Why ‘Failing Fast & Moving On’ Is Actually Very Dangerous: Telstra Digital Boss

Why ‘Failing Fast & Moving On’ Is Actually Very Dangerous: Telstra Digital Boss
SHARE
THIS



Telstra’s executive director of digital, Gerd Schenkel, says a “burning platform” – a term that basically means you’ve stuffed your digital strategy – can lead a thriving business to utter calamity in very fast time.

Schenkel, speaking at yesterday’s Daze of Disruption conference in Sydney, believed the path to digital failure often takes just six lonely years.

He argued the first year was all about celebrating a win. The second year everybody starts saying it was “a bad year”. The third year, Schenkel says, you “fire the CEO”. The fourth year you hire consulting firm “McKinsey&Company”. The fifth year you hire a micro consulting firm. And the sixth year “all the good people leave and you just spiral downwards”.

Schenkel warned: “If you have a ‘burning platform’ it might be too late to actually change anything. We’ve (Telstra) done a bunch of analysis internally and we’ve found that the time from peak in terms of volume to loss is about six years.”

However, to combat digital disaster he advised in investing in good staff. Not staff with the best technical skill set but staff that have “resilience, patience and empathy”.

Neither was Schenkel a fan of this idea of learning from your failures; this much touted idea of failing and quickly moving on.

“People say, ‘failure is ok and it’s a good thing’, but it just isn’t,” he said. “You have one project that fails then you will go with it. All your projects need to succeed and you can’t say to people that failure is okay. It’s a very unattractive proposition to people on the project and it’s a very unattractive proposition to your stakeholders.

“I think that language has to be stricken from anyone’s lexicon; you have to succeed and you need to succeed to earn yourself the next round,” he said.

And if you covet success, what’s the fastest route? Schenkel says: “If you need to do some form of change or transformation make sure you get the best people you can attract, make sure they’re focused on the customer and the financials. Don’t tell them everything’s cool; it’s all about the customer and the dollars and unless the customer and the dollars come back then don’t bother,” he said.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group
  • Marketing

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group

Marketing events group Comexposium has absorbed its New Zealand joint venture partner MTS to deliver an expanded event solutions business across the Trans-Tasman. The deal will see Ryf Quail (pictured above) return to Sydney to lead Comexposium Australian and Kiwi team, while his current MTS team remains in place as Comexposium employees. While the business […]

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding
  • Marketing

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding

Audience data provider Eyeota has announced a $15.6 million Series B capital raise to spearhead additional growth in 2018. The company was founded simultaneously in Singapore, Australia and Europe in 2010, and has remained independent and enjoyed strong growth locally, as well as launching into the US. Peter Hunter (pictured above), Eyeota’s general manager for […]

Poem Wins Four New Clients
  • Marketing

Poem Wins Four New Clients

Sydney-based PR and social agency Poem has announced it has won four new clients following another strong year of growth. The four clients are Property NSW (The Rocks and Darling Harbour), Fantastic Furniture, Ovolo Hotels and Purpose (a conference on purpose-driven business). Poem co-founder Matt Holmes said: “We’ve hit a nerve with clients who are […]

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change
  • Media

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change

Social media behemoth Facebook has announced its second major update for News Feed to make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality. This week, Facebook announced that the platform will launch a small test in the US focused on prioritising news from publishers that users find trustworthy. Facebook is also exploring ways […]

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!

B&T announces its new industry bootcamp! And, if you're like us & didn't know anything about it, all's revealed here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits
  • Media

Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits

Mystery surrounds Domain boss's surprise exit, although the Mystery Machine nor a talking dog not spotted at Fairfax.

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival
  • Media

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival

Jasmin Tarasin, director at boutique production company PHOTOPLAY, is inviting invites audiences to take a trip through the inner-workings of the mind in ‘Ghost Train’, her latest multi-sensory VR project set to feature at this year’s Sydney Festival. Working in collaboration with musician and co-creative director Jonnine Standish, Tarasin’s uniquely immersive ‘Ghost Train’ is a […]

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia
  • Marketing

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia

Independent advertising and branding agency March One has been appointed to oversee the rebrand and repositioning of Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA). FIA is the national peak body representing professional fundraising in Australia. It was established to advance advocacy and professional standards, and has identified the need to better promote its role as the industry self-regulator, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]