Who is Neville Christie – the chair of strategic innovation boards?


Neville Christie is one of Australia’s most experienced entrepreneurs and businessmen.   If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you already know him by name.

One of his major specialities is creating and chairing special-purpose Strategic Innovation Boards for:

  • Joint ventures of the Venture Bank, New Enterprise Services Pty Ltd
  • SME’s wanting a real growth spurt, and, say, a first-cut increase of $1 million new value
  • Larger corporations wanting an innovation or entrepreneurial arm.

Started early

Neville has over 60 years entrepreneurial and business experience, starting from when he was six with 17 micro-ventures, and then from age twelve with his first three ‘real’ business. Neville’s career continued to expand with him founding and growing 44 of his own small to medium enterprises, and chairing over 200 companies inside and outside of Australia.

Now he also runs a venture bank which collaboratively gets transformative technologies and other intellectual properties like smart machines, information products and society change programs to global markets.

What can Neville offer you?

For SMEs wanting major growth and a big increase in market value, Neville works a 10x10x10 added value model. And he specialises in bringing significant entrepreneurial know-how and networks to fast-track the growth of new ventures, existing SMEs, and larger corporations craving innovation.

If you are an SME…

If you own an existing SME, typically Neville starts working with you, by pre-defining and agreeing with you the nature of the value add you want, and will get. Then working with you, Neville: Uncovers and transforms your unrealised assets. Incubates your talent. Mines your “gold”. Generates new initiatives. Reworks your business model. Enhances your range of products and clients. Increases your margins and revenues. Turns your costs into revenues. Adds significantly to your company’s market value.

So, when you invest $10,000, you gain a short-term return of $100,000. Multiply that enhanced stake by 10 again – and for your $10,000 to $100,000 investment, you get, over time, a $1 million value package: made up of sales, EBIT, dynamic business model, new strategies, new products and services, new business value… or whatever you pre-agree.

This is Neville’s promise – IF you work as hard, and dare we say it, as smart, as he does.

Time it takes

Depending on your current revenue and profit base, you can realize this 10x10x10 return of one, then multiple, million dollar value adds, in as little as one or two years. Or as many years as you want to drag it out. There’s no limit to how many times you can use, multiple and scale this 10x0x10 return. What you have to do is work together, work well, and work as hard and smart as Neville Christie, and his entrepreneurial support team, does.

Otherwise you might find yourself being “fired” by Neville, rather than the other way round.

Neville can set up and chair with you, your new-style board:

What are new-style boards?

You know what an old-style corporate board is.   You may have one yourself. They’re the people that hire and fire the chief executive officer. They’re where the buck stops; you, as C.E.O. – even, if you’re the Founder and major shareholder – answer to them.

Corporate boards are responsible for the strategy, direction and innovation of your business – how to move forwards in the future, and succeed. They are also responsible for corporate governance; managing risk, making sure your company is following all laws, and paying taxes. These are the people who ensure that your business is solvent, that you can and do pay, your debts when they’re due. And these are the people who also become personally liable if your company STOPS being able to pay it’s debts, when they’re due.

Because they don’t want to be stuck paying your debts, many corporate boards now focus more on the corporate governance side of business, and less about where your business is heading into the future!

Enter new-style boards

This is where new-style boards come in. There are at least seven different kinds of new style boards, but Neville concentrates on two: Strategic Innovation Boards [SIBs], that create your bigger, brighter, different future, and Management Advisory Boards [MABs], that make your present better.

Asides from focusing on the strategy, direction and innovation of your company, and advising you on which way to go, there is one major difference between new-style boards and corporate boards – new-style boards are chosen by you, the Founder, Entrepreneur, or CEO. Typically, though, working with Neville.

This means you’re the boss, you’re in charge, and your new-style board is a resource for you to draw from when you need guidance and resources on making your company better both now, and in the future. You’re in control of hiring and firing when it comes to new-style-boards.

How can Neville assist?

So far, Neville has chaired over 200 boards; he’s chaired companies that are high-tech, low-tech and no tech, ones for profit and not for profit. At any one time, he typically works with 7-10 start up, stalled, and growth companies, in every known industry so far, except agri-business and mining.

It is this wealth of experience, and an extensive network of talented individuals, that Neville brings to his chairing of new-style boards which, along with ‘business with soul’, he champions.

Neville starts his engagement with you by mentoring you as CEO, on-to-one. Then, together you assess the need for, and benefits of, a new-style board. And you and he design, recruit for, build and chair, one of two high-performing, high value-add new-style boards.

First, Strategic Innovation Boards – creating your future

What are they?

SIB’s are forward-looking boards.   This means they plan for your and your business’s future, not what’s going on now, or what’s just passed.

Unlike some corporate boards that are more concerned with looking in the rear view mirror to make sure nothing has gone wrong, or is currently going wrong, SIBs scan the roads ahead, picking up opportunities and changes you can make to your business to make it different, and better, more dynamic, and more profitable for you, your team, and your stakeholders.

Is this for you?

Strategic Innovation Boards are great if you’re a solid company wanting to build a bigger, brighter, better future for you and you’re team. Great, if you’re at a point where you want to grow exponentially – through increasing sales, GP and EBIT, but you also want to do a lot more. You’re ready to make big changes, innovate and do the new and different to jump your business, your team, and you, personally, forward.

Maybe you have a corporate board that’s focusing mainly on governance.   Or maybe you don’t have a high-functioning corporate board at all. Whatever the case, your SIB sits alongside your formal board, reports to you, and is a major resource to you, as you pave the way ahead.

