Experts put innovation in the dock

Thursday, 23 August 2012  Features

To find the right answers, we need to ask the right questions. A blue-chip example is the Australian Graduate School of Management's upcoming 35th anniversary conference, 'Innovation for Impact in Business'.

Armed with the latest research, experts from the AGSM and the Australian School of Business will be mixing it with industry heavy-weights to explore the latest thinking on innovation, productivity and diversity.

"A superb group of leading industry practitioners will ensure [that all who attend will] have the very best up-to-date intelligence on how innovation can be applied across various facets of business," says AGSM director and ASB deputy dean Chris Styles.

Professor Styles will lead the opening plenary session: What Does it Take to be Innovative in a Changing Global Economy? His industry guests are St George Bank CEO George Frazis, Deloitte Australia and Asia Pacific chief strategy officer Gerhard Vorster, and IBM Australia and New Zealand managing director Andrew Stevens. Their view from the top will start the ball rolling.

From here the conference moves into a series of breakout sessions to examine related topics, including organisational design, sustainable practices, workplace diversity, the impact of an emerging China and innovative ways to address international financial system problems.

A timely discussion on productivity will be led by ASB dean Alec Cameron. He will ask where Australia's source of competitive advantage is going to come from in the future.

Joining Professor Cameron in what promises to be a lively debate will be ASB senior lecturer Christina Boedker whose research on productivity offers pressing news for managers. The other panellists are professional company director and Business Council of Australia vice-president Graham Bradley, and fellow industry leader Steve Vamos, who is the founding president of the Society for Knowledge Economics and a non-executive director of Telstra and Medibank Private.

The conference's focus on leadership will be extended in a session on why innovation should be seated at the boardroom table. This will be led by the ASB's J.W. Neville Fellow in Economics, Tim Harcourt. Panellists are CSIRO manager Beau Leese, Wengeo Group chairwoman Wendy Simpson, and the CEO of Australasian CRC for Interaction, Professor Jeff Jones.

But there's more. AGSM alumnus Carla Zampatti AC will explain how iconic brands, such as hers, don't happen by accident. In the closing plenary, other alumni will share stories of challenge and triumph. And it all wraps up with a grand dinner.

When: 11 September 2012 9am-5pm

Where: Australian Graduate School of Management Building, UNSW

Contact: Marie Kelly 0408 256 381