Successful businessman and innovator Steve Rowe is a strong supporter of the Northern Territory (NT) Government’s Business Acceleration Program.
He urges other business owners to attend the three three-day courses - and take two things with them: their senior management team and an open mind.
“You want your management team with you so that you have the same ambition to grow the business and learn together.
“And you must be willing to learn - there’s no point in going if you’re all defensive.”
Steve, who owns the award-winning Darwin-based software development company SRA, went to all three sessions.
“It was very enjoyable,” he says. “We were challenged not just by the mentors and advisors, but also by other business people there from different industries.
“It was a free gathering. Chatham House rules applied so we felt comfortable discussing all the challenges we faced.”
Steve says the experts running the program made him look at different ways of operating.
“It made me look beyond business growth in a straight line,” he says.
“We’re now using what we learnt every day and it is helping not just grow what we have been doing but look at new products.”
Steve’s company is thriving.
SRA’s EnviroSys software, which is widely used in the mining industry, has broken into the water quality management market in a big way.
The Melbourne water authority is using the system and the company now hopes to win over the Sydney water authority.
It already has the Territory’s Power and Water Corporation on its books.
In conjunction with the NT Catholic Education Office, SRA has also developed, and is nationally marketing, INSPIRE: Learning with Diversity, an integrated software platform supporting schools to improve learning outcomes for students with additional needs.
Steve accepts that innovation is often difficult but says many Territory businesses are innovative without fully realising it.
“It’s not always about developing a totally new product, it can be doing things in a better, more effective way."
“Innovation is crucial to business. The world is changing all the time and we have to change and adapt to survive.”
The Business Acceleration Program is an initiative of the NT Government, hosted by the Darwin Innovation Hub and delivered by the Australian Centre for Business Growth.
It is recognised as a high-value, world-class program that enables chief executive officers and managing directors to identify opportunities, overcome business challenges and drive competitive advantage.
To find out more on the Business Acceleration Program, go to the Australian Centre for Business Growth website.