Looking forward

“Going to the US – into that intense market – had me thinking, ‘Wow, I'm a dinosaur. Where have I been for the past 20 years, ah yeah Australia…'”

Wade Keenan, CEO & Founder, doceo

doceo realised it was time to stop and evaluate where they were on their journey. That’s where elevate61 came in.

According to doceo, business is a good 20 to 30 years behind sport in how it manages high performance outcomes.

The company’s mission is to bridge that gap – to improve businesses’ organisational performance by empowering and connecting people and teams at the right time. Essentially it’s all about better decision making for team leaders, disrupting the traditional performance appraisal system.

doceo has launched a cloud-based platform for this purpose, bringing together smart technology with the scientific methodologies of sports ability to create sustainable winning cultures. Nothing is static in this space. Their software continuously evolves in line with their thinking.

However, these are early days for the Melbourne-based group. While the original idea for doceo may have arisen well over a decade ago, it only became a reality in 2014. For now, the company is supported by a team of largely unpaid people as it privately works with its first 10-20 clients, a decision that comes at high expense but ensures that from a business point of view, getting closer to the “best” version it can before scaling a public launch.

Nevertheless, doceo’s team is highly experienced. Its people hail from leading organisations around the world. Interestingly, the age of its team range from 22 to 60 years old, what doceo views as the perfect balance between wisdom and impetuosity. All are passionate about their product.

Lessons from the States

Doceo initially dismissed the idea of joining KPMG and Advance’s elevate61 program. They were too focused on rolling out their system to be caught up in the tech meet ups and networking. But it soon became apparent this was an opportunity not to be missed.

Their belief in the program paid off. Going to the United States as part of elevate61 made them question their entire approach to the business. Taking the advisory Chairman and Founder they established a clear set of goals for the trip.

Since the tour, they have torn everything about the business apart and started again.

One important insight gained from the tour was the value of being open. It became evident that everyone in the US shared their ideas and thus learnt from each other; that this was in fact critical to the success of a business. doceo realised if they didn’t articulate their vision, there was no way they could get where they were going fast enough.

From a technology perspective, participating in elevate61 also made it clear that Australia didn’t really have the necessary talent doceo required if it was to be internationally competitive. As a result, they replaced more than half of their software development team and technology upon their return, changing basically everything about it. The company took a similar approach on the corporate side and market approach, tearing the whole thing down and starting again from scratch by copying from the best.

Ultimately elevate61 convinced doceo that the US should be their starting point, if they wanted to be an international player. Its sheer speed and competitive approach set it miles apart. Doing this properly meant adapting themselves to the US mentality. As far as they were concerned, it was that or pack up their business.

doceo considers that transition, which they are currently making, has been the best outcome of all. It might even allow them to attain their lofty goal: to help every single person on the planet make one better decision by 2025.