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Implementing a culture driven innovation framework in an Australian meat processing plant

Project start date: 16 April 2018
Project end date: 06 September 2019
Publication date: 11 May 2021
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle
Relevant regions: National
Download Report (1.4 MB)


The project sought to understand the cultural barriers to innovation and develop a systematic approach to drive innovation within the NH Foods Oakey business while simultaneously working to overcome the existing barriers.

An innovation framework within NH Foods Oakey has been provided, which allows the business and their stakeholders to target innovation to key points of chaos, develop a systems approach to developing innovative solutions and implement and monitor these innovations as a continuous process.


The main objectives of this project were to:

  • understand the cultural barriers to innovation and develop a systematic approach to drive innovation within the NH Foods Oakey 
  • introduce specific skill set combined with the knowledge of available innovations and an innovation framework developed by NH foods Oakey for NH Foods Oakey
  • optimise innovation for NH Foods Oakey with a systems leadership approach
  • provide an innovation framework within NH Foods Oakey to manage the complexity of innovation for NH Foods Oakey.

Key findings

  • The results from the research clearly outlined the effect of Systems Leadership and formal training on the organisation. This can be seen through the results achieved for both Plant A and Plant B.
  • Plant A had a significantly higher level of acceptance of culture driven innovation.
  • Enterprise innovation capability with underlying capacities to be innovative on a sustained basis, rather than producing one-off product innovations from time to time is needed to drive prosperity of the industry.

Benefits to industry

The outcomes of this project benefits the red meat industry by:

  • improving innovation that drives productivity
  • expanding companies to include all levels of the plant as part of an overall commitment to developing innovation capability building
  • drive behaviour change throughout the plant
  • create innovation cultures within the business that are expressed through symbols or mythologies.

MLA action

Future MLA innovation and capability program investments will focus on alignment of capability building to specific areas of productivity improvement.

More information

Contact email:
Primary researcher: NH Foods Australia Pty Ltd