The Next Chapter

About three weeks ago, I decided to resign from IBM. I have had 10 great years at IBM where I grew from a supply chain integration engineer to becoming a Partner in running a practice. During that time, I moved from Supply Chain consulting, to retail and consumer products industry consulting, starting up iX and establishing our Melbourne Studio, to finally leading our Digital Strategy capability in Australia. However, four weeks ago, whilst going on one of my late night power walks, I realised that the shoes no longer fit. IBM, with all its vastness, had becoming constraining due to its vastness. I had outgrowned the workplace that I didn’t think that I could ever outgrow.

During the past five years, I have been immersed in the Digital space. I have observed this space evolve quickly in Australia. The understanding of Digital and iX in IBM begun much like it does in most companies. A glorified colouring in department, as one of my mentors, Will Duckworth used to say. If it was ugly, and you wanted to make it palateable, you called iX. However, with some great reverse mentoring from my team and also great thought leadership from the ecosystem including Armonk (HQ), I came to understand that Digital was about experience, and how experience was becoming the manner in which value was being created. Experience for the customer and the employee.

I also began to observe that Digital and Innovation was often placed within the same box within most organisations, and this was not only the technology, but the culture and practices. I consumed books voraciously, from Govindarajan’s Three Box Solution, Dweck’s Mindset, Choudary’s Platform Revolution, Harari’s Sapiens and Homo Deus, Logan’s Tribal Leadership, Kelly’s The Inevitable and Furr’s The Innovator’s Method to make sense of what I was experiencing in iX, but what I was observing and discussing with my clients in the digital realm. This led me to a thought, a glimmer that I could no longer deny. The corporation may not be the best manner in creating value. I hypothesise that the public corporation will be replaced by innovation ecosystems based on the platform business model as the predominant manner of simultaneously creating financial and social value in the 21st century.

I intend to spend the next few months immersing myself in co-working spaces within Melbourne to explore this hypothesis. I don’t know where this exploration will take me, but that is the exciting thing about the discovery process.

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