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According to KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook 2017, Australian CEOs were feeling bullish about technological innovation and disruption.

Implementing disruptive technology was their top 3-year strategic priority. At the same time, 72% of businesses aimed to be disruptors in their own industry, while 55% planned to invest heavily in innovation in the next year.

Now, fast-forward a year to the KPMG Global CEO Outlook 2018. Australian CEOs are still bullish about disruption. In fact, 96% see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat.

However, the practicalities are not so positive.

70% observe that they are struggling to keep pace with the rate of technology innovation. …


“Products are sold because they solve a problem or fill a need. Understanding problems and needs involves understanding customers and what makes them tick” — Steve Blank

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Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

Most modern design principles will state that you need to place the customer at the centre of what you do and you must design your product with your customer in mind. To successfully innovate, therefore you really need to understand the lives, feelings and motivations of your customers. On its own, commissioned research won’t cut it. You need to actually step into their shoes.

And you need to appreciate that your customers won’t necessarily have all the answers. This might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s a critical point. To be truly innovative, you need to see what your customers want even before they do. …


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Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

The radical concept of sitting together

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success” — Henry Ford

If building a cross-functional team helps to solve misaligned objectives, co-location can solve the inevitable communication breakdowns between individuals, and create far more dynamic teams.

While this concept sounds logical, the reality can be quite different. Inside most corporate structures, teams are simply not set up this way. Instead, people are physically housed with their functional team. Marketing sits with Marketing, Sales sits with Sales, and so on.

However, to drive success, it is important that this practice is broken and major members of the team sit together. …


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Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

The power of a cross-functional group of people

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships” — Michael Jordan

Most corporate innovation projects rely on the performance of cross-functional teams for their success. The team’s members — from areas as diverse as Product, Marketing, Sales, Engineering, HR, Legal and Cyber Security — need to work cohesively to deliver the optimal solution to the customer.

But is that always what happens?

When looking at the characteristics of successful innovators and disruptors, the first glaring and obvious point is that their people work as one.

Everyone is in sync… whether they’re ideating, experimenting, building, testing, deploying, marketing or selling their new product or service. They have common goals and they’re united in achieving them. …


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Photo by Gordon Plant on Unsplash

According to KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook 2017, Australian CEOs were feeling bullish about technological innovation and disruption.

Implementing disruptive technology was their top 3-year strategic priority. At the same time, 72% of businesses aimed to be disruptors in their own industry, while 55% planned to invest heavily in innovation in the next year.

Now, fast-forward a year to the KPMG Global CEO Outlook 2018. Australian CEOs are still bullish about disruption. In fact, 96% see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat.

However, the practicalities are not so positive.

70% observe that they are struggling to keep pace with the rate of technology innovation. …


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Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

“There is no I in team but there is in win” — Michael Jordan

Perhaps the most hotly debated topic within the corporate governance community is the notion of ‘Capacity Funding’ or ‘Fluid Funding’.

Capacity funding involves fully funding a project team to their capacity with OPEX (operational expenditure) for a set period of time (typically a financial year).

This is quite different to the conventional approach, which relies heavily on a capital expenditure or CAPEX-driven business case process to fund and run business development.

In this process, a product or business owner is expected to come up with an idea to solve a perceived problem. They then submit a business case that attempts to predict revenue and costs within a +/-10% tolerance level. …


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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them” — Ernest Hemingway

Successful leaders across various disciplines learn three things early in their careers:

  • They need to know what they don’t know quickly;
  • To do this, they need smart people around them to fill in the gaps and allow them to get things done;
  • They need to have absolute trust in those people and let them execute to the best of their abilities.

In a Digital Product Development team, trust works in three ways:

  • The trust the management group have in the team to solve a…


The concept of a Home & Away team

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Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime” — Babe Ruth

As most companies are functionally aligned, the notion of a ‘home team’ is typically the functional team within which the team member resides (e.g. Marketing, Design, Product etc.) As such, the team member identifies with the persona and culture of their functional team. …

Carl Rigoni

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