Don’t Focus on Digital Transformation; Focus on Quick, Strategic Wins


Here’s a modern-day retelling of Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare.

A $6 billion movie-rental business at the peak of its power abruptly dismisses a two-year-old startup’s offer to merge. Like the hare, the movie-rental business keeps running—in its case, growing for another four years. But six years after that, the business declares bankruptcy, eclipsed by the startup, which launched streaming video.

In his new book, co-authored with Erin Meyer, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings describes in a handful of words the decade it took his company to overcome Blockbuster: “little by little, the world changed and our business stayed on its feet and grew.”

The world changed, but that’s because Netflix helped change it. A less self-effacing account of Netflix’s ascent might be: Slow and steady wins the race.

Around the same time that Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, Netflix embarked on a seven-year migration to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. Industry disruption doesn’t happen overnight, and neither does cloud transformation.

Thankfully, businesses don’t need to wait seven years to start reaping the benefits of either endeavor. That’s because what makes meaningful digital transformation different from Aesop’s fable is that transformation isn’t really a race. In a race, there’s no winning until someone reaches the finish line. In a multi-year digital transformation, you need a steady stream of smaller strategic wins—or you’ll get stuck.

Think Big, Start Small

How many organizations are stuck in their cloud transformations? A little more than 34%, according to an Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) study on organizations that have migrated at least one production workload to a public cloud infrastructure. Fully one-third of survey respondents were “laggards,” ESG’s unsentimental designation for organizations in alignment with fewer than three cloud migration best practices.

ESG’s Cloud Migration Maturity framework comprises five best practices:

  1. Develop a sound financial business case
  2. Analyze the environment and workload requirements
  3. Walk before you run
  4. Use each migration to enhance your cloud playbook
  5. Skill up your team to fill gaps

Who says laggards are stuck? They say so themselves. Laggards were 2.6 times less likely than ESG’s “leaders,” organizations aligned with all five best practices, to report that cloud migrations had definitively met expectations.

All five are equally important, but the story of the tortoise and the hare aligns mainly with #3: Walk before you run. At Slalom, 20 years of consulting and 10 years of cloud-first engineering experience have shown us that incremental success—through “quick-build” engagements facilitated by the iterative sprints of agile methodology—is the most effective way to start, restart, or accelerate cloud transformation.

Migrating or modernizing one application does more than make it easier to imagine transforming your entire business. If the application is aligned with your business objectives (best practice #1), then you actually will transform your business, a little at a time.

That’s how Netflix did it. Pushed to transform by Hastings himself, the company moved its systems out of its data centers and then rebuilt them in AWS, one satisfying step at a time.

What this steady stream of wins doesn’t show is the knowledge Netflix gained along the way. When you start small, you learn a lot (best practice #4), and your teams get savvier as they move forward (#5). Notably, two-thirds of ESG’s leaders reported that cloud usage had led to a significantly more favorable view of the IT team, 3.5 times the rate reported by laggards.

The Quest for a Frictionless Cloud Journey

Slalom is the first AWS Consulting Partner to work shoulder to shoulder with AWS to create a collaborative approach to cloud transformation. In a joint delivery model, experts from AWS and Slalom help customers propel their organizations forward into the futures they’re envisioning—for themselves and for their customers. The teams behind AWS | Slalom Launch Centers are vocal proponents of the idea that people power the cloud—that is, that true digital transformation depends as much on skills acquired as it does on technologies adopted. We talk a lot about “guided mastery” and “learn-see-do,” but the most common concept in our community? “Build with, not for.”

If we had to say we have a mascot, it would be a tortoise … with a rocket strapped to its back.

To learn more about AWS | Slalom Launch Centers, visit slalom.com/aws-slalom-launch-centers.

 



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The Great Khali, new physique, dramatic body transformation


The Great Khali has undergone a dramatic body transformation to become a huge, shredded monster since his days in WWE.

