Just over 15 years ago, I stumbled into an unlikely scenario that would unfold into a unique opportunity and shape the leader I would become.
As a new migrant to Australia ( and a pretty rough start that I won’t elaborate on), I seized an opportunity to build a new life. I joined what was then a very conservative financial services company, and chose to be the change I wanted to see: to champion the opportunities for value creation that new technology was driving; catalyse the special magic of human creativity, and to make a difference to customers, business results and personal lives through bringing fresh eyes and ideas to innovate.
In the process, a career-defining legacy and global brand in business innovation and learning would emerge: The Amplify Festival for Innovation and Thought Leadership.
On 31 December this year, one month from now, I will be applying the mantra I’ve been sharing consistently through every Amplify Festival and Talk; every Leaders Forum designed; every person coached or mentored; and every keynote given since the day I was asked to champion a culture of innovation at AMP.
And that is:
The only way to remain valuable and relevant is to keep learning, growing and creating.
So I am deliberately trading the safe comfort zone of my corporate job to create space for something new. Disrupting predictability, security and certainty to plant my flag of passion, purpose and personal reinvention on a new planet: The Planet of Possibility.
I want to learn more, grow in different ways and create new value for a broader customer base and to amplify Amplify for new clients into new geographies. ( Hit me up if you want some of that awesome magic! The kids have finished school and I’m footloose and free to work anywhere.)
It may seem ironic that just today my team and I was awarded the ‘Dream Team’ Award for the contribution that Amplify has made to innovation at AMP, at a time when no less than two of our business rivals are copying the Amplify model to transform organisational learning, and a week after sharing the origins of Amplify and its impact on culture and eco-systems at KM Asia in Hong Kong.
But the truth is..a dream team is in place! Magic has been catalysed! The music will go on.
Innovation and transformation has taken root in a systemic way. Its significance and value is not only championed by the board, CEO and executive leaders but matched by real passion for customers and fundamental change in the way things are done at every level of the organisation. ( Even the hackfests I first introduced in 2007 are now happening the first Friday of every month!)
Of course, its never a single thing or person that brings about such deep change – it’s the powerful and cumulative effect of a good leadership team and thousands of catalytic triggers; many from ideas seeded along the way by the more than 300 Amplify speakers and thought leaders that shared their vision and wisdom with our community which has grown into the tens of thousands since 2005.
So, for all who have been part of my journey as Catalyst for Magic at AMP, thank you for believing- and even if you didn’t, for feeling the fear and doing it anyway! (A special tribute to my immediate team who has come with me to places they’d never thought they’d go!)
Thanks to our Amplify thought leaders who’ve covered millions of miles between them to share the very edge of knowledge and personal experiences that not only inspired AMP, but an entire business ec0-system. Your names are still referenced on a daily basis years after your visits!
Thanks to the CIOs ( Lee Barnett and Craig Ryman) for the extraordinary creative latitude and air cover you’ve provided for this ill-fitting maverick, and the investments you’ve made in Amplify to set a standard for creativity and organisational learning that’s the envy of the industry and documented in more than 10 international case studies and business books.
Thanks to the AMP Board and Leadership team that demonstrated so publicly that learning is part of work and the growth mindset essential to an innovation culture by sitting shoulder to shoulder with employees, customers, partners, suppliers and members of the public in every Amplify forum.
And thank you to the dream teams (over the years they changed) – fired by their passion to make a difference, have an impact, and working way beyond the call of duty to co-create something epic and life-changing; and becoming changed themselves through the process.
I can best summarise what it’s been like through the words of one of my heroes, Sally Hogshead.
‘The world is not changed by people who sort of care.
The world is changed by people who passionately, relentlessly care– sometimes, unreasonably so. People with the focus and excitement to bound through the Iditarod of obstacles that invariably blocks the path between “no” and “yes.”
In future, please reach me with messages here, or
on LinkedIn at https://au.linkedin.com/in/annaliekillian
or Twitter at @Maverickwoman