Tag Archives: Emma Reynolds

On November 1st, 2012, Bloomberg kindly hosted the Women Media Networks Media Disruptors lunch event, Changing the Rules of the Game.

With Moderator Mia Saini, News Presenter for Bloombergand panelists Emma Reynolds (Co-founder & CEO of e3-Reloaded), Joanne Ooi (Plukka.com) and Mariko Sanchanta (news presenter, Wall St Journal (WSJ)), we were set for an exciting discussion.

From the start, Saini disrupted the audience by taking a question and answer approach, creating audience interaction throughout. Saini’s wit and humour kept the conversation focused, fast-moving and entertaining.

 

 


 

“To engineer a disruption, the consumers will take time to catch up – be dynamic enough to roll with it, have back-up plans, re-iterate with your consumer,” advises Ooi near the beginning of the discussion.

 

 

“To keep innovating is to go back to the core of the disruptive mindset. Look at all areas, sales, engineering, consumer needs, etc. It’s an art, you cultivate it on a daily basis,” adds Reynolds.

 

 

“Yes, you have to throw your ego out of the window - you might have to throw great ideas away in being realistic, to keep a healthy directions,” adds Oi.

 

 

Coming from WSJ, Sanchanta has other comments. “Now we understand what our readers look at on our site, we’ve added a tool on the page to show how many people are reading which pieces. It’s push and pull, on whether it’s a core story that we’re promoting there or whether we want to up our reader numbers. The WSJ Asia team is quite autonomous, so we do try things out and when they don’t work out, we move on.” She describes an ego and agenda-free scenario.

 

 

We all know that in large companies, it takes a long time for new ideas to get to the top management - and by then, the world moves on. So what do you do? “You have to think like a small company,” says Reynolds.

 

 

Highlighting that is the fact that some of the best online or mobile payment companies are not headed by the main credit card companies, as you’d expect. Moreover, those payment companies cut out the middleman and have great interfaces, Reynolds observes. Her favourite example is https://squareup.com/, which allows mobile phones to take credit card payment.

 

 

As an executive, or someone less up-to-date with modern advances, what do you do when you’re left behind? Consultant Reynolds finds that sometimes her clients are those executives that have been left behind by disruption. “We can’t afford to wait around so we work out which companies we deal with well.”

 

 

Ooi reminds us of the danger of egos, getting in the way. “We have to be strong enough to walk away and move on. I don’t mean that some clients understand disruption immediately, but we can see if they’re open to it. Then we move forward and identify the problems. That helps the clients to open up and want to change. We focus on problems first not solutions, that keeps their interest. Things are different now, the power is with the masses, not the few at the top,” she observes.

 

 

Quantifiable statistics, defining working culture, looking at more realistic and regular performance reviews and crowd-sourcing ideas within the workplace are the kinds of activities that Reynolds works around.

 

“At WSJ, we’re always teaching our readers how to do things – many don’t know how to Tweet and so on,” explains Sanchanta. In Reynolds’ experience, men in their fifties are often strong ambassadors of learning new techniques and embracing modern technology and social media.

 

 

Disruption doesn’t come from the bottom, says Ooi. It comes from strong individuals – the power of the individual is vital. “If you can’t get that in your organisation, you hire people like Emma!” she quips.

 

 

Sanchanta says that as a woman in a male dominated industry, she is more of a disruptor, because she stands out at the meeting table.

 

 

Let’s look more closely at media. “As a traditional print media, we don’t easily embrace new technologies and people are sceptical. But we decided to do online videos, because it was something different,” says Sanchanta. “At first, it was awful but we got better and it works because most people are willing to go on camera.” Meanwhile, companies like Goldman Sachs have embraced Twitter, something that surprises former employee, Saini.

 

 

China has its own disruptive mindset. Saini’s husband travels to China for work regularly, and often, finds that her feeds are cut – the screen goes black a millisecond after she appears. But WSJ is one publication that has managed to remain online in China. “We don’t let it affect our content but if we’re reporting on a government we always make contact and ask direct questions,” says Sanchanta.

 

 

Being an entrepreneur in the disruption world doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be rich. Perhaps embracing the failures is part of the process? Reynolds’ first company, in the UK, went bankrupt during the financial crisis. “I lost everything,” she says, without regret.

 

 

Industries that might not have yet been disrupted yet,include financial advice services. One audience member thinks this will change in the next 5-10 years, but other changes have to happen behind that. Australia has already moved toward full disclosure; the UK has also made some changes.

 

 

Another main industry that needs change and disruption is education. Adult learning and life-long learning are key words here. Freer, low-cost education that’s internationally available seems like a dream. But education is getting more expensive year-on-year and good teachers and professors are still vital and need paying well. One audience member suggests that you can disrupt the system and still pay well.

 

 

Final words of advise
“I never thought ten years ago I’d do online video and Tweet. Just keep adapting, leaning and stay on top of the trends. We’re all so busy but I always try to read, learn and talk to people.” – Sanchanta

 

“Use the 4C DNA: Collaboration, co-creation, controlling, connecting. If you don’t see those four things, it needs disrupting.” – Reynolds

 

“Our inputs are very Googlised – we need to supplement that. Sip from the fire hydrant every day – eventually you’ll have a disruptive thought.” – Ooi

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m looking forward to being a guest on the panel at the WMN CASBAA Lunch on 1st November. The topic is Disruptors – Women Who Re-Invent the Game.

