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Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Why you need to ditch the rules and work together to boost workplace creativity.

Man plays with LEGO blocks

Mentors Pave The Way

One of the keys, Coert said, was to find a strong mentor − a Vitruvius to your personal Emmet. This is a person, or people, who can find your special talents and help you grow.

To get his point across, Coert recounted the story of when he conducted some data analysis regarding safety with a mining client. 

What he encountered was people who thwarted his attempts to gather useful data and faced rules and processes that impeded his ability to solve important problems. 

However, through persistence Coert, by using the data, was able to pinpoint the root cause of the client's workplace injuries. Rather than the old-world focus on the workplace, he found that the issue was overwork caused by financial stress. 

Workers were doing overtime and taking extra shifts because of financial duress. As a result they were more fatigued, made errors and were injured. The solution − financial training for the workers most at risk. 

Working Outside The Box


It was a solution that completely disrupted the old way of looking at workplace safety and applied a solution that was completely outside the experience of the existing systems. 

One of the things Coert adopted was giving people structured time to work on their own ideas with freedom. His approach is to set aside one day every few months where people have a day to come up with an idea and to deliver a usable outcome. 

One example was a team member who was able to look at smart meter data and determine where criminal drug labs were being operated.

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