Event Highlights

ThoughtWorks Live is an executive breakfast series that explores how thriving businesses are taking advantage of this new world by adopting real time strategic planning and enhancing their market agility, focusing on their customers and developing technological excellence at the core.

The Responsive Organisation

Speaker Highlights

The first event in the ThoughtWorks Live Series, The Responsive Organisation, explored how businesses can navigate through uncertainty in order to maximise customer value and business outcomes.

To really thrive in the digital era, businesses need to commit to continuous evolution and strategic innovation, responding rapidly to market changes and opportunities. But not many organisations are actually built to do this and for most business leaders, there simply is not enough time to develop strategic and operational plans, while building up the capabilities, platforms and investment required to support the new initiatives.


Enabling sustainable transformation

Gary O'Brien

Global Advisory Lead


Frameworks for scaling business agility and moving from being cost-based and internally focused to a value-driven and externally focused enterprise is drawing the attention of the world's business and technology innovators, but it is not a journey without speed bumps.

Planning and strategy need to change. Organisational structure needs to change. Technology delivery practices need to change. Portfolio management needs to change. Measures of success need to change. Gary discusses the hurdles that must be overcome in order to become a responsive and values-driven organisation.

Increasing business agility and customer value through lean transformation

Fiona Phillips

Executive General Manager, Customer Delivery


With a mantra of ‘the business of business is technology’ and an advocate of platform thinking, agile and lean processes, Fiona is always looking at enhanced ways to meet customer expectations.

Fiona will share her experiences (the good and the bad) in strategy, transformation, operational and culture change, with a focus on maximising customer and business value through innovation. From investments and delivery of services, to platforms and capabilities, Fiona will demonstrate how value is created for IAG.

What is your organisation's psychological capacity for agility and adaptability?

Angela Corriero

Advisory Lead


Most organisations are seized with fear of competition, fear of future trends and fear of redundancy which increases aggression and inter-office competition whilst simultaneously decreasing capacity for innovation and strangling growth potential.

Angela will discuss an organisation's psychological readiness for agility and adaptability and how leaders that rally their team around purpose and passion and create safe work cultures have a unique competitive advantage.

Differentiating Customer Experiences

Speaker Highlights

Maintaining a laser like focus on meeting customer needs helps set businesses apart from their competitors. However, understanding these needs is not easy and the impact of evolving customer preferences is happening right before our eyes.

The second event in the ThoughtWorks Live Series, Differentiating Customer Experiences, explored the impact of evolving customer preferences, and the best strategies to navigate these changes and create opportunities.


The Product Mindset

Jonny Schneider

Principal Consultant, Product Strategy & Design


How do you achieve customer value in the digital age? More than just experiments and customer centricity, adaptive strategies are required, where decisions are based on learning through doing. 

For organisations that are winning at customer experience, purpose starts with customers, prioritisation is value-based and decisions are based on learning. Default thinking is no longer enough to stay ahead of the market. To truly differentiate your customer’s experience, you need to embrace uncertainty, responding to new information with emergent design, and create evolutionary architectures to support these changes.

Engaging Chinese consumers with digital platforms

Pete Mitchley-Hughes

Executive General Manager, Business Transformation


Chen Si

Head of Access China Program


Over 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited Australia last year, spending on average $8000 a visit. Myer saw this as an opportunity to engage a new market segment and earlier this year, launched a program aiming to attract this new customer group and build meaningful connections.

ThoughtWorks helped Myer to uncover and validate the Chinese consumer market by researching, building and delivering a digital engagement platform. Myer is now growing the channel, on a journey to become 'the' shopping destination for Chinese consumers.

Deep customer research...the heart of innovation

Richard Young

Business Owner, Customer Transformation Program


Diana Adorno

Principal Consultant, Product Design & Research


Bankwest identified a need to improve their customers' home loan application experience and by listening closely to what they really wanted, were able to respond to this need quickly and with confidence that they were building the right product to delight customers.

In this talk, the presenters will share their perspectives on delivering the desired change and how good customer research can substantially benefit the entire delivery and launch process. They will explore the challenges of doing this within short timeframes and the ways in which they ensured the overall success of the new product.

Responsive Digital Platform

Speaker Highlights

A responsive technology foundation is a defining quality of leading digital firms and fuels innovation throughout the entire enterprise. It can also be your ticket to exploring new channels for growth - taking the business in directions you might never have considered before. 

In the third instalment of the series, Responsive Digital Platform, our guest speakers shared stories about the responsive digital platforms that are changing the business world.


Digital Platforms: Shaping the economy, business and organisation of the future

Scott Shaw

Head of Technology


Zhamak Dehghani

Principal Consultant


The rise of the digital platforms is transforming the principles of economic growth, how businesses compete and organisations are formed; essentially reshaping the world we live, work, and play in. Scott and Zhamak will introduce the underpinning characteristics of a digital platform, explain why they both accelerate delivery within organisations as well as creating an ecosystem for positioning the organisation to compete and even shape the connected economy. They will describe the key differentiating approach in building a digital platform, the magic that happens at the intersection of product thinking, the technical pillars of the platform, and the organisational autonomy.

