Harnessing and Cultivating Innovation through Divergent Thinking

13 March 2019
4 min read

The concept of innovation has become a core competency for organisations to remain competitive within their respective industries. Organisations that embrace innovation and embed a free flow of ideas and thinking into their organisational culture stand to benefit in this continually evolving business environment.

What is innovation?

Innovation is about challenging the traditional business model while seeking better and smarter ways to solve complex business solutions.

Innovation is a derivative of ‘out the box thinking’ that comes from allowing different perspectives to come together to develop a new solution to an old problem. Albert Einstein once said, and this still rings true, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.

In the financial and advisory world, it is no longer sufficient just to be able to solve a problem for your client. Our clients expect us, as their advisers, to be able to predict problems and develop solutions to those problems simultaneously, in an efficient and creative manner – enter divergent thinking.

Innovation cultivated through divergent thinking is no longer the “wave of the future”, it is here now and those businesses who fail to embrace it will be left behind.

The reality of this is that many businesses may never recover. As a business and as advisers to our clients, it is our responsibility to understand the times and to actively utilise divergent thinking to help our clients.

Innovation and the digital revolution

The evolution of the digital world has given rise to the dominance of companies like Apple which have caught the innovation bug and divergent thinking wave. Innovative firms like Apple have quickly replaced former mobile phone company giants like Nokia and Blackberry.

Firms like Google have replaced conventional libraries, its brand has become synonymous with information being accessible anywhere at any time.

Companies like these have surpassed what used to be their competition and have made it virtually impossible for prospective entrepreneurs to penetrate their market of influence without a great deal of impediment.

But who knows, organisations are continuing to innovate and today we see Google challenging Apple, leading a push on the device market driven by its ability to provide content.

Applying innovation in commerce

Innovation is not only relevant in the technological world, but can be applied and is necessary in all facets of commerce.

At Findex, we recognise innovation as one of our core values. We are providing professional and financial advice to our clients through a multi-branded approach, and powering innovation through new centres such as SproutX, which is driving agtech in Australia. This approach and these services help us empower entrepreneurs to leverage technology in their chosen industries.

Our clients come to us seeking new ways to invest, and to operate and re-invent their businesses. They work in a dynamic business environment where we need to navigate through legislative changes, new competitors, changing demographics, catering to a global market and managing emerging and complex business risks.

To respond to this need, we apply an integrated approach, using divergent thinking and working in a collaborative manner to help our clients predict the risks they will face, and to develop solutions to manage those risks.

An integrated approach means working with diverse and multidisciplinary teams to bring the best people under one roof, to achieve the best outcomes for clients, through divergent thinking.

How we can help

Change is inevitable, but innovation is a choice and we have an opportunity to determine whether it comes to fruition on our terms and not those of the market. Your success will be dependent upon whether we, as an organisation, can employ divergent thinking as a catalyst to achieving innovation in a timely manner across all practices in your organisation.

In my area of expertise, Risk Consulting, I have come to appreciate that it is all about understanding the commercial environment our clients operate in and the real business risks our clients face.

It is about helping them to implement processes that not only mitigate the risks but to challenge their thinking about the risks their businesses face and ultimately to enable them to achieve their strategic objectives.

Across Australia, our Risk Consulting team is a very diverse team with varying levels of experience both from the corporate and professional services world. This allows us to maximise the divergent thinking across the group to offer different perspectives from a range of cultural backgrounds, experiences and knowledge.

This aids in our understanding and appreciation of innovative solutions to our clients’ problems – through the lens of divergent thinking