About us

At Disciplined Innovation we are passionate about new knowledge and ideas; innovation that drives growth and renewal, and organisations that are great places to work. We work with private and public sector partners delivering innovation benchmarking projects around the world.

Our name reflects the reality that most innovation fails because of a lack of discipline and skill. Our metrics provide a fail-safe framework for the journeys to best innovation management practices.

Our Digital WAVE® Platform comprises a set of survey based tools that assess, measure and track innovation capabilities. First built for business, used in over 2400 organisations, and granted a US patent in 2008, the tools have been customised for research agencies, government departments, local government and hospitals.


Companies can control just two of the top ten global business risks – failure to attract and retain top talent and failure to innovate.* The upside is that companies flourish when these risks are measured and managed systematically.

Companies using Digital WAVE have the framework, measures and steps for charting their path to systematic, strategic innovation management.

One of the first to use our benchmarks was Australia’s largest bank, ranked 58 in Forbes global 2000 list, CBA. The assessment triggered a renewed commitment to innovation management making it today one of the most digitally innovative banks in the world.

* From the 2015 Global Risk Management Survey by AON, the world’s largest insurance broker.

Public Sector

Traditionally government department and agencies have been risk averse. Now they face pressures to do more with less, to master digital innovation and to administer policies and programs that drive economic growth and enhance family and community wellbeing.

Well ahead of others the Northern Ireland industry department InvestNI, and the Victorian Government Department of Treasure and Finance (DTF) were among the first to use the public sector version of Digital WAVE. In the state of Victoria the assessment recommendations led to the pioneering Yellow Brick Road innovation initiative.

In the UK Digital WAVE has been customised for assessments which are being used to frame innovation capability building in boroughs, counties and councils.

Research Agencies

Scientist and researchers can collaborate and produce amazing, exciting discoveries and inventions.

The challenge for agencies is to stay ahead in the research, development and commercialisation race. This means fostering innovative research and more. Agencies need partners and mechanisms, such as translational research agencies, that can turn great research into great innovations.

The value of Digital WAVE was demonstrated when it was used by GNS Science, the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited. The Board used our report to chart major changes, and the project was a finalist in the NZ Bearing Point Innovation Awards.

BEST Leading Innovation Success SERIES

Whatever you want, the Best Leading Innovation Success Series can simplify and speed up your journey.
Successful businesses work on strategy and innovation at the same time, so BLISS helps you measure and master the critical success factors across both.

Our Services


We deliver benchmarking projects for groups of 20 or more organisations. Projects are delivered in collaboration with partners, such as industry associations and central government agencies. Two reports are produced, a confidential one for each organisation and a project report for all group members.

Tell us about the position of your group on our innovation management maturity model and we will select the right assessment for your group. We have assessment questionnaires of different lengths, and for either managers or managers and other employees.

Innovation initiatives are ad hoc and unevenly resourced; results tend to be disappointing. Leaders are thinking about better approaches.

There is rapidly growing interest in promoting innovation through annual Innovation Award programs. Media companies, regional bodies and industry associations team up with sponsors to create competitions that are both exciting, especially for those who attend the Award dinners, and valuable for every entrant.

Entrants can be judged solely on Digital WAVE scores or on a combination of the scores and their most innovative products or services.


Innovation is increasingly seen on conference programs. When it is you can add a new dimension with either a full scale professionally managed Awards program run over the months before the event; or an “insights” opportunity where individual delegates complete assessments before/during the event. Both options generate eye-opening reports for delegates and open up conversation opportunities.


With customisation Digital WAVE can be used by banks to reduce risks and improve competitiveness when lending to SMEs. The Bank of Ireland was the first bank to take advantage of this application. We are in conversations with superannuation fund who recognise that companies that manage innovation effectively merit more weight in their portfolios. We have also been found by health insurers wanting better performance from the providers they fund.

Our Team

Ed Bernacki

Ed is our Canadian marketing Partner. Having lived and worked in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the US he has international experience in professional service marketing and as an innovation consultant, trainer and writer. He designs and runs simulation workshops that delight, excite and deliver memorable learning experiences for participants. In recent years he has focused on public sector innovation.

Darryl Bubner

Darryl Bubner, Founder and CEO has devoted much of his career to researching and refining methods for measuring how well organisations manage innovation, and with what results. He has delivered workshop throughout Europe on leading and managing innovation. He is a certified quality systems auditor and through his consulting career has also managed a wide range of strategy and social, customer and market research projects. He is completing a PhD on innovation metrics.

Jason Cotton

Jason helps clients to apply our preferred idea management platform (ideas bank) It builds innovation ROI as companies and networks move towards better and best innovation management. Jason has led innovation programs in global companies, lectured at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and facilitated over 500 leadership programs across Asia. In 2013, he won an Australian Business Award for his innovation leadership at CitiPower Powercor.

