Four ways to lead the change
In a time of unprecedented market change, what does it take to stay ahead? Opening Macquarie’s Perspective event, Head of Business Banking Dean Firth told the audience of over 400 business leaders, “being ahead of the curve is what keeps you awake at night. But it’s also what gets you up in the morning.”
And that demands a focused culture of innovation.
“Innovation is not about doing something completely different with new technology. It’s the combination of existing technologies in new ways that is making a difference,” said former Countrywide UK CEO Grenville Turner.
Over the two-day event, an inspired line-up of speakers shared their own perspectives on what that takes.
Start by fixing customer problems – not business problems
When the internet took off in the late 90s, many media companies decided to sell their existing products and services online. However, this simply solved their own business problem: selling more CDs, books or travel guides. It failed to fix the customer problem: improved ways to listen to music, read or travel.
“Customers will always pick the path of least resistance: they don’t care about your business. If there’s a better solution, they’ll go,” former Lonely Planet CTO Gus Balbontin advised the audience.
Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph says ideas come when you “train yourself to look for pain…and solve the problems close to home that you see every day in your work and your customers’ lives.”
Countrywide UK looked through a customer lens to generate new revenue opportunities. It used its extensive estate agency network to create a ‘one stop shop’ for homebuyers, offering a range of services to make the process simpler. From conveyancing and surveying to mortgage broking, general insurance and life insurance, these diverse and recurring income streams underpinned its profitability.