Australian businesses shouldn’t be afraid to innovate, says Telstra CEO

Australian businesses need to show less hesitation when adapting new and innovative technologies, according to Telstra Chief Executive Officer David Thodey.

Speaking at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch in Sydney on March 3, Mr Thodey delivered a speech that may well resonate with any recruitment agency that is still delaying investment in tailored efficiency software and workflow automation.

"In the information age, great education and thinking people is what we need, and that is where we have got to really focus, because I do really think there's a cultural challenge," said Mr Thodey, as reported by The Australian. 

"There's not a lack of money in Australia; I think it is one of attitude."

Business Insider reported Mr Thodey as pointing to Californian technology hub Silicon Valley as one region that has really embraced technology and benefited as a result. 

"You may be cynical about that but there is undoubtedly this energy and this flow of people saying: "I am going to change the way things are done, and failure is accepted". It's about people who are willing to push the limits and not give up and are willing to innovate," he said.

Considering Mr Thodey has more than a decade of experience with Australia's largest telecommunications and media company, and has also worked extensively with technology and consulting corporation IBM, he seems well placed to comment on the value of innovation and technology. 

And he is not the only expert espousing the value of creative thinking – ABS research has found businesses that display "innovative activity" are generally more likely to see increases in profitability and growth.

Of course, innovation can take many forms. It can be as simple as deploying a new piece of productivity software, or as extensive as introducing a new product or service to the public.

The key is to ensure that your organisation is not afraid of innovation, and is willing to invest in new technologies and methods where an opportunity for improvement and long term ROI is on offer. 

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