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  • Lucy Grant

#BeyondCOVID Town Hall - AUS Episode 01

Updated: Apr 9

Full Series information and registration for future episodes


#BeyondCOVID is the new mindset we have all had to adopt… how do we operate in this new changed state? I've gathered together some amazing Design Executives to share what they are doing now and in the coming months to survive and thrive in these difficult times.




Town Hall Notes:

Hosted by

  • Mark Bergin


Contributors

  • Mike Biggs - Director of Innovation, Strategy & Design at Telstra Purple

  • Amber Bonney - Founder and Head of Strategy at The Edison Agency

  • Dylan Brady - Conductor (Owner) at Decibel Architecture

  • Nancy Bugeja - Managing Director at HM Group

  • Jamie Durie - President at Durie Design Inc

  • Rod Farmer - Co-Leader of McKinsey Design (APAC), McKinsey Digital

  • Richard Henderson Founder & CEO at R-Co Brand

  • Julia Monk - Hospitality Thought Leader, Architect, Interior Designer, Former Senior VP, Director of Hospitality Interior Design at HOK

  • David Montgomery Founder and Director at Scaffad

  • Julie Ockerby - CEO | Creative Director and Principal at Meli Studio Australia

Quote Bank

“The less effective we are, the longer the impact and sustained change will be” - Rod Farmer
“We need to get used to a new way of business development” - Jamie Durie
“I’m finding new business through being more open to collaboration ” - Jamie Durie
“When you start handing over work, it gets reciprocated and you get this beautiful collaborative working environment that is much more conducive to sharing work” - Jamie Durie
“Let’s be really efficient, super nimble, and generous in sharing work” - Jamie Durie
“We are working on building design confidence through remote facilitation” - Mike Biggs
“The relaxed compliance shouldn’t be a signal to be a cowboy” - Mike Biggs
“This is an opportunity for change” - Nancy Bugeja
“Things that never even crossed our mind to do, we’re very open to now.” - Julie Ockerby
"[Adopting a Pivot-mindset] allows you to have a hinge into a door, which then allows for a whole lot of opportunities” - Richard Henderson
“There is an opportunity here for individuals to be the lighthouse of communication” - Richard Henderson
“I have to reshape my thinking, reshape my brain” - Richard Henderson
“There is a lot of pain out there, particularly in small practices." - Dylan Brady
“How do we come out of this with more, not less?” - Dylan Brady

Rod Farmer – Co-Leader of McKinsey Design (APAC), McKinsey Digital

  • Providing a framework for understanding and interpreting responses

  • Business model disruption is going to lead to 1 of 4 changes:

  1. Shifting the business model

  2. Shaping an entirely new business

  3. Reassessing the operations to sustain the business, zero basing what the organisation should look like

  4. Restructuring the company, and/or the industry

  • Two response scenarios and outcomes:

  • Model a) Rapid response with partial effectiveness

  • Rebounding of GDP, Market capitalisation for Q4 2020

  • Model b) Slow response with big regional variance with partial effectiveness

  • Extended recovery into 2021, 2022, 2023…

  • Massive and ongoing GDP drops

  • Plan A to B switchbacks are going to vary across sectors and countries

  • Sectors like oil and gas, airlines – significantly hit

  • Healthcare supplies and consumer goods – less significantly hit

  • Variance within industries

  • i.e The Consumer Industry

  • Huge hit for apparel, fashion and luxury goods

  • Reverse effect for groceries and food

  • New norms and switching of behaviours

  • A big question mark around consumer behaviour - how quickly will people shift back to brick and mortar from digital?

  • How much will this have spurred on an Australian uptake in digital?

  • Shift towards being locally conscious

  • The Bullwhip effect on supply chain

  • SMEs: Likely become either very attractive M&A targets, or cease to exist entirely

  • Many businesses will be returning well before the lockdown period ends

  • “The least effective we are, the longer the impact and sustained change will be”

Amber BonneyFounder and Head of Strategy at The Edison Agency

  • Focus on fortifying the business

  • The well-being of our people and keeping the business engaged

  • Customer needs: expressing empathy towards our clients

  • Managing cash-flow

  • Building a Recovery Plan for Q4

  • Rebound phase

  • Survival-Mode only

  • Building an acceleration plan for F21

  • Remodeling our offer

  • How do we connect with our clients?

  • How do we connect with each other?

  • How do we reshape the business to meet the needs of a fast-changing business dynamic?

Jamie Durie OAMPresident at Durie Design Inc

  • A Catch-22 situation

  • Australian clients who have stopped paying; vs.

