Business Development and Commercialisation Manager, Data61
Ben can attest to the fact that being naturally innovative does not always result in a linear career path. After 20 years, Ben has held 11 different job roles. Discover what his unique experience has taught him about the strategies, models, leadership styles and cultures that define brilliance in Australian business.
“If we’re talking innovation of the disruptive type, it’s really about delivering something that’s so good it makes other things irrelevant, and there’s no point in going back.”
Ben Sorensen is a Business Development and Commercialisation Manager at CSIRO’s Data61 – Australia’s data innovation network. He is charged with aligning purpose, leadership, strategy and culture to create new value and seed new industries. Ben discusses how experiential learning from his varied career brings something different to the table and that, to a certain extent, he’s now hired for what his mistakes have taught him.
Innovation takes many forms and all the textbooks will tell you it’s very complex. But defining innovation is actually simple: it’s doing something differently for better outcomes. Ben Sorensen is keen to add a few subtle provisos here – whether we’re talking a sole trader, multinational, research organisation, government agency or a city, fundamentally that entity has a purpose to solve problems, create new value and to take ideas forward.
We need to remember that innovation is not only a tool but also a way of thinking and if we’re talking innovation of the disruptive type, it’s really about delivering something that’s so good it makes other things irrelevant, and there’s no point in going back. “We need to take the language of innovation away from consulting jargon to make it simple and accessible - it’s not rocket science, and it doesn’t need to be high-risk, high-cost or slow. Everyone is at risk of being disrupted, so the concepts of change have to be made easy to adopt. To ensure our society and Australia’s future generations enjoy a prosperous future, we must adopt new ways of thinking and behaving. And, importantly, we need to create new relevance and new value at a pace that is faster than our international competitors,” Ben says.
All individuals interviewed for this series were selected based on their professional standing and experience, and are wholly independent of any commercial relationship with Konica Minolta. Their comments and insights were provided freely without any form of payment. None of the comments provided constitute an endorsement of Konica Minolta products or services.