Mark Boon – General Manager of transformation and effectiveness recently presented at the Austmine conference

Evolution’s Mark Boon: “You can’t fall in love with a project – you’ve got to be clear about what you want to get out of it”. Image: Matt Ogg/Aspermont

This was the message from Mark Boon, general manager of transformation and effectiveness at leading gold miner Evolution Mining, who emphasised purpose and effectiveness should be at the core of any new initiative with solid communications to

"We think with these things it must create value - you can't just do something because it looks cool," Boon said.

"We're innovators, not inventors so we want to take ideas and bring them forward into the business case.”

Agility was often mentioned during the event and Boon reiterated its importance for successful transformation.

"Immediately when we talk about transformation our thoughts go to new technologies, but this is only part of it - although it's an important part, the other part is around the people and also how we set up the structures," he said.

"You've got to be able to move quickly, you've got to make quick calls, you've got to test the concepts and bring the value quickly or move on.

"You can't fall in love with a project - you've got to be clear about what you want to get out of it."

When Boon moved to his current role in 2016 from being general manager at the Mt Rawdon operation, the division was originally called technical services. To begin with it was mostly operational support and troubleshooting, taking action when things went wrong.

"Having been on the other side of the coin as an operator it's never good when the group team comes to site saying they're here to help you, so I didn't like to be the guy doing that when I had a new role," he said.

Boon was tasked with technical due diligence for the Ernest Henry project, and was also asked to develop a vision of where Evolution would be going.

"We rebadged ourselves, so that's why we're now transformation and effectiveness because we wanted to really focus on what we call ‘on' the business and not ‘in' the business," he said.

"We set up three arms - transformation, effectiveness and what we'll call consultancy, because we'll always be called upon to do some work within the business."

Boon was tasked with technical due diligence for the Ernest Henry project, and was also asked to develop a vision of where Evolution would be going.

"An example would be our recent announcement that Cowal will move into an underground exploration decline chasing the GRE46 prospect," he said.

"They had no underground people in their team so we provide guidance on what that should look like. Now they're building that team, we've handed that whole process over to them."

In essence, Boon tries to keep the message simple across Evolution Mining so staff can deliver on the company’s aspirations.

"It's early days. We're moving along but the good thing that's started is our pipeline of ideas through to development has really started to progress," he said.

"How do we move our business to a new level to really be able to make sure we're there when the next downcycle comes in the gold industry which it will, and to make sure that we continue forward and can work in a global economy?"

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