Achieving speed at scale through platforms

Tom Varsavsky

Chief Engineer

REA Group

As a fast-growing digital business, REA has maintained a startup mentality as they have matured. Small delivery teams still work closely with the business to build, own and operate their own technology solutions. While this approach has helped REA grow and be flexible, they continue to look for new ways to leverage commonality and achieve economies of scale across the organisation. Tom will share the story behind the development of Colab, a branded platform of technology components that can be shared across the business. Treating this platform as a product helps executives and product managers, as well as developers, understand and embrace the REA technology strategy.

Responsive digital platform

Rajay Rai

Head of Applied Innovation

Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group

With consumer expectations continually evolving in Australia's competitive retail banking market, Macquarie has focussed on transforming its digital banking experience to offer customers personalised and intuitive features that are firsts in Australian banking. In 2017 Macquarie launched Australia's first open banking platform which gives customers control over their everyday banking data and the power to securely manage how they want to share it. Macquarie's open platform leverages Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which allows approved third party providers to connect into their offered services and experiences. Rajay will share his experience in the technologies and strategy used in building an open digital platform to enable the organisation to rapidly adapt its digital services in a world of constant change.

The Data-Guided Business

A truly data-guided business understands the value of data, and works hard to create the necessary culture, technology ecosystem and governance to enable safe experimentation and rapid delivery of the right things.

At this fourth event in the ThoughtWorks Live Series, guest speakers shared stories about how they’ve made a step change in the way they work with data, and driven data and analytics to their core of their business.


Continuous Intelligence

David Colls

Data Practice Lead


Digital transformation has reinforced the success of an iterative and distributed approach to change, yet many organisations have adopted a 'big bang' or centralised mindset for their data strategy. To navigate the Artificial Intelligence (AI) landscape we should look to continuously augment human abilities at scale - in terms of speed, volume or quality - rather than simply look for the next wave of automation. We must also drive organisational learning by executing in small, predictable, iterations. In this talk, David will help you to identify and deliver with confidence on opportunities to intelligently empower your business, customers, team members and other stakeholders.

DataDevOps: Creating a Data and Analytics Culture at Scale

Dr. Sean Gustafson

Data Landscape Owner

Scout24 Group (Germany)

Dr. Arif Wider

Lead Consultant and Developer


Scout24 Group is Europe's largest online marketplace for cars and real estate. Like many organisations, Scout24 is focused on data-driven product development as a way of delivering great customer experiences and valuable outcomes for the business. However, scaling and maintaining this approach across the enterprise comes with a whole new set of challenges. To support successful production, consumption and governance of data needed to establish a data-driven product team, Scout24 and ThoughtWorks created a manifesto of seven principles for DataDevOps. Sean and Arif will share their experiences and effective practices when leading this cultural and technology transformation at Scout24.

Digital Transformation at Scale

For many years, organisations have been on a journey with digital, but for some, the results haven’t lived up to the effort or investment made. Given that the phrase “digital transformation” was first used in 1968, it is concerning that studies still indicate a high failure rate when it comes to implementation. Today, there are valuable lessons to be learned in order to move from vision to value...fast.

At this event, leaders from some of Australia’s most well-known organisations shared how they have created change in their organisations to build modern digital businesses.


Creating the Future of Airline Travel Through Digital Transformation

Nandor Locher

Head of Digital Direct


As one of Australia’s most well-known and trusted brands, Qantas is on a journey to evolve from a traditional airline into a digital business. But how does an almost 100-year-old company continue to adapt and thrive in a world where consumer expectations are driven by “best in class” digital experiences? Nandor will share how Qantas has begun to transform their digital experiences across all touchpoints along the customer journey.

Taking Digital Mindsets Across the Enterprise

Fiona Phillips

Principal Consultant


The modern digital era demands a more responsive and insight driven approach to the way we run our business, with technology becoming more and more at the heart of value creation. It requires technology and business leaders to let go of their job titles and bring their domain expertise together to remain relevant in today's complex adaptive system.

Very few people come ready with the complete package required for digital transformation, so how do you develop the right skills and mindset to develop digital leadership within yourself and across your teams?

Building a Culture of Resilience in a Digital World

Nigel Dalton

Chief Inventor

REA Group

At REA, implementing change or seeking innovation or invention is not viewed as a one-time ‘transformation project’. In this environment, individuals and teams can unleash their energy and creativity to solve problems for customers. The cycle of continuous improvement delivers new insights back to management, sometimes prompting the fundamentals - such as strategy or structure - to be revisited. Nigel will share the lessons learned in developing the model that has allowed REA to adapt and thrive in today’s digital marketplace.


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