DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E25 -Digital Transformation in Aurecon Group with Stewart Bird


In this episode of DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony speak with Aurecon’s Digital Futures Leader, Stewart Bird. The three talk about digital transformation in Aurecon Group, forging client-focused initiatives, dealing with challenges in the corporate world, and looking into the future to adapt for a digital and automated world.

In addition to the world of automation, Andrew and Anthony hear from Stewart about how mindset might be the number one change agent in business. The learning mindset, or the growth mindset, is what pushes business to improve their processes and continue to find ways to add value to their brand. “By doing, you’re learning,” they say. They incorporate McKinsey’s Three Horizons to group and plan their research and development.

Stewart also talks a good deal about this idea called the “Prosumer”: that customers are moving away from the business that still happens on transaction mode. They are instead looking for relationships to connect in a human way with their partners. This kind of thing comes as a challenge, but Stewart spends a good portion of the rest of the interview describing some tactics for how to do that, including streamlining your processes internally and looking for ways to incorporate technology that will make your job easier.

Finally, the hosts ask Stewart to share some parting wisdom. He ultimately says to listen to your customers. If you don’t have a “finger on the pulse,” you’re going to be dead in the water. This means being flexible to adapt to change. It means looking for ways to automate processes and checking for faulty designs. It means going out in the field to see what your customers really want. That’s the only way you can truly add value to your brand. And you have to trust them. Think externally: what will this lead to? Prepare for those changes as your projects develop and your ideas come to fruition, because you’re going to want your customers to keep coming back to your business. Make it easier on them. Show that you care about who they are. And deliver your best work possible.

Topics Covered

  • McKinsey’s Three Horizon Models.
  • Stewart’s founding of the Digital Futures Initiative.
  • How to Stop the Duplication of Ideas.
  • Initiatives to Drive Customer Focus.
  • The “Prosumer.”
  • Capturing and Structuring Information Internally.
  • Dealing with Challenges in the Corporate World.
  • Stewart’s Involvement in the FieldForce Project.
  • How To Approach Projects and Software with a Growth Mindset.
  • Technology is Really About Making Things Easier and Simpler.
  • Thinking Externally about Innovation.

Key Quotes

  • “You never know where a good idea is going to come from.” (9:35)
  • “You do have pockets of excellence around the world.” (12:25)
  • “Those who challenge the current business model…that’s when innovation happens.” (16:15)
  • “It’s difficult to gauge value on outcome.” (18:50)
  • “It can’t be a transactional relationship anymore.” (30:30)
  • “Trying to influence the change in one part will impact the flow of all the others.” (40:40)
  • “This is why disruption is happening because you’re not getting your organization around digital.” (45:15)
  • “We need to figure out clever ways to still add value to those processes.” (58:50)
  • “You need to constantly keep a finger on the pulse.” (1:13:15)
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