ZeroPoint Ventures co-founder and corporate lead Jane Treadwell-Hoye says many local businesses are failing to move at the speed that is needed in a digitally-driven economy.
“Traditionally organisations, due to their scale and structure, are not designed for fast, continuous innovation cycles focused on the customer.”
In recent years, corporate New Zealand has ‘left money on the table’ as it struggles to engage with entrepreneurs who are creating products and services in new and emerging markets, says Treadwell-Hoye.
“While large businesses are trying their best to create innovative solutions, many have forgotten how to approach new ideas and product development in the way that a startup venture would.
Innovation needs to be fostered by boards and senior leadership teams who accept new ways of working – reshaping how they organise people, the way in which they talk and engage with their clients, and the skills they look for.
“New Zealand companies need to reactivate the entrepreneurship that was once alive in their own DNA,” she says.
Treadwell-Hoye says a new report from ZeroPoint Ventures Growing Your Enterprise at Start-up Speed’ calls on large enterprises in New Zealand to adopt an agile, start-up culture to innovation that is necessary for sustaining their long-term impact.
She points out the report reveals how innovation must be continually injected into a business’ culture.
“Innovation isn’t a department on level six,” says Treadwell-Hoye.
“It needs to be fostered by boards and senior leadership teams who accept new ways of working – reshaping how they organise people, the way in which they talk and engage with their clients, and the skills they look for.”
it wasn’t just a shift in technology that was needed, it was a cultural change too
MYOB New Zealand general manager Carolyn Luey shares their experience in shifting from a traditional desktop software provider to become a modern tech company using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help its customers succeed.
“It’s not easy for established businesses to execute large-scale pivots,” says Luey.
“To do so, we needed to be honest with ourselves. A decade ago we had little experience with online technologies and our distribution channels were poorly aligned for this change. Even our marketing was desktop-centric.”
Luey says things needed to change - and change fast.
“But it wasn’t just a shift in technology that was needed, it was a cultural change too,” she says.
“We set a clear ‘compass direction’ for our team members to transform MYOB into to a leading provider of cloud-based business management tools – and we equipped them to drive the change required.
“That meant mean a step-change in how we built and delivered value to our customers,” she says.
She says MYOB introduced a culture of innovation and agile mindsets into its product development teams.
That’s fuelled an entrepreneurial mindset in its teams that leaves it with no shortage of ideas - and passionate people with the potential to make them successful, says Luey.
“Our product development and decision-making is driven throughout our business by trying things out, testing their value to market and learning to fail fast.
“We’ve also created environments designed for easy collaboration, support the tech transformation in our business and enable us to deliver great solutions for our clients,” she says.
MYOB’s offices are non-conventional – which is the basis of its product development – and the tech business provides a variety of workspaces where people can work however they want to – whether it’s at a standup desk, or in a private hub, she explains.