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Founder RedBalloon, co-founder of The Big Red Group & Shark Tank investor

Socially conscious leaders, who live purposefully, are the role models we need.

As one of Australia’s most prominent entrepreneurs, Naomi Simson is known as the founder of online experience retailer RedBalloon and the co-founder of the Big Red Group, which houses a number of brands including Adrenaline, Albert AI (Marketics) and with the purpose of shifting the way people experience life. The group now serves an experience every minute, and turns over more than $100m. This is quite the entrepreneurial journey as Hitwise has identified that BRG is now the third largest experience retailer of its type in the world. Naomi together with her business partner and her colleagues has clear aspirations to grow to serving and experience every second somewhere on earth by 2025.

Current work
Naomi is a passionate supporter of Australian businesses, a prolific blogger and business commentator, best-selling author and much sought-after keynote speaker. She has appeared in four seasons of the Australian Shark Tank as the #redshark.

Previous experience
Author: A true business influencer and leader with more than 2.8 million LinkedIn followers, Naomi is Australia’s most followed person on the business networking platform. She has authored two best-selling books Live What You Love, and Ready to Soar, and is an engaging and insightful speaker. Naomi is relatable across a broad variety of audiences and topics, often drawing on her own personal experiences to provide thoughtful and valuable views into topics, including Influence, purpose, leadership, entrepreneurship, personal development, customer obsession and digital marketing transformation.

Brands: Before founding RedBalloon, Naomi worked for big businesses including IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines - all of which influenced her passionate views on workplaces.

Awards: Naomi has received a number of high profile awards including the National Telstra Business Women Awards for Innovation (2008), Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category winner (2011) and the Lifetime Achievement Silver Stevie Award (2013). In early February 2017, Naomi commenced her role as a member of the University of Melbourne's Faculty's Business and Economics Board.

Talking Points

Leading in challenging times

Entrepreneurship has a certain romance to it - but currently, it is far more about how you align people purposefully to a sustainable socially aware 'cause'. The world is changing, what is expected of leaders is far greater than it has ever been. In this session, Naomi shares what her enterprise did to evolve and stay focussed using community contribution as the guide. She shares her leadership beliefs which will be relevant to anyone wishing to influence others.
By aligning ‘the right team’ to a vision, a deep sense of engagement and purpose she accelerated her idea into something big - but she has not done this without many bumps in the road, and great people around her. During this keynote discussion, Naomi will share her experiences and insights on growth and capability, which are anchored around leadership, culture and the customer. She will finish the session by encouraging each participant to think about the ‘one thing’… that, if you worked on it, would make your experience of business easier each day.

- There are three elements to purposeful leadership - growth, customers, and people. Balancing commercial needs with social responsibility and finding harmony in profit for purpose.
- Learn about the drivers of growth - what they look like and how you can implement them in your business. You will understand what you can do to drive purpose, alignment, and leadership throughout your business.
- Understand the concept of ‘community’ it is only a few years since an image of a turtle with a straw up its nose changed the world. That external forces and social media trends can impact a business overnight. Everyone now has a say in any business.
- It is the role your team plays that creates an innovative customer culture - speaking from experience, Naomi will show you how to replicate these ideas into your own business to maximise your market position whilst building a sustainable future. Naomi will deliver the leadership framework, identifying the six pillars that provide the roadmap for sustainable socially aware leadership.’

Customer Obsession

In this colourful and inspiring keynote, Naomi explores the challenges faced by many businesses that are ever fearful of disruption. With retail closures being reported daily, Naomi spells out her approach to ‘protection from disruption,’ and speaks to the value chain each business must build.

Outlining her 12 point ‘to do list’ to stay at the leading edge, Naomi blends the tools available, including: big data, AI, omnichannel and personalised customer experience to create intimacy, relationships and ultimately growth. She asks the question “What job is your product being hired to do?” and “What can customers count on you for?”
This thought provoking presentation draws on cases studies from around the world and will leave audiences in no doubt that it is not all ‘gloom and doom’ in business - growth will come from building unbreakable customer relationships.

