Colin Higgins

Colin Higgins

Dr Colin Higgins is an Associate Professor in Management at Deakin University and also leads Deakin's Global Courses. He teaches strategy and researches how companies engage with sustainability

Location Deakin University, Geelong, Australia


  • Thanks for your introductions! One of the best parts of this course is the diversity in backgrounds, experiences, locations and areas of expertise. Don't forget to reach out to each other too - use the comments to make connections and to build on each others' ideas

  • Great to have you joining us as Deakin and Coventry @UzmaAfzaal !

  • Great to see so much enthusiasm! We're excited to be bringing you this course too - and looking forward to learning from you (as much as hopefully you'll learn from us!)

  • I love the analogy @SitalGhedia !

  • Excellent point @ElvinGoh - the idea that a strategy provides a clear pathway for employees is very important. Success will be a collective effort - and much more difficult if not everyone knows where you're going!

  • A couple of great pointers below regarding the importance of entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs! A very important point - and a point to come back to a bit later. Are we more guided by the 'head' or the 'heart' and how do we get the mix right?

  • Great @DarrylSturmey - I like how you've emphasised the 'forward looking' and 'prospective' role of strategy

  • A fascinating industry - and one I suspect is going to take a long time to recover from the pandemic situation. Yet, this is an industry that has reinvented itself before (think the threat ocean liners faced from jet aircraft travel - and how it became part of a new luxury travel experience)

  • Great example - and a good example of capability building @RochellePalmer

  • Wow! Great to see such diversity in the industries and the challenges they're facing. Some are new and unexpected (eg the COVID-19 situation) and some are more systemic - representing considerable disruption to the industry.

    Don't forget to also consider the second part of the question: capabilities. What capabilities does the organisation have (or need to...

  • Great - I hope you enjoy this week's materials @CelestinePenn

  • Thanks @MaureenDanielDakim and @AparnaSebastian - we'll be touching on this

  • Thanks @RichardYoung - pleased to see you like the format!

  • Colin Higgins made a comment

    Great to see many of you now working through week two! Let's get started and see what we can do with the Playing to Win model

  • Thanks for sharing your very rich insights!

  • What was a key take away for you @FunmilayoBabalola ?

  • It's great to see so many different orientations toward change. What does this tell you about (a) being part of a leadership team and (b) leading change in organisations?

  • Colin Higgins made a comment

    One of the big challenges in all of this is being able to distinguish between a fad and a genuine disruptor. As we'll see later - strategic drift can be a real problem when leaders chase every new thing. Yet, missing the important ones can be fatal

  • Do you think they might be starting to lose their edge @KarenBray ?

  • It is hard to separate out fads from genuine disruptors though, isn't it @AdamThompson ? How can you tell the difference if you're in a leadership postion?

  • It will be interesting to see how these organisations cope with inevitable supply chain pressures post COVID @OdayMadanat

  • I really like how you've identified their ability to listen @TeganBanks - very important

  • Do you think there are risks for Google, @LuisMoneris ?

  • Great - and as we work through the two weeks @PeterVerrion - there is lots of scope to apply some of the 'tools' to the different sectors

  • What are you most looking forward to @MobassheraJabbar ?

  • Indeed - there is never a better time to think about innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship. It's challenging times @TimothyJones - and those with the skills, courage and ability to think strategically will be critical going forward

  • Great to see so many enthusiastic learners from so many different sectors and contexts! It makes for a very rich learning experience as we all learn from each other.

    Keep an eye out for what we can learn from a sector different to our own - especially as all organisations face challenges in the current pandemic

  • Good on you for joinin gus @TarrenSummers

  • Great! Looking forward to your contributions @ShanthiA

  • Yes - and while we cannot always know how things will go @RAOULTIMMERMANS - it helps to have a broad idea about the direction of travel

  • Exactly - great insights @JurieSwart

  • Yes - and as we're seeing now with the COVID-19 situation @BenAllsop - ideas also require a clear roadmap for the way forward

  • Welcome to a new group of learners joining us this week. Great to have you with us. I'm looking forward to your insights over the next two weeks!

  • Thanks for your thoughts @JonathanGeorgiades

  • Thanks @MaureenDanielDakim and @DerekSim - looking forward to seeing this roll over in to week two

  • Wow! These are all hugely inspiring!

  • Great to see that it's stretched you @RichardYoung !

  • What's one key insight you'd like to share @TosinI ?

  • Hi @YousraElmaghrabi - it should be working. Try using a different browser or refresh your page. Let me know if that doesn't work, and we'll look in to it.

  • That's a good point @IainMuir - their purpose (at least in this course) is more of a 'prompt' for reflection (rather than necessarily being something definitive).

  • Part of the step to addressing weaknesses/challenges is to identify them - so well done. Can you think of one thing you can do to address this going forward @RichardYoung ?

  • Wow! These are fantastic observations - I enjoyed reading about all of your reflections. When I completed this exercise I was able to step back and think about two key triggers and two approaches I can take to these triggers going forward

  • @MaureenDanielDakim great! What are you going to do differently in the future?

  • Good to see you addressing the role/industry/values fit - well done!

  • Great insight @DerekSim

  • I found this to be a useful exercise too! What are your one or two key takeaways from this?

  • Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments, and for sharing your experiences! Hopefully this has prompted you to consider your reactions to things that occur around you. Well done - I really enjoyed reading your comments

  • Colin Higgins made a comment

    Some excellent observations here. One question for you to consider: what happens when the management is the problem?

