Posts Tagged ‘Turnbull’

The Power Crunch has come

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

The Power Crunch has come

By Roger La Salle
www.innovationtraining.com.au

It is simply amazing that the people on every side of politics for the past 15 years have not foreseen the power crunch coming.

Frankly, this is unbelievable. Who advises Government on energy policy, who is to blame for the catastrophe that is now befalling this country? Are these people blind to the obvious or simply in denial or, worse still, stupid!

Many years ago energy generation was planned 30 years in advance with the eye to population growth and likely demand. Gone are all these forecasts so that now at the 11th hour the Government is scrambling, at any cost just to keep the lights on – and of course it’s too late. No short term fix is possible and for the long terms, there is no plan, no foresight, just hope. Where are the engineers, the people that could see this coming and where was the action to head this off at the pass?

Australia in now doomed to energy poverty. Poverty in a country that should and could essentially have free power. We have an abundance of power generation capability but politicians too afraid to make any decisions, except to give more subsidies to renewables, a source of power that cannot possibly meet the demand.

We also hear of the fabulous batteries that are supposed to provide the stop gap measures, we hear of 10KW domestic batteries, (one assumes this is 10kWhour – but of course the experts don’t even know how to properly specify it’s capability) a battery that barely has sufficient capacity to cook a single large roast dinner.

We have the wonderful prospect of 100MW batteries (again one assumes this is 100MWhour). Wow, 100MWh would not have enough power to charge Australia’s population of cell phones, laptops and tablets, just once. Yes, one day of charge from a 100MWh, but who’s counting?

Then we have the issue of disposal of these so called wonderful savours. In a few years these will be like car tyres, and what of their carbon foot print in manufacture, delivery and of course disposal. I have not heard a single commentator even mention this, much less offer a solution.

This is simply greatest failure of Governments of all persuasions in the history of this nation. We are now in a place where the government is in knee jerk panic response at any cost from an economy already at breaking point, but alas, it’s all too late.

To boot, apart from energy poverty, we are driving industry to the wall with ever rising power prices, and it’s only going to get worse.

Who is to blame? It’s time we sheeted this home to out hopeless body of politicians running scared in the light of C02 mitigation when even the Chief Scientist says that what we are doing will have no effect on global temperatures.

Are we mad, it seems so!

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Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.innovationtraining.com.au

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So it’s good to fail – is it?

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

So it’s good to fail – is it?
By Roger La Salle

Are these people “for real”
Yet again I was at a conference hearing speakers on innovators and entrepreneurship in essence extolling the virtues of failure. The inverted logic suggests that if you fail often enough the learnings from this will somehow as if by magic eventually lead to success. It seems that for some it’s axiomatic that failure begets success.

Does this really happen?
Time and time again the common theme of all speakers that have made it big is that they had to fail first to learn the lessons that led to their success. Further, many, no in fact all, suggest that it was their persistence against all the odds that led to their success. The doubters and naysayers were aplenty, but they persisted and won. I have no argument with these people and one must admire their success. Of course the take aways from such presentations are twofold. First, it’s ok, indeed perhaps even good to fail and second, if you persist you will win.

There is a saying I picked up that was doing the rounds in Malaysia some time ago to the effect that a person has only two options, to persist or die. This saying was indeed embraced and promoted as good business thinking. I trust not too many took it literally.

What’s the real message?
Whilst persistence is important, indeed vital, one must be aware of when to stop. It’s a bit like what Einstein is said to have stated, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is madness. Admittedly, the new product entrepreneur may simply be looking at different ways to make or sell something, but notwithstanding, there does come a time to cut ones losses and move on.

As for the art of failure, yes it’s ok to fail, but fail fast and fail cheap, don’t bet the farm on any single initiative as the odds of success are small, almost vanishingly small when you compare the number of successes with the number of triers.

The digital age
In this the digital age we can now see budding entrepreneur nerds popping up everywhere where the cost of exploring new horizons can be negligible. I wonder how much was invested to get Facebook off the ground, or Twitter or Amazon for example, compared with a company such as Apple where the start-up investment would have been huge.

Sure the digital age has opened new doors, but still the same advice applies.

What now
As more speakers come to the podium, and of course we only get to hear from the successes, please refrain from preaching these uninformed opinions. Failure may be a good learning curve, but it’s not a virtue, nor is blind persistence.
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Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.matrixthinking.com

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Business Insight – The Innovation Agenda

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The Innovation Agenda
By Roger La Salle

The Innovation Agenda
In Australia the new Prime Minister is strong on innovation, we are to be the innovation economy. This is great news, but why don’t we actually innovate instead of just talking about it – the mind boggles, it’s always more of the same.

