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“It’s important to think outside the box because if we don’t, we risk being left behind.”

Held every year, the Medibank Shine Awards recognise and celebrate employees who’ve made a significant impact on the business. It is a way to acknowledge those who demonstrate and embody Medibank values through their roles and the work they do. Operations Manager, Michael Norton, was the 2017 winner for the ‘Innovation’ category and shares why innovation is important across the entire business.

Michael began his career at Medibank 13 years ago in the contact centre, moving his way around the business where he’s now the Operations Manager in the Operational Delivery team. Last year, he was named as a Shine Award winner for ‘Innovation’.

“I was very surprised and extremely honoured to be recognised. There are a lot of great people at Medibank so to be selected was very humbling.”

Award trophy

Michael is very quick to point out that there are others that play an important part in what he does on a daily basis.

“I’m not alone in what I do. I was nominated for the ‘Innovation’ award and have to give credit to the people that surround me,” he says.

“I have an amazing team of people around me, helping to facilitate ideas and deliver. We’re making things happen. It was really nice to have our work recognised from a company-wide perspective.”

Asked what innovation means, Michael says it’s getting inspiration from other areas of the business and putting his or his team’s own interpretation on them.

“It’s about evolving interesting ideas. It’s being able to look at something and exploring ways to translate it to use for a different purpose.”

Team at work

Michael, far right, with his team.

Michael says he never underestimates the power of collaboration with those who aren’t necessarily of his everyday team. According to him, this is a powerful tool that everyone should be using daily.

“If there are certain issues my team and I are trying to solve, I’ll reach out to people from different teams and areas and spend a couple of hours with them. It’s extremely valuable to round up people from across the business, pitch our problem and ask them for ideas. I find through this, more often than not, these people will come up with ideas that might not have occurred to myself or the team.”

Michael says Medibank is a place where he and his team are encouraged to be innovative in their roles. This encouragement is something that he also ensures he is offering his team.

“I don’t feel at all restricted at Medibank in what I can do. I know that if we come up with an idea that we need further support in, it will be heard at the right level and I know it will get to the right people,”

“I encourage creative confidence; I don’t shut down ideas people throw out there. It’s all about exploring all ideas and getting multiple people involved in the discussions. If someone has a really great idea, I’ll either try and get them to lead or be heavily involved in implementing that suggestion so they get a more end to end experience of it and see the outcome of their idea.”

Award winner smiling for camera

A win at the 2017 Shine Awards!

In order to stay innovative at work, Michael is a strong advocate of thinking outside the box and even goes as far as to say it is a responsibility, no matter what role a person is in.

“We need to make sure people are empowered and encouraged to throw out suggestions and ideas, or even flag a problem. It’s important to think outside the box because if we don’t, we risk being left behind. There are a lot of disruptors in the general marketplace who are brave enough to do things differently and if we don’t, they will get ahead,” he says.

“No idea is too big or too small.”

  #employee #employeerecognition #leadership #people

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