How to remain competitive in WA’s economy today.

Western Australia has achieved the unwanted title of Australia’s worst performed economy for a fourth consecutive quarter.

WA continued to lag behind the other state and territories with annual growth rates below national averages on all eight indicators used in the CommSec State of the States report.

The economic performance of WA continued to reflect the ending of the mining construction boom, CommSec chief economist Craig James said. It doesn’t help that WA has historically done well, making it harder to grow its economy but not necessarily meaning the economy is declining.

NSW currently holds the position as Australia’s best performing economy thanks to retail spending and residential construction.

The enthusiasm of WA enterprises seen in the mining boom has been replaced by a pessimistic tone in light of the decline in WA’s economic growth.

To restore the competitive nature of the WA economy company’s need to continually improve their products, services and business processes if they are to thrive.

Innovation makes immediate sense in the corporate world to meet this competitive pressure. Maintaining the status quo only invites displacement and imitation.

Australia needs to innovate, proven by the fact that it’s last out of the 34 OECD members for economic complexity, but also by the high level of analysis and policy reform in countries that outperform Australia.

Research on innovation performance shows us that there are 5 steps to take to foster innovation in your company:

  1. Create cross-functional teams to group a combination of creative minds on one issue.
  2. Welcome and trial ideas even if they are not necessary attainable or achievable, as if employees do not feel heard they are less likely to try something innovative again.
  3. Give employees space to fail and encourage small portions of risk taking. Consider failure a prerequisite of innovation.
  4. Companies must set aside modest budgets for teams working on innovation projects, the return on investment can be illustrated by Google or Amazon.

It is important to keep in mind innovation is not the end goal, it’s a means to an end, whether that end is a new product, sales growth or profitability.

The pursuit to improve your competitive offering is not as simple as hiring a few innovation consultants. Companies need to realize in order to improve your competitive offering you must infuse innovation into your corporate DNA- not just at the top of the organization but throughout all levels. WA Leaders is an engine that drives the leadership needed to help your organization foster this change and navigate the transitions to come. Emerging yourself in a community of inspiring companies will accelerate the process by sharing best practices and encouraging innovation.

Stepping out from under the dark cloud that is the WA economy and into the optimistic light starts with partnerships like these to bring forth the necessary support mechanisms to re-invent your organization.

Bring innovation strategies from the top of the organization to the top of your employees minds.

Dr Jemma Green
Cofounder and Chair
Power Ledger
www.powerledger.io

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