Australia’s leading deep-tech innovation program, the CSIRO ON Program is a national program designed to fast-track outstanding research and technology into real-world outcomes.

CSIRO launched the ON Program in July 2015 to address Australia’s transitioning economy to help to shape the foundations of Australia’s future. The program supported the creation of 61 new deep-tech leading companies.

The problem

CSIRO was supporting excellent research and technology teams with a strong program based on the lean startup methodology. One of the challenges they faced was that success depends on the team’s culture and leadership:

Selection of teams who do not work well together meant lack of progress, team dynamics and unresolved conflicts
Lack of soft skills held teams back
Female faced unique gender-related barriers.

The solution

CSIRO approached DifferenThinking to provide support for the program and help with:

Interviewing, assessing and selecting the participating teams
Facilitating workshops for building strong companies including building high performing teams, leadership structure and roles, designing and leading organisational culture, and successfully resolving conflicts
Coaching teams
Delivering the Women in Innovation (WiN) national book-club/skills program
Coaching and supporting selected women leaders

“I say with confidence that Zivit’s unique perspective and comprehensive experience has added significant value to the program through the assessment of team readiness, to developing the team composition for new ventures and ongoing coaching and support for founders.

What sets Zivit apart is her ability to go beyond the theoretical knowledge of teams, leadership and culture. Her direct experience locally and globally is a positive differentiator from the many others with her specialty.

This real-world practice allows her to make meaningful observations, provide examples, and successfully coach founders and teams. The benefit of this experience is felt most by the teams and founders themselves who have extracted enormous value through working with Zivit.

This is evidenced by the very positive feedback we receive about Zivit’s coaching effectiveness through formal evaluation processes.

Furthermore, the ON team rates Zivit’s strategic input to team readiness for the annual Accelerator very highly.”

Liza Noonan






  • Selection and Analysis
  • Lead