21 March 2017
Over 350 New Zealand business leaders gathered at the Better by Design CEO Summit 2017 in March to be inspired and to connect with their peers.
With a theme of Culture by Design, we set out to explore the relationship between innovation, disruption, purpose and culture. Speakers focused on what it takes (process, conditions, tools) to develop a culture of innovation within an organisation, how to evolve that culture as you scale, and how to link that to what your customers actually want.
Over two days, we heard from an impressive group of international and local speakers, including: Tom Waller from lululemon, David Gram from LEGO Group, Noreen Chadha from citizenM, Anna Curzon from Xero, and Peter Cullinane from Lewis Road Creamery. We learned about challenging industry norms, the future of play, using insights to rethink the customer experience and how to tap into the creative potential within organisations.
There were plenty of insights and a few themes that kept surfacing, including the importance of understanding your organisation’s purpose and ‘why’ and how designing your culture around that purpose enables people to do the best work of their lives. We were reminded about the need to get out of your comfort zone and how a simple tweet or email can have a huge impact.
We also heard how storytelling is a great way of sharing values and reinforcing culture within an organisation, and while having ideas and vision is great, it really comes down to the execution. Underlying all of this is authenticity – if your story, your values and your mission are not underpinned by authenticity, your brand and culture will suffer.