Kris Morrison and Steven Moe recently attended a “Turning Innovation into Gold” event hosted at the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce. There were a range of interesting speakers and topics covered. The top 3 insights we heard were:
- What businesses want and need: Six points were given by Louise Webster of the Innovation Council who said the companies they work with have identified six areas that they were focussed on:
- understand and verify market opportunities;
- have a go to market strategy;
- working on the business vs working in the business (especially start-ups);
- getting the right skills and talent;
- channels to market and partnerships; and
- funding to remain competitive nationally and internationally.
2. Mistakes made: One of the best parts was the five panellists talking about some mistakes they had made and learned from. Key points were:
- Choose the right people to join the team who fit the culture and will work together well;
- Do a lot of due diligence around risk factors and markets you will sell into;
- Work closely with new partners / distributors – it is better to have a few people you really connect with to sell your product than having a long list of people who don’t really get behind and promote it;
- Having lots of cash can be a bad thing – innovation often thrives from the “need to make do” attitude that results from not yet having funds flowing into the enterprise.
3. A change of mind set and culture: One of the key themes was the need for New Zealand to develop an innovative risk taking culture where people try things and fail, learn from that, and try again. To promote the creation of higher paying jobs and an economy that has moved beyond primary production is something we should be targeting. How do we do that? Well, that is a topic for another day…