Innovation ecosystems: where the magic happens

More than just the latest buzzword, business ecosystems are changing the way organisations work together as an increasing number of corporations embrace the collaboration economy.

From big businesses, to SMEs, to start ups and entrepreneurs, Australia’s innovation experts are embracing a holistic approach to industries to ensure success and business growth.

"All players in all communities are only going to thrive by co-creating, collaborating and building."
Shelly Laslett, GM innovation, YBF

“All players in all communities are only going to thrive by co-creating, collaborating and building,” Shelly Laslett, general manager innovation at the York butter Factory says.

So we know ecosystems are happening and why they are important, but how do we keep them alive and working in the best interests of everyone involved?

The thing about corporate ecosystems is – just like the ones in real life –they are continually evolving.

An idea begins as a seed, grows as it stimulates conversations, develops into an initial event and then blossoms into whole programs of work across multiple partners who share an interest in developing the idea or solving the problem. 

When thriving, it is amazing to see how ideas gain momentum and come to life through a digital ecosystem.

ANZ is looking to connect groups of partners and bring new players into the ecosystem. As we grow our partnerships we have had to start to look at how we manage this large network.

This is how it looks at the moment.

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To manage it effectively, ANZ is ensuring it is focused on building long-term strategic programs of work and deepening relationships, replacing a one-off event type approach. It is this approach which ensures the ecosystem continues to grow and self sustains.


Success in innovation is not necessarily about the technology or the innovation’s proposition itself, but more so about the leveraging of the collective experiences of ecosystem partners.

At a recent ANZ event for Melbourne Knowledge week, we heard the perspectives of influential collaborators, passionate about paving the way for Australia’s digital economy.

Each speaker demonstrated examples of when they tapped in to the experiences of their partners - and that is there where the magic happens.

Australia’s Innovation Ecosystem Thrives: Melbourne Knowledge Week 2016

At the event, then Pozible GM Claire Mequita spoke about her perspectives on innovation in the community.

She talked about the people who don’t always “get a seat at the innovation-agenda table”, the ones innovating for good and those in rural Australia. Ecosystems help give these people a seat at the table and a voice in a crowded market.

It is sometimes forgotten innovation doesn’t always have to be about generating profit. In a corporate context, the mantra is innovation should equal business value - but what about innovation that creates social change and addresses social problems? The kind that does amazing things for the world, the community and makes people feel good?

The Happy Billboard Project, crowd-funded via Pozible, brought joy to strangers around Australia with plastered billboards filled with positive messages like “You are loved” and “Everything is going to be ok.”

Then there’s disruptive innovation for social change like what the Thankyou group have done – the social enterprise that gives 100 per cent of the profits from their products to fund life changing water and healthcare projects. This type of innovation needs airtime too. 

ANZ , along with our ecosystem partners, is tapping in and building a digital innovation ecosystem.  One company can’t solve the world’s problems alone – so let’s lean in and work together.

Brooke Paterson and Carina Parisella are Senior Managers, Strategic Engagement at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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