  • Great that you found it interesting @MichelleButler !

  • Ha, yes, Blockbuster didn't buy Netflix @SarahColeman - I wonder if Netflix would have been as successful if they had!

  • Great observation @MelanieSchneider - and underscores the importance of the whole organisation working together. We'll pick this up again in week two when we discuss 'playing to win'

  • Great examples @LucaCella

  • What are the risks for Apple, @AniqaAli ? Do you think they've lost some of their spark since Steve Jobs died?

  • Thanks for introducing yourselves, and sharing your interests! The best part of the course is the diversity of experience amongst us. I'm looking forward to your contributions over the new few weeks

  • Great to see you all so enthusiastic at the beginning here. As Maria says "let's go"!

  • I like it too @ErinClements - the trick is getting the balance right :-)

  • Great - I like how you've brought in the guidance it provides for your team @MichelleButler

  • Thanks for the feedback @BridgetUpton

  • Thanks for the feedback @SimonDeakin - check out the joint course we have starting with Coventry University in late May: and during these challenging times we have a two-for-the-price of one offer for the first two of the four courses

  • Thank you!

  • Great. Feel free to check out our new Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship: a joint initiative between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (UK). We have a special for the May intake the first two (of the four) units/courses for the price of one

  • Great you've found a valuable tool to take away, @LouiseD

  • Thanks for your thoughtful contributions @LachlanKerr

  • Thanks for the feedback @TamerFahmi

  • Colin Higgins replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Great - thanks for the feedback @AlanHay. If you've found this course useful, check out the Graduate Certificate in entrepreneurship we have starting with Coventry in late May: We also have a two-for-one offer (study the first two of the four units/courses for the price of one). We go...

  • Thanks for your consistent, thoughtful contributions @AlanCraig !

  • I like that approach! Well done @KatieC

  • Excellent take-aways @GiselleMakarachvili

  • Thanks for the feedback @AlenaC - and good luck for your career!

  • Great!

  • Some great examples here - and the point is that the Playing to Win model opens up new ways to think about opportunities and how to realise them regardless of the sector

  • What about if the leadership team are part of the problem, and don't see a need for change as in Kodak?

  • I agree with you about the leadership team @PaulJFisher - one issue to think about, however, is how to be certain of the trends going on around you. How can you be sure something is a real disruptor vs a passing fad?

  • Great example @HeikeSchuster-James

  • Great @DilsonMartins - see if you can also identify the characteristics occurring in other organisations too!

  • Very good example!

  • Great insights @PaulJFisher - good to see you've highlighted the types of capabilities necessary for addressing the external challenges

  • Thanks for sharing @DilsonMartins - one thing to take from that is that things always change. So, while we might plan and try to move ahead with the best knowledge we have, additional changes can be (and will be) just around the corner

  • Colin Higgins replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Good observation @AlanHay - I think you're spot on. Organisations are most at risk of drift in a crisis when they desperately try to find a quick fix to stay afloat. Those with a solid business model, and those that have a strong balance sheet may be in a better position to think innovatively and strategically during these times

  • Great examples @KatieC !

  • Yes, and of course, desperation often leads to strategic drift as managers seek quick fixes to challenging times @OliverSmith

  • Very good example @TomDalrymple !

  • Good. And I like how you've identified the difference in its strategy @RayoniNelson - it also points out that some things are basic 'hygiene' factors regardless of the strategy perhaps?

  • Good examples - and with hindsight it's easy to see where Amazon went wrong here, but at the time it would have seemed like a good idea. One way to build operational capacity quickly is to outsource or to buy it. An interesting example @MarcPhillips

  • Excellent example!

  • Good observations @AlanCraig - how much of Apple's success is down to serendipity do you think?

  • In what ways @SiamantaVan-Labeke ?

  • Can you elaborate a bit more on McDonalds @A-meerAldafaei ? What is it about their stores that suggests its operations are aligned?

  • A great example @PaulJFisher - and it goes to show that simply copying something that is successful isn't necessarily going to lead to success

  • Wow! There's a long list here @MarcPhillips - and lots of scope to review the capacity internally for improving performance

  • Interesting thoughts @BridgetUpton - and of course that mindset is, in itself, one of the critical capabilities

  • And the possibilities are endless from the organisation's strategic perspective. What sort of internal capabilities are necessary to assist the organisation to make the right changes @JackThomas ?

  • Thanks @AlanCraig - a couple of very important threads here. Developing the right capabilities rests on having the resourcing to do so - and the right political environment. I wonder if this also rests on having the type of public sector leaders who are effective at lobbying for and instigating the resourcing conversations with Govt. That is also a critical...

  • Great point @KatieC - and you highlight the very important role of critical capabilities around IT. And....I hope all is well for you in your role ;-)

  • Very important @OliverSmith - what capabilities would underpin this from an organisational perspective?

  • Great observations @SiamantaVan-Labeke - the importance of structures and the 'agile' culture is very important for being able to take advantage of external opportunities

  • Great - we'll be covering off some of that @MohdSyawalJamaludin - but also check out our new Grad Cert in Entrepreneurship which goes in to that in a lot more detail:

  • Looking forward to working with you this week too @LablondeJulietteKalalizi

  • Thanks for the feedback @DaceKlusa - great to have you with us!