Building the case for Disruptors

Pete Hanlon, group chief technology officer for leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny, believes disruptive strategies are essential for all firms.

“Disruption is a constant as we step into the future, and given the rate of technological advancements the opportunities will only increase exponentially,” he said.

“Disruption is not just about digitising existing processes. It is about equipping business with the survival skills of the future to do business in a constantly changing environment.”

Hanlon is one of the experts at’s free, one-day Disruptors conference at the Nexus, Leeds. on Thursday 30 November. He’ll be joining a panel session on AI and the use of technology as a growth tool.

Hanlon has successfully applied disruptive transformations at Moneypenny by leveraging AI and deep-learning technology to support its outsourcing of calls, chat and digital communications for thousands of UK and UK companies.

He has previously reinvented the digital culture and technoloigy at MoneySuperMarket, and oversaw the transformation of Autotrader from a print publication to a website offering a platform for more than 5,000 dealerships.

“It’s all about the people,” he said. “You need to be clear on the outcomes, how you will measure success but most importantly you need to double down on communication and training. You cannot overcommunicate.

“There will be many people who feel uncomfortable and challenged by large scale change but to succeed they must be engaged. You need to be clear about how they fit into the future and constantly communicate why you’re changing things and support them through the journey.

“You need to create a culture of innovation. This means encouraging collaboration, multi-dimensional teams, idea generation and experimentation. To succeed and thrive, innovation needs a safe environment for your people to think independently, solve problems and be creative within clear boundaries, giving them ownership, be listened to, and valued and empowering them to make decisions and act.

“It is also about creating an environment where people are not afraid of failure, within reason of course, and most importantly learn from it in looking to the future.”

When presenting disruptive strategies to investors and senior stakeholders, he said, you  should first define the problem the strategy is intended to address, using case studies backed with data and trends. You should address the projected return on investment and explain how you intend to mitigate risk. You should be honest about the impact of the business during the transformation and paint a clear vision of the company after the disruption.

The free, one-day Disruptors conference, sponsored by ClarionBHP and SPG, will take place at the Nexus, Leeds, from 9am to 3.45pm on Thursday 30 November.

You can register for your free place, and get details of the agenda and speakers, at the dedicated conference website.