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Lendlease Co-CIOs Harvey Worton And David Lipscomb Crack The 2021 CIO50 List

Autonomous Buildings
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  • Lendlease Podium
Now in its sixth year, the CIO50 list celebrates the achievements of Australia's top 50 senior technology and digital executives - and our Global Co-CIOs, Harvey Worton and David Lipscomb, have cracked the list!


CIO function at the heart of innovation and business growth

When Lendlease co-CIOs, Harvey Worton and David Lipscomb, think about digitising the property and construction world it’s not a daunting topic of conversation - far from it.

In fact, the Lendlease Group co-CIOs are cranking up the heat on the conversation, working hard to change long-standing hindrances in a typically manual business, and spearheading digital transformation and innovation across the Australian multinational construction, property and infrastructure company.

That’s why this dynamic technology duo is already changing the status quo - and reaching a new career high today after being listed in the CIO50 list: CIO50 2021 Harvey Worton and David Lipscomb, Lendlease

Now in its sixth year, the CIO50 list celebrates the achievements of Australia's top 50 senior technology and digital executives.

Lendlease Co-CIOs Harvey Worton and David Lipscomb Crack the 2021 CIO50 List

Indeed, innovation is in their blood and at the heart of Worton and Lipscomb’s efforts over the past two years. In sharing this achievement, both Worton and Lipscomb admit that the property industry is one of the last industries to harness digital transformation.

“Data continues to sit in silos, disconnected,” the pair acknowledge. “With context to the data or interconnectivity, this data whilst high in volume, can’t be harnessed to sustainability, health, safety and more.”

For that reason, Lendlease got down to business, launching a property lifecycle platform - Lendlease Podium - back in June 2020. “Our ambition: To lead the change towards a digitised and connected industry.”

Already the team is making inroads, say Worton and Lipscomb, who reveal the company is harnessing Lendlease Podium across a number of key projects in Australia, Singapore, America and Milan.

Key outcomes include: reduced risk in projects through early identification of design issues - all before the shovel hits the ground; reduction in cost by up to 20% achieved with more reliable data sets; and faster to market by over 60%, achieved through the automation of design and engineering plans.

But that’s just some of the work fostering innovation and change right across the organisation. Other key digitisation efforts saw Worton and Lipscomb making deep changes and moving away from an outsourced model of customer support.

“We introduced Google Cloud Contact Centre AI to create a one-stop-shop for all our IT, people and culture as well as our finance help desks. With the eminence in customer contact centres, with Google Cloud we were up and running globally within 7 weeks,” the pair explain.

Projects scoring the CIO50 nod of approval

Other award-winning plays - and moves worthy of a CIO50 ranking - include developing a solution that automates project governance and a decisioning framework.

“Developed initially to service our construction business, we have rolled out Oli across our global projects, offering each project greater insight into risk and portfolio management. So successful, we’re now rolling this out across our entire development business.”

The tech duo - along with their team - also developed a customised solution that delivers real-time integration of customer, product and operational data. Worton and Lipscomb explained how the solution caters to the build-to-rent market and creates an entire new market and engagement program for the Lendlease business.

These and other solutions are meeting customers where they are. With COVID-19, in particular, changing the way people want to experience the property search process, Worton and Lipscomb say it was imperative to create a new way to deliver complete virtual buying journeys.

“We created a virtual platform enabling potential tenants to view, walk through and inspect apartments safely and with the detail needed to make a decision.”

Certainly, adapting to a COVID-19 world was a huge test for the tech duo. “Without a doubt, the turning point for us came early in our appointment - the moment in time when COVID impacted the globe and our office-based employees were sent home to work.

“Within 24 hours, we were able to pivot, enabling a largely relationship-based organisation to move to virtual meetings and collaboration. We now run over 100,000 virtual meetings a month and have maintained a healthy engagement and interest in digital tools available to solve problems.”

Teamwork not a cliché

And while Worton and Lipscomb are thrilled to be welcomed to the CIO5 list, they both recognise the people behind the scenes.

In fact, it took a few lessons learned to come full circle and recognise it’s a group effort, and all possible thanks to the power of connecting with people, according to Lipscomb.

“Throughout my career, I had held a view that I needed to have all the answers, and not make a mistake. Yet over the years, the key lesson I have learnt is that leadership is about creating teams who can together solve the problems. I can be wrong. I can have the confidence to say I don’t know the answer. In doing so, I empower the people in my team to bring new and different ideas to the table. Our team is more successful in doing so.”

Worton agrees, but also explains you have to have faith in your own leadership style.

“In the duration of my career to date, I had experienced a moment in time where I didn’t connect with a senior stakeholder. They were successful and well regarded, and I spent my time trying to emulate what I thought they wanted me to be. In doing so, I lost focus on who I was as a person and what I brought to the table,” Worton says.

“I now coach my team to take the time to learn from others but it’s ultimately about following your own path, succeeding and failing along the way, and learning from these experiences.”
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