Government is often accused of being behind the curve when it comes to adopting new digital technology. Indeed the challenges of adopting existing technologies are well documented including the recent difficult transition to an eCensus in Australia[1].

Even outside of the public sector, Australia has been ranked as the worst prepared for the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) (the underlying enabler of cognitive technologies)[2].

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Australian Public Servants should consider cognitive technologies now as part of planning to improve service quality and efficiency, and to ultimately transform government

Why worry about Bias?

Have you ever wondered why companies keep investing in a part of business or a project that has not achieved promising results, rather than diverting the investment or abandoning the project? Or why so often we are more ready to receive information that confirms our preconceptions, rather than information that challenges us? Or why we tend to overvalue our assets, regardless of their objective market value? These are just a few examples of how our decision making is regularly impacted by biases.

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It’s time to review our decision making processes – as well as our personal mindsets and behaviours – to see if we can spot and reduce our blindspots.

Have you ever watched someone play Candy Crush, Angry Birds or last year’s biggest hit, Pokémon Go? They play at home, on the bus, on the train, even when walking down the street! Simply observing the raised eyebrows and laser-like focus of the eyes is testament to the highly engaging nature of games. Not only are they engaging, but they naturally encourage problem solving and innovation by presenting obstacles to overcome.

Zooming into the workplace presents a slightly different picture: Gallup’s 2016 State of Global Workplace study revealed that a staggering 84% of Australian workers are either not engaged or enthusiastic about innovating in the workplace.[i] This is quite the contrast to the engagement and drive to innovate we see amongst game players.

More than ever, organisations are striving for every source of competitive advantage. Despite this, organisations are not effectively using their largest untapped potential resource: people.

What if there was a way to harness the heightened level of engagement, drive, and focus observable in gaming to drive business outcomes?

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What if there was a way to harness the heightened level of engagement, drive, and focus observable in gaming to drive business outcomes? This is where gamification comes into play

In a recent article, we outlined how important it is for future leaders to become designers. This touched on the evolving and diverse skillsets required to address the rise of ‘wicked problems’. The first step for leaders is to gain a clear understanding of what ‘design’ is and to appreciate its vast forms in context of each other.

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We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it!

Media and digital trends have changed the ways generations consume media

In this rapidly evolving environment, media companies will need to consider how to adjust their strategies to cater to changing consumer needs, in order to continue to build competitive advantage.

This year, we have seen three key themes emerge around media consumption behaviours that will influence these decisions:

  • What we are calling the social hegemony – the rise and dominance of social media networks as entertainment destinations in their own right
  • The popularity of more immersive forms of content and media – think streaming, Virtual Reality and live video
  • The Millennial effect – the extent to which Millennials are shaping the future of media consumption

Access the full set of media consumption insights and further detail on the themes above in the full Media Consumer Survey here.

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The media landscape continues to evolve quickly and it is often hard to keep up. The new consumption behaviours that are predominantly being led by Millennials are expected to become the norm across generations.

The innovation imperative

In an era of unprecedented rates of change and new sources of growth, business leaders have seen traditional models struggle to defend against newer, more nimble competitors with substitute products. This is best seen in the Financial Services industry, where incumbents are experiencing disruptive innovations that redefine the way financial services are delivered.

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Short-sighted innovation efforts are causing organisations to waste capital and forgo transformative opportunities

The next two decades will see international demand for education grow strongly. Deloitte Access Economics projections show that Australia’s onshore international education sector is capable of increasing from 650,000 enrolments today to 940,000 by 2025.

If Australian universities can overcome strong competition from other international education systems, like Canada, which aims to double the number of international learners by 2022 to 450,000, then they should be firmly positioned to take advantage of this growth.

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Australia’s higher education providers will need to innovate their business models and underlying value propositions to remain competitive.

It is hard to participate in a strategic conversation about the future these days without hearing about disruption everywhere, the increasing ‘clock speed’ of change, exponential rates of technological advancement and the pressing need to innovate. We hear about the flurry and hype emerging from a bubbling start-up scene, constantly shifting customer preferences and the need to be more ‘nimble’ and agile.

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It is imperative that, as business leaders, we invest in uplifting our understanding and ability to leverage design

Believe it or not…the ‘Digital Era’ of technology is more than half a decade. The mass consumerisation of digital technologies (cloud computing, mobility, social media and big data) has meant that they now pervade every aspect of our private and professional lives. Software is still eating the world and the defining technologies of the Digital Era continue to expand the reach of tech companies into traditional industries.1

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Although technology will continue to enable companies to do better, the biggest step change will occur when they leverage exponential technology to think differently about their problems and the prevailing trade-offs in their industry.