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Xavier Smerdon
Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

Monday, 4th January 2016 at 10:13 am

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Top 10 Tips to Drive Innovation in 2016

By Xavier Smerdon, Journalist

2016 is the year for organisations to think about how they can generate the innovation needed in their workplaces to harness future sources of growth, according to the Diversity Council of Australia.

In the wake of the release of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA), Lisa Annese, said diversity and inclusion in the workplace was a key driver for innovation, and businesses must start laying the groundwork now.

Annese said there was a clear link between diversity and innovation.

“A diverse workplace will by its very nature generate different ways of thinking and new perspectives, and that’s a pretty important ingredient for innovation,” Annese said.

“But it’s not just about diversity – it’s also about inclusion. A growing body of international research by DCA and others, shows that inclusive workplaces and inclusive leaders are linked to greater creativity and innovation.

“They key takeaway for organisations is this – if they are really interested in innovation, they should consider their D&I programs as key drivers.”

The DCA has shared its top 10 tips to drive innovation through a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

1. Take stock of your workplace to see how diverse and inclusive it really is and where the gaps are.

2. Understand and articulate the D&I business case to your people to engage them on the journey.

3. Implement a robust D&I strategy with measurable objectives and make people accountable for achieving them.

4. Take advantage of smart and flexible work technologies and make them available to men and women across all levels of your organisation.

5. Address biases in recruitment and retention that may be preventing women, people with a disability, Indigenous Australians, mature-age workers, people from culturally diverse backgrounds or same sex-attracted people from joining or staying at your organisation.

6. Value global experience, language skills, and insight into diverse communities and cultures to help you broaden your market reach, locally and abroad.

7. Build genuine engagement and trust with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop mutually beneficial partnerships and better capitalise on Indigenous talent.

8. Focus on expanding opportunities equitably across STEM based areas of your business – remember, over the next few decades, close to half of today’s jobs will cease to exist. Ensure that your company is developing and connecting with diverse technologists, investors, thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

9. Ensure that a wide range of employees are provided with key leadership development opportunities such as operational or ‘profit-loss’ experience.

10. Think beyond the usual suspects when filling leadership roles, and question how you are measuring merit.

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Xavier Smerdon
Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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