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The Flow Academy

Aviva International CIO To Join Dublin Business Agility Startup

Aviva’s International CIO, Fin Goulding is leaving the company to join the startup he helped found a year ago. Going from a Senior Executive managing large scale technology teams to a startup is the challenge Goulding has set himself after experiencing senior CTO and CIO roles at Paddy Power, Sabre,,, Visa, HSBC and RBS.

“My speciality over the past few years has been technical and business agility,” explained Goulding, who is regularly rated in top 100 CIO rankings. “The focus of our new business will be on getting large and or growing companies to become more nimble, in the way that startups are. The Flow Academy will specialise in bringing that expertise to companies across the globe.”

Practical change not consultancy:  “We help companies to change,” says Goulding. “We’re not consultants. We show clients how to get change done.”

The company has already helped train executives from CItibank, Virgin Atlantic, Fujifilm, BP and the NHS and is providing implementation services in the UK, USA as well as Ireland and Germany plus is cooperating with the Irish Computer Society to develop certification in advanced business agile skills. The company has a number of other key partnerships in the works too.

Real business agility: “Business agility and digital transformation are the terms on every Executive’s lips at the moment,” says Goulding. “How do you get large organisations with the heavy weight of legacy technology on their backs to act in more dynamic ways. Well, I’ve been helping my employers to solve that puzzle for about a decade now and I decided, you know what, it’s time to spread the word. I’m looking forward to going hands-on with a startup too! It’s an exciting time.”

Flow Academy offers practical hands-on support for companies that want to make the change to a true business agile way of working. Assignments are highly focused on creating practical change plans that make companies more adaptive.

Getting it right: “Most companies approach digital or agile transformation in the wrong way,” Goulding explains. “It becomes a big change project that wraps up resources. Our message is that most companies have in fact about the same 8 to 10 problems and by picking these off one-by-one you become adaptive and agile just because you are removing all the baggage that weighs organisations down. We know those problems and we’ve solved them before.”

Along with economist and strategy advisor Haydn Shaughnessy, Goulding is the author of two best-selling books on business agility: Flow: A Handbook for Change Makers, and 12 Steps to Flow are both available from

The books set out some of the main principles of what Goulding and Shaughnessy call Flow, a new way of working that emphasises deeper social interaction and the visualisation of work processes. This has led to the next chapter in the career of an Executive who has been at the forefront of technological and business change for a decade.

One comment

  1. This is a magical moment for the world of business excellence and the future of work! I couldn’t be more excited. Thank you for doing this Fin and Haydn. The world of work is becoming a better place as a direct result.


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