drive innovation, culture, collaboration and growth.

Contact us to learn more about our programs, tools and strategies to support your innovation and collaboration agenda.

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