Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 30 | Page 80

GET TO KNOW digital platforms for real benefit , while at the same time maintaining genuine connections and interactions , is a challenge . For those of us who have school children and see technology seeping into social lives and weekend time , working out what a healthy balance looks like is especially critical . smoothing over the workflows will provide real benefits . Hopefully , we ’ ll also start to see more investment in education too . Many tradespeople are highly proficient ‘ on the tools ’ but could run their businesses more productively and efficiently by learning to use digital tools too .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
My wife and I moved to the beach – Whangamata on New Zealand ’ s Coromandel Peninsula – a few years back because we both love the outdoors and the ocean . The activities that allow me to unwind most effectively are those that don ’ t enable me to think about anything except what I ’ m doing in the moment .
Surfing is one of them and mountain biking is another . You must be wholly absorbed in what you ’ re doing , or it doesn ’ t work out . Even if it ’ s only for a small moment in time , it ’ s a great way to clear the head . I also love doing things with my family . When we ’ re having fun together , the stress drops away quickly .
If you could go back and change one career decision , what would it be ?
Nothing springs to mind and I think that ’ s because I ’ m generally very considerate when it comes to making important decisions . The one thing I do sometimes wonder about is what my life would have been like if I ’ d gone down the corporate path – if I ’ d worked for Deloitte or Credit Suisse , or one of the big banks after I left uni . Having spent my life in smaller businesses , it ’ s not something I ’ ve experienced . No regrets though – the start-up environment exposes you to a whole other set of challenges and helps you grow and build resilience at pace .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
In the construction sector , it ’ s all about integrations and connections . Businesses are slowly starting to become more tech-savvy and linking them together is going to be really , really important . Now , we see a lot of different point solutions but glueing them together and
The concept of being able to work anywhere in the world , virtually , really appealed .
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in APAC ?
Language and culture are always going to be challenging in a diverse region like APAC . Even between Australia and New Zealand , we see a lot of subtle differences . Getting the colloquial stuff right can be important when you ’ re creating a solution or outlining the value proposition it represents . The other challenge is around compliance . Every country has different rules and regulations so any product or service with a tech slant can never be one size fits all .
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months ?
Over the last year , our team has grown from 12 employees to 19 . As a result , I ’ ve had to instigate some important ‘ growing up ’ processes ; formalising team structures and reporting and making sure our workflows are streamlined . We ’ ll never lose our startup spirit , but we ’ ve needed to put those things in place to enable us to expand successfully .
Over the next 12 months , my focus will be on building our teams in New Zealand , Australia and the UK . That ’ s inevitably going to require more travel . It ’ s really important I embed myself in those various different offices , have face-to-face interactions and make sure people are living and breathing the NextMinute values and culture .
What advice would you offer to someone aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry ?
Surround yourself with people who have been there and done that before you . Whether you ’ re working in big business or the start-up space , I couldn ’ t recommend that enough – getting a network of contacts you can tap into and catch up with , even if it ’ s just a call every six months or so . Hearing what other people are saying and doing will help you stay abreast of what ’ s going on outside your immediate sphere and that ’ s what gives you an advantage as you look at shifting into a C-level position . Secondly , stay humble and don ’ t talk BS . It ’ s a small world out there and you only have your name and reputation , so play a really , really good game . p
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