A surge of innovation is coming

By Wendi Dawson – President of the Melbourne Business Network

Recently, the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has admitted to being tired of working from home.  

He even went on to say that in his opinion he believes video meetings are merely transactional and that really inspired, creative work happens in the casual conversations before and after meetings.  

I agree with so much of his sentiment. While showing incredible resilience and adaptability during COVID, Melbournians are ready to get back to work. Working from home has provided many of us with greater flexibility, reduced our “commute” time, and given us the opportunity to pause and rethink our businesses, but it hasn’t been without its challenges and drawbacks. Now that students are back to school, the juggle or even struggle of combining work and teaching responsibilities have gone. By now we have all managed to move online with virtual offerings, e-commerce and are no doubt experts in online meetings. 

But what about Nedella’s comment about being transactional versus creative? Have we really only been transactional in our businesses while at home or have we been able to generate real creativity and innovation during our lockdowns?

I suppose that those answers will differ for each of us. From my observations, absolutely Melbourne businesses have been able to create and innovate in these challenging times. We have had to, to ensure our economic survival.  But perhaps we have had to do it with more conscious thought and focus that innovation is the intended outcome for our scheduled, structured call or online meeting.  Sadly, we have missed out on the opportunity for spontaneity, the classic water-cooler conversation or even the chance to meet someone new at a networking event, all of which can be the genesis of a truly great idea.

As all of us begin to emerge out of working from home and getting back to face-to-face interactions, I predict that this is when we’ll see a real surge in creativity and innovation. There will also be a lot more collaborations, strategic alliances and even joint ventures as businesses realise that leveraging from one another is a great way to accelerate their business recovery. Afterall, one thing has certainly always been true, we are stronger together.

If you would like to know more about the Melbourne Business Network (MBN) and how we can support and connect businesses within the City of Melbourne, please reach out to me or visit our website: melbournebusinessnetwork.org.au.

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