We find out based on the latest Business Readiness Index by Canon Australia, a report based on surveys with more than 530 local business leaders

A comprehensive study, conducted by GfK Australia in April 2018 for Canon Australia, has found that Australian businesses see innovation as a critical catalyst for growth, but most aren’t doing enough.

Their recently published Business Readiness Index on Innovation reveals that while the majority of businesses recognise the importance of innovation, only 38% consider their business to be innovative.

Most aren’t doing enough to drive innovation with 40% implementing just one innovation initiative, according to the report.

The health sector takes innovation most seriously, with 94% of businesses in the healthcare and social assistance sector saying they believe it is important for Australian businesses to be innovative, compared to 72% of businesses in construction, 80% of retail trade, and 77% of professional scientific and technical services.

While challenges vary by business size and across industries, a lack of budget is perceived as the biggest issue to implementing innovation.

Only 34% of the healthcare sector believes they have adequate funding from the Australian government for innovation, compared to 61% of big businesses.

However resistance to change is also cited as a barrier.

Meanwhile highly innovative companies are distinguished by a strong culture of innovation that permeates business units and empowers individuals to drive new ideas and ways of working.

Source: Canon Business Readiness Index 2018 (Innovation Edition).

Source: Canon Business Readiness Index 2018 (Innovation Edition).

The study also found a range of emotional barriers that hold organisations back from implementing measures to drive innovation. For medium to large businesses, conflicting agendas and a breakdown in communication are cited as the biggest struggle for 63% of medium businesses and 70% of large businesses.

Self-doubt hold back about half (49%) of small businesses, where leaders lose faith in the value of original ideas over time.

“Bigger budgets are viewed as a magic wand but businesses are made up of real people with real emotions,” says Gavin Gomes, Director of Canon Business Services.

“It’s telling that internal barriers play a critical role in holding businesses back from an innovative future. Self-doubt, conflict, denial, pride and diminishing excitement are all real hurdles to overcome. These feelings often increase with business size.

“To overcome these barriers, businesses need to focus on the opposite emotion – belief. Belief is undermined when people see the wider industry innovating faster than their business,” says Mr Gomes.

“Leaders are responsible for delivering tangible changes that show progress is possible. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always set your business up for success.

“It’s a myth that smaller businesses can be more innovative because they’re more nimble, just as it’s a fallacy to assume that larger businesses can be more innovative due to their greater resources,” Mr Gomes says.

“It comes down to how the organisation is set up and how new processes are introduced so they don’t cannibalise other parts of the puzzle.”

Source: Canon Business Readiness Index 2018 (Innovation Edition).

Source: Canon Business Readiness Index 2018 (Innovation Edition).

The divide between highly innovative companies, and those that rated themselves lower on the scale, was down to a culture that encourages new ways of thinking and working.

Seventy-four per cent of highly innovative businesses believe it comes down to fostering an innovative culture, with 69% actively building this from the inside out.

The role of the individual in driving innovation is also given more significance, with more than one in two innovative organisations (57%) seeing non-management employees as the catalysts of change.

How pharmacy can innovate

In an article for AJP, community pharmacist and digital pharmacy consultant Sabrine Elkhodr says some areas pharmacists can think about consolidating and extending existing capabilities using technology include:

  • New Business Models: How can you restructure your pharmacy to better reflect your unique value proposition (UVP)? How can you take advantage of emerging technological trends to develop a unique business model that sets you apart?
  • Health Services Implementation: What professional services would best align with your local demographic and UVP? What existing technologies can help you deliver a streamlined, valuable service that your customers would be willing to pay for?
  • Inter-professional collaboration: How can you develop stronger relationships with local health providers and create simplified referral networks using available technologies?
  • Improving efficiencies: What processes can you simplify and automate using the plethora of cloud-based technologies available to assist in boosting productivity?

“The key to future-proofing your pharmacy lies in first acknowledging that change is inevitable then constructing a plan to lead that change rather than waiting for it to lead you,” says Ms Elkhodr.

See the full Canon report here