  • Opportunity for project gains overseas

  • The Cowboy Wave – coming through and take risks that they usually wouldn’t for fear of penalties

  • Importance of tightening, restructuring and rewriting contracts, even within the company, to minimise risk

  • Interesting surge in a post-COVID19 era

  • Those that are cashed up now are using this dormant period to do due diligence and be well underway come go time

  • “We need to Get used to a new way of business development”

  • Open to collaboration

  • The importance of using collaborative platforms like Zoom to share work

  • We must embrace nimble business practices

  • “I’m finding new business through being more open to collaboration.”

  • “When you start handing over work, it gets reciprocated and you get this beautiful collaborative working environment which is much more conducive to sharing work.”

  • “Let’s be really efficient, super nimble, and generous in sharing work.”

Mike BiggsDirector of Innovation, Strategy & Design at Telstra Purple

  • The importance of client conversations

  • “We are working on building design confidence through remote facilitation”

  • Managing new projects in ensuring they remain design-led

  • Director Liability

  • “The relaxed compliance shouldn’t be a signal to be a cowboy”

Julia MonkHospitality Thought Leader, Architect, Interior Designer, Former Senior VP, Director of Hospitality Interior Design at HOK

  • Based in HK

  • Major difference from SARS is that it remained very localised and didn’t spread globally

  • Level of preparation in Hong Kong is well above most of the world

  • Population social training (social distancing, masks, improved hygiene etc.) already taken care of

  • Hong Kong is currently experiencing Round Two of coronavirus

  • Steadied and leveled off around the same time of Chinese New Year

  • Chinese New Year’s Holidaymakers have since returned, bringing with them the virus

  • Levels of strict impact and isolation is less than the rest of the world

  • Difficulty in responding to COVID-19 is that there is no global response

  • Allow for predictions on how recovery will work on a country-by-country basis

  • Issues will materialise when borders reopen and nations who have not followed as strict response to combat COVID-19 enter nations who have

Nancy BugejaManaging Director at HM Group

  • Fast-tracked remote working

  • Bringing wellbeing to the forefront in times of uncertainty

  • Daily/Twice daily/three times daily team engagement, checking in on wellbeing

  • An added layer of personal brought back into the work

  • Personal client reconnection

  • Utilising digital technologies to continue touching base and connecting with staff and clients

  • “This is an opportunity for change”

  • Opportunity for rethinking business – will we ever go back?

  • Wellbeing has become something that is addressed every morning

Julie OckerbyCEO | Creative Director and Principal at Meli Studio Australia

  • The point of concern is the pipeline – where will we be in 6 months’ time?

  • Operators on pause mode

  • Refurb projects on pause mode

  • New projects on pause mode

  • Breaks to engage in new opportunities that would have never otherwise been considered

  • i.e. sanitiser distribution

  • “Things that never even crossed our mind to do, we’re very open to now.”

David MontgomeryFounder and Director at Scaffad

  • At this stage, construction industry is almost operating business as usual

  • Loss in events

  • Similar pipeline concerns exist

  • How will large-scale projects stagnate and be affected?

  • Transition to WFM has improved connectivity and team relations

  • “Instead of being anxious, I keep myself active and look at opportunity”

Richard HendersonFounder & CEO at R-Co Brand

  • Crocodile brains

  • Reshaping what it is we do

  • Changing the dialogue in our heads and rerouting our brain

  • ‘PIVOT’ – “allows you to have a hinge into a door which allows for a whole lot of opportunities”

  • Thought process collectives

  • We must allow the dialogue to be changed

  • The future is collaborative

  • We need to use our design sensitivity for good

  • You have to have good quality user experience and design

  • A new opportunity to be the spokesperson

  • “There is an opportunity for individuals to be the lighthouse of communication”

  • “People in the community now are looking for leadership in individuals”

  • Power of the individual

  • “I have to reshape my thinking, reshape my brain”

Dylan BradyConductor (Owner) at Decibel Architecture

  • Prepped for flexible working conditions 12 months ago

  • It’s all about culture

  • Our work and productivity have gone up

  • Lifeline = projects of our own making and overseas projects

  • “There is a lot of pain out there, particularly in small practices”

  • Discretionary spend is at zero

  • “How do we come out of this with more, not less?”

  • Thinking differently about old problems

  • Highlighting our inner capacity for pastoral care

  • Giving people fire!


Hosted by: Mark Bergin

Podcast Production: Pat Daly

Notes: Lucy Grant

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