Downer NZ

Antoni Tisot - Innovation & Development Manager

Q. What changes have you noticed as a result of Driving Innovation?

A. "Some of the key changes that we've noticed as a result of Driving Innovation have been around maturity towards our innovation projects. So, previously we had a lot of great innovative thinking going on around the business, however they were in pockets. So what this programme has allowed us to do is to provide a little bit more structure around it so that we have full visibility of the projects that are in flight, we're leveraging the benefit of those projects across the wider business, so they're looking to solve multiple problems in different areas of the business, and then we are also more focused on outcomes as apposed to large projects. So, we've managed to accelerate the projects, realise when a project is struggling or stalling, and are able to provide the support to ensure that it does succeed."

Q. What have you liked about Driving Innovation?

A. "What I like about the way Driving Innovation has worked for Downer, is I think it's allowed us to have a complete mind-shift in our perspective or the way that we look at innovation within the business. It's very easy to do it the old way or the "we've always done it this way so that's how we're gonna do it."

So with Callaghan Innovation and Velox Innovation coming in, they disrupted our thinking and bought new approaches and challenged our traditional thought, so it opened our mind to different possibilities in the innovation space. So that's really been something that has driven significant change in behaviours within the business."

Q. What advice would you give to other companies considering Driving Innovation?

A. "I'd say, you need to ensure your executives are fully bought into the concept and committed to driving the outcomes of this sort of programme. It's very easy to say "yes, we need innovation in the business and therefore let's just go and do it as we wish," however if you don't have the exec support, and you don't have that mandate, you'll find it difficult when you reach hurdles to actually progress.

The other piece is ensuring that you take the business and the operations on the journey with you, so it doesn't become an isolated initiative. So ensuring that you've got the environment prepared for this sort of change is key, otherwise what you'll find is it can easily become an isolated programme, and not drive the changes that you're really looking to achieve."


Mike Maunsell - Director of Network Operations

Q. What changes have you noticed as a result of Driving Innovation?

A. "The changes that have come about as a result of working with Velox Innovation, and them helping us drive innovations, is two fold:

1. We've got a much better grasp of what's happening inside the business, we've been able to get our arms around all the activities that are going on, and help manage those through the process.

2. We're just making it happen in a much more rapid manner. Rather than a lot of projects going on, and a number of them being ultimately abandoned, what we've done is focus in on those that are most relevant to the business, and this has allowed us to quickly bring those to bear inside the business and we've achieved outcomes rather quickly rather than taking months and months which was the previous process for the business."

Q. What have you liked about Driving Innovation?

A. "The big thing for me is it's really focused our attention on what's important for the business, and then we've gone hard after those innovations that could benefit the business at the current time. So we've got a process that's very focused now, rather than being quite scatter-gunned which our previous approach was. We now know what we're doing, we're very focused around the projects that we're working on, and we're moving those through the pipeline."

Q. What advice would you give to other companies considering Driving Innovation?

A. "I think for other companies considering Driving Innovation is just to get on and do it. Don't get too complicated with it, don't try and make it too broad, with too many facets to it. Just focus on what's important. The other point is just really customise it for your business as well - one size does not fit all - and it needs to be relevant for your business circumstance. 

I think one of the critical success factors for any innovation programme is leadership commitment - unless you have push from above and determination to make this happen then it's just simply not going to happen inside your business."



Leah Davey - Business Manager, Process Cleaning Technologies

Q. What changes have you noticed as a result of Driving Innovation?

A. "Some of the things we've noticed change as a result of the programme in our business would be firstly the energy and enthusiasm that our team has about the opportunities that lie ahead. Secondly, we've really convinced people that we need to change, and thirdly, we are exploring opportunities that are a little outside of our core which is really exciting."

Q. What have you liked about Driving Innovation?

A. "The things we really like about the programme include the fact that we've used it to help frame our innovation strategy, and help make sense of some of the things we were doing already. And really, it's bought a lot of velocity to projects we manage now."

Q. What advice would you give to other companies considering Driving Innovation?

A. "We've learn't lots about this journey, and we've got lot's of advice to give others who might be embarking on it. Bits of advice would be resource it properly, make sure that someone really owns the project, don't be afraid to try, and don't be afraid to fail. And lastly, get comfortable with being uncomfortable."


Interested in Driving Innovation?