You’re yearning for a change. And there are many different ways you could go. Do you want to take your business in a new direction, potentially with a completely new business model? Break into new markets or client segments? Increase your capital base? Create new products/services/technologies, make a break-through innovation? Or even disrupt your ‘tired’ industry like Sir Richard Branson does? Perhaps you want to expand overseas, or even go global and take on the world! Or, maybe, you want to loosely plan an exit strategy via MIB or MOB, trade sale or IPO?

Whatever it is, Neville and his team of hands-on fellow directors can help. As, with you he re-evaluates your past and present stories and assesses the resources you have around you that can take you forward.

These resources can be your unmined gold mine, and include nuggets like: your technology, systems, learning culture, intellectual property, existing products and services, your company’s innovation capacity, the talent you have, the ideas you and your team create, your existing capital, your core resources, your network of colleagues, clients and associates, and your ability to entrepreneur collaboratively.

Where appropriate, Neville also explores what’s holding you back from making these changes; what hurdles, limits, constraints and challenges you face. What’s keeping you awake at night?   Or are you just stressed, tired, bored, or in a rut? What are the biggest threats to your company right now? Is the market changing under you and you’re not sure how to move forward? How can you be a market leader and price-setter rather than a market follower and price taker?

10 by $100,000

Together, with Neville and your SIB, you will develop the best way forward for you, be it through acquisitions, a new business model or strategy, investing in new technology, creating or acquiring new IP or products, licensing new technologies or even an IPO. With you Neville works on 30 possible ways you typically can add value to your business in dollops of $100,000 – and then the SIB focuses on executing 10 together.

Whichever route you choose, Neville and your trusted, hand-picked SIB will be there to advise you of your best choice, or choices, along the way. And then assist you execute them.

Second, Management Advisory Boards – making your present better

What are they?

According to the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Management Advisory Board (sometimes just known as an Advisory Board) “is a select group of ‘independent’ people who provide advice and supply to the owners, shareholder, directors of a business. They provide non-binding strategic advice to organisations and hence are informal in nature. This gives greater flexibility in how they are structured and managed, when compared to a board of directors.”

How does this differ from your already established corporate board? Well, MAB’s aren’t legally bound to your company except as professionals, they are a group of people that you select to help you advise on ways you can improve your business in the here and now. And how to execute.

Your MAB can make recommendation and decisions about corporate governance like a formal corporate board does, but generally they do not give you ‘directives’. Later, you can work alongside them as they morph into being your strategic, innovative, entrepreneurial and executional arm or SIB.

Is this for you?

Are you involved in a company that’s going well – but you know you could also be doing something more, or much more? Whether that ‘more’ is improving what you’re already doing – or bringing in incremental new changes – an MAB can help.

An MAB is a good idea if you’re interested in growing your organic sales, especially after enhancing your gross margins and EBIT, or repositioning your company to make it more effective, efficient, resilient and productive. You could also be getting ready to exit the market via an IPO, trade sale, MBI or MBO – which hand your business over to the next generation or to a takeover, merger or acquisition.

OR – you could be a family-based company wanting to access core talent, train family members and management, meet multiple core values or prepare for a big leap forward. Then, when you’re ready, your MAB can transform into your SIB.

Are you the right person and right company for Neville?

You will get the most from Neville’s service offerings if:

  • You head a growing company – You are a founder or professional CEO heading an unlisted private company, with anywhere between $2 to $100 million sales.You are possibly in a service or technology-based industry where your typical consultant earns at least $120,000 a year. You have at least twelve people in your team, and you’re not a small retail business or restaurant with limited catchment. Or a non-scalable service like massage.You’re ideal for Neville if as a Founder or CEO you’re creating a business with soul and, maybe you want to position your business for an IPO within the next 3-5 years. Or…
  • You’re an Upstart! You’ve been in business for maybe a year or two. You might be a three to five person business that is really starting to grow. Ideally you have a yearly turnover of between $500,000 and $2 million. Or…
  • You’re a StartUp – you’re the right people with the right ideas, and have the liquidity to put behind bringing a MAB or SIB on board. If not, Neville considers taking delayed results-based payments, or sweat equity, which he will negotiate with you on a case-by-case basis. Or…
  • You lead a larger corporate that wants a different, more entrepreneurial, innovation arm.

What will it cost?

Everything that Neville can offer you, through setting up and chairing your new-style board, will cost you an initial $10,000 + GST where you and he will plan for multiple packages of $1 million value add and a short-term $100,000 value add. Ongoing fees in multiples of $10,000 then follow, based on outcomes achieved – the minimum yearly investment being $10,000 and the maximum, $100,000.

Neville’s Board positions as at 27 September 2015

Executive Chairman, CEO Mentor Pty Ltd

Chairman, Strategic Innovation Board, Evolve Information Services Pty Ltd

Chairman, Advisory Board, Green Ant Marketing Pty Ltd

Co-Founder and Director, New Enterprise Services Pty Ltd, Venture Bank

Co-Founder and Director, Alchimie InnovatorsPty Ltd

Chairman, Strategic Innovation Board, Centorrino Group

Chairman, Strategic Innovation Board, Business Essentials Media Pty Ltd

Director, Keaz Limited [Hong Kong].

Intensive in bursts

These roles are time intensive only in bursts. So Neville has the time and capacity to take on three more Strategic Innovation Board chair roles.

You can contact Neville on Melbourne 0420 978 932 [International +61 420 978 932].

Uncommon chairman

Entrepreneur and publisher Guy Vincent outlines why Neville is an uncommon chairman.

Make contact

Why not chew the fat with Neville for a while and see if it’s worth both your while’s to collaborative in taking your business forward the next 1 to 10 steps?

No initial cost. No obligation. No pressure. And in total confidence.

Melbourne: 0420 978 932.   International: +61 420 978 932

E-mail: neville@nevillechristie.com

See also: www.businessmentor.melbourne   and www.nevillechristie.com

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