Why is innovation important to you?
We don’t have a choice when it comes to innovation. Our business, scottleggo.com is a small business without the scale of bigger businesses in our market. We need smart ways to maximise our productivity. Innovation is, at its core, about solving business challenges and problems. Yet, there are more ways to innovate than there are types of problems to solve. There is no one simple approach to innovation, but central to our thinking is finding ways to solve problems to be able to compete on a national stage by identifying better or more efficient ways to do things. Our continued success depends on innovation.
Prior to working full time for our business, I had a traditional corporate career, working with some of Australia’s leading brands in a range of positions from auditor through to most recently as a CFO. This background provided me with exposure to a wide range of different approaches to innovation at all levels of business. I have learnt to question the way we do everything with a view to innovation – what can we scale, how we can automate processes, what can we do differently, does this approach make sense, how do we improve our customer experience, is there a better way?
With this kind of thinking, we have embraced cloud based systems across all our business operations. All this has been designed to simplify our business and utilise the tools that big business maximise to good effect. With such leverage, we’re able to output much more than many would expect from a small business. This all means more time to focus on exploring Australia and bringing beautiful landscape photographs to homes and offices across the country. The productivity gains we’ve been able to achieve through simplification and automation is something every business can’t ignore if they want to remain competitive.
What drives you to make a difference?
Our business shares the beauty of the Australian landscape. The more our business grows and more products we sell, the more we connect people to the natural world around them. Thus, the more we can innovate, the more time we can spend on what is central to our business ethos. Equally, work-life balance is important to me, having not always had the best balance in the past. If I can make a difference in our business to drive a better balance, then we can show others that it is possible to follow your passion while still achieving other life goals you may have. Through innovative approaches and utilising technology, we have removed the requirement to have a set physical business location, enabling us to run operations from anywhere, including remote locations. We now need nothing more than our Apple laptops to service clients anywhere in the country and maintain visibility of all information and performance data on our business.
Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
Women and men, need to realise there is no one ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to innovation. Often, business behave as if there is, locking themselves into one type of approach for how they ‘do innovation’. It may succeed temporarily, but can come undone with a set of approaches that don’t fit the problems you need to solve. I would recommend thinking about innovation like other business disciplines — utilising a set of tools that are designed to accomplish specific objectives. People need to build up a portfolio of innovation strategies designed for specific tasks. No one would recommend relying on a single sales or advertising tactic for the entire lifecycle of a company. Out of this you should constantly be looking at the way you do business, simplifying processes and reviewing every part. Innovation is not a one off task to action – it is ongoing and a critical path to successful business.