Frances Valintine on why New Zealand businesses aren’t innovative and what they need to do about it

  • Voices
  • March 22, 2017
  • Antonia Mann
Frances Valintine on why New Zealand businesses aren’t innovative and what they need to do about it
Frances Valintine

“Culture matters for reasons good and bad. First, it is the place to discover advantage, opportunity, and innovation… Second, culture is the breeding ground of cataclysmic change….  Without a working knowledge of culture, the corporation lives in a perpetual state of surprise, waiting for the next big storm to hit.” – Grant McCracken, cultural anthropologist.

With McCracken’s words in mind, we were privileged to invite education futurist Frances Valintine to speak at TRA’s recent Mindframe Breakfast on the theme of culture. Valintine is the founder of The Mind Lab by Unitec and Tech Futures Lab and has been recognised as one of the Top 50 EdTech Educators in the world.

Kiwis have long relied on their ‘number eight wire’ mentality when it comes to ingenuity and innovation. And with global success stories like Xero, Rocket Lab and the All Blacks, we may be lulled into thinking that this approach is working. However, according to Valintine these successes bathe New Zealand entrepreneurship in a light that perhaps gives it more credit than it deserves.

In reality, New Zealand is lagging behind other countries when it comes to innovation. New Zealand ranks 28th (out of 34) in the OECD when it comes to R&D spend by businesses, and last in the rankings when compared to other countries with comparable small populations and similarly advanced GDP levels (Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, and Singapore).

Valintine suggests that one reason for this is that New Zealand’s legacy businesses, such as dairy and construction, have long relied on government contracts and subsidies. Within this safety net, their drive for innovation has suffered. In contrast, ground-breaking New Zealand companies operate in the free market – they thrive by innovating and are often boosted by foreign investment. Xero’s biggest investors, for example, come from Silicon Valley.

On the whole, local businesses are avoiding taking a long-term view of what’s happening outside of New Zealand. They are failing to consider major global demographic, environmental and economic shifts that will undoubtedly affect New Zealanders in the future – adversely if we aren’t prepared for them.

Water shortages and population growth threaten the sustainability of our top exports and industries in their current form. Agriculture, dairy, forestry and wine will soon be replaceable by plant and synthetically grown alternatives that are more sustainable and can be scaled to cope with global population growth and environmental demands. Wine, for example, can now be replicated in a lab at the cost of ten dollars.

Not only this, but New Zealand’s population is getting older while the rest of the world is getting younger. In 2011, 19 percent of the world was middle class; by 2030 that proportion is forecast to be 75 percent, and it will change the geopolitical power balance and global trade environment unrecognisably.

Though New Zealand currently has a good track record in education, this advantage will suffer if the country falls behind in education for technology and innovation, allowing the future educated middle class overseas to easily outperform and outcompete us.

When asked what New Zealand companies should do as a first practical step to transform themselves into future-focused innovators, Valintine urged encouraging and nurturing risk-taking. For instance, paying people by salary and basing 30-50 percent of it on how much risk they take.

Valintine’s talk demonstrated the importance of monitoring changes in technological, social, environmental, political and economic realms as they are the forces that shape how and where culture morphs. At TRA, we call these shifts Cultural Currents. Understanding Cultural Currents and the drivers behind them gives us a more complete, holistic picture of the context of people’s lives in multi-layered ways. We use them to provide more depth and breadth into how and why people are thinking, deciding and behaving the way they do, and to anticipate behaviours and opportunities of tomorrow – what is probable and what is possible.

  • Antonia Mann is a cultural strategist at TRA.

  • Frances Valintine first presented this content at TRA’s Mindframe Breakfast on the topic of culture. For more information on Valintine’ work and how to innovate today while preparing for the future, check out Tech Futures Lab.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Identity crisis or brand evolution? Cigarette giant Philip Morris talks angling to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025

  • Brand
  • February 19, 2019
  • Findlay Buchanan
Identity crisis or brand evolution? Cigarette giant Philip Morris talks angling to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025

Philip Morris – the largest tobacco company in the world – has declared it will transform the tobacco industry in support of New Zealand's Smokefree 2025 initiative. In time, it plans to stub out its cigarette range – which includes Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia S and move towards a future of fruity, trendy vapes and e-cigarettes. It’s a tactical maneuver from the giant cigarette corporate as alternative cigarettes slowly receive validation by scientists, governments, and consumers – but is the move really a ploy for Smokefree 2025, or more of a smoke screen by Philip Morris? And in the midst of all this, has its sudden departure from cigarettes led to a branding identity crisis? We speak to the managing director, James Williams, who explains the company's foray into the smoke-free market.