The 215cm beast instantly made an impact on his wrestling bow in 2006 as he destroyed the legendary Undertaker.

Fans were shocked at the sheer size and presence of the Indian megastar, who was still in great shape due to his earlier days as a pro bodybuilder.

But as the years went by and life on the road in WWE took its toll on Khali, real name Dalip Singh Rana, that muscle mass gradually disappeared.

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When he left Vince McMahon’s company in 2014, the former World Heavyweight Champion vowed to himself and his legion of fans in his homeland he would get back into his previous shape.

And the Punjabi Playboy, born and raised in Dhiraina, India, now looks better than ever at the grand age of 47.

He achieved that with an enormous but strict diet that contains plenty of protein and an extensive workout plan.

According to SportsKeeda, Khali’s diet begins in the morning with fruit juices, two glasses of milk, eight eggs and 100g of dried fruit.

But before that he enjoys a walk and several glasses of water prior to tucking into bread and chicken for breakfast.

Then it is curry, pulses, vegetables, wheat breads, rice, 1kg of chicken, eggs and dried fruit again for lunch.

A mere mortal would struggle to cram anything else into their bodies, but come tea time another huge lot of food is tucked into by Khali.

That includes cheese, legumes, vegetables, ten wheat breads, brown rice, chicken, six eggs, two litres of milk and ice after dinner.

And apart from all of that, the beast also enjoys ice creams, coffee, curd and candies in his diet.

With all that food intake, Khali requires an extensive workout schedule also.

His weekly plan has been outlined in several outlets, with Khali also giving his followers regular glimpses of his training on Instagram.

He uses a Sunday to focus on his chest, doing flat, incline and decline bench presses as well as push ups.

Monday is bicep and tricep day as he performs multiple reps of Barbell and Dumbbell Curls and Tricep dips, including more push ups.

It is cardio on Tuesday, with 30 minutes of running on the treadmill, cycling for 20 minutes and then abdominal workout and crunches.

Wednesday is shoulder and traps as Khali does multiple sittings of military press and dumbbell military press before lateral and rear lateral raises.

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It is back and abs on Thursday, with reps of bent over barbell row and pull ups followed by crunches and leg raises with Friday’s used for focusing on legs and ab exercises again.

This involves multiple sittings of seated leg extensions, leg press and squats in addition calve raises and 100s of crunches, leading to a well-deserved day of rest on Saturday …. well almost. Khali still manages to do 30 minutes of jogging on the treadmill!

While many stars enjoy putting their feet up after retirement, Khali has done the complete opposite, and now he is enjoying the rewards as the huge veteran looks better than ever.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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Valiram selects vendor to roll out global e-commerce transformation


  • SEA’s luxury retail expert to roll out unified strategy, multichannel partners
  • Achieve regional expansion while managing stores and nine warehouses

Luxury goods and retail specialist, Valiram Sdn Bhd, on Friday announced its partnership with software-as-a-service (SaaS) company Anchanto, to transform and solidify its backend e-commerce and logistics operations across the Southeast Asia region, supporting more than 400 stores.

The collaboration will enable Valiram to scale its multichannel efforts for its portfolio of more than 200 international brands. Through the partnership, Valiram will leverage Anchanto’s e-commerce management solutions, Wareo (Warehouse Management System) and SelluSeller (Order and Channel Management System) to scale their multichannel e-commerce backend operations across countries, warehouses, and ecosystem of e-commerce partners and technology.

“Valiram has built its reputation on the excellence of its end-to end service, expertise of the local markets, ability to upscale brand management and store roll-out, and innovative approach to offer compelling and luxurious omnichannel shopping experiences – especially post-purchase,” says Mukesh Valiram, executive director of Valiram.

“We believe we will strengthen our leadership position through the sustainability and diversity of our 360° approach to retail, and our forward-thinking. We trust Anchanto’s technology and teams will enable our pragmatic e-commerce vision and strategy, allow us to grow our sales across countries and categories, and onboard more brands while keeping the same quality insurance and values at heart,” he adds.