 

Disruption is a topic close to my heart. I believe we are living in the most exciting of times. Industries are being disrupted on a daily basis. For the first time in human history, the power is no longer with the few, it is with the masses. Through grassroots innovation, individuals literally have the power to upheave organizations, products, industries – even countries. We have entered a social and business revolution. It truly isn’t business as usual. Understanding and mastering ‘disruption’ in the 21st century is one of the most important skills needed to thrive. Cultivating a ‘disruptive’ mindset is just as crucial for individuals as it is for organisations.

Economically, technologically, demographically, sociologically – change is now the status quo. KPMG recently predicted that at its current pace, the world will progress 20,000 years in the next 100 – or 2000 years in the next decade. Wow.

Almost everything we do in the 21st Century is up for review. Everything that you or your competition can think of is being re-designed, re-thought, re-engineered. But here’s the more interesting thought. Everything will ‘always’ be up for review, all the time, permanently, forever and in real-time.

Disruption breeds innovation. In the past decade alone we have experienced some of the greatest disruptive innovations. Think iTunes, Amazon, Square, MPESA…the list goes on. These innovations didn’t come from within industry.

What does the next few years hold?

Will your industry be disrupted?

Will your job even exist in 2015?

Take a moment to really stop and think about that. Will your job exist in 2015? Is your product, service, industry or company the next target for disruptive innovation? Or are you at the forefront pioneering the next disruptive innovation?

Think about wow you can cultivate a ‘disruptive’ mindset. Here are my top tips – and of course I’ll share more on the panel.

 

  1. Challenge everything. Everything. Ask ‘why’ a lot. ‘Why do we do it this way?’ ‘Why should my job even exist?’ ‘When was the last time we re-thought this?’Be fearless. If you are disabled by fear, you won’t question everything and you’ll get left behind.
  2. Be curious. Never ever stop learning, reading, asking questions, meeting new people, travelling and immersing yourself in new cultures and surroundings.
  3. Think like a designer. In every area of your life, think about how things could be better designed. Whether a physical product or an experience, think how it could be designed better, to improve the user-experience. Practice this until it becomes a habit.

 

 

Here’s a challenge for you. Before we meet at the event on November 1st, think about what you do every day and ask yourself five ‘whys’.

Until the panel, take care and keep questioning everything.

 

Learn more here.

 


About the author:
Emma Reynolds is the Co-founder & CEO of e3 Reloaded. Emma has lived and worked in Australia, Peru, United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Aged 23, she started her first consulting business; at 25 a research business and at 27 moved to Hong Kong to build her third business, e3 Reloaded.

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In preparation for our upcoming CASBAA event about Disruption, here’s another interesting way of looking at society and life… and disrupting it and re-inventing the game.

This presentation is an original TEDex production, presented by artist Kelli Anderson. In fact, she describes herself as a ‘tinkerer’ as much as anything else, and this video will definitely show you why.

Kelli believes that the world is full of order that doesn’t necessarily deserve our respect. See what she has to say – and show.

 

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In case you haven’t heard, the WMN CASBAA event is all about Disruptive Innovation and how it relates to our personal experience of work – as well as to business as a whole and particularly the media industry.

We thought we’d take a moment to introduce one of our panelists, Emma Reynolds, and the idea of being a disruptor!

Emma Reynolds is the Co-founder & CEO of e3 Reloaded. Emma has lived and worked in Australia, Peru, United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Aged 23, she started her first consulting business; at 25 a research business and at 27 moved to Hong Kong to build her third business, e3 Reloaded.

A two-time University dropout, Emma developed a strong passion for marketing, communications and consumer insights, so she started working full-time when she was 17. Learning by doing, she spent five years in Australia in a variety of roles, her most memorable being with The 20/20 Group Australia.

She since lived in Peru, working with Peru’s Challenge in remote villages and communities outside Cusco. Next, in London she moved from Marketing to HR where she spent a year working with Barkers Norman Broadbent before co-founding e3 Unlimited. Over the following few years she and business partner Bruce Morton grew e3, started a research business and gained international recognition for their transformation projects with Tata, PepsiCo, Merrill Lynch, Virgin, Holcim and Skandia.

In 2010, she moved to Hong Kong. Now, she speaks internationally on the changing world of work, generational collision and talent acquisition innovation. Emma was included on the prestigious ’35 Women under 35 list’ and curated TEDxMongkok.

One of the fantastic blogs that Emma shared with us, is about pirate activity and disruption.

 

“Recently we visited the office of a friend at a young Silicon Valley startup. It didn’t take long for us to spot the first pirate flag – the skull and bones that characterise the renegade attitude inherent in Silicon Valley’s tech disruptors.

Steve Jobs’s now famous maxim, originally said to the Macintosh team in 1982, started it all: “It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.” This rebel spirit has since trickled into the rest of Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerberg has continued the spirit with his own rebellious maxim: “Move fast and break things.” Silicon Valley – and its disruptors – run on rebellion, a low regard for risk, and phenomenal innovation. The pirates of Somalia happen to use the same exact recipe…”

Read the rest here.

 

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