A Critical Path or Fail Fast

16th June 2016 | By Graham Cox

Informed Innovation

After more than 50 years of providing project advice to clients all over the globe, it might seem strange when internal discussion regarding technology and innovation investment are linked to the old Latin phrase “auribus teneo lupum”, a line taken from the Phormio (c.161BC), a work by the Roman playwright Terence, a once popular proverb in Ancient Rome.

Like “holding a tiger by the tail”, it is used to describe an unsustainable situation, and in particular one in which both doing nothing and doing something to resolve or improve one’s position are both loaded with a high degree of risk.

Take the classic example of Kodak . In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. A few years later, demand for their product completely vanished and they went bankrupt. In 1998, not many people would have predicted that change. Unfortunately Kodak were unable to utilise innovative technology to change their business direction. What happened to Kodak will happen to a lot of industries in the next 10 years, and most people won’t see it coming.

When applying the “auribus teneo lupum”  train of logic to our firm’s decision making on investments in technology and innovation, we are always confronted by whether we are experiencing a ‘normal’ market cycle or a changing or disrupted market. Both would seem to be applicable in today’s commercial environment, supported by an “Innovation Revolution” on the one hand and a peaking property cycle on the other. In this setting, our clients are unsurprisingly demanding that we continue to look to our crystal ball and advise them accordingly and be ahead of imminent change.

For TBH, innovation is the life force for our business. Being an innovative (and informed risk taking) market leader has been the key ingredient that has seen our company not only survive market changes, but thrive and grow from humble beginnings into an international market leading project advisory firm with stable footings in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. Informed innovation is key for us, and we need to consistently work hard to ensure we continue to break new ground.

Unfortunately however, like any business, we always come back to the internal debate of how to remain innovative to continually achieve a market leading position in a highly competitive market. How do we look ahead to avoid a Kodak situation for us and our clients.

There was a great article recently that was circulated throughout the  office titled “Innovate or Die”. The content was blunt and to the point given its relevance to modern day business. Innovate or Die. It’s true. But in a highly competitive global market, this word ‘innovation’ can seem easier said than done – sound familiar?

To conquer this continual battle, TBH invested in cutting edge data analytics technology which we've named TBH Analytics. The whole drive behind this technology is to allow our business and our client’s businesses to make real time informed portfolio, program or project decisions, and ultimately better position themselves when it comes to risk. Something we like to call “Informed Innovation”. TBH Analytics highly intelligent technology allows us to maintain real project information at our fingertips, anywhere and on any device in order to make decisions that in days gone by were only made with data sometimes up to 6 weeks old. It means our clients can keep on top of market changes in real time, and make informed decisions to ensure they maintain an innovative edge with reduced risk.

TBH Analytics is not only leading the market in project data transformation, it has changed the way portfolios, programs and projects are managed and reported.  Government and private sector are now being rewarded by implementing TBH Analytics.  We ensured that whilst under the R&D and testing phase, our analytics engine room needed to be easily deployable, integrate and ‘pull’ all forms of data from clients.

Many business owners would agree that when internal investments are made on innovation and technology and it ‘pays off’, everyone is smiling and the demons of another failed IT project are swiftly tucked away until the next business case and investment decision comes along.

So when previously mentioning “auribus teneo lupum” one must look to “Informed Innovation” as the solution. We at TBH continue to make informed investments to ensure we remain innovative market leaders, and are proud to offer TBH Analytics to our clients not as a ‘bolt on’ service but as a new way of progressing with confidence.

Find out more about TBH Analytics by contacting Graham Cox, TBH Director coxg@tbh.com.au for more details.