Business In:Brief with Jason Waller (InteliCare)
CEO and Managing Director of InteliCare – 2019-present
Jason Waller is the CEO of InteliCare, an Australia-based remote health monitoring and AI technology service. InteliCare is the leading solution to preventing health related incidents for independent people with disabilities and senior members of the public.
By installing discreet smart sensors in a person's home, InteliCare can monitor day-to-day patterns such as eating and sleeping, social activity/isolation, the temperature of a home, and more. The smart app can then notify a care team or family members if something goes awry. This helps to detect mental and physical illness in the early stages and identify or prevent accidents in the home. InteliCare offers families, care workers and loved ones peace of mind.
Find out more about Jason below.
What was your first job?
My first "paid" job was delivering pamphlets into letterboxes. Junk mail, really, and it paid for my first surfboard and racing bike, so I was happy with that! My first "real" job was as a pilot in the Air Force, which I did for 22 years.
What's your proudest achievement?
Commanding an Australian Combat Task Group in Iraq. Although I find it uncomfortable to use the term "proud" when talking about war, I was immensely proud of the team and what we accomplished. People can argue the rationale surrounding Iraq, but when the military gets deployed it's incredibly important the job is done well. I think we achieved that across all Australia's military contributions.
What's something that you have learned in business that took you by surprise?
The fundamental similarity of how you lead and manage people in the private sector compared to the military. It's 80% common, which surprises many, as they assume in the military you just order people around to get things done. People are people and you can't "order" someone to do something they are intrinsically resisting in either domain. My job is to unblock that resistance through understanding the core "needs" of people, that's the essence of leadership.
How do you plan on growing your business in the near future?
Securing core foundational revenue through B2B sales, principally targeting commonwealth funded disability and aged care markets, and then scaling B2C through ecommerce and retail. Scaling is the key. For every single element in the value chain I ask, "How do we do this at 1,000 times order of magnitude?"
What other business leader do you most admire and why?
Michael Chaney, because he started as a geologist but became a CFO, CEO and Chair of Australia's largest retail and banking houses. He broke out of his "trade" and so fundamentally deconstructed the business models where he operated. I have had a similar journey, so I really admire that path. He points to ROIC as the core focus for CEOs and I still carry that through all of my thinking.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Follow the money. Whenever you need to understand how a business model works, follow the money through the value chain. Work out how it gets from your customers to the shareholders. Understand deeply where the addition to and subtraction from every dollar hits.
What advice would you pass on to someone starting out in your area?
A wrong decision made in a timely manner is better than the correct decision made too late. A "wrong" decision is not necessarily a bad decision, and a "right" decision is not necessarily a good decision. Too many leaders wait too long for the full information before moving ahead. You need to act inside your adversaries' decision making cycle: observe, orient, decide and act. That's a military pilot's tactic.
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