Michael Dockery

Michael is a software strategist and the Founder and CEO of Design Industries. Design Industries is recognised as one of Australia’s leading Atlassian specialists. Michael is our Chief Technology Adviser and his company selects technologies and architecture for our Digital WAVE and online learning platforms to make the use of our assessments and Accreditation Labs exceptional experiences.

Max Dumais

Max, a former Senior Ministerial Adviser, Councillor and Mayor, brings extensive experience in government relations to Disciplined Innovation. As founding CEO of Dr Edward de Bono’s Institute in Australia, he is highly experienced at working at the interface between thinking and technology. He is a Master Facilitator of ZING technology, an electronic meeting system designed to equip groups and teams to collaborate, manage complexity, generate ideas rapidly and build consensus on action.

Tom Laing

Tom has a background in advertising and market research and expertise in social media strategies. He lectured for a decade in management and small business at the Open Polytechnic, New Zealand’s leader in online and distance learning. He advises on the design and development of our online Accreditation Lab and collaborative learning programs. He is the only team member who knows how to muster cattle in outback Australia.

Tess Noble

Tess is a highly sought-after leadership, cultural change and HR expert. With advisory, facilitation and coaching roles she supports companies and agencies using Digital WAVE to solve problems and tackle thorny issues while building innovation skills and capabilities. She trained as a psychologist, studied NLP and is a certified MBTI practitioner. She has had senior positions in companies in the banking and aviation sectors, including Manager, Learning Delivery at CBA for six years.

Dr Abby Robinson

Abbey focuses on strengthening the performance of collaborative and international R&D. After receiving her Doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford University she lectured and worked in medicinal innovation internationally. After returning to Australia she led business improvement and innovation initiatives in the public health sector. Her recent achievements include shaping an organisation wide innovation strategy and accompanying action plans; and establishing a series of highly successful public sector innovation conferences. Abby is very passionate about positive leadership, innovation and educating others.

Dr Evan Shellshear

Evan focuses on business development at Disciplined Innovation. He has qualifications in mathematics and a PhD from the Bielefeld University, Germany, in Game Theory. He worked for several years at the Fraunhofer Chalmers Industrial Mathematics Research Centre with interests across industry transforming technologies and methodologies, particularly artificial intelligence, simulation and digital marketing. He has commercialised new technologies and supported nine start-ups. He is author of the 2016 Amazon bestselling book Innovation Tools and the children’s learning game Bug Rope.

Mike Tierney

For many years Mike has developed the innovation skills of leaders and high performing project teams in medium and large companies. He has guided broader company-wide transformation processes across industry sectors including automotive, construction, energy (oil and gas) manufacturing and pharmaceutical. He is a Partner at Pragmatique and is involved in developing leading-edge gamified training solutions.

Barry Watson

Barry focuses on marketing Digital WAVE in the UK and Europe. He has extensive experience promoting and delivering Digital WAVE in the UK and in European countries. He is a six sigma black belt and leads the Scottish consulting practice, Pragmatique; which has an enviable reputation for delivering performance improvement across operations, customer service and innovation for its global client base.



“Chambers Ireland is excited to be supporting the Bank of Ireland WAVE* project. It ties in with our strategic goal of becoming the leading provider of innovation training in Ireland.”

John Dunne, CEO, Chambers Ireland

* Before 2015 Digital WAVE was called WAVE®

“For our major clients WAVE reports have focused conversations about faster and more effective ways to strengthen innovation and its contribution to their performance.”

Dr Christine Pitt, R & D Manager, Meat and Livestock Australia

Our values

Results matter

Our own benchmark is exceeding your expectations, leaving you satisfied with our service and confident about our recommendations.


Time spent researching, customising, testing and perfecting our metrics; responding to customers in diverse marketspaces, underpin the consistently high quality of our services.


Everyone in our team works with passion. We are a customer-centric company populated by talented professionals who love to delight our partners and customers.


We are committed to evidence based practices, robust and accurate metrics and high standards of professionalism. Our customer service is a stepping-stone to lasting long term relationships.

Family and fun

We encourage a balance between work, family and leisure. Along with the rewards of disciplined innovation, fun and humour sparks our imagination and help us to recharge.


We uphold and advocate sustainable environmental, social and economic values.

Our Partners and Clients

Bank of Ireland

Centre for Competitiveness (NI)

Chambers Ireland

Innovation Unit (UK)


Pragmatique Ltd (Scotland)

Upper Quartile (Scotland)

CzechInvest (Czech Republic)

EKT GROUP (Lithuania)

Innoment (Denmark)

SSB Consult (Germany)
Walker Associates (Korea)
Prime Minister’s Office (Singapore)
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada)
Australian Quality Council
Council of textile and Fashion
Dept. Industry, Science and Resources

GNS Science (NZ)

Meat and Livestock Australia

National Food Industry Strategy

Red Energy

Rural Finance

Victorian Dept. Education

Victorian Dept. Treasury and Finance

Western Water

Yarra Valley Water

Contact Us

How to find us

Address: 802/325 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia 3000
Phone: +61 419 446000
Email: enquiries@disciplinedinnovation.com