is your attitude right?



It is often said that the United States is the most innovative country on the planet.

I cannot be sure whether that is true or not. What is apparent to me however is that business in America is more innovative than business in Australia.

Whilst Australian’s do take credit for the Victa lawn mower, Hills hoist and many other iconic innovations, I would argue that most of those innovations are in the past and Australia has never generated the flow of innovations so readily associated with the United States. Certainly I see little evidence in recent years of disruptive innovation emanating from Australia

Why is this so?

I would argue that it is about much more than population and access to capital, although I am sure these are also contributing factors

A colleague of mine once explained this to me in the following way:  ‘If you present a new, possibly radical idea to an American, they will most often say – WHY NOT, whilst when presented with the same idea the Australian will almost certainly respond with – WHY’.

The issue is not so much population, access to capital or indeed expertise as it is ATTITUDE

For whatever reason, Australians have developed a more conservative attitude. We play it safer. We are more risk averse. We are less tolerant of mistakes. We see less merit in stepping outside the box, despite the adventurous spirit required to expand the mining and agriculture industries

I once heard a venture capitalist in Australia say that his business model required that one in 10 investments hit pay dirt. At the same time I heard an American VC say that he is looking for one in 25. Clearly this may reflect a number of things, but it may also be reflective of the more conservative attitude of Australian business

If we are to be great innovators as a nation, this needs to change. If individual businesses want to innovate they need to ensure the attitudes within the business are open and pro-innovation

This issue will be discussed in detail on THE D. JOHN CARLSON NETWORK –

John Carlson is a behavioural scientist, strategic planner and lateral thinker focusing on branding, marketing, communication, personal advancement, business development and behaviour management.


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