This article was first published in Business Insider Australia, October 12 2017.
If Australia wants to compete with global innovators, corporate culture needs to change.
GirledWorld co-founders Madeleine Grummet and Edwina Kolomanski want to equip the next innovation generation of female leaders, founders and STEM experts with the enterprise skills, and access to female business role models they’ll need to excel in the future of work.
Grummet told Business Insider that GirledWorld focuses on embedding purpose across everything they do, and building a startup culture that fosters creativity and human-centred design.
“We’ve worked and studied across the US, Asia and Europe over our career lifetimes, and it’s interesting to compare the cultural dictates of those economies,” Grummet said.
“What is clear is that comparatively, Australia’s corporate culture is inherently conservative and currently bound by legacy processes, hierarchies and systems that actually impede innovation.
“In the context of a data-driven knowledge economy, the advent of exponential technologies, rapid communication and a fragmenting marketplace, it’s clear that corporates will need to embrace change, employ human-centered design to put the customer at the heart of their business model, and embed purpose in their culture if they are going to survive.”
If you compare Australia to the Silicon Valley start-up scene, for example, Grummet said the companies there have an intense focus on being scalable, 'scrappy', agile and adaptable to change – driven either by the consumer, the marketplace or the technology.
“In that environment of rapid value shift, traditional industries and companies simply have to adapt to survive and this is driven by startups,” Grummet said.
“So companies and corporate cultures over there are actively trying to org-hack themselves to stay agile, redefine their purpose and drive intentional innovation.”
Grummet recently returned from a trip to the Valley, where she participated in deep-dives in innovation labs with the likes of Google, Airbnb, Twitter, Tesla, Silicon Valley Robotics and Singularity University.
Unfortunately, changing your culture is not something Australian businesses can just “copy and paste” from Silicon Valley, Grummet explained.
“In order to stay globally competitive and locally relevant, we must create and nurture our own culture within a start-up ecosystem that drives net job creation for Australia’s future economy.”
In the next 12 months, Grummet says girledworld's focus will be on three things: building an entrepreneurially minded team, scaling to reach more girls across Australia with a digital platform and continuing to embed purpose across their business to deliver on their mission.
“Five years from now we would like to have a multi-national team working within an operating culture that is diverse, positive, purpose-fuelled and that lives by its values, providing active mentorship and future career pathways to girls.”