Free to fail
Cast your mind back to September. Having just secured the highest office in in the land, Malcolm Turnbull was quick to paint his vision for the future. A central theme was the need for Australia to be “agile, nimble and thoroughly modern”.
This week, the PM made good on his promise, revealing an ambitious package containing “all the nudges and changes and levers and incentives” that, he hopes, will “inspire Australia to unleash prosperity”.
Having pledged $1.1 billion over four years to promote business–based research, development and innovation, Government funding will be directed to more than 20 programs across nine ministerial portfolios.
The financial commitment is more than welcome.
It lends confidence to those involved in research and development.
It rewards those prepared to invest in the future.
And it eases visa restrictions for those with bright ideas.
But for us, the most exciting news in this policy announcement is cultural, one that explicitly urges us to take positive, forward-facing risks and not be hampered by the fear of failure.
That isn’t to say failure is to be encouraged. Rather it should be accepted as part of the bargain of progress… that the path to perfection is iteration.
So what exactly is innovation? For us, it boils down to four core attributes.
- Be brave
- Have a go (that most Australian trait)
- Act quickly
- Learn from failure
Mr. Turnbull’s announcement is extremely positive. We’re excited to see where it leads. And as we keep our gaze firmly on the future, we’ll end this post with a stanza from the past (Samuel Beckett) that, for us, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of innovation.