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Prospering in times of disruptive change and innovation

Just had an interesting day in Hong Kong courtesy of our good friends at Deloitte

I was thrilled to get invited to speak at their Asia Pacific leaders summit on the theme “Prospering in times of disruptive change and innovation”.  It was very humbling to have Xero as a case study in front of such a senior group. I hadn’t stopped in Hong Kong for a couple of years and found having a day out of our normal markets was very motivating and exciting. Also to be able to spend time with some of the Deloitte global thought leaders was a real treat.

We kicked off with a video similar to this to set the scene…

I was lucky to be on an excellent Panel with David Tang from Nokia Growth Partners, Dean Cleland the Asia COO of NAB, Life Sciences leader Rolf Classon and Gary Coleman who runs Global industries at Deloitte.

I learnt quite a bit from all the panelists. Rolf was super interesting on how they focus on the patient and then build value around them, the challenge of regulation and the importance of marketing. David’s background at Apple and Nokia gives him a clear perspective on how mobile is changing everything and got me even more fired up on the mobile opportunity (we’re still looking for mobile devs).

I enjoyed the discussion with Dean. We already work alongside NAB and I gained some good perspective on the banking sector challenge of big core systems, regulation and the consumerisation of interfaces. It was clear seeing the size of Gary’s business the disruption and opportunity the cloud brings to businesses large and small.

It struck me that as the cloud transition booms, all large enterprises need to rapidly look at moving their Enterprise systems to the cloud as well as the impact of mobile on their business model.  Customers can be directly connected to you and their expectations have shifted dramatically.

All the leaders in the room accepted the cloud business case is compelling and therefore we’re going to see a massive resource shortage as large companies begin to reengineer their business in a fully connected world.

It was also clear that small business SaaS is beginning to get interesting to large businesses.  Essentially we’re create EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) at scale for their supply chain.  It prompted me to revisit the work we’ve been doing on standard invoicing formats. The work we’re doing behind the scenes with rural suppliers in New Zealand will be a good global case study for large to small business connectivity. The work we’re doing with the New Zealand banks on next generation banking services also creates a very useful test lab that the people from Deloitte global will follow with interest.

One of the highlights for me today was the session from Gerhard Vorster, Chief Strategy Officer, Deloitte Australia and Asia Pacific and catching up again with Keith Strier, Managing Director of Technology and Innovation at Deloitte.

Gerhard had some excellent quotes that captured a lot of what we’re seeing quite succinctly.

The only sustainable competitive advantage available to organisations over the next decade is the way in which you lead your people?

Creating an innovation culture is vital.

This quote from Gerhard himself, which loosely translates to ‘fish where the fish are’

Alignment to high growth sectors will create the very necessary power of momentum that any organisation needs to get over the increased intensity of ups and downs. We should actively manage our proximity to prosperity!

And this beauty on the rear view lens approach to strategy and the magnitude of disruption.

No new business model is sentenced to the same outcomes and metrics of the old ones by some law of universe. Disruption happened in multiples, not incremental percentages!

And of course, the now famous. What is water?

A long way to go for a day but an absolute treat to spend time with such a smart group of people.

 

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1 comment

Sonia Cuff
31 May 2013 #

I love What is water?! NZ bank innovation has always been ahead of Australia, even after NAB bought the BNZ. NZ has a unique ability to play & innovate. Banks are big ships to move, but they’ve come a long way since the days of the mainframe. And just whisper ‘supply chain optimisation’ to the likes of the New Zealand Dairy Board and you’d get them excited.

At the micro end of the scale, we still see Australian SMBs struggle with Internet speed & stability issues. We’re hoping Australia’s NBN will be part of the answer, but that’s another long, heated conversation.

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