We work in a market where the distance between an organisation and its customers is literally one social media post away, and where an organisation’s best offer can be beaten by a fifteen second search online for the next best alternative.

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In a market where distance and time is now on the customer’s side and the pace of change is exponential, it begs the question – is the relevance of traditional strategy under threat at a time when you could argue it is needed the most?

I’ve always loved gadgets. When I was a kid, my favourite book was about how in the future we’d use all kinds of gadgets, from robotic vacuum cleaners to self-driving cars.

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As a STEM student, my fascination for creating technology led me to study engineering, and my fascination for everything else that a company must do to make technology successful led me to Deloitte.

Picture this: The world has ran out of water, quality agricultural soil and therefore food. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

It sounds like an unrealistic scenario, however there are early signs that signal a shift to this alarming reality.

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The future of our global food systems holds risks for sustainability, and solutions will require a whole of system approach.

While the concept of innovation is nothing new (pardon the pun), the rapidly-increasing rate of technological progress as well as the recent political narrative has led to ‘innovation’ being a key fixture on Board meeting agendas around the country.

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Innovation should be viewed with an opportunity mindset and as a strategic opportunity to gain (or maintain) a competitive advantage in the market .

Are you building an app for that?

The app is one of the most disruptive innovations of the last decade and has been pivotal to the commercial success of the smartphone and for the overall ‘mobile economy’.

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Apps tend to be most successful for processes or tasks which are completed regularly.

Will people choose to consume healthier, more balanced diets or will the epidemic of cheap foods, high in sugar, salt and fat spread?

We all know consumers drive demand, but that is only to a certain degree. Our behaviours are shaped by context and influenced by marketing. Availability of accurate information, as well as affordability and accessibility of nutritious foods, drive our actions. So yes, we as consumers have a choice, but businesses and government have an obligation to society to create the right environment to enable consumers to make the right choice.

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With the right responses from businesses and government, we could alter the course of our health and food consumption.

While business investment as a share of the economy peaked back in 2012, Australia has still managed to achieve a decent rate of economic growth despite the fact that in every year since then business investment has been falling (both as a share of GDP and in dollar terms).

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While business investment as a share of the economy peaked back in 2012, Australia has still managed to achieve a decent rate of economic growth.

For a significant part of the day I am a Director in the Deloitte Consulting business. This involves advising C-suite in the Consumer Products industry on their most complex strategic issues and transformations. It often means working from the client site and more recently substantial travel across Asia. My second job (free of charge, around the edges of the day with spill over into the weekend) is raising a 1 and 3 year old together with my wife, who works almost full time in a senior corporate role at one of the leading media companies in Australia. All of this happens whilst both our entire families live in the Netherlands.

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The role and support of Deloitte has been instrumental in this journey – first and foremost in providing the opportunity to take time off work but secondly in the form of freedom and flexibility in how, where and when I work.

Who has your (finger) print?

Thousands of years ago, the citizens of Ancient Babylon imprinted their fingerprints into clay tablets to authenticate transactions. Today the problem of authentication remains and a multiplicity of passwords have become an awkward part of everyday life. That is why the fingerprint is making a comeback.

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Over the next year we would expect the smartphone’s fingerprint reader to be used in conjunction with websites accessed by computer to authorise payments.

Delivering more jobs (particularly manufacturing jobs) might  be a key catchcry of US President Donald Trump, but it is also an important ambition for Australia in 2017 (think Prime Minister Turnbull’s election campaign focus on ‘jobs and growth’).

Our labour market enters the year at a crossroads. The unemployment rate remained relatively stable over the past year, and ended 2016 at 5.8%, a respectable result by recent standards. In part however, our unemployment rate is contained because of increasing numbers of baby boomers retiring.

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The unemployment rate might steady, but underemployment is a growing problem