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ZED Innovation Forum Expands Innovation

ZED Innovation Forum Expands Innovation


by Finbarr Bunting

The ZED Innovation Forum is about business people connecting with each other and shaping business now and for the future says Jenny Bygrave, the deputy dean of AUT’s business school.

Enabling this “knowledge transfer in an informal networking way” helps business people realise the different products and ideas going on around us in New Zealand business.

Rod Oram, business analyst and commentator, says the ZED innovation forum has enabled “the most important people who are driving innovation in New Zealand business [to] get a chance to get together and meet in a way they usually don’t.”

Oram says the forum enables the business community “to keep track of the progress companies are making running innovation more effectively

The Zed Innovation conference is a good opportunity to reflect on how innovation operates in New Zealand business, Sam Knowles, chief executive of Kiwibank says.

Knowles points out two important areas the forum is able to highlight. Firstly, “the classic innovation stories using feel good success stories”. And secondly, and more importantly Knowles says, it has allowed an opportunity to reflect on organisational changes in New Zealand innovation practice.

Too often it is the “sexy stuff”, he says, like the Ipod, which people relate to innovative techniques and forget that any business can be innovative and implement effective strategy.

He says the major problem for New Zealand business is not in innovation but in productivity.

“We need to look at the way we do things not what we do”

Bygrave hopes the ZED innovation conference will become an annual event.

She says it follows from the trans-Tasman and China forums held previously. She says what is important is “getting business together to shape knowledge and celebrate the good stuff that goes on in business and the contribution it makes to New Zealand.

Oram is “convinced [New Zealand’s] high exchange rate has forced companies to work hard to develop innovative distinctive products for the world”, enabling New Zealand’s market to remain competitive.

The high exchange rate, he says, “Demands discipline” from companies helping them to be successful.


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Finbarr Bunting is a Journalism Student at AUT

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