Coles & Woolies are starting out to reduce the gap between their marketing practices and those of the trendsetter, Tesco in the UK.
I guess this is not surprising given they are both watching Tesco very closely, and Coles management is now dominated by ex Tesco personnel, but I wonder if Australia has the depth of Innovation capability to not just copy what others have done, but to create genuine innovation in this exploding digital space.
We appear to have taken the edge off our capability, Universities and research facilities are starved of funds, hobbled by any current political agenda, and standards do not appear to be sufficiently rigorous to test and train the very best minds we produce. This is a long term challenge, way beyond any political cycle, but in my view should be high on our agenda if we are serious as a nation about the role we play into the future. It is not just about the carbon tax (look at what Iceland is doing) or what to do with a few desperate people arriving in leaky boats, it is about how we set up our nation for the long term.
Insead Business School and the Confederation of Indian Industry have produced a credible report that ranks our performance in the all important “Innovation Stakes” at 18, better than Thailand, but behind New Zealand. Australia’s profile is on page 79.