Acknowledging the immense value in building its online presence as a long term strategy, the 85-year company had taken its first step in online selling with the launch of Valiram247.com, its very own flagship e-commerce store. After the success of the initiative, which also became the foundation of the company’s Covid-19 response strategy, and expertise in online brand building, the group is now poised to change the face of its e-commerce vertical.

“To expose our portfolio of brands to a wider audience, and offer them a unified experience across online and offline sales channels, we need a strong technology infrastructure. With this new collaboration, Valiram will look to achieve regional expansion while managing all its high-end stores and nine warehouses with more efficiency and productivity” adds Mukesh.

“An established and sizable business like Valiram having a rich history, and selecting us for implementing their new-age strategy, is testimony for our software platforms,” says Vaibhav Dabhade, founder & CEO of Anchanto.

“It is heartening to see such companies placing their trust in us to accelerate their growth in the digital realm. We will act as their key technological pillars and accompany Valiram across all markets, helping them with more collaboration outside the APAC region as well,” he says.

With a mission to build scalable backend operations, Valiram needed a technology partner to consolidate and standardise their digital processes while working for global brands such as Michael Kors, Tumi, Tory Burch, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Giuseppe Zanotti, to name a few. Anchanto’s agile technology, strong expertise in the region, and rich ecosystem of integrated partners such as marketplaces, webstores, service providers, or last-mile carriers, will help Valiram to reach their goals of building lasting relationships with brands and investing in sustainable and long-term strategies.

“We have been following Anchanto’s technology for a long time. The testimonies of their platforms coupled with the proven excellence and reactivity of their support were crucial in our decision-making process,” says Sujjath Ahmed, CIO of Valiram.

Anchanto’s proprietary technology is designed to make online selling and management simple for everyone – including established retail specialists such as Valiram as well as brand principals, 3PLs, and e-commerce enablers – by managing the integration of their offline and online channels.



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From Richmond Tiger to St Kilda Saint, Dan Butler’s remarkable transformation


“‘Buts’ was one of those guys who was right on the fringe and not a very reliable player in my early days. I thought, ‘how’s he on a list, he’s not even very good at VFL level?’ And then late in that season he sort of started to find some form.”

Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams was working at the Tigers as their senior development coach.

Butler celebrates his first win as a Tiger in 2017.Credit:Getty Images

“I remember speaking to [Butler], probably around round 12. Just kind of reading him the facts of life as to how long people last on lists if they haven’t played,” Williams said.

“He was just kind of happy to be there but not quite taking the steps to stand out enough and show that it really mattered enough.”

Butler had long hair and a bushy beard, a point alluded to by Williams in that mid-year meeting. The next day Butler arrived at the club with a short cut and his facial hair gone. He was a new man.

Butler’s footy picked up at the tail end of 2016 as the Tigers won their last six VFL matches to narrowly miss the finals. While Richmond played a whopping 41 players at AFL level in their annus horribilis, Butler wasn’t one of them. But he did enough in the state league to earn a one-year contract extension.

Shaun Grigg, Butler and Daniel Rioli hold the 2017 premiership cup.

Shaun Grigg, Butler and Daniel Rioli hold the 2017 premiership cup.Credit:Daniel Pockett

The rest is history. Butler had an enormous pre-season and with the Tigers placing a greater premium on speed in their forward line, the goalsneak was picked for a round one AFL debut. He played 23 games in 2017, kicking 30 goals and becoming an AFL premiership player.

“He came back in ripper shape, leading all the running drills. And he had that breakout year. I couldn’t believe it was the same guy, watching him play on TV in the AFL,” Ballard said.

