Startup Stories: Evolutioned, Joel Madden

We would love to introduce Joel Madden, co-founder of Evolutioned and an integral part of the innovation ecosystem.

Tell us about your startup/ company

Evolutioned’s goal is to help people solve complex problems. We do this by first optimising working relationships through impactful people skills and team practices. Whether you’re a tech team delivering software, an Executive team working through business challenges, or you’re working with complex stakeholders, our approach lifts performance and strengthens relationships.

How did it all begin?

Sam, Dean and I all worked together previously in a different life. Recently, an opportunity came up for us to work together again with a project Dean was involved with. We’re all quite different, whenever we collaborate, we tend to create pretty cool outcomes. Sam and I delivered a program to optimise the project’s performance through developing and coaching people, team and methodology skills. The feedback from the team was overwhelmingly positive, and several team members had profound insights and realisations. We knew we were onto something powerful and unique, and here we are today.

What were you doing before you started your company?

We’ve all had the Canberra experience of public service work, and most recently we’d all been consulting. I was lucky to have had a bit of a break: time to think and ponder is luxurious – I took 6 months off to do a little bit of study and be the dad that says ‘yes’ to everything. Dean was experimenting with different innovations and work structures, and Sam was working and investing. We spoke regularly about what we were up to and what we wanted to do, which made it easy and obvious when planets aligned for us to work together again.

What is your ultimate goal?

Our goal is to build our reputation to the point where we’re invited to work with organisations on their biggest challenges – whether it’s recovering a team from crisis, building delivery capability across a team of teams, or helping government collaborate across sectors and industries to tackle climate change. Our approach levels the playing field to empower everyone involved and elevates performance, so we’ve got out eye on helping with big challenges in our unique way.

What has been your biggest win so far?

The decision to engage with CBRIN and the innovation ecosystem has been extremely helpful – the encouragement, learning and network is fantastic. As far as wins go, our first Evolutioned programs have seen profound changes for customers and participants – both their personal and professional lives have changed for the better by applying the skills and practices we build into the program. The ROI for customers is excellent across multiple metrics.

What lessons have you learnt along the way?

Pretty much everyone we talk to has been overwhelmingly positive about what we are bringing to the market. They agree its both needed and powerful. As former public servants, we’re all a bit shy when it comes to ‘sales’. So we try to keep it real and authentic – we’re all about authentic connections, so that drives our relationship- based approach to growing the business.

What does innovation mean to you?

Doing something new for someone. In our space, if a manager or business owner has never thought they had an effective way to invest in team skills optimisation that showed a direct return on that investment, then its innovative for them.

What advice do you have for someone about to kick off their startup?

Dedicate and commit if you can – It’s hard work full-time, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to do in just spare time.
Also, don’t be afraid to reach deep into your network, people remember you if you were good to them.

Thank you Joel for sitting down and telling us about how Evolutioned started.