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Why Pivot in Innovation? By Yasmine Turner

Innovation and creativity are pivotal skills for unlocking society’s most difficult challenges, especially during these uncertain times. Even in the corporate setting, entrepreneurship and problem solving skills are increasingly becoming part of an individual’s major personal asset.

However, developing your skills in entrepreneurship do not come easy. They come at a price. The price is failure. From such an early age, we have been ‘programmed’ to believe that failure is bad. But it’s not. I understand that being able to fail is such an odd concept in the context of university, where it is our main priority to achieve. However, in the words of Elon Musk “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough”. Failure is what makes us human. It’s our resilience to failure and our ability to pivot quickly that makes us and our innovative solutions so great.

Ever since the introduction of entrepreneurship as a core focus of the GLP, I have tailored my Experiential Credit towards furthering my understanding entrepreneurship. In Semester 2 2019, I completed the Activation Course with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship. In partnership with a number of educational providers, they offer a variety extracurricular courses designed to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and innovation skills. Pre-COVID19, this was a 10 week online course with a four day intensive at their Ultimo Campus.

Sydney School of Entrepreneurship Campus

At the intensive, many successful entrepreneurs and innovators were invited to deliver workshops focusing on developing the different necessary skills. The insightful sessions focused on the experiences and challenges of each entrepreneur in the start-up context. Following each session, we had an opportunity to ask questions and speak with each entrepreneur one-on-one. But most importantly, the idea that I found of most importance, was the concept of pivoting. I learnt that in innovation, and in life, our greatest learning comes from our mistakes and failures.

Sydney School of Entrepreneurship Campus

In the winter session break in 2020, I attended the Virtual Innovation Day, facilitated by the GLP and MQ Incubator. And yet again, this concept of ‘pivoting’ kept being featured. It was a jam-packed 2-days filled with engaging content, providing a detailed introduction into innovation and the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Sydney.

This summer, I also attended the Hacker Exchange Discovery Program as a virtual exchange. Although I was hesitant at first with the thought of a 2 week, constant virtual program, to my surprise, it was the most engaging university program I have ever done. It was such a rewarding program, and most of the time, I felt like I was face-to-face with the speaker. Each guest speaker spoke to us about their journey and challenges they had experienced in establishing their company. From reflecting on their sessions, I realised pivoting is a critical element to success as it allows the business offering to remain current. If successful entrepreneurs and even corporate professionals did not embrace and learn from their failure early on, we would not have the innovations we have today.

We spent two weeks exploring the start-up ecosystems of the Asia-Pacific Region, virtually travelling to all of the various nations. During the program, I was able to expand upon my current entrepreneurial idea during one on one, dedicated mentoring sessions and finally, got to pitch it to industry leaders on the last day of the program.

Hacker Exchange Experience on Zoom

I highly recommending all of these courses and experiences, for not only those who are interested in entrepreneurship, but for anyone! Innovation is critical not only in the context of a start-up, but also in corporates as well as in our own personal and professional lives. Without innovation, where would we be? I encourage you to get involved in these programs as I know it has truly been beneficial and a great learning experience.


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