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  • 11 November 2015 07:43

Australian & New Zealand Businesses Lose ‘Corporate Potential’ Through Lack of Curiosity

Rackspace survey shows curious organisations more likely to generate increased revenue and greater job satisfaction among employees

Sydney, Australia – 11 November 2015 – A Rackspace® (NYSE: RAX) survey on curiosity has revealed the majority of Australian & New Zealand businesses do not place enough emphasis on curiosity in the workplace. According to their employees, this leads to a loss of ‘corporate potential’, such as potential for revenue growth and increased job satisfaction among employees.

A Curiosity GAP

The Rackspace Curiosity Quotient (CQ), questioned 1,368 Australian and New Zealand white-collar workers. It found that of the 44 per cent of respondents that agreed their organisation was curious [Footnote 1], 84 per cent agreed curiosity played an important role in driving revenue. Meanwhile, the number dropped dramatically to 47 per cent in non-curious organisations.

Similarly, in curious organisations, 84 per cent of respondents agreed they were more satisfied with their job[Footnote 2], compared to 45 per cent in non-curious organisations.

Of the overall respondents surveyed:

* 80 per cent said it was important to be curious in life generally.

* 73 per cent agreed it was important to be curious within a professional context

* 63 per cent strongly agreed that curiosity played an important role in driving increased revenues in the business.

* Only 37 per cent said their employer allowed them time in their job to switch off from their day-to-day routine to think and focus on being curious.

Angus Dorney, director and general manager, Rackspace ANZ comments, “Everywhere we hear about disruption. Jobs, companies and entire industries have become so volatile, unpredictable and complex that it requires a completely different type of company and individual to adapt to the changes taking place.

“Australian businesses need to focus on what people and companies might do to disrupt the business, rather than what they have done previously – curiosity is central to this. We need to focus on the potential to adapt, to change and to be curious. Our study sets a benchmark for Australian businesses to understand their ‘corporate possibility’ and the role curiosity can play in helping to increase revenue and job satisfaction.”

Enabling Corporate Possibility

To help organisations truly understand what drives curiosity, the study asked respondents to rank in order of importance, 11 human values[Footnote 3] linked to the experience of being curious from three different perspectives:

* Their own personal sense of curiosity in everyday life

* Their level of curiosity in a professional / workplace context

* How they feel their organisation would prioritise the values

These were benchmarked against one another. Additionally, the values were correlated against questions linking curiosity to increased revenue and job satisfaction, recognising what is important to each. The results show that despite some alignment, the curiosity values a person believes their organisation prioritises doesn’t always match with the values they consider important personally and professionally, or that drive revenue and job satisfaction.

Top Three Curiosity Values per Perspective:

* Organisational Curiosity - Research/ Original Knowledge; Communal Discernment; Discovery & Insight

* Professional Curiosity - Educate & Knowledge; Design/ Pattern/Order; Discovery & Insight

* Personal Curiosity - Educate & Knowledge; Discovery & Insight; Research/ Original Knowledge

* Curiosity-Driven Revenue - Educate & Knowledge; Research/ Original Knowledge; Pioneerism/ Progress

* Job Satisfaction - Communal Discernment; Wisdom; Research/ Original Knowledge

Greg Symons, CEO and founder, ClearMatch and co-founder of SocietyOne comments, “Curiosity is the focus for every thriving and disruptive company, helping them to understand how their employees think and engage, while creating an increase in revenue and job satisfaction.

“We place curiosity at the heart of what we do and in nine years of being operational, we’ve had just one person leave our business and experienced dramatic growth as a leading alternative to the banks in the peer-to-peer lending market. If that’s not validation of the power of curiosity, I don’t know what is.”

The Curiosity Conundrum

The study also sought to understand the barriers to thriving curiosity within organisations. The two biggest barriers identified were:

* Pressures on time (44 per cent)

* Stress in the workplace (33 per cent)

Management practices can often work against fostering curiosity, where siloed structures prevent the free flow of information and creativity. Twenty-eight per cent of respondents said their ‘organisation was shackled by old systems and processes’.

Twenty-seven per cent of those surveyed said their organisation was ‘concerned about taking risks’, and 26 per cent said they had a ‘rigid organisational hierarchy’ and ‘the organisation was too set in its ways of doing things.’

Angus concludes, “Curiosity plays an important role in both our personal and professional potential. Therefore, it stands to reason that the more professional potential we create, this in turn enables ‘corporate possibility’ and thus a competitive advantage. Surely every organisation wants a competitive advantage?’

Rackspace employees in the Sydney office also undertook the study, gaining results that far exceed the national average. The curiosity of our business is reflective of the culture and support that is offered to customers in Australia and New Zealand.

More information can be found at: www.rackspace.com/curiosity

-ENDS-

Survey Methodology The study was conducted by AMR. It questioned white-collar workers, aimed at discovering drivers of personal, professional and organisational curiosity, their relationship with technology and how these factors can be combined to attain and enhance ‘personal and professional potential’

A pilot study of Australian white-collar workers ran in July 2015 amongst n=350 respondents. The main study ran in September 2015 amongst a further n=1,018 respondents across Australia and New Zealand. This was made up of 1,040 Australian and 328 New Zealand white-collar workers. Respondents were sourced through The ORU research panel and screened on the following criteria: * Aged 18+ * In full-time, paid employment * Personal gross annual income of $50,000+ (AUD/NZD) * Not working in skilled/unskilled labour role / Non sole trader

About Rackspace Rackspace (NYSE: RAX), the #1 managed cloud company, helps businesses tap the power of cloud computing without the challenge and expense of managing complex IT infrastructure and application platforms on their own. Rackspace engineers deliver specialized expertise on top of leading technologies developed by AWS, Microsoft, OpenStack, VMware and others, through a results-obsessed service known as Fanatical Support®. The company has more than 300,000 customers worldwide, including two-thirds of the FORTUNE 100. Rackspace was named a leader in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, and has been honored as one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For in six of the past eight years. Learn more at www.rackspace.com.

Forward-Looking Statement This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements about Rackspace survey results that may suggest trends for the industry; any statements relating to expected or predicted behaviors of consumers and the impact of cloud computing; any statements of expectation or belief directly relating to Rackspace business derived from the survey results; any statements of expectation or belief regarding future events, and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include a substantial margin of error in the survey results, inconsistencies in respondent’s understanding and Rackspace’s analysis of survey questions and results, the possibility that expected benefits from any shift in consumer behavior may not materialize as expected; the achievement of expected operational results from any shift in consumer behavior; changes in the economy, technological and competitive factors, regulatory factors and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, filed with the SEC on August 10, 2015. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

Media Contact:

Amy Kirk amy@thefactuary.com.au +61 448 936 897

Dan Bleakman dan@thefactuary.com.au +61 439 408 484

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[Footnote 1] A Curious organistion was classified by asking respondents to what extent they agreed Curiosity was fostered in the workplace on a scale of 0-10. Those who answered 7 or above, were deemed to be curious. Those who answered 0-6 were deemed ‘not curious’.

[Footnote 2] Respondents were asked how satisfied they were with their jobs on a scale of 0-10. Those who answer 7 or above were deemed satisfied, those answering between 0-6, unsatisfied.

[Footnote 3] The 11 values were identified by Michael Henderson, a corporate anthropologist with over 25 years of experience working with global businesses.

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