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Australia has many wonderful success stories that most Australians don’t know about. Recently Game of Inches author Nigel Collin headed off into the Northern Territory (sponsored by NT Tourism and Department of Trade Business and Innovation) to discover and share stories of ingenious Australian businesses and people.

Unique Case-Studies and Pragmatic Insights

The Ingenious Oz Project began five years ago when Nigel headed off by himself into remote and regional Australia with his motorbike and a video camera. Why? To capture on film clever and ingenious Australian business success stories. He hoped that these stories would inspire others to pursue their business ideas and dreams or help them find ways to innovate their existing business. This unique research led to the development of Nigel’s ‘Game of Inches’ business process, which Nigel later wrote a best-selling book on. It also forms the backbone of Nigel’s keynotes and workshops.

Ingenious Oz Project NT

On the 5thOctober this year, Nigel and his good mate Brad Foster (editor of micenet magazine) headed off throughout the NT. Starting in Alice Springs, they rode their powerful Indian motorcycles North to Darwin. On this 2200km journey, they filmed a series of unique interviews with some fascinating NT business owners. Nigel is currently creating a video series for NT Tourism. These fresh new case studies will also be folded into his future keynotes.

What can you learn from Nigel’s experiences? After hundreds of interviews over the last few years, Nigel has found patterns in what these people and their businesses do. His most recent trip to the NT reinforced to Nigel that his key Game of Inches process and thinking were right on the money.

Nigel 4 most important learnings around business growth and innovation

1. It’s a Game of Inches

It’s the small things that drive big results. Business success is a game of inches. It happens one step at a time. 99% of successes come from many small, practical steps rather than the single ‘Eureka’ idea.The big idea makes a good story, but it’s hard for people to incorporate into their everyday working lives. Success in not a one-off disruptive moment but a matter of consistently finding ways to improve everything you do and consistently disrupting and innovating.

The game of Inches is what makes big happen.

2. Find the Gap

Successful people are geniuses at finding gaps. Gaps are problems or opportunities that, if addressed, result in massive payoffs. Just outside Alice Springs is an award-winning tourism operation called ‘Earth Sanctuary’ run by three brothers and their dad.  If you visit their ‘Star Show’ you literally sit under the stars in the desert (which is amazing in its own right) and they teach you about the night sky. What’s interesting is how they developed the idea (they didn’t sit around one day brainstorming new product offerings). The idea came after sleeping under the stars for 10 years. Realising no-one was exploiting one of the NT’s great assets (it’s incredible clear night skies) they created their astro tourism business.

Finding gaps isn’t just about finding market gaps, it’s also about finding those little things that make a big difference. Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm just outside of Darwin is constantly looking for gaps in the way they do things. An amazingly sustainable operation where they constantly look at finding ways to improve everything they do. Incremental innovation at its best.

Be a gap hunter not an idea hunter.

3. It’s Action that Counts

One of the main traits you see in successful people and businesses throughout the NT is their ability to simply ‘have a crack’. They don’t wait till everything is ready to go (because if they did nothing would ever happen). Damien Ryan, Mayor of Alice Springs told Nigel “Remoteness instigates inventiveness”. Part of the reason for this is that it forces people to think differently, find inventive solutions and take action.

4. Nurturing the Right Mindset is Paramount

In 1997 Justin and Karinda Gill arrived in Darwin with $1000.00 to their names. Along with their kids they slept in a caravan. Today Justin and Karinda run Abode New Homes, an award winning residential building company worth around $40million. When interviewing Justin, he talked about the importance of nurturing and maintaining the right mindset. Mindset is a trait you see in all successful people.