Fast forward three years and Butler has completed another incredible transformation. Having fallen out of favour at Richmond last year, he has stunned the football world with an incredible season at St Kilda in which he made the All-Australian squad. On Friday night he will confront his former side in a cutthroat semi-final, and looms as a major danger after cutting the Tigers up with a starring performance in round four.

The question that has been on many lips this year is how did it come to be that Butler was squeezed out of Richmond? Butler’s former housemate Jason Castagna was preferred to the now Saint, as was Daniel Rioli. Both have been serviceable players for Richmond, dual premiership players in fact, but neither has played a season anywhere near that which Butler has produced for St Kilda in 2020.

St Kilda list manager James Gallagher pulled off what now looks to be a heist by getting Butler for pick 56 in last year’s trade period.

Butler celebrates a goal.

Butler celebrates a goal.Credit:Getty Images

He is philosophical about why Butler wasn’t getting a look-in late last year.

“It happens with clubs from time to time. Good players don’t get picked because there’s other good players in front of them. You can’t play seven small forwards a week,” Gallagher said.

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Ballard says that in hindsight it is somewhat baffling that Butler wasn’t prioritised at Richmond.

“I guess someone like a Jase Castagna, who was almost like a bit of a coach’s favourite because of his pressure and physicality. Butler’s probably the more skillful player but Castagna was always sort of picked above him,” Ballard said.

The Tigers’ loss was the Saints gain. And Gallagher, gearing up for last year’s October spree, which gained St Kilda five ready-made players, could see Butler’s untapped talent. What particularly appealed was his speed, an area the Saints were making a priority.

“He’s a guy that can get high up the ground and fly really hard back towards goal and burn off an opponent. And he’s very, very influential in the forward line. He’s busy, he’s always involved in the game in the forward line. He’s not a small forward that just bobs up and kicks two or three from four touches. He’s always involved. We loved that about him,” Gallagher said.

“We sat down with him a few times last year. It was so clear that he’s a guy that his teammates would absolutely love. He speaks about things more broadly than just himself.

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“I can’t say we sat there and expected him to perform like this but we were hopeful that everything we’ve seen from him this year are the reasons that we thought he’d be a good pick for us.”

Brendon Lade has been reunited with Butler. Having left Richmond to join Port Adelaide’s coaching panel at the end of 2016, Lade came to the Saints ahead of the 2019 season and now works alongside Butler as St Kilda’s forwards coach.

“I was in his interview when he was a 17-year-old. The knock on him was he was probably a little lazy and whatever else. Would he ever find out how to work hard? But he’d be one of our hardest workers at the footy club now. Even back then he worked really hard. His [three-kilometre] time trial wasn’t terrific and he got that down to under 10 minutes. I suppose that really kickstarted his whole career,” Lade said.

“There’s always been a little knock on his finishing, but this year he’s kicked 28.12.

“The training [at St Kilda] has been different for him. He’s probably benefitted from a different program.”

Butler revealed on Wednesday that the banter had already started between he and his former teammates. He had a lighthearted dig at Jayden Short, claiming that the Tigers premiership defender didn’t actually like to defend. Short and Baker are also former housemates of Butler, and loom as potential head-to-head opponents on Friday night.

Back in round four the Tigers had plenty of chirp for their old mate, but it was to no avail.

“There’ll be plenty of lip going his way. He loves a bit of a laugh. But not much fazes him,” Lade said.

“He’s very good to work with. He keeps things simple, doesn’t overcomplicate things and that’s how he is in normal life as well.”

Williams left the Tigers at the end of 2016 but remains incredibly proud of Butler’s progress.

“I still talk to him. I talked to him two days ago,” Williams said on Thursday.

“The thing that really touched me more than most was that even though I wasn’t at the club anymore, on his 21st birthday he invited me to his party up in Ballarat.

“I continually want him to lift his goals, not to be satisfied with where he’s at. To challenge himself … he hasn’t finished.”

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See this boatshed’s amazing transformation, before and after


THE moment Dean Lampkin spotted a dingy boatshed for sale at Lindisfarne, his wheels started turning.

