by Bonnie Gardiner

Most A/NZ organisations’ lack of curiosity is hindering innovation: study

Nov 11, 2015
InnovationIT ManagementTechnology Industry

The majority of Australian and New Zealand organisations lack curiosity, leading to a negative impact on technological innovation, a new study has found.

The recent Rackspace Curiosity Quotient questioned 1,368 A/NZ white-collar workers and found the majority businesses do not place enough emphasis on curiosity in the workplace based on the sentiments of their employees, while curious organisations were perceived as more likely to see greater technological innovation and application in the workplace.

Curious organisations were those where employees answered 7 and above when asked to rate between 0 and 10 whether curiosity was fostered in the workplace. In total, only 44 per cent of respondents believed their organisation was curious.

The report, conducted by AMR, found employees believed a lack of curiosity would lead to a loss of ‘technology potential’, such as product and service innovation and technology application in the workplace.

Of the surveyed employees in organisations perceived as ‘curious’, 77 per cent agreed technology played an important role towards innovating new products and services, compared to just 36 per cent of employees that perceived their organisation as ‘not curious’.

Further, 85 per cent of employees in curious organisations said that it is essential to be curious about technology and its application in the workplace, compared to 57 per cent in non-curious businesses.

Of the overall respondents surveyed, the majority believed curiosity is important, with 70 per cent agreeing it was important to be curious within their day to day job, 70 per cent agreeing it was essential to be ‘curious about technology and its application in the workplace’, and 63 per cent strongly agreeing that curiosity played an important role in driving increased revenues in the business.

In terms of the application of new technologies, the report found 61 per cent of respondents said they “used technology to stay ahead of developments that are making old skills obsolete”.

However, 55 per cent said that “jobs were becoming harder to come by due to increased levels of technology-driven job automation”, highlighting the need to be increasingly curious about technology and the skills it can provide.

“Being curious about technology is extremely important in helping us to manage complexity and gain more knowledge to manage disruption,” said Angus Dorney, director and general manager, Rackspace A/NZ.

“Technology can be a huge competitive advantage, but it is the people that piece it all together that make competitive advantage real.”