Innovation for business success:
Achieving a systematic innovation capability
Professor Danny Samson, University of Melbourne
Funding for this project was provided by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.
Copyright Professor D. Samson April 2010
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Acknowledgements My sincere gratitude goes to the many people whom I have spoken to and learned from over the past year, on the subject of innovation capability. This clearly includes the many people who are running hard with innovation in our case study set, who gave their time willingly to allow me to interview them and learn how they achieved and sustained their innovation capability. Thanks in particular are due to Michele Hamdorf of GRLmobile, Gus Balbontin of Lonely Planet, Heather Box from Toyota, Daniel Liepnik of Specialty Textiles, Andrew Logan of Newcrest, Tony Ward from Microsoft, Syd Schneider of Stetchtex, Christopher Janssen from GPC Electronics, Phil Butler of Textor, and Steve Plarre from Ferguson Plarre who were my primary contacts and interviewees in the case study companies included in this study. Thanks also to their many colleagues, too numerous to mention, who I was also privileged to talk to and learn from. Your personal innovation efforts and your organisations’ achievements in systematic innovation capabilities are in my view nothing short of heroic. These efforts and their outcomes collectively demonstrate and indeed prove that firms in Australia can successfully do more than just be an ordinary source of raw materials for the world, and that even in that endeavour, that innovation can be a real differentiator! You have shown how systematic innovation capability can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Thanks also to my colleagues who have directly or indirectly influenced my thinking and this work: thanks to John Grant, Damien Power, Tobias Schoenherr, Prakash Singh, Peter Cebon, Chris Thomas, Suzy Goldsmith, Sarah Samson, Jack Wacker...