This is not the type of property opportunity that comes along every day.

And, on top of the waterside location, the boatshed is also set in one of Hobart’s most desired suburbs.

In short: it ticked a lot of boxes.

Dean said it was basic but he could see its potential, so he quickly snapped up the little green shed and got to work planning an extensive renovation.

While not a boatie himself, Dean — owner of LamCon Construction and Commonwealth Games judo silver medallist — threw himself into the waterside lifestyle spending about six months in between jobs and at weekends tinkering with his project.

He said it had been great fun with the shed becoming an ideal spot to unwind.

“Once it was finished, it certainly crossed my mind that perhaps I should keep it rather than putting it back on the market,” Dean said.

The cute blue weatherboard boatshed dates back to the ’30s. It is one only of a small handful of sheds located between the suburb’s sailing and motor yacht clubs.

The 14.4sq m shed at Lindisfarne Bay features a new kitchenette, timber flooring, indoor-outdoor living and storage space, plus a floating pontoon and finger jetty.

The new jetty has taken the place of a former timber ramp into the water. The striking improvement will likely be the first thing potential buyers notice if they inspected it last year.

Dean said the property should appeal to people who own a small boat.

“They could berth it there, and enjoy the boatshed lifestyle, too,” he said.

On the back of the renovation work, Petrusma Property consultant Evan Riseley said the property’s appeal had broadened considerably.

When it hit the market last year the shed was perfect for storing a boat but that was the extent of it. Now Evan believes it is a place where people will also enjoy spending some time relaxing or entertaining.

“Twelve months ago it was the lesser of the Ford Parade boatsheds, but now it is the most fancy of the bunch, he said.

“Dean has clearly dedicated substantial time and money to the renovation — it really shows.

“There is little doubt that he has added a ton of value.

“It is an amazing, charming property that has been finished to a high standard.

“It is also the most unique property I have taken to market.

“I can’t think of another where there was this level of genuine uncertainty about the price that it will fetch when the campaign is all said and done.”

The sale will include the remainder of the property’s current 25-year Crown license agreement, contact the agent for details.

The property hit the market last Friday night and in only a couple of days it had generated thousands of views on realestate.com.au.

Boatshed 4a Ford Pde, Lindisfarne will be open for inspection on Saturday from 10am to 10.30am. It will be sold by expressions of interest closing September 28.



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How is digital transformation taking place across sectors?


  • The global digital transformation market size is expected to hit US$1009.8 billion by 2025
  • Innovation is spurred by the need to overcome pandemic-induced challenges and increase efficiency in operations

Digital transformation may be a buzz word in the tech realm, but it’s unique and personal for each organization. The concept differs from one company to another. Regardless of the similarities that each organization shares, innovation brings a different meaning to each one individually, and its implementation is — by default — unique in every instance. 

The global coronavirus outbreak has certainly pushed organizations to adjust and revamp their digital road maps. A majority of enterprises were driven to find ways to smoothen out and transition to employee teleworking, as stay-at-home mandates came into full force. 

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has nicely summed up this phenomenon: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning to sales and customer service to critical cloud infrastructure and security — we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything.”

In April, the tech giant saw “more than 200 million Microsoft Teams meeting participants in a single day, generating more than 4.1 billion meeting minutes.” This is just one example of the scale of adoption of cloud-based collaboration and videoconferencing tools amid the pandemic. 

The global digital transformation market size is expected to grow from US$469.8 billion in 2020 to US$1009.8 billion (or more than US$1 trillion) by 2025. That’s just five years.

Without a doubt, companies are recognizing that they need to innovate and innovate rapidly in light of the disruption caused by the global pandemic. Deloitte found that C-suite members talked a lot about innovation in the early months of the coronavirus outbreak, with half of earning calls including the mention of the term “innovation.” 

