Assurity backs digital leadership in NZ

Quick Thoughts

16 December 2015 • Written by Ben Hayman

Assurity is supporting the launch stage of the Digital Leaders Network NZ (DLNZ) by becoming a Corporate Partner.

DLNZ is focused on helping leaders in New Zealand’s public and private sectors to create sustainable digital transformation. We’re getting involved because there’s a need in NZ to help those who are brave in moving their organisations ahead by providing a way to share lessons and gain support from each other.

I was lucky to see the benefits of the Digital Leaders Network in the UK as it’s been in operation there for almost four years. I think its real value is in the small, focused events the network organises which bring people together to explore the difficult deep-diving issues that face senior leadership teams.

These sessions allow people to compare notes and learn in a very safe, but challenging context that’s dedicated to unlocking healthier, faster and ongoing digital transformation.

To create sustainable transformation in any organisation (public or private), there has to be a great deal of concerted energy from senior leadership but also – and crucially – a big emphasis on delivery in everyone’s daily work – at all levels of the organisation.

In that kind of world, all staff show leadership, self organise and care deeply about continual service improvement. This is one of the things we all agree to, but often struggle to support properly within our organisational cultures. These are just some of the challenges we will explore in 2016 at DLNZ events.

The DLNZ group is starting small to determine the right approach based on its users' needs, rather than our assumptions of what’s needed. We are, however, very happy to announce that we have invited our NZ Minister for Internal Affairs Peter Dunne and the Government’s CIO Colin MacDonald to deliver the annual lecture for DLN UK at Westminster on 2 February. This will be our first significant event and we’re thrilled to be able to support our Government to share its stories of the NZ digital transformation journey with our global colleagues.

DLNZ only exists to help NZ. The worst thing we could do is create just another group that competes for attention with all the other forums that already exist. We’re also very aware that, just because something works in the UK, doesn’t mean it will work in NZ.

However, let’s think snowflakes here. Each one is different, but they are all snowflakes. We can learn much from the UK digital transformation experience – and we will – but NZ has its own social, government and marketplace context. DLNZ cannot just import its model. It must create one from real user need – the need of real digital leaders in Aotearoa.

Garth and Assurity’s leadership team share this vision and have pledged to support the launch of the network in NZ for its first year. I will be curating this as DLNZ facilitator and look to building an advisory group from industry and government and a set of active partners for DLNZ early in 2016.

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