Excelling in a world which is ‘fast, flat and free’

News story:
Futurist says embracing work practices that support innovation is essential to delivering better services in a fast-changing world
Gihan Perera presents at Innovation Year Breakfast

Image: Gihan Perera delivers Landgate’s Innovation Year breakfast event

On a cold July morning at Landgate’s Midland office, futurist, author and consultant, Gihan Perera, is warming up his audience with some family holiday snaps.

In one, he points to a young Sri Lankan relative in boardies and thongs who has developed software that analyses shopping centre carparks to provide advice to companies on consumer habits. From the comfort of his living room, he now works with large corporations based all over the world.

This young man is an innovator.  He is prepared to think outside the box and sell his wares direct to the big corporations.  He is working in a world that is “fast, flat and free”. It is a world where change is happening faster than ever before; we’re breaking down hierarchies and control; and prices are coming down as competition increases.

Mr Perera is sharing his thoughts as guest speaker at a Landgate Innovation Year breakfast event to mark the end of Public Sector Innovation month. 

His presentation — The new rules for high performance: channelling chaos for staying ahead of the game — offers insights into what the future might hold and how individuals and organisations alike can be “fit for the future”. 

“The pace of change gets in the way of making progress if we are not careful,” Mr Perera observed.

A high performing, future-focused public sector applies itself to solving problems for citizens. This means involving citizens early in finding out what their problems are and engaging their help in finding solutions.

Mr Perera warns against limiting the advice you seek to subject matter experts as filtering new ideas through past experiences can work against innovation.  Seek out the views of non-experts too, with different backgrounds and experiences to offer different insights. 

His advice for high performers is to do your research to be aware of the future you can know, be flexible enough to navigate or lead in the future you can’t predict, and ensure your teams have a mix of skills considered essential for the future.  These include creativity, design thinking, complex problem solving and the ability to collaborate.

Mr Perera’s takeaway is that innovation is everybody’s business — every role should include innovation and every leader has the responsibility to provide an environment that fosters and encourages innovation.

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Innovation is about creativity, implementing good ideas, and collaborating to make the world a better place.

Gihan Perera

Landgate regularly hosts speakers on innovation topics and was ranked the most innovative government agency and 19th most innovative company overall in Australia and New Zealand in 2018 by the Australian Financial Review.

The agency administers the State Government’s SPURonWA grants program through its location technology hub, SPUR.  The program supports Western Australian businesses, start-ups and individuals working on innovative location-based products or services.


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Page reviewed 12 August 2019



12 August 2019