Fifo

That’s a wrap

Technology handshake

As it came to a close the 2014 Hunter Innovation Forum was declared a success. Almost 700 people attended the 10 day event, and twice as many watched seminars broadcast, read the articles, entered the Newcastle Next competition or logged into the web stream.

Mr John Coyle, Chair Hunter Innovation Forum 2014, attributed the success of the forum to the organising committee’s commitment and innovative approach. This year there was a greater emphasis on showcasing the work of the forum’s partners, Newcastle Herald, and NBN, and on communicating via the web. An approach that meant the forum was better able to highlight innovative thinking across the region and reach special-interest groups on a much wider range of topics.

Some of the highlights included a session led by SiDCOR's Paul Siderovski, where delegates at the BRW Breakfast identified Innovation Take Outs that could be applied the minute they walked back into their workspace.

Guest presenter Roger Langsford from Planet Innovation (which took top place in the BRW list) spoke about the success that comes from allowing your team autonomy and giving them power to make decisions.

Lisa Frazier from the Commonwealth Bank spent the best part of fifteen years in the USA and much of that in Silicon Valley. At CommBank they speak in terms of "before Lisa" and "after Lisa", such has been her influence. She enthralled the audience with tales of her "failure party" when one of her ideas stopped short of the desired outcome and Lisa ended with the success of the new technologies CommBank have recently introduced.

Mat Baxter from leading ad agency UM Australia, described the creativity and innovation that takes place daily in their office and the degree to which they back the seemingly impossible which was what placed them in the top five of the BRW List. Imagine the logistics of changing multiple billboards throughout Sydney and Melbourne daily for several weeks. That's exactly what happened and their client couldn't have been happier with the result.

“We particularly valued the participation and support of the University of Newcastle. Our thanks to TAFE for their support and the number of people attending the Internet of Things Forum was impressive.” said Mr Coyle.

Other highlights included HunterNet’s annual Defence Forum, participation from the CSIRO, HVRF, and a panel representing some of the Region’s outstanding women who presented their take on their own experiences with innovation in the work place.

So what next? How do you keep up the innovation momentum? Schedule time, allow your people to operate at their best and have an action plan. You can even set your innovation KPI's if that's what makes the board happy! Or you could sign up for the Rippler Effect Innovation Program developed by the Business Centre. With some pretty special guests and a total focus on workplace projects, participants will work on the business while achieving a nationally accredited qualification in Innovation Practice and Innovation Management.