The Big Four accounting firm also found that the focus of companies’ innovation efforts led by the pandemic varied across industries. The industrial landscape echoes ongoing trends, new challenges, consumer demand, and future needs. 

Consumer-facing

Research from Deloitte found that consumer-facing companies are drawing their attention to e-commerce more often, providing a boon to online commerce as social distancing becomes the new norm. A report by C+R Research revealed that more than half (60%) of US shoppers are afraid of shopping in grocery stores due to the pandemic, and 73% are shopping less in person. 

The changing landscape saw brick-and-mortar shops with shut shutters and retailers scrambling to migrate their storefronts to the clouds. Forrester estimates that the US retail sector will experience a loss of US$321 billion this year as compared to gross sales from 2019. 

While the pandemic is a boon for e-commerce, we see new trends such as retail streaming and touchless shopping coming out in full force.

Online grocery sales spike in the thick of the pandemic. Source: Burst

Resource management

Global supply chains also recently received a massive blow when the once interconnected routes across oceans were widely disrupted with borders closing and opening simultaneously, and movements severely regulated. Disconnected supply chains have led to companies moving manufacturing and production back on-shore. However, the cracks of once globally connected supply chains have encouraged enterprises to seek tech-inspired solutions. 

Quantum computing is one solution that promises to strengthen supply chain management. The technology poses new capabilities that can power real-time traffic simulations and enhance logistics route planning and scheduling. AI and blockchain are also on board to remove blind spots in supply chains and utilize predictive models to help manufacturers and suppliers mitigate unprecedented events such as a pandemic.

Finance

The consulting firm Deloitte also noted that financial services and insurance companies were mentioning risk management more often. The finance industry is set to capitalize on emerging technologies such as AI to various aspects, including cost reduction, revenue generation, customer service, and risk management. 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) found that 64% of financial services leaders expect to adopt AI massively within the next two years, outgrowing the 16% doing so today. With the support of AI in number crunching and data analysis, finance leaders can advance from possessing the knowledge and numbers to taking actions. 

Jia Jen Low





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COVID-19 has spurred rapid transformation in health care. Let’s make sure it stays that way


There is no doubt that the year 2020 has evolved in ways none of us could have imagined. The uncertainty of living with COVID-19 has called everything into question—how we work, seek health care, learn, shop, travel, and connect with each other. 

During a crisis, it’s natural to look at the past with nostalgia and focus on the short term. However, the situation the world now faces requires cross-sector, future-focused innovation and provides opportunities to make transformation happen much more quickly.

Until there is a definitive therapy or vaccine for COVID-19, we must adapt to the virus—it won’t adapt to us. Therefore, industry leaders must empower creative problem-solving among staff to develop innovative methods of doing business that truly meet the new needs of customers today. Here are three ways we’re using the pandemic as a springboard to reshape health care.

Leaving the past behind

The pandemic highlighted many longstanding systemic flaws in the health care system, including fragmentation, inaccessibility, high costs, and health outcome disparities. We should not pine for a past that was so far from perfect, let alone plan a return trip. 

Instead, we must seize the disruptive force of the pandemic to do the transformational work necessary to address these chronic issues and create a future that’s better for our patients. COVID-19 has given us an unexpected jump-start toward this goal.

Regulatory changes at the onset of the pandemic—many of which need to be made permanent—provided new opportunities for delivering virtual care. With this enabler, we accelerated our digital plans several-fold while ensuring safety, privacy, and optimal outcomes. 

For example, our critical care specialists in Minnesota used eICU remote monitoring technology to support staff and patients at a New York City hospital during the height of the city’s surge, doing virtual rounds with the New York City medical staff, helping manage patient medications and ventilators, and freeing up doctors in the hospital to care for more patients. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the power we have to transform—not simply evolve—and we must seize opportunities to streamline regulatory processes and decision-making before the crisis abates.  

