June event: Innovation at Large Companies

Last month we had startups and this month we’re going to the other end of the spectrum with our topic – Innovating in Large Enterprises.

According to this HBR article, large companies are bad at being innovative because they are designed to be bad at innovation. They measure success by profit, not product/market fit. Efficient operation that leverages existing assets, distribution channels & focuses on their best customers will help profit, repeatable & scalable will help profit – not the risk of innovation.

Our panel will talk about their experiences in innovating at large enterprises & answer your questions. We’ll be discussing:

  • How do you make room for failure? Getting resources for the project vs covering your ass. How can we overcome the fear of failure
  • Making time for innovation. You need to have time to think strategically but there might be a big problem if you’re not delivering. How do you balance the two?
  • How should your KPIs change if you’re trying to be more innovative?
  • What steps can you take tomorrow to change things?

Our Facilitator: Daniel Kinal – Daniel has been in product management for over 12 years, chiefly working IT with a focus on B2B products. He’s passionate about helping businesses become more effective in decision-making, more efficient in their processes and more engaging with their customers.

He is at his happiest when waving his arms about in front of a whiteboard with a bunch of smart people, exploring problems and weighing up solutions. He’s passionate about product management as a discipline and is intrigued by how businesses, large and small, grapple with the sometimes elusive concept of innovation. He will guide us through the discussion and bring some challenging questions for our panellists.

Our Panel:

1. Jamie Skella – When we first started talking with Jamie about this event, he was deep in the land of large enterprises but has recently left for a startup 😉

Currently Director of Innovation and UX at a new tech startup, Jamie has dedicated over a decade to strategy and design for the likes of the AFL, Coles, Telstra, Tatts Lottery and TAB. His long held belief is that building the best digital products can only be achieved with an intimate understanding of your customers, the pursuit of simplicity, and the seizing of technological opportunity.

2. Andrew Niere – has led the Technology Innovation Fund at the State Government of Victoria and has managed innovation in government for over five years; he also founded and managed a game development business for a decade so is very familiar with the challenges of product management.

3. Mark Andrew – During a long career in senior IT management roles at Telstra, Mark Andrew delivered  a bunch of different applications including ops support systems and front of house CRM using a variety of then innovative approaches and techniques in the days pre-Agile. Mark also implemented Telstra’s first Usability lab in Telstra, using design-based thinking and usability observation tools to craft effective user experiences.

After leaving Telstra in the early noughties, Mark spent almost 9 years at Lonely Planet in various roles including LP’s IT Delivery Manager, and Digital Ops Director.  Mark played a key role in introducing Agile to LP and growing it’s lean and agile maturity. Mark is now in charge of Sensis’ Websites product.

While Mark would not call himself an innovator, he believes that innovation in even small ways should be an intrinsic part of our work lives, and should be fostered and nurtured at every opportunity.

RSVP now for Thursday June 18th. This month we’re being hosted and sponsored by Nintex.


“We’re fun. We’re hardworking. We’re friendly. We’re passionate about what we do. We’re Ninsters.”

Nintex are continually growing and always on the lookout for talented, passionate people who want to work for a company that encourages, supports and rewards you. Our culture embraces integrity, teamwork and innovation. Our work environment inspires your best work. Fresh thinking is not only encouraged, but expected. Innovative ideas, excited conversation and impactful projects are all in a day’s work here.