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LBS Innovation Series: Think big or go home

This blog, as part of the LBS Innovation Series, brings you a presentation by Kate Burleigh, former Managing Director of Intel Australia/NZ and now country manager of Amazon Alexa Skills across Australia and New Zealand.

 

Kate’s topic is:

Think big or go home – why students and businesses with a global mindset are more likely to succeed within the digital era.

 

Platform economics & technologies

Kate addresses the rise of platform economics and how this enabling technology together with globalisation is driving the current wave of digital innovation and disruption. She outlines how the proliferation of connectivity and the growing power of data and data analytics is lowering costs through the use of platforms, cloud-based processing, storage and tools. Kate talks about the proliferation of platform economy since the advent of hot spots, Wi-Fi and cloud computing technologies used by companies like YouTube, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook and Netflix.

What these firms and the next wave of Chinese technology firms such as Alibaba, Tencent, and WeChat have in common is that they think globally, have monopolistic tendency (i.e. they become the market standard), use artificial intelligence and are agile. For example, these companies have attached payment systems to their platforms which give them a competitive advantage.

In the below presentation we see how Kate challenges our current generation of educators, students, start-ups and business leaders to foster a global mindset and to better utilise and adopt platform technologies in order to be competitive and succeed more strongly.

 

Watch her presentation below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Meet the Head of Department of Accounting and Data Analytics

Since January 2018, Alison Parkes has been the Head of Department of Accounting & Data Analytics. Business Newsroom sat down with Alison to ask her some questions about who she is, what made her come to La Trobe and other interesting facts about her.

 

Are you new to La Trobe?

I joined La Trobe in January 2017 and took up the HoD role after one year in the Department.

 

Where do you come from and what brought you to La Trobe University in 2017?

Before starting at La Trobe, I was with Taylor’s University in Malaysia for two years. I was recruited by them to build and accredit their MBA program. I specialised in postgraduate education during my time at Melbourne Uni which preceded my Malaysian appointment. While at Melbourne I had oversight of the Master of Business & IT throughout its entire life cycle from inception through to eventually teaching it out. When Taylor’s recruited me as their inaugural MBA Program Director I lived and worked two years in Malaysia, did lots of travel, built the MBA, got it accredited, and saw my first student cohort graduate just before I came back to Australia.

When I got towards the end of my two-year contract at Taylor’s in 2016 I had to decide whether I wanted to stay on for another two years or move back to Australia. I loved living in Malaysia but missed my family in Australia. I had already decided to come back when the job at La Trobe came up. I always wanted to work at La Trobe, so I applied for the job and was lucky enough to be appointed.

Before Taylor’s, I was at University of Melbourne for 15 years, I did my PhD there as a part-time PhD candidate and a full-time staff member. I graduated with my PhD in 2009. I’m a late career academic, a large part of my career was in industry. In my last industry role I was the most senior female IT executive in a state railway, working with huge financial systems projects and large numbers of staff. I got my first academic appointment at Massey University in New Zealand as a level A Lecturer in Information Systems. When I went into academia I had to start all the way from the bottom again, which was sort of a fun thing.

 

Why do you think La Trobe University is a good fit?

I have always been interested in the research projects and outputs from La Trobe as they are not always mainstream. I came from a more conservative academic environment with particular and relatively narrow views on what you were expected to publish and where to publish. I like what people are doing here, there is a lot more freedom and critical analysis, more work around sustainability, more private enterprise focus.

I have never been a traditional financial accountant. My background is accounting information systems. My first ever-academic job was not in an accounting department, but in an information systems department. While I was lecturing in IS I did my Honours year and a Masters Research which equipped me to enter the PhD program at Melbourne in Accounting & Business Information Systems. I’m a chartered accountant but have always been interested in the technical accounting systems side, which means my research isn’t necessarily published in mainstream accounting journals.

 

How will you be approaching your new role as Head of Department?

I’m fortunate that my expertise bridges both sides of accounting and data analytics, and I’m looking forward to bringing these disciplines closer together. We also need to refresh the accounting curriculum. Accounting doesn’t have to be boring, I know from my work experience that accounting is a really interesting and diverse field to work in. Across most universities, accounting is mostly treated the same old way, it’s as though we are still working with pen and paper.

I have always been passionate about educating students for the job they are actually going to be doing. To me that means educating them to be an accountant who uses accounting systems and data competently. This year I am rewriting the first year accounting information system subject to integrate Xero software and give students an idea of how it looks when you’re working with an accounting system in the workplace.

So my overall goal is to bring the two related disciplines closer together and refresh the curriculum so it better reflects the authentic lived experience of what accounting actually is. I’m not necessarily talking about changing the topics, but instead focusing on the pedagogy, how it’s being taught and assessed.

 

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were a student at university?

I have an atypical student experience. I left high school early and came to University for my bachelor’s degree on a special admission program for mature students. I completed my Bachelors, Honours, Masters and PhD all as a part-time student while working full time. My advice to former me would be to maybe consider doing the PhD full-time instead of part-time. Working full-time as a Level B lecturer meant there were whole semesters where I got pretty much nothing done on the thesis. It’s good to look at your research through fresh eyes, but it’s also hard having to re-engage with your topic afresh over and over again.

 

What do you do to get rid of stress?

I never work on the weekend. Everyone has different tactics but that is the rule that I find works for me to balance out my life. I don’t mind being in the office for long hours during the week if it’s necessary but weekends are mine. I like to come back in on Monday feeling re-energised and ready to tackle the week ahead.

 

Lastly, if people come across you at the coffee-machine, what’s a good conversation starter?

Travel! I’m a big traveller. I love all parts of Asia and have travelled there extensively, also lots of US, UK & Europe. Since coming back to Australia I’m making time to visit places that I hadn’t been to before. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I recently went to the Great Ocean Road for the first time after living in Melbourne for 15 years. I’m always coming back from somewhere or about to go somewhere.

 

Associate Professor Alison Parkes is a researcher, educator, consultant, and author whose expertise relates to optimising information quality and decision outcomes via better design and control of accounting systems and processes. In her professional career prior to entering academia she held positions at Queensland Rail, Rio Tinto, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Her academic career has included positions at Massey University New Zealand (Associate Lecturer) The University of Melbourne (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer) and Taylor’s University Malaysia (Associate Professor and MBA Program Director). Alison’s research consists of two primary themes; (1) The task-technology-individual fit implications of accounting systems design choices, and (2) Strategic investment decision-making. Her research has been published in journals including Decision Support Systems, Behaviour & IT, the Business Process Management Journal, and the Australian Journal of Information Systems. She authors a leading Australian accounting information systems textbook and also designs and delivers specialised executive education and consulting. Alison has consulted internationally to the Governments of Malaysia and Iraq, and completed a variety of management accounting consulting jobs in the Australian not for profit sector.

LBS’ graduate is the 200,000th LTU graduate

In 1967, 552 students enrolled at La Trobe University. Last week, Harsha Iruvaram, a Master of International Business became the 200,000th student to graduate from La Trobe University.

Harsha was unaware of the fact he was the 200,000th graduate until after his name was announced on the podium. It was a lovely surprise for him and those who attended the ceremony.

Deputy Chancellor, Andrew Eddy presented Harsha with his degree, while Professor John Dewar joined them both and presented Harsha with flowers and congratulations on behalf of the university.

 

“It feels unbelievable and this will stay forever with me”

 

Professor Dewar was thrilled to see such a special effort made for this special milestone in the University’s history. “Harsha is a very clever young man and it was wonderful to see the look on his face as he was announced the 200,000th graduate,” Professor Dewar said. “He is a hard working individual, who is passionate about his field and always ready to take on the next challenge. He represents what it means to be a La Trobe student.”

Harsha – who moved to Australia from his hometown of Hyderabad – said while leaving his life in India was hard, he felt immensely proud of his decision to study at La Trobe. “It had the subjects that I wanted to do – customer relationship management, dealing with different nationalities and different cultures.”

 

“I love the campus, I love La Trobe. International Business is what attracted me”

 

Harsha aims to continue his career in business and specialise in digital marketing. Since earning his degree, he has landed a Marketing Management internship with Smart Solutions.

 

 

Information in this blog was originally published by LTU News and the LTU Student Blog

Another successful Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference

From the 4th till the 7th of April La Trobe Business School hosted the 9th annual Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference (FMCG) and associated PhD Symposium.

The conference was supported by Monash University, University of Queensland, Victoria University of Wellington, and the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and the Pacific Basin Finance Journal (PBFJ).

 

PhD Symposium

The PhD Symposium was a major success with more than 30 PhD candidates from 16 universities from all over the world. LBS PhD Candidate Nader Atawnah won the PhD Symposium Best Paper Award in stream 1: Accounting information/ Disclosure practices/ Earnings quality for his paper “Corporate Tax Avoidance and Foreign Competition: Evidence from Industry – Level Import Data”.

Nader Atawnah receiving his PhD Symposium Best Paper Award.

 

Other PHD candidates that won a PhD Symposium Best Paper Award were:

 Bharat Raj Parajuli from the University of Utah – Asset Pricing/Emerging Markets /Financial Markets/Market Microstructure.

 

Tom Stannard from Victoria University of Wellington – Banking/Behavioural Finance/Corporate Finance/Financial Economics.

 

 Hasibul Chowdhury from University of Queensland – Corporate Governance/Social Responsibility.

 

Chanyuan (Georgina) GE from Macquarie University – Funds Management/Risk Management/Quantitative Finance.

 

Conference

More than 100 researchers from all over the world presented papers at the 9th annual Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference (FMCG). Presentations were given in the following streams:

  • Accounting information/ Disclosure practices/ Earnings quality
  • Asset pricing/ Emerging markets/ Financial markets/ Market microstructure
  • Banking/ Behavioural finance/ Corporate finance/ Financial economics
  • Corporate governance/ Social responsibility
  • Funds management/ Risk management/ Quantitative finance

Keynote speakers included world-renowned academics such as Professors Robert Faff, Ron Masulis, Tom Smith and Avanidhar Subrahmanyam.

 

Keynote speaker Professor Avanidhar Subrahmanyam from the UCLA Anderson School of Management

 

Researchers that won a Best Paper Award were:

Ankit Jain from the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad – Accounting Information/ Disclosure Practices/Earnings Quality

 

 Ying Dou from Monash University, Jason Zein and Ronald W. Masulis, both from the University of New South Wales – Banking/Behavioural Finance/Corporate Finance/Financial Economics.

 

Md Emdadul Islam and Jason Zein, both from the University of New South Wales – Corporate Governance/Social Responsibility

 

Conference Dinner

The Conference Dinner was held at the Melbourne Aquarium and included an industry-focused keynote by James Fazzino. James joined La Trobe as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow in November last year. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Incitec Pivot. The keynote focused on the strategic takeover of Dyno Nobel and its impact on Incitec Pivot´s value.

James Fazzino giving his Keynote

 

The evening also saw Professor Stephen Brown and Professor Ferdinand Gul recognized for their outstanding achievements. Professor Stephen Brown was recognised for his work in theoretical and empirical research in finance and Professor Ferdinand Gul in empirical research in auditing and assurance.

Professor Stephen Brown receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Professor Ferdinand Gul receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Founder of the Financial Markets and Corporate Governance Conference and Conference Chair, LBS Professor Balasingham Balachandran finished the evening with a walk through history from FMCG’s humble beginnings all the way up the current 9th year. His thank you address focused on the participants that make the conference each year even more successful.

Founder of FMCG & LBS Professor Balasingham Balachandran

LBS Innovation Series: A start-up science story

The LBS Innovation Series brings you a presentation by Antonio Palanca, CEO and Co-founder of the HiveXchange. Antonio presents a case study on the HiveXchange and talks about fresh innovations in traditional food supply chains.

 

HiveXchange

HiveXchange has created a new form of business to business e-commerce called trust-based e-commerce which is designed specifically to meet the challenges in perishable produce supply chains. Antonio mentions that organisations over a 20 year period have tried to introduce online buying models into the fresh produce supply chains but have failed.

 

Lean canvas

Antonio was formerly with Sun Microsystems where they used WaterFall project methods to launch big technology projects. He talks about this experience and how it taught him that this old approach to software design of define requirements, design, build, test, and launch was no longer viable. Instead the HiveXchange embarked on the use of ‘start-up science’ and the lean canvas. He describes the company’s journey and how the use of lean canvas methodology shaped field experiments and prototypes to reveal problems early. This became the foundation of HiveXchange’s trust based e-commerce software. The benefit of this approach is that as you go through the stages you reduce risk and therefore become more attractive to investors.

 

Watch his story below:

 

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Why data is the new oil

With billions of connected devices sharing info from all around the world, data has well and truly become a red-hot resource. But how can we sift through the incomprehensible amount now available and actually put it to good use? That’s where a business analyst comes in.

Former software developer Mahesh Krishnan had a natural flair for finding patterns in data, which he was keen to explore further. Now in the final semester of a Master of Business Analytics degree at La Trobe Business School, Mahesh chatted to us about why he decided to shift career paths and what he loves about plucking out data insights to help businesses grow.

 

 

LBS’ Master of Business Analytics

My work at my previous employer in India involved a lot of data. This led me to analysing customer information, which helped me realise that I had a natural sense for understanding hidden patterns in data and deriving insights that would help businesses drive growth. I found this interesting and decided to do a course that would help me fortify my analytical skills by learning different analysis methods.

The Master of Business Analytics at LBS attracted me because of its highly experienced teaching faculty and the curriculum of study. It offers the right mix of technical and business skills, which are highly valued in the global market.

 

The course coordinator, Associate Professor Dr Kok-Leong Ong, has been a mentor and role model. He has extensive teaching and professional experience in the sector and is welcoming and down-to-earth.

 

What I like about Business Analytics is the fact that it makes use of the plethora of data at the disposal of an organisation and produces valuable insights. These insights help the business to reap rewards in terms of spiking profits and huge market shares.

 

Visualising data

As the saying goes, ‘data is the new oil’. Business analytics blends the technical aspect of statistical evidence with the business aspect of converting these insights into easily interpretable business terms. An analyst who is technically sound, but unable to convey the message to the business in a way they understand, isn’t useful to an organisation.

 

 

The course has taught me ways to gather data, wrangle it and visualise the insights.

Extracted data isn’t always ready for analysis, so data wrangling becomes one of the most important steps to learn. Data visualisation is also an important skill. Generating insights alone does not benefit an organisation if they can’t be visualised. Numbers in a table look better in visuals because they can then be more easily understood. With so many graphs to choose from, selecting the right graph for a particular dataset is really important. It goes a long way in delivering the right message to the business.

 

With a plethora of data being stocked up by organisations and a rising demand for analytics to drive business growth, there is no better time to pursue a Master of Business Analytics at La Trobe Business School.

 

Internships

The course assignments I’ve done have helped me work effectively during my internships.

I’ve undertaken a one-month internship with the Victorian State Government, a three-month internship with ME Bank in Melbourne, and as part of my final semester I am interning with Moreland City Council as a data analyst. My work at Moreland City Council requires me to extract data from different sources, then align the data to make it ready for analysis. This data can be used to generate insights about businesses in Moreland and suburban growth in its suburbs can be generated to benefit the council’s Economic Development team.

I have secured a full-time role as an associate consultant at Servian, a leading data analytics consultancy based in Melbourne. The skills I have learned through my course will be of great use.

 

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

LBS Innovation Series: Universities’ engagement with industry

Australia must get better at creating meaningful collaboration between universities and business. The Federal Government flagged innovation in Australia as a major policy focus with its $1.1 billion National Science and Innovation Agenda in November 2015.

Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School, shares his thoughts on creating meaningful collaboration between universities and business.

 

Bringing industry into the classroom

One way La Trobe Business School is working towards better engagement with industry is through hiring Professors of Practice. A concept born out of the school’s strategic decision to adopt an approach focused on bringing industry into the classroom. Professors of Practice, such as myself, are experienced practitioners in a relevant field of professional practice. We teach subjects and courses that provide a high quality and industry relevant learning experience.

Before I joined LBS, I was the Senior Executive Officer responsible for enterprises management, business planning, audit and protective security in the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water. My experience leads me to be able to develop innovative teaching programs in the economics discipline and risk management practice that enhance the student learning experience, and enhance their career-readiness.

 

Bringing research into the market

Besides bringing industry experience into the classroom, we also build relationships by organising events where academia and industry can come together. The National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L is a great example of such an event. More than 90 business, local government, academic and industry group representatives from Australia and internationally discussing the question:

 

How can we create sustainable bonds between universities, business and not for profits with a view towards creating a more mature innovation culture and ecosystem?

 

The discussions on strengthening collaboration are centred on maintaining industry-university connections and relationships through regular engagement and dialogue and the use of accelerators and incubators. Thus, universities need to create open collaborative spaces and networks with industry where there is potential to commercialise ideas.

This implies that each side needs to engage far beyond the traditional exchange of research for funding model. The implication is that we need strategic partnerships that better blend the research-driven culture of the university with the innovation/data-driven environment of business.

What more can universities do?

Forum delegate discussions and feedback show that some of the key points universities could consider in enhancing their engagement with industry are:

  • Streamline the decision making processes in terms of entering into collaborative arrangements with industry i.e. make it easier and break down barriers.
  • Changing the incentive system for academics to be equally rewarded for their industry engagement/collaboration as they are for their research.
  • Focus on talking the same language as industry (i.e. business practice) rather than academic theory (shaped by the need to publish).
  • Have a clear path of entry and handling strategy for business’ seeking collaboration opportunities.
  • Hold regular events that give business an opportunity to access and learn about its research and R&D activities.
  • Facilitate more frequent industry engagement/dialogue including events such as the National Innovation Forum which begin to bridge the gaps.
  • Introduce staff industry placements/secondments.
  • Work with industry on developing work-in-learning opportunities to develop more business ready graduates.
  • Establish quicker processes for changing curriculum and subject offering in response to industry need and the changing nature of work.
  • Offer all students opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills i.e. to nurture start-ups and innovation.

La Trobe University, and La Trobe Business School, are already very active in many of these areas (e.g. La Trobe Accelerator Program; Professors of Practice, Work Integrated Learning and Placements; Industry and Community Engagement; Research and Innovation Precinct etc.) but we can always strive to do better.

 

Read the full NIF 17 Summary Report

  

This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

Can economics remove doping from sport?

Trying to gain an unfair advantage through performance-enhancing drugs has plagued sport for years. From swimming to soccer, Aussie Rules to athletics, sports across the spectrum have suffered blows to their credibility as a result of banned substances.

A 2010 study revealed that many cyclists believe it’s impossible to compete without doping. Most famously, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, made a spectacular fall from grace in 2013 following years of doping allegations by former teammates. The incident shone a harsh light on the prevalence of drugs at the highest levels of sporting competition.

 

What if there was a new way to help ensure that athletes play fair? A system to help increase compliance with existing anti-doping regulations?

 

 

How economics can change athletes’ behaviour

A system based around incentives rather than punishment is being trialled by La Trobe Business School, Senior Lecturer in Microeconomics, Dr Liam Lenten. The trial uses grant money supplied by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is being run in conjunction with the University of Adelaide’s Experimental Economics Lab.

“Current anti-doping enforcement relies on suspensions and fines. Our research will consider innovative anti-doping policy ideas that can be used in tandem with existing punishments,” Dr Lenten says. As an alternative, Dr Lenten and his colleagues propose a system called ‘conditional superannuation’. Simply put, athletes sign a contract whereby they forego a percentage of their earnings and prize money, say 10 per cent, and recoup those earnings at a later date – providing they continue to test negative for banned substances.

 

 

How bad is the doping problem, really?

There’s a strong need for new approaches to doping in elite sport. In an academic paper on the subject, Dr Lenten argues that high-profile doping scandals raise questions about whether suspensions, sanctions and public shaming sufficiently discourage athletes from using banned substances.

Informally, athletes, officials and researchers believe that doping might be far more widespread than is reported or tested for. Dr Lenten and his co-authors report that the actual rate of doping has been approximated at 14 to 39 per cent of athletes, compared to the 0.5 to 2.0 per cent level of positive doping control tests. In surveys asking athletes and coaches to estimate doping, the numbers escalate further.

 

What solutions to doping exist?

Given the extent of the problem and the impossibility of ensuring drug-free sport under the current system, consider these alternative approaches.

The first is full legalisation of drugs in sport. This course of action would undoubtedly be met with public and professional outcry and, given the risks that some performance-enhancing drugs pose to health, could potentially result in deaths.

The second option is a draconian, even dystopian, system of monitoring and control that might go as far as ‘criminal investigations, forensic DNA analyses, “coercive” interviewing, extensive psychometric and personality surveys, lie detection testing, and athlete micro-chipping for whereabouts checks, as well as, ultimately, in vivo chemical testing.’ This option, aside from being a direct slight to an athlete’s personal integrity, would prove prohibitively expensive, and is at least for the time being unviable.

 

 

Are economic incentives the middle ground?

A middle way could be conditional superannuation. But while it may prove an effective adjunct to existing policy, on its own conditional superannuation isn’t perfect. This is because individual competitors respond to punishment or incentive-based motivations in different ways.

For example, younger athletes may not perceive the benefit of money for a future that still seems so far away. And older athletes may not be deterred by the threat of a ban or a late financial penalty if they’re already in the twilight of their career. However, Dr Lenten says that these problems could be mitigated by taking a context-specific approach to each athlete’s contract. This means younger athletes might face bans, whereas older athletes might face financial penalties that could even take effect retroactively.

Dr Lenten and his colleagues have begun testing the model using a pilot experiment. So far they’ve found ‘early and suggestive evidence in favour of trialling a conditional superannuation scheme at some level of professional or elite sport’. While not yet conclusive, the study represents a positive development to an issue that can’t and won’t be solved overnight.

In the face of elite sport’s ambitious, competitive and high-pressure environment, athletes are likely to test the rules in search of an advantage. However, considered and evidence-based solutions from outside the boxes of ‘radical tolerance’ or ‘stifling scrutiny’ might be just the motivation they need to stay on a level playing field.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

LBS Innovation Series: Introduction

Business Newsroom brings you the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School.

 

National Innovation Forum

The goal of the LBS is to teach and produce research that has a positive impact on the ideas and views of our leaders of tomorrow in business, government, and not-for-profit organisations. With that in mind, LBS organised the first National Innovation Forum (NIF) last year in collaboration with NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L. More than 90 businesses, local government, academics and industry group representatives from Australia and internationally came together to explore how we can create sustainable bonds between universities with a view towards creating a more mature innovation culture and ecosystem.

 

 

Key themes discussed during the NIF Forum were:

  • The role of incubators and accelerators in engaging start-ups and SMEs and connecting university-industry innovation.
  • Global forces shaping opportunities for business (including start-ups and SMEs) over the coming decade.
  • Business perspectives on the opportunities and barriers to university-industry collaboration.
  • Changing nature of business models and start-up tools.
  • Developing business environments where innovation can thrive.

Mark has compiled the discussions on these key themes and turned it into the LBS Innovation Series, giving you the latest news, information and developments in the innovation space.

 

Watch Mark’s introduction to the LBS Innovation Series:

 

What is innovation?

Kenneth Morse explains innovation as ideas or invention plus commercialisation. So innovation adds value for consumers, but it can’t do this if it remains an idea or an unknown invention. It’s the idea plus the commercialisation of that idea or invention that leads to innovation.

 

What is the importance of innovation to social and economic change?

According to Klaus Schwab we have entered a fourth industrial revolution and like the three previous industrial revolutions, we are in the midst of a profound change to our economic and social structures.

 

The first industrial revolution from the 1760s was built on the construction of railroads and mechanical inventions such as the steam engine; the second in the 1860s on mass production and the harnessing of energy in the form of electricity; while the third from the 1960s was built on digital or computer revolution. These revolutions caused radical disruption and change. This is because the core of all these shifts are innovation and new technology that reformulate the traditional models of economic growth and societal structures.

 

The Fourth industrial revolution

The fourth industrial revolution (or 4.0) began in the 1990s and is characterised by new digital technologies and devices, platform economics, metadata manipulation, WIFI and the Internet of things, by cheaper, smaller and more powerful sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

 

“How will revolution 4.0 play itself out? What are the key drivers? What opportunities does it offer? How can we manage the risk to society of the disruption it brings?”

 

The aim of the series is to explore these questions and gain useful insight that inform the ideas and views of our leaders of tomorrow. Watch this space for some great presentations by the following key players:

  • Mark shares his thoughts on creating meaningful collaboration between universities and business.
  • Antonio Palanca, CEO and Co-founder the HiveXchange, talks about his start-up science story.
  • Kate Burleigh, former Managing Director of Intel Australia/NZ and now country manager of Amazon Alexa Skills across Australia and New Zealand, looks at why students and businesses with a global mindset are more likely to succeed within the digital era.
  • Craig Scroggie, CEO NEXTDC – Australia’s leading Data-Centre-as-a-Service provider, welcomes us to the 4th Industrial Revolution.
  • Dr Stephan Buse, Deputy Director of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) at Hamburg University of Technology, views Academia-Industry collaboration and engagement, and how universities can strengthen firms’ innovative ability.
  • David Williamson, CEO Melbourne Innovation Centre gives us a case study in innovation.
  • Christine Christian, Chairman of Kirwood Capital, a Director of FlexiGroup Limited, ME Bank Limited, Lonsec Fiscal Group, Victorian Managed Insurance Authority and New-York based Powerlinx Inc, discusses the critical factors that determine why start-ups succeed (and fail).
  • Nick Kaye, founding Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, explains how the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) came about.
  • Dr. Ben Mitra-Kahn, Chief Economist at IP Australia, elaborates on the University-industry collaboration and IP.
  • Christine Axton, Director in Monitor Deloitte’s Strategy practice, gives us answers to questions such as “how do companies hold on to their ability to innovate? And how do they achieve, and keep, an innovation premium in the market?”

 

 

Dr Mark Cloney is Professor of Practice in economics at the LBS. Prior to joining La Trobe, Mark was the Senior Executive Officer responsible for enterprises management, business planning, audit and protective security in the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water. Mark teaches in the economics discipline and risk management practice.

 

 

 

 

LBS alumnus and MCFC leader talks about what makes a successful team

What does it take to guide an elite football team to win their record-breaking third championship title?

Former professional women’s soccer player and La Trobe Business School alumnus, Louisa Bisby, takes us behind the scenes in her role as W-League team manager at Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC).

 

 

Team manager versus coach

My position as a team manager is very different to that of a coach, because I don’t assess on-field performance and select the team. Instead, my role and responsibility is to offer individual off-field support to team members and ensure all football operations run smoothly. This starts from the moment a player signs with MCFC, throughout the season and to the end of their time with the club. It involves organising player registrations, transfer papers, flights, accommodation, transport, education assistance, post-football ambitions and any administration.

Logistically, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the players, coaches and support staff have all that they require to service the team to their best ability.

The most enjoyable part of my job is the variety of tasks. It’s everything from helping on-pitch, to organising equipment and kit; to off-field football operations and MCFC activations, such as coordinating player appearances. I communicate with a diverse group of external organisations, from governing bodies (like Football Federation Australia, International Football Federations such as the National Women’s Soccer League in the US, ASADA, and other W-League clubs), to community clubs, hotels, transport companies and travel agencies. The role’s diversity gives me a better understanding of the football landscape, players’ needs as individuals and their goals for life after football.

Often, I’ll be the first person a new player will see at the airport when they arrive from overseas or interstate. This means my initial interaction with them can potentially determine their first impression of the club. Should they stay, it’s then my role to make sure that they know MCFC provides support off-field and that they can approach me with any matter of concern.

As team manager, you need the ability to create a professional bond with everyone, on and off the field.

 

A team of differences

There’s many different personalities, cultures and age groups within a team. No one person is the same. Each player comes with a different story, upbringing and set of experiences. Within the A-League team, the youngest player is aged 17 and the oldest is in their 30s, so their levels of knowledge and life experience can vary.

As a previous player in the Australian W-League and Matildas representing Australia, I used to play with, and against, some of the MCFC W-League team, which also helps build trust. Due to having seen me play and what I have achieved, players feel confident that I understand the game and what it takes to reach the highest level.

A big part of creating a bond is the trust and the confidence that someone has to come and talk to you, whether it’s positive or negative. You need to be able to guide players in the right direction, ensure your choice of words is appropriate and, if needed, send a player to someone who is qualified to give the right advice.

Committing to a common goal is what leads a sporting team to success. Players and staff must be dedicated to supporting one another on and off-field to win a title. Collectively, people need to ensure that everything is in place throughout the journey for players to succeed. It’s not just about the football operations, but the professionalism to help players come into an environment that’s easy, where they can walk in, get changed, and know what they’re doing at all times.

It’s known that if there’s something else in an athlete’s life, they’re more successful, because good sport/life balance gives them another focus away from elite competition and the pressure to perform. It is my goal to get players studying or doing something else other than playing football.

 

Studying at LTU

Completing a Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) at La Trobe was beneficial for my career. It gave me insight into how the sports industry worked, how policies and procedures were implemented and also accounting and budgeting. It helped me establish my organisational skills and see the importance of communication with a variety of people from all aspects of life. As part of the course, I did a practical placement at VicSport, which supplemented the theory I’d learned.

Having studied at La Trobe, I can say it’s one of the best sports universities in Australia.

It’s a very supportive, athlete-friendly university. My lecturers were easy to talk to and very understanding of my football career. It’s not just the course content that allows you to gain career opportunities, it’s also advice from the lecturers when you need it and a professional network. The teachers have a lot of contacts within the sports industry. Since graduating, I’ve maintained relationships with lecturers like Professor Russell Hoye and Dr Pam Kappelides. They’re always willing to have a conversation and ask me how I am.

My advice is to gain as much experience as you can while you’re at university. At university, I knuckled down, studied hard for three years, made networks and did some volunteering. I helped out with couple of local football clubs and volunteered at events like triathlon and rugby. Even if it’s not a sporting event, you’re still going to learn something, there are always logistics behind it. It’s about challenging yourself – the more experience you have, the higher your chance of getting a job.

 

La Trobe University and A-League soccer team the Melbourne City Football Club have been proud partners since the club’s inception in 2009

 

My first job was as Game Development Officer for the former Melbourne Heart Football Club, which put my uni degree to good use in the workplace. In this role, I organised, planned and managed festival clinics and community events in suburban and regional areas, schools, local community centres and football clubs. The work also involved match day activations, including small-sided games at half time, football clinics and mascots (5-12-year-olds that walked out with players before the match).

When I got the job at Melbourne Heart FC, they didn’t only just ask the references on my resume, they also rang different coaches and spoke to my lecturers to find further information about me.

It’s a big industry with tight networks. Your sporting achievements and behaviour, along with your professional reputation, definitely contribute. You need to behave in a manner that will assist you with potential future work, regardless of whether you’re an elite athlete or not.

 

This blog post was originally published on NEST. Read the original article.

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