Read more

Little Giant appointed digital partner for TVNZ's Re: web expansion

  • Media
  • February 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Little Giant appointed digital partner for TVNZ's Re: web expansion

Little Giant, Linked by Isobar has been announced as the digital partner for the development of TVNZ's Re: News channel, which has had a Facebook presence since 2017. Re: News will be launched as a new website in March.

Read more

MKTG announces Kimberly Kastelan as general manager

  • Advertising
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
MKTG announces Kimberly Kastelan as general manager
Fleur Skinner, Kimberly Kastelan

Kimberly Kastelan is the new general manager MKTG in New Zealand, a promotion from her previous role as the agency's group account director. The appointment follows Fleur Skinner’s resignation.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

topics
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

Movings/Shakings: 15 February

  • Movings/Shakings, brought to you by Marsden Inch
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Movings/Shakings: 15 February

Industry happenings at Perceptive, The Trade Desk, and Pead PR.

Read more

Tender love or chicken tender? Hell Pizza challenges Valentine’s Day tradition

  • Advertising
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Tender love or chicken tender? Hell Pizza challenges Valentine’s Day tradition

Yesterday, Hell Pizza and BC&F Dentsu challenged the idea of Valentine’s Day with a campaign promoting a night for one, rather than a night out with the masses at a restaurant or bar.

Read more
voices
The Stoppies 2018: All winners revealed
features

The Stoppies 2018: All winners revealed The Stoppies 2018: All winners revealed

A rundown of those who walked home with a treasured doorstop last night.

FCB appoints Slade Gill as creative director

  • Advertising
  • February 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
FCB appoints Slade Gill as creative director

FCB has confirmed the appointment of Slade Gill as a creative director.

Read more

Matt Kingston joins TBWA as head of strategy and planning

  • Advertising
  • February 14, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Matt Kingston joins TBWA as head of strategy and planning
Matt Kingston, Catherine Harris, Shane Bradnick

TBWA\New Zealand has announced the appointment of Matt Kingston the role of head of strategy and planning across TBWA Group New Zealand.

Read more

Gray Matters: the best of OOH, retailers as advertisers, an unconscious bias, and customer labels

  • Voices
  • February 14, 2019
  • Graham Medcalf
Gray Matters: the best of OOH, retailers as advertisers, an unconscious bias, and customer labels
Picture from Reddit

Graham Medcalf takes a look at the week that was, covering clever out-of-home campaigns, retailers putting their data to use, diversity in the industry, content marketing as advertising, and the humanity of consumers.

Read more
Let’s fall back in love with the industry — introducing Brand Love Academy
Sponsored content

Let’s fall back in love with the industry — introducing Brand Love Academy

StopPress talks to Paul Sigaloff, managing directer of Verizon Media ANZ (previously Yahoo7), about the launch of a new event for our industry’s brightest young talent.

House of Travel pokes fun at customer perception in new campaign

  • Advertising
  • February 13, 2019
  • StopPress Team
House of Travel pokes fun at customer perception in new campaign

House of Travel's in-house team has launched a new brand campaign, 'Better Together', that uses real customer stories to show the importance of working with a travel agent when booking overseas trips.

Read more

Nestle’s campaign celebrates ‘Original Kiwi Dip’

  • Advertising
  • February 13, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Nestle’s campaign celebrates ‘Original Kiwi Dip’

Nestlé has launched a campaign to celebrate the iconic Kiwi ‘Original Kiwi Dip’.

Read more

DB Export gets into Valentine's Day spirit with original romantic ballad

  • Advertising
  • February 12, 2019
  • StopPress Team
DB Export gets into Valentine's Day spirit with original romantic ballad

​DB is making a song and dance about its DB Export Low Carb beer, with an original song and music video called ‘I’m Drinking It For You’ by Colenso BBDO and The Sweetshop.

Read more

Ads of the Week: 12 February

  • TVC of the Week
  • February 12, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the Week: 12 February

A round of applause for BNZ, Trade Me, ASB Bank and DB Export.

Read more

Happy Birthday Facebook! Looking back at three Facebook features that changed the way I think about marketing

  • Voices
  • February 12, 2019
  • Wendy Thompson
Happy Birthday Facebook! Looking back at three Facebook features that changed the way I think about marketing

Facebook turned fifteen on Monday, 4 February and it’s hard to argue with the impact it has had on the world. Facebook and its other social media peers have fundamentally changed the way we communicate and connect with each other globally and has grown up from a couple of college kids in a dorm room to a warm fuzzy and purpose-led mission statement of 'Bring the world closer together'.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit