Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

5 Rules for Driving Innovation

Monday, 29 October 2012

by Nicola Smith – iMedia Connection

First of all, let’s get one thing straight.  Innovation is NOT technology.  Technology is often a driver and enabler of innovation, but innovation itself is more about the cultural, and behavioural shifts that occur in society as a result of a new technology, product, service or belief. And for something to be considered truly “innovative” it must drive substantial positive change, so we are not talking about the Spork here people.

Innovation also tends to arrive in clusters; at certain points throughout history, humanity has overflowed with new ideas, products services, art, literature, philosophy and technology and I believe that we are living through one of these clusters right now.

So now that we are all on the same page regarding the definition of innovation, I want to share 5 rules about innovation that will help you understand how to foster forward-looking thinking within your own businesses, or organization.

  1. Exposure Often Lights the Fire – Exposure to different industries, technologies, content, processes, ideas, products etc. is often the spark that drives innovation. Exposing yourself and your team to other ways of thinking and doing, even in relation to the simplest tasks can drive more innovative thinking.  And today, with the access to information and content provided by the Internet and other digital technology, we have no excuses for remaining surrounded by the homogeneous nature of our daily lives.
  2. New Methods of Education Create Momentum– Innovative is fueled by education and we find that new methods of education in particular seem to drive more groundbreaking thinking. Today we have access to a myriad of new educational platforms and technologies.  Online and alternative education is booming (and in many cases free).  Start educating yourself and your team now using these new tools so that you are prepared to spot opportunities for innovation when they present themselves.
  3. FFTW (Failing For The Win) – Another trait of all innovative cultures is that they foster risk taking and understand that failure is a part of the game.  If you’re not failing, you’re not really trying. Encourage your team to take chances and give them a safe environment in which to experiment. Also, consider putting aside a small portion of your team’s budget specifically for experimentation and make sure you have mechanism in place to keep track of what works and what doesn’t so that you can apply this knowledge moving forward.
  4. There is an Art to Creative Combination – Some of the most innovative ideas out there today came from creatively combining existing ideas and functionality with new and interesting bits and pieces from other products, services and ideas.  Ask yourself “What are all the ways I might be able to break apart and recombine this product, service, or process?  Is there something else out there that could be combined or incorporated into my product that would result in a positive substantial improvement or change?” Like most other art forms creative combination takes practice, so ask yourself these questions everyday and see what you come up with.
  5. If You Don’t Build It, Someone Else Will – We tend to think of innovation as existing in a vacuum; a “genius” creates something “new” in a secret lab and it is heralded as an amazing, unique innovation. But the reality is that most scientific discoveries and innovations are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors, this is the theory of multiple discovery. Essentially, history is written by the winners and in the innovation space being first often counts more than being the best. If you have an idea for something, a new process, product or service, start bringing it to life or you will be kicking yourself when someone else does.

"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

“Remarkable, mind blowing, brilliantly choreographed – easily the best conference ever and I’ve been to plenty. Truly wonderful and amazing.”

Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

“Thank you for a challenging and rewarding couple of days. The quality of the team you had at the conference was extraordinary! These events will change people and thereby the world.”

Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne