Forum focuses on finding courage for productivity
1 August 2012
The Hon Bill Shorten Minister for Employment (L) and UTS Vice Chancellor Prof Ross MIlbourne
- Finance, IT, telecommunications and public sector leaders discussed Australia's productivity decline at a recent UTS Engage event
- Australian businesses have been slow to recognise the importance of a strong management culture
Fear of failure is hampering productivity growth in Australia according to a panel of experts at the latest UTS Engage public forum.
Called Future Services, Industries and Productivity, the event brought together finance, IT, telecommunications and public sector leaders to discuss the productivity decline and how service-based industries need to rethink their strategies as they move into the future.
UTS Communications Law Centre Director Professor Michael Fraser who joined a panel discussion about transformative collaboration and frameworks said a fear of failure, that is hampering the nation's ability to achieve greater productivity, was a key theme in presentations at the forum.
"To be successful, to be productive, and to allow employees to reach the limits of their expertise and training, companies need to have the courage to reward risk taking – to reward failure, to acknowledge that one success out of 10 attempts can really epitomise what innovation is all about," Professor Fraser said.
Speakers at the event included the Hon. Bill Shorten, Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation; Michael Edwards, General Manager of Research and Technology - Australia for the Boeing Company; Dr Ian Opperman from the CSIRO Flagships Program; Katherine McLennan, a partner at Johnson Executive; and Annalie Killian from AMP.
Dean of the UTS Business School, Professor Roy Green opened proceedings with a presentation on the need for Australian businesses to instil a talent mindset in their employees. Discussion centred around whether or not sufficient investment is being made into human capital.
"It is evident there is a growing need for Australian businesses to invest in the discipline of talent and in individuals who have the capacity to identify, shape, nurture and reward genuine talent," Professor Fraser said.
A second panel discussion around transformative management looked at the role of leadership within organisations and the link between good management practices and productive work environments.
"Australian businesses have been slow to recognise the importance of a strong management culture and the need for managers to develop specific skills that allow them to inspire and lead staff effectively," Professor Fraser said.
"As Minister Shorten pointed out in his presentation, if you want to drive a car, you have to learn how – and management is no different.
"Being a good manager is the result of a set of learned skills. Australian businesses must be prepared to invest in much more heavily in management if they want to reap the benefits of increased staff retention, staff satisfaction and overall productivity."
Find out more about the program and speakers for this event at http://www.research.uts.edu.au/engage/