The 2015 Innovation Index: Australian Not-for-Profit Sector

27 March 2015 By Bill Jarrard, LV Imagineer

The Innovation Index – Australian Not-for-Profit Sector 2015 has just been released and once again we have another survey demonstrating that Australian organisations understand innovation is important to their success, but are still struggling to make innovation happen.

Having said that, I believe this report offers some valuable insights and calls to action for those charged with leading innovation – not just in the NFP sector, but for organisations in the private and public service sectors. Here’s part of the Executive Summary from the report.

The Index is a study of the sector’s current innovation capability, and is the outcome of a survey of more than 744 professionals working across the sector from every Australian state and territory. Organisations were measured according to their capacity to develop and deliver innovation according to seven key vectors:

·         External Collaboration

·         Internal Collaboration

·         Innovation Focus

·         Openness of Culture/Vision

·         Organisational Velocity

·         Rewards/Recognition

·         Stakeholder Centricity

The NFP sector recorded an overall innovation score of 66 per cent from the Index survey, indicating that while some organisations prioritise innovation in their day to day operations, there is significant scope for improvement across the sector. Read the full report. 

The Index also provides scoring on each of the seven vectors measured, and lists the top ten most innovative NFP organisations.  Interestingly Movember came in at Number One, and is an event I have participated in a couple of times in recent years, so I was pleased to see it rate so well.

One of the most important measures the survey looked at was Innovation Focus.  As anyone who has been to any of my workshops or heard me present will confirm, focus is to me THE key to success to make innovation happen. And the Index shows a score of only 61.8% on this. This is a major concern, that requires leadership action if we truly want innovation to help ensure sustainable success.

I’ve written previously on the Three Vital Ingredients to success with innovation - that is…


If an organization doesn’t know why and where it needs to innovate, doesn’t engage its people and stakeholders in thinking creatively about how to innovate, or provide the time needed to work collaboratively and creatively, how can it expect to be innovative?  And yet few organizations move beyond exhortations or hit and miss activities to develop a deliberate, planned and strategic way ahead - as this report, like so many others, again tells us.

Leading Innovation is vital for success, and that means more than putting it on the Values Statement or into a paragraph in the Strategic Plan, and hoping it will just happen. The NFP Sector in one of the most important in Australia, impacting almost all areas of our community, and I hope this report is well received by the sector and actioned by its leaders. And organizations in the private and public service sectors would learn much from it as well.


About the author:

Bill Jarrard facilitates LV's Leading Innovation Masterclass series, which includes: