Chief Disruptor LIVE October 2019

Posted by Shammah Banerjee | 22-Oct-2019 17:13:43

"Businesses fail when they go straight to the tactics,” Gavin Esler, former host of Newsnight and renowned BBC journalist, told me a few weeks ago. I asked what they should start with instead. “Objectives,” he replied. “Objectives, then strategy and only then can they look at the tactics."

With 34% of the Nimbus Ninety community describing themselves as “disruptors” in their industries in 2019, the objective for our community and the wider business world seems to be innovation. But what does that mean for businesses today? Isn’t innovation something that happens in an innovation lab in Silicon Valley? How can you set “innovation” as an objective? 

It’s a word that is somewhat overused and has become broad in meaning. Really, the distinction of disruption from innovation is that you are doing something differently, but crucially better, to the point where it instigates change around you.


At the second Chief Disruptor LIVE of 2019, we wanted to hear from that 34%, debate their innovation strategies and tactics, and locate the business value. The goal was to supercharge businesses, with a common objective of tending towards the innovation that fuels growth and value.

Chief Disruptor LIVE October 2019 went off with a bang as we heard from data disruptors to marketing mavericks, a full range of boat-rockers across industry and remit.

Sonder’s UK Country Manager kicked off the day with a change-maker’s perspective on the hospitality industry: where its gaps are and how Sonder can move into that market. Upcoming challenger bank Bó’s Chief Product Officer followed with a product differentiation masterclass. With 98% of the population needing help managing their finances, Bó has decided to respond to that need as a bank by creating a savings-central product. With a launch “very soon”, we’ll see how the product vision takes off.

The dynamic team of Boots’ Director of Innovation and Leeds Teaching Hospital’s Associate Director of Digital joined us on stage next for an insightful (and often hilarious) analysis of innovation in the public sector versus the private sector. Their message: culture and organisational structure impacts innovation, and with technology developing faster than ever before, that structure needs to get in place fast. 

The morning sessions broke down into streams: Game Plan Boost, Hacking the Human and Finding the Digital Optimum. With speakers from the likes of IMG Media, BAE Systems, Penguin Random House, Threads Styling, Tony’s Chocolonely, Costa, Molo Finance and others, the morning covered a huge range of topics: from being a chatterbox brand to AI ethics to being an agile business. The afternoon sessions saw two accelerators, “Data Power” and “The Missing Link in CX”, explore the big questions around new data paradigms and whether the product or experience is more important (answer: neither and both… drop me a line on 0203 598 7982 if you want the full synopsis. It was a cracker).

In our afternoon keynotes, we heard from Habiplace’s founder and N26’s UK Country Manager on exploiting connectivity and scaling for hypergrowth. Nimbus Ninety’s founder Emma Taylor led a panel on unconscious bias, with some of the UK’s leading voices on it, including representatives from the Oxford Foundry and the Black Mambas. Tesla closed the day with a look into the future: driverless cars, the future of transport and, even, space habitation.


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Topics: Event reports

Written by Shammah Banerjee

Shammah is the Senior Editor at Nimbus Ninety. She tracks down the most exciting stories in business and tech, produces the content and gets to chat with the biggest innovators of the moment at Chief Disruptor LIVE.

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