BBD CEO Tour: Method

Method co-founder Adam Lowry presented at the BBD CEO summit this year, and was excellent. The tour reinforced what a great company this is and also showed how small and simple they really are. There is nothing going on here that is not reproducible in New Zealand. The difference is scalability – easier access to […]

BBD CEO Tour: SYPartners

SY Partners helps companies facing major transformation. The session was aimed at helping the group push the thinking a little, and we very privileged that Chairman Keith Yamashita flew west to run the session. SYPartners see themselves as consistently choosing to be great, for themselves and for their clients. Keith questioned whether we risk what […]

BBD CEO Tour: Klutz

Turns out Kiwis buy more Klutz items per capita than anywhere else. They are a toy company that specialises in helping 8-10 year olds build things. Klutz was started by two graduating students with a book on how to juggle attached to juggling balls, and after some wider publicity the sales exploded. After a few […]

BBD CEO Tour: Hyatt Santa Clara Lab Hotel

Hyatt have about 500 hotels worldwide. A year ago the CEO saw that they needed an innovation drive, so hired a Chief Innovation Officer who started holding think tank sessions around the world. These brought in a diverse group of people from within Hyatt, their customers and others such as architects. They talked about wide […]

BBD CEO tour: Cisco II

Next up from Cisco was Joanne Bethlahmy Director Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, which is an internal strategy consulting group charged with coming up with provocative ideas challenging business models and approach to customer engagement. They work with customers to do this, combining new strategy approaches with technology. Joanne comes from a FMCG and background. […]

BBD CEO tour: Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical makes giant surgical robots (surgeon assistance devices), and is publicly listed, delivering $1.76b of revenue last year. The have 2341 of their systems installed globally, mostly in the US and with 5 in NZ. Their revenue model is clever, with $700m of the total revenue from instruments and accessories, between $1000-2000 per surgery […]

BBD CEO Tour: Google

“We really are in the people business” said David Lawee today to the BBD CEO Study Tour Group at Google. Our study tour group got the standard walk around Google, which starts with free food, and shows the volleyball court, the dinosaur and so on. This wasn’t the real Google though. The real Google is […]


I’m on the Better by Design CEO Study Tour, visiting a host of companies in the SF Bay area. I’ll try to post notes as I go. IDEO is held up by many of the exemplar of user centered design, and certainly some of their output has shown that. I was a huge fan of […]

BBD CEO Summit – John Brackenridge (NZ Merino Co)

John Brackenridge is Chairman of the The New Zealand Merino Company, a key supplier to Icebreaker. He sees their goal as being the smartest most robust and valuable part of the primary sector. Smart means listening to others, robust means sustainable and enduring and valuable means successfully commercial. Applying design thinking to sheep was not […]

BBD CEO Summit – Lorna Borenstein

In the intro Jeremy Moon recounted how clothing companies moved from wholesaling to wholesaling and retailing, worrying unnecessarily as it turns out, about retailer concern about disintermediation. , Their latest challenge for the industry is selling directly online, again worrying about the response from store retailers but it seems again unnecessarily so, Lorna Borenstein – speaks […]

BBD CEO Summit – McKendry, Bathgate, Balfour

Matt McKendry Learned from Apple that the employee experience is as important as the customer experience, something that applies absolutely to consulting companies like Deloitte. Learned from Stanford D School (design school) to move away from Powerpoint. Ironically Matt is using powerpoint to show pretty pictures during this talk. Matt took some learnings back, and […]