Innnovation: wisdom sharing between the ages

I recently wrote a blog for the First5000 network about how we can harness the diversity of generations for innovation in organisations. This was in response to a speech made by the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe. He argues that innovation is not a "nice to have" but in fact, we need to innovate to ensure Australia's future growth and prosperity.

He names five  policies areas to support, which are not exclusive:

  • The way in which we finance innovation, including the access to start-up capital for new businesses. The Financial Sector Inquiry will no doubt look at this issue.
  • The incentives for innovation that we establish through the tax system.
  • The way we support human capital accumulation and research.
  • Our business culture and the way we promote and support entrepreneurship.
  • The way in which we promote competition in our markets, for it is often competition, or the threat of it, that is the driver of innovation.

Given our ageing population I argue in my blog, that we should add a sixth:

            The way we value and enable intergenerational wisdom sharing.

Shortly after this blog, the annual Global Innovation Index was published. In it Australia's ranking has improved with two points and we are now 17th in the world. 

Interestingly the 2014 report is titled "The Global Innovation Index 2014, The Human Factor in Innovation". Yet in the entire report there is no mention of an ageing population and the opportunities this presents for learning, sharing and innovation.

Surprising given this is going to significantly affect the human factor of work environments in the coming years.