Building barriers to maintain gains

Every organization wants to remove barriers when it seeks to execute a new direction or strategic plan. But that’s not enough. We actually need to create barriers to regression to the status quo. Most organizations are like stretched rubber bands, snapping back immediately back to normal once the tension is gone. It’s a leader’s job to stop that from happening—to reinforce the new state and purposely make it harder to go back.

Mayo Clinic is deliberately countering backsliding into a mostly in-person care model by establishing a minimum number of virtual patient visits for each department every week. At the same time, we’re carefully resisting the rush to eradicate traditional care models outright. That would overstretch and break the rubber band.

Instead, we’re merging the old and the new into a spectrum of options, allowing them to collide and coexist as long as they meet the needs of patients and allow us to advance toward an optimal state of functioning.

Seeking partners with different, yet complementary, skills

While the pandemic has had a significant impact on revenue, retreating from innovation is not an option. In fact, we have to double down on investment in research and development and empower people to innovate through nontraditional collaboration. In an increasingly complex and interdependent world, much more can be accomplished by working with partners who have different, yet complementary, skills.  

The coronavirus pandemic has confirmed this for us. Partners with whom we were not aligned simply stopped collaborating with us. Partners with skills that significantly overlapped with ours turned inward to manage the same issues we faced. However, partners with similar values, but different skill sets, markedly accelerated their work with us. 

Response times shortened vastly as Mayo Clinic and these partners focused on an immediate shared goal. We cooperated to solve complex problems simultaneously rather than one at a time.

Our partnership with Google, for instance, has given us the technology and data security expertise that have formed the cornerstone of our digital transformation efforts. Our collaboration with nference, an augmented intelligence company, has shown that prior influenza and measles immunization provides partial protection against COVID-19, and we’re working with the company over the long term to identify new cures for patients with rare diseases. Our alliance with Medically Home has powered our new advanced home care model, which launched 14 months earlier than planned and allows some patients to receive hospital-level care at home in the middle of a pandemic. Collaborations with government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration also have flourished, confirming the idea that having partners with shared values and different skills trumps traditional relationships in times of crisis. 

The pandemic’s disruptive force has spurred transformational change in our organization, as well as in many others. We must actively resist a return to the old way of doing things, maintain the improvements we’ve made, and continue to invest in research and strategic collaborations that will produce a health care system that serves everyone better.

Gianrico Farrugia is president and CEO of Mayo Clinic.

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South Newcastle Beach transformation begins – 16 News


Construction of a $12.6 million extension of the landmark Bathers Way Coastal Pathway has begun at Newcastle Beach.

The project will take around two years to complete and aims to re-activate South Newcastle Beach with a kiosk, new public amenities, accessible skate bowl, landscaping, shade and seating, exercise equipment and viewing areas.

“It’s wonderful to see work begin on transforming a long-dormant part of Newcastle’s coastline,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“By renewing infrastructure and building new facilities, we will revive South Newcastle Beach as a vibrant and attractive place for locals and tourists alike as part of our wider coastal revitalisation program.

“Completed sections of the Bathers Way have seen usage increase by more than 50 per cent, with Merewether one of the busiest due to its additional facilities, and we expect to see a similar lift from this project.

“Increased foot and cycling traffic will increase activation and provide a welcome boost for local businesses in Newcastle East.”

Preceding the final Bathers Way sections through the park and along Memorial Drive, the project has been guided by the Bathers Way Community Reference Group.

Community feedback in 2018 on the original concept plan prompted modifications to move the skate bowl within the existing promenade footprint, garnering majority support in further community engagement last year.

The NSW Government has contributed $5 million through its Restart NSW program, specifically under its Resources for Regions Fund.

The NSW Government was proud to support such an important community project said Catherine Cusack, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter.

“Extending the landmark Bathers Way Coastal Walk is a significant project for the local community, providing much needed recreational facilities and amenities along this stretch of the coast,” Ms Cusack said.