- Knowing what you stand for - getting customers to talk about you and how to tackle the tricky world of social media.
- How to set priorities to invest in scalable customer relationships.
- The customer obsession and using a framework as a scorecard to align everyone to the customer experience cause.

The Future of Work is now

In this challenging keynote, Naomi explores how technology, AI and optionality are changing the face of workforces. How teams from remote areas, with many backgrounds can come together and create productive focused teams. This references research from around the world. If you were to search on the term ‘Future of Work’ in Google you will be bombarded with more than 6,330,000,000 data points.
Businesses (and government) across Australia, in every sector, are grappling with the pace of change both within organisations and across the broader community.

The workplace is changing, the definition of work is changing, how customers, employees and all stakeholders want to engage with organization is shifting rapidly too.

The challenge for leadership is to navigate all this data to find the most relevant, authoritative and insightful information to bring not only the right strategic input to decision making but to be challenge norms, myths and beliefs which might be limiting not just the enterprise but Australia as a whole.

According to McKinsey, up to 5.1 million jobs will be affected by automation in Australia alone

- Knowing what you stand for The increasing nature of fluidity, mobility and optionality of ‘workers’ (what is known as the gig economy).
- Creating an employee framework Challenges facing remote, decentralized and project-based teams in building connection and trust when people may never meet. Yet the need for belonging and purposeful work will remain paramount
- Why People Work The motivation to participate, financial outcomes alone may not be enough - the impact of social and sustainability agendas
- Continued learning and improvement How do people learn effectively and adapt and transform into new technologies and business needs.
- Learn to identify the ‘One Thing’ With a sea of data and insights, what is the next step. Where to from here.

Live What You Love - Personal Development

This presentation will touch, move and inspire. It is relevant to most groups and is all about making powerful choices to live a life that you love. “If you love what you do every day, you never have to work another day in your life.” This is about putting meaning in your work, discovering your passion, learning about positivity and sticking with it, and being persistent. This keynote is all about fulfilling your true purpose. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, but knowing what drives you will give you the platform for a rich and wonderful experience of life. Naomi will share real and vivid stories from her personal and business life to demonstrate the power of her personal motto, ‘If it is meant to be, it is up to me.’ The one word we consistently hear after this session is ‘inspirational’. You will be inspired to take action.

- Discover your passion -learn how to identify when you are in a flow and doing your best work.
- Take responsibility for what you want - not what others want for you. ‘If it’s meant to be it’s up to me,’ and choosing what is the one thing you need to work on.
- Play a bigger game - this does not mean tough times will disappear. As a result of this session you are likely to take on bigger challenges, and in turn, experience the joy of deep accomplishment and the resilience that you know you can count on.

Experience Economy

Naomi has been a trailblazer in the Experience Economy since the term was first invented. As the co-founder of the third largest experience market place in the world, she is well versed in what this truly means for business.
The definition of experience: “An event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone.”

'Experiences' is a term used for everything from customer experience, to employee experience - it is used to denote the human element or emotional connection created.

Every business is impacted by the phenomenon of #AccessOverOwnership and the Experience Economy. Businesses need to shift from being in the transaction game (the right product in the right place at the right price) to being in the experience game. Naomi urges audiences to consider whether they offer an experience that will engage, entertain, build trust and create an emotional connection with their business.

Referring to the Experience Economy White Paper, Naomi maintains that the experience economy is also the ‘sharing’ economy. In this talk, she will address what this means for business. We live in a world of ‘social proof’ where experiences are widely recorded and shared.

· What is the Experience Economy - Consider the impact of access over ownership - and building emotional connection through experiences.
· White Paper - Every participant will gain access to download the full 32 page research study.
· The Millennial Experience - Understanding that millennials are the largest customer and employee cohort in history and that, for them, it’s all about experience.
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