Corporate Australia needs to ditch old processes and 'org-hack' itself to keep up with Silicon Valley

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GirledWorld founders Madeleine Grummet and Edwina Kolomanski at the Wade Institute. Picture: @Wade_Institute/Twitter

If Australia wants to compete with global innovators, corporate culture needs to change.

GirledWorld co-founders Madeleine Grummet and Edwina Kolomanski want to equip the next generation of female leaders with the enterprise skills and networks they’ll need to excel in the STEM industry.

Grummet told Business Insider that GirledWorld focuses on embedding purpose across everything they do, and building a culture that fosters creativity and human-centred design.

“We’ve worked across the US, Asia and Europe, and it’s interesting to compare the cultural dictates of those economies,” Grummet said.

“What is clear is that comparatively, Australia’s corporate culture is inherently conservative and currently bound by legacy processes, hierarchies and systems that actually impede innovation.

“In the context of a data-driven knowledge economy, the advent of exponential technologies, rapid communication, and a fragmenting marketplace, it’s clear that corporates need to embrace change, employ human-centered design to put the customer at the heart of their business model, and embed purpose in their culture.”

If you compare Australia to the Silicon Valley start-up scene, for example, Grummet said the companies there have an intense focus on being scalable, agile and adaptable to change – driven either by the consumer, the marketplace or the technology.

“In that environment of rapid value shift, traditional industries and companies simply have to adapt to survive,” Grummet said.

“So companies and corporate cultures over there are actively trying to org-hack themselves to redefine their purpose and drive intentional innovation.”

Grummet just returned from a trip to the Valley, where she participated in deep-dives in innovation labs with the likes of Google, Airbnb, Twitter, Tesla, Silicon Valley Robotics and Singularity University.

Unfortunately, changing your culture is not something Australian businesses can “copy and paste” from Silicon Valley, Grummet explained.

“In order to stay globally competitive and locally relevant, we must create and nurture our own start-up ecosystem that drives net job creation for Australia’s future economy.”

In the next 12 months, Grummet says their focus will be on three things: building an entrepreneurially minded team, reaching more girls across Australia and embedding purpose across their business.

“Five years from now we would like to have a multi-national team working within an operating culture that is diverse, positive, purpose-fuelled and that lives by its values providing active mentorship and future career pathways to girls.”

GirledWorld founders Madeleine Grummet and Edwina Kolomanski will be presenting at the Melbourne NewCo festival on November 23.

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