“The Resources for Regions Fund provides funding to projects across NSW to increase the attractiveness of regional NSW as a place to live and do business. We’re pleased to see the start of works for this project today and look forward to its completion.”

The coastal revitalisation project will better connect the East End with King Edward Park, where the most challenging section of the Bathers Way will soon be the subject of a concept and detail design process informed by engagement with the community.

The Bathers Way is a seven-stage capital works program spanning six kilometres of coastline that began at Merewether in 2012.

It was followed by the completion of the Bar Beach, Dixon Park and Nobbys to Newcastle sections.

Newcastle Beach, King Edward Park and Memorial Drive are the final legs.



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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to accelerate ‘cost transformation’


Shaw and Partners analyst Brett Le Mesurier said the key source of disappointment to the market was the surge in expenses, after the bank’s guidance earlier in the year for 2 to 3 per cent growth.

“We just want to see a well run bank that does not provide surprises. I’ve been very surprised by the cost growth,” Mr Le Mesurier said.

Meanwhile, Macquarie analysts told clients they remained concerned about further risks to Bendigo’s dividend, and were forecasting cuts in the payment. They also pointed out Bendigo had greater exposure to Victoria’s economy than rivals. According to the bank, 38 perecent of its residential loans are for Victorian properties.

Ms Baker, who has been overseeing a program aimed at improving Bendigo’s technology and products, said the pandemic had accelerated the need for the bank to make the changes.

The bank has not committed to a dollar figure on any savings, but said it would aim to lower its cost base over the medium term. It is also working with Boston Consulting Group to drive its cost-to-income ratio towards 50 per cent, down from 62.7 per cent in the year.

“Looking ahead, we are focused on accelerating our cost transformation program, targeting sustainable cost base reductions, that improve the proposition and experience for our customers, taking costs out of our business and driving growth,” Ms Baker said.

“The events of 2020 have accelerated the need to change in the way we work and how we look and operate. It has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and reinforced the importance of strong community connections.”

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Bell Potter analyst TS Lim said the market would support more aggressive moves by Bendigo to rein in costs, but deferring its dividend made sense, given the lender had a lower capital position than peers.

Technology accounted for most of Bendigo’s 7 per cent growth in operating expenses, it said, while it also had higher provisions for staff leave because employees had responded to higher demand from customers.

As lenders face pressure to cut costs in response to narrowing profit margins, Ms Baker said the bank would be investing in automation, and it would change branches in response to customer behaviour.

On the outlook, the company said conditions would remain challenging, though Ms Baker said the hit to Sydney and Melbourne house prices would be less damaging than feared. “I think that we will see some impact on house prices, I don’t think it is actually going to be as severe as first anticipated,” she said.

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Ballymore transformation will aid Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics bid


The Queensland Government has confirmed its injection of $15 million into a Ballymore upgrade that will turn the state’s rugby union headquarters into a high performance hub that will aid Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Olympics.

The Courier-Mail last month revealed plans for Ballymore’s transformation with the help of state and federal funding and that architectural company Blight Rayner had agreed to work on the project.

The news was confirmed on Wednesday by State Development, Tourism and Innovation Minister Kate Jones.

“Look, my understanding is that – and I did try to ring the Sports Minister ahead of this – but with Ballymore there was a commitment, I think, from both the federal and state government for a $30 million redevelopment, of which we both pay $15 million,” Jones told the 4BC Breakfast with Neil Breen show.

“The last time I was speaking to the QRU they were saying that they had appointed an architect that was working on those designs so, yep, as far as I’m concerned it’s full steam ahead with the redevelopment of Ballymore which is, as, you say, long overdue and will make such a big difference for rugby and the local community.”

As reported last month, the upgraded facility will be a training venue for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and has been mooted as the hockey stadium if Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics’ bid is successful.

It was will also be the location of the new National Rugby Training Centre and an improved home for community rugby.



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