Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

It’s time for a 21st century approach to strategy

Monday, 17 September 2012

By William Donovan

Right now, there are companies wondering what the next 12 months is going to hold, how to deliver the strategy or begin to build the next one with the aim of becoming the change making organisation for 2012, ‘13 and beyond. A strategy has more to do with communicating the vision than spelling out exactly how it will be done.

I find it interesting that we rarely get to see how people put a strategy together. It tends to be learned from mentors or via some type of study that provided you with a strict process to follow. So for those who have followed the process to create and deliver strategies, how have they gone?

In my experience there is a point during the strategy where you say: “how do I deliver the it?” or “What is it going to be?” or “Didn’t we do this a few years ago”. Or the unfortunate scenario “it has been done already, what next?“

I don’t know about you, but as each year passes in the 21st century, the more obvious it becomes when we see a misguided, well intended strategy go awfully wrong. Was it someone’s fault? We all work hard and no-one intentionally sets out to create a bad strategy, product or service.

My background is mostly in digital, and traditionally a strategy points towards… well, digital assets; website, mobile app, social media and the like. However, recently I reviewed a range of suggested approaches by leading agencies around the world and felt there wasn’t a REAL approach suitable to tackle today’s complex, complicated and challenging problems that face the world today.

I found the stand out approaches all pointed to a key component for delivering any digital strategy; that was to approach it the same way you would with any strategy. The digital and real world has overlapped but are they both listening to each other?

Re-thinking the innovation landscape
Then lets do a 360 turn-around and take a look in the mirror. Ideas are cheap, conversations are ubiquitous and we’re becoming hyper-connected. Innovation starts with a conversation for action, a conversation for doing something and an approach that values the contribution of people who creating it together. The digital landscape is an enabler for greater connection, conversation and action.

The workplace is changing
The boardrooms are changing, or they don’t exist, preparing for leaders with the courage to begin conversations that describe a journey, one that asks for a contribution, not just a delivery date. And a vision that looks outwards to add value not just dollars to the bottom line. This requires creative leadership and a collaborative group of people with a passion to see a problem through to the end; it’s end.

Thinking differently about the approach
Words like Strategic Business Design, Design Thinking, Service Design and Social and Creative Innovation are permeating through the business world. The terms describe a landscape of tools and conversations that can enable us to think differently about how we approach problems and shift our our attention to the experience of others and the communities we work within, not just ourselves.

Strategy built around action
Delivering a strategy that takes real action outside of the organization it is not an easy feat. Especially when you realize you are at the mercy of your customers and communities. It starts with the right type of creative conversations that tackle the challenges of today and work towards the wicked problems of tomorrow. A strategy like this will include thinking deeply the people impacted by the decisions made, generously sharing ideas, testing these concepts and thinking creatively about their delivery.


Creative Innovation Aisia Pacific 2012
On November 28th to 30th, Melbourne’s answer to TED, Creative Innovation Asia Pacific 2012 will be hosted at the Sofitel Melbourne. This opportunity extends the chance for as many conversations on creative innovation and leadership you can fit into 2 days. Spend time with thought leaders making a difference and bringing substance to what seems like superfluous words. Because the future is now, tomorrow has arrived and no one has time to sit on the fence anymore.

Which brings me back the title of this post. We have the people, the technology and the ideas to create amazing opportunities. This is only going to happen if the conversation starts with a focus on the people it involves. This includes the stakeholders, employees, customers, the connected networks and also embodies the values of the community operates in.

By approaching these new challenges holistically, with empathy and a creative outlook can the opportunities discovered from exploring the entire experience and journey of your offering be realised.

"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

“Remarkable, mind blowing, brilliantly choreographed – easily the best conference ever and I’ve been to plenty. Truly wonderful and amazing.”

Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

“Thank you for a challenging and rewarding couple of days. The quality of the team you had at the conference was extraordinary! These events will change people and thereby the world.”

Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne