Three Key Elements to Innovate Your Organisation

Insights from thought-leaders at CxO Disrupt, Sydney on the essentials of disruption.


As a result of the increasingly digital age, enterprise is undergoing a massive transformation, creating a sense of urgency for organisations to evolve with the change or risk becoming obsolete.

Rob Sheffield, Group CEO of Nakama Global, stressed the importance of embracing this change at OmniChannel Media’s latest CxO Disrupt event in Sydney last month.

He explored this content with a panel of cross-industry leaders, including Don Easter, Director at the NSW Department of Industry; David Gillespie, TAL Life’s CIO; Kerry Holling, CIO and CDO for Western Sydney University; as well as the Head of IT for Primary Healthcare, Stephen Morgan.

Moderated by renowned technology writer Beverly Head, panellists explored the three key elements of remaining relevant: to embrace the emerging change, to keep an eye on the market and to adopt an agile strategy.

Embrace the Change

The thought leaders highlighted the importance of adapting to disruption through actively changing their approach to the market or risk losing customer traction by preserving a stagnant strategy.

Showcasing the threat remaining dormant could pose, Sheffield emphasised that if “you are going to do exactly what you have always done, you will fail,” reinforcing the importance of adapting and evolving within a digital ecosystem in order to maintain relevance.

Holling stressed the importance of taking advantage of this change to create a fresh strategy rather than reacting out of fear towards an outdated tactic:

“It always concerns me when certain industry sectors are under threat; they revert to what they know best rather than actually grasping the opportunity.”

The panel’s discussion highlighted the reality that keeping a traditional approach would cause a company to be disrupted out of business.

Maintain Relevance with a Global Perspective

In line with the importance of embracing the change, the panel discussed the need to adopt a global perspective and reflect on the core of the very organisation to ensure these policies align.

Reinforcing the need for C-Suites to be at the forefront of driving innovation, Sheffield honed in on the constant need to revisit strategy when catering to an evolving customer.

“From a C-Suite perspective, you have to ask what your organisation is providing and what is its relevance. What is everyone else doing from a customer perspective? Are they relating to what you are essentially trying to do?”

He highlighted the importance of scrutinising the organisation’s key objective to create a market omnipresence that will apply to customers across the globe:

“You have to look at what you are doing locally, regionally and globally.”

With the wide-spread effects of digital shaking industries internationally, Easter re-emphasised the need to remain applicable within a global market:

“There is a lot of stuff happening, but it has to be global because it cannot survive a small market… We compare well in terms of education, and we are [as a nation] open-minded about tech.”

Keeping Agile is the Key

The panel provided insights into the customer-driven aspect of disruption by addressing the need to become agile to serve the increasingly tech-savvy consumer and their evolving needs.

Gillespie believes that customer demand has finally upset traditional models, forcing businesses and entire industries to change; “fundamentally disruption has to be customer driven.”

Holling reinforced this aspect of customer demand, reiterating that when holes in customer strategies appear, it begs the opportunity for innovation:

“Where ever there is an unmet customer need you will find examples of disruption [at its best].”

Further to this, Sheffield pointed out that this level of consumer dissatisfaction provides the grounds for emerging companies to flourish.

“It’s about who is disrupting the market,” he said. “Who are the startups?”

To keep your organisation at the forefront of innovation and disruption Sheffield identified the need for C-Suites to drive this transformation towards an agile, digitally embracing and customer-centric organisation.