5 lessons from AMP on driving disruptive digital thinking

Founder of AMP's Amplify Festival shares how event is helping to drive a better customer vision at the financial services company by opening up innovation opportunities

The biggest challenge organisations face in addressing digital disruption is building an ability to hack into their culture, processes and thinking, AMP’s Amplify festival founder and curator claims.

Speaking at the Social Business conference at this year’s CeBIT event in Sydney, Annalie Killian said incumbent and large organisations have struggled with how to embrace digital marketing and online platforms as a way to attract and grow the customer base, and therefore grow the overall business.

Killian said the way forward is learning how to hack growth. But rather than just appoint a chief digital officer, she said digital disruption challenges every part of the organisation, and should be addressed by the whole culture and employee base.

“If it’s the chief digital officer’s job but not everyone’s job, you’re still at risk of becoming a dinosaur,” she said. “You’ll end up going back to organisation that has leadership and control style and learnt how businesses operated from Harvard Business School.

'“The disruptors eating our businesses today are not playing by the same rules – they never went to business school and instead learnt by staying in the fast lane and hacking with new platforms, getting in there and just doing it. The challenge and biggest paradox is how to run an existing business in a way that allows you to manage both the core business, as well as lead for innovation.”

One way AMP is endeavouring to both satisfy market and shareholder demand for predictability and returns, as well as inspire innovation, is through its week-long Amplify Festival.

“What we have done in Amplify is created a platform that has become the vehicle for empowerment for an entire ecosystem that then sets the vision of the company, which is about helping our customers own tomorrow,” Killian said.

The Amplify Festival was first launched by AMP as an experiment in 2005 with partners and suppliers, but has steadily grown and expanded to fuel AMP’s customer-led business vision while also becoming a well-recognised business event in its own right, she said. The event is designed to provide an open exchange for ideas not only across employees working for AMP, but also with external companies, partners and customers.

“It’s not just an event – we have turned the whole company into a ‘story doing’ place,” Killian said.

“It’s about creating a safe space for the exploration of ideas which are frankly scary, radical, disruptive and threatening to most people. But in process of exploring and engaging with ideas, your mindset flips and you start seeing these from the perceptive of servicing your strategy.

“We scour for the disruptive and leading architects of business globally today, then give everyone in the business the opportunity to learn from these people. We also borrow from design thinkers and the arts to optimise learning process through metaphor, story and embodiment.”

Killian said AMP had found the best way to learn systems thinking and complex problem solving is by physically making something. “That process of making it all work together means you have to solve logistics problems around them,” she continued.

Amplify also encompasses human centred design labs, hackfests and expos aimed at turnning graduates into hackers, so they can learn fast, Killian said.

“We constrain time and resources to solve problems in a way the traditional business approach won’t,” she said. “During Amplify week, we turn the business inside out, and disrupt what it means to work in traditional financial services company. This kicks off with our ideas expo [day] where business partners, employees and even some customers can share ideas.”

Killian then outlined five mantras that guide AMP’s approach to disrupting its business models and drive more innovative thinking.

  1. Setting grand challenges for grand vision that everyone can buy into. “We have a powerful narrative that everyone can embrace,” Killian said.

  2. Answer questions with experiments. “There are no clear answers, and you will have to hack through the forest of unknown,” she said.

  3. Prepare the organisation for new ideas through activities such as hackfests, events and programs of hands-on activity.

  4. Timebox resources, set milestone dates and measure.

  5. Combine serendipity and diversity of heuristics and skills. “The big challenge is we hire in our own image...we can have too much bias in our leadership,” Killian said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in