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Blackmores sees innovation as a way of life


Many organizations operating in competitive and changing markets understand the need for innovation. Few organization however have found a successful method for innovation that suits their culture and works effectively within the existing operating environment.

While there are no hard and fast rules about how an orgaisation should innovate, there are approaches to innovation that can yield strong learning and business results.

Integral Development, in partnership with Salmat Learning, recently completed the delivery of a Diploma of Management program with a focus on innovation to a group of Senior and State Managers at Blackmores.

Blackmores is Australia’s leading natural health brand offering high quality products and services in the vitamins and natural health sector. The organization realized that in order to maintain its position as the market leader it needed to invest in its people and find ways to extend its excellence in product innovation to areas such as culture, sales and marketing and management.

So how has BLACKMORES set about achieving this?

Blackmores invested in a formal learning program with a focus on innovation. The organization understands the need to engage and develop their staff in order to attract and retain the best talent. More importantly, Blackmores understands that fully harnessing the skills, ingenuity and passion of its people is critical to becoming a truly innovative health leader.

Over a 12-month program participants worked through an applied innovation curriculum that involved:

  • Investigating developments and changes in the marketplace that created opportunities in keeping with Blackmores values and strategic drivers;
  • Conceptualizing and creating multiple ideas for new products, services, operating systems, management approaches and sales & marketing initiatives;
  • Evaluating and refining the best ideas and building robust business cases to pitch to key Blackmores stakeholders and decision makers;
  • Implementing approved innovation ideas in a disciplined and determined fashion considering all relevant stakeholders as well as the competitive landscape.

One of the key findings of the program has been a recognition that although there are effective processes for innovation that can be successfully used at Blackmores; ‘true innovation’ is far more than just a process. The organization is seeking to embed a ‘culture of innovation’ where risk taking is encouraged, failure is accepted (provided the lessons are learned) and a critical mass of people understand what innovation can do for them and the organization.

Blackmores is seeking to make innovation a way of life and part of its Corporate DNA.

The four innovation concept projects that were pitched to senior Blackmores leaders were all approved for implementation. Participants, who are now eligible for their Diplomas, have not only developed skills and knowledge relevant to innovation but also understand the mindset of a corporate innovator.

Innovation is not an easy journey and there is no one formula for success. The right measure of courage and imagination however, coupled with sustained business discipline can lead businesses and people to the realization of their goals.

We wish Blackmores the best of luck with their innovation journey.

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