A Case in Point
Despite our talk of innovation, what we see in Australia like in most developed countries is that innovation is entirely lacking when it comes to solving one of the biggest problems – traffic.

Even in Australia a country with really only two well populated cities and just 22 million people, over 1.5 million new cars are sold every year, and with the life of a car running at ten plus years all we see are ever growing traffic queues.

Will roads fix that?
Of course the common and simplistic solution proffered by Government is to make car access more difficult by providing more bike lanes, seldom used to anywhere near the downside effect they have on traffic flow, or financial penalties for entering the city precinct with tolls and car parking levies.

Quite simply this is crazy stuff which does little more than frustrate workers and put them at odds with their governments.

The other tried and failed approaches include building more roads and wider freeways, or improved public transport.

Sorry to say, all of these are costly failures.

In the case of more roads, people that tire of traffic snarls turn to overcrowded public transport. Meanwhile the government widens and builds more roads, the result is that traffic flow improves, so people revert to old habits, back to road travel and the consequent log jam of traffic. It’s a never ending cycle.

As for public transport, there is simply insufficient capacity and even if there was, there is no place to park at public transport hubs and of course the traffic to these, assuming there was sufficient parking, would again be gridlocked.

What’s the Innovation?
We are told that high speed internet is the answer to the world’s problems and in the case of traffic, this is indeed the case.

If you walk into any inner city office all you will see are people perched over computers doing their jobs or speaking on telephones. The question must be asked, “why do they have to be centrally located?” Simply, they don’t.

With proper internet access and good multimedia 90% or more of these people could work from home and maybe attend the office once a week or even less to keep in social contact with other staff.

In reality, the only people that need to be in the city are those needing a personal customer interface, like bank tellers, doctors, dentists, shopkeepers and restaurateurs. The rest could be at home being much more productive and saving hours per day in travel time with a lot less energy wasted in frustration waiting in traffic queues.

So what’s lacking?
In essence what’s lacking is a proper management reporting method so people’s performance can be managed from afar with little need for personal interface.

Such reporting is easy to do, all it takes is a proper understanding of how to put metrics around job functions, a method embodied in the innovation of “The Principle of Contradictory Reporting”.

It’s that easy is it?
Yes – the answer is simple, the effect dramatic and the extra revenue to government coffers provided by restraining road works would be enormous.

If you wish to be the Innovation Economy – then for heaven’s sake – think like an Innovator?

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Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.matrixthinking.com

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Business Insight – Is it Innovation or Research?

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Is it Innovation or Research?
By Roger La Salle
Setting the scene!
To preface this article the following TED talk may be worth a watch, (although I did give this link in the last article). This talk shows some of our energy problems and is a real laugh as you get into it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg1lFjRKKHY

A little one sided
The ABC in Australia recently screened a program on the virtues of home battery power storage. Unfortunately they failed to once mention that with present technology there is absolutely no financial payback for such a system. Further, even a 10kWhour battery would have insufficient power to cook a single large family roast dinner.

Of course the charging of batteries can be from solar panels but no mention was made of the cost of these or the need to keep them clean or that in Australia even the most sun drenched place has only 36% of full sun hours. To their credit the program highlighted the great benefit of off peak charging from the grid.

No doubt that in the fullness of time local power will be the order of the day. How long it takes us to get there is anybody’s guess but one thing is certain, whilst this technology is being rolled out, with vast subsidies, power prices are being forced up and tax payers worldwide are footing the bill whether or not you embrace this technology. Much the same of course can be said of the power from the ever growing array of wind farms.

On the positive side one may think this will eventually lead to the extinction of the ugly, expensive and fire prone poles and wires – not so.

More poles and wires are being installed every day to support the growing farms of wind generators, again subsidised by the taxpayer.

Personally, I am all for renewables, but at what cost and who is driving this agenda and what is the effect on power hungry industries such as aluminium manufacture or smelting and the like. Is this agenda killing industries in developed countries, industries that make essential products that are not then removed from the face of the earth but simply relocated to lower cost countries with the nett effect on carbon emissions being the same or more likely, even worse.

Can it work anywhere?
Presently I am involved in a project that uses battery power, supplemented in some small way by the grid, but this is a commercial application with real payback, a positive value proposition. That makes it workable and different and we don’t need any government subsidy to make it workable.

Innovation – the way forward
Anybody that knows me recognises I am a champion of innovation, but in the commercial world innovations need to stand on their own legs.

Innovation is about “change that adds value”, otherwise it’s called research.

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Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. “Matrix Thinking”™ is now used in organizations in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development and is the author of four books and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. www.matrixthinking.com

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