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James Fazzino appointed as Vice Chancellor’s Fellow

At the end of last year, James Fazzino was appointed La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow. James is not new to La Trobe University. He is a La Trobe alumnus, holding a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University. He is also currently a member of the La Trobe Business School Advisory Board, and in 2016 was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the La Trobe Business School.

 

James Fazzino

James has had a successful career in the international chemicals industry, and has just concluded a highly successful eight-year term as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Incitec Pivot Limited. He also served as the Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director at Incitec, and had senior finance roles in ICI/Orica including CFO Chemicals Group, Assistant Treasurer and Head of Investor Relations. Under his leadership, Incitec was transformed from a fertiliser company operating in two Australian states to a global diversified industrial chemicals business. It is now the world’s second largest supplier of commercial explosives, and Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of fertilisers. James is currently Chair of Manufacturing Australia, a CEO-led coalition of Australia’s 10 leading manufacturing companies, and is a member of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Expert Advisory Panel.

 

In his new role, James will advise the Vice-Chancellor as well as the current and future leadership of the La Trobe Business School on the strategic directions for the School.

 

The Business School will benefit greatly from James’ expertise and experience in leading an ASX Top 50 company. He will share his experience with the next generation of leaders, and will build new industry and research links and partnerships in the School. James will teach students about the practical experience of business delivery, assist in developing a network of business practitioners to teach across the School, and will be available to mentor both staff and students.

 

James has recently been interviewed by NEST, was interviewed about his new position at LTU by Skynews and wrote an article about putting customers at the centre in the energy debate for The Australian.

La Trobe Business School – End of Year party

Last week, December 13, all LBS staff and PhD Candidates were invited to Plaka Greek Restaurant for the La Trobe Business School End of Year Function.

Even though it was a typical Australian, scorching hot and 37-degree day, the Christmas cheer was all around. It was an afternoon filled with music, singing, laughter, good company and nice food. It was also great to see staff from the regional campuses joining the party.

The music was provided by Decky Music Band, with our own Dr. Marthin Nanere on the guitar & harmonica. 

Some staff dressed up in Christmas-themed attire, wearing Santa hats.

Throughout the afternoon, several groups joined the band on stage to sing some great Christmas classics.

The department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing teamed up with the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism and sang Feliz Navidad together.

The LBS admin team seemed to have some true singers in the making among their team and did a great job performing their songs.

And the executive team also joined in for a song.

The La Trobe Business School wishes everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for all your effort and hard work over 2017.

LBS Staff Awards

La Trobe Business School held its end of Year Forum on December 13. An important part of the End of Year Forum were the LBS Research Awards and LBS Awards presented to outstanding staff members of the school.

 

Professor Kamran Ahmed presented the LBS Research Awards.

The first award went to Esin Ozdil. Esin was awarded the Early Career Researcher Award for her contribution to the study of Accounting, and particularly her innovative work in examining Accounting in the Public Sector.

Dr. Esin Ozdil receiving her Early Career Researcher Award

Lily Nguyen was awarded the Mid Career Research Award in recognition of her important contribution to the study of corporate innovation, institutional investors and corporate disclosure.

Dr. Lily Nguyen receiving her Mid Career Research Award

Jointly receiving the Mid career researcher award was Jennifer Laing for her outstanding contribution to the study of tourism, and particularly the study of Travel Narratives, the Social Dimension of Events, Rural and Regional Development and Health and Wellness Tourism. Jennifer was also awarded the Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision Award.

 

Dr. Jennifer Laing receiving her Mid Career Research Award

The LBS Awards, focusing on staff’s contribution to the School’s mission: “Being Responsible, Innovative & Engaged”, were presented by Professor Jane Hamilton.

The first award went to Mark Cloney, in recognition of his leadership of the National Innovation Forum and in raising the profile of the LBS.

The next LBS Award went to Nicola McNeil. While on a well-deserved holiday, she was awarded for her outstanding commitment to the School and her positive contribution the School’s culture and mission.

Dr. Mark Cloney receiving his LBS Award

Swati Nagpal received the LBS Award in recognition of her continual support of the PRME initiative, organizing a community of practice of multi-disciplinary staff to build Responsible Management in line with our mission, and in maintaining our status as an Australian ‘PRME Champion’

Dr. Swati Nagpal receiving her LBS Award

The next LBS award was for Kok-Leong Ong for his outstanding commitment to the Analytics programs and the overall student experience.

Dr. Kok-Leong Ong receiving his LBS Award

Paul Strickland won the LBS Award in recognition of his unwavering support to students during the departmental Study Tour along with his work in the development of the SIM partnership.

Paul Strickland receiving his LBS Award

Last but definitely not least, Belinda Westerlo was awarded the LBS award in recognition of her engagement, dedication and outstanding level of support provided to both staff and students in the school.

Belinda Westerlo receiving her LBS Award

Congratulations to all these outstanding staff members of the LBS!

Watch: What failure can teach you

This article was first published on Nest, a haven of new ideas for people who are all kinds of clever. Read the original article.

Being able to bounce back after failure, learn from your mistakes and forge ahead with resilience are vital skills both in and out of the workplace. According to one survey, 91 per cent of HR decision-makers predict that resilience will be key to employability in the next few years.

For Michelle Gallaher, La Trobe alumnus and 2017 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year, failing is one of the most important things you can do. Watch our video to find out what Michelle learned from failing her first degree, and what failure can teach you.

Develop your resilience through La Trobe’s Career Ready Advantage program.

Watch: How solving social problems can inspire your business career

This article was first published on Nest, a haven of new ideas for people who are all kinds of clever. Read the original article.

Amid claims that narcissism is on the rise, the ability to practise empathy is fast becoming a stand-out career skill. And according to Rafiuddin Ahmed, a PhD candidate researching social business and innovation at La Trobe University, it’s a skill you’re never too young to learn.

In partnership with his supervisor, Professor Gillian Sullivan Mort, Rafiuddin has founded a start-up to teach social entrepreneurship to children aged 8–12. The weekly lessons combine ‘active compassion’ with basic business marketing. Children are introduced to social issues, like poverty in other parts of the world, and learn how to do something practical in response to the moral outrage they feel.

If you’re passionate about making a positive social impact through your career, watch our video to discover how social business has inspired Rafiuddin to become an ethical entrepreneur.

Start your social business with a Master of Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) at La Trobe University.

LBS School Manager Donna Burnett receives 2017 Award for Excellence in School and Faculty Management!

By Donna Burnett

The ATEM Best Practice Awards for 2017 was held at the Arts Centre, with over 150 staff from Tertiary institutions throughout Aus and NZ.
Recognising professional management and administration in the Tertiary Education sector is fundamentally important not only to the staff recognised, but to the industry as a whole.

Whilst ATEM has worked extremely hard for 41 years to promote a culture where professional managers work to partner academics in the education enterprise, Universities in general still have a long way to go to achieve the same goal.

This award has sought to show that we are equal partners in the profession.

I have received an incredible amount of support from the Leadership team within the LBS and support from Managers within the College. This support has enabled me to grow and flourish in my role and has treated me as an equal partner in the operations of a large and multidisciplinary school.

Working together without hierarchical boundaries has enabled effective School Management, but has also broken down many barriers and allowed professional staff to have a voice in an Academic world.

 

Want a robot-proof career? Become a social entrepreneur.

This article was first published on Nest, a haven of new ideas for people who are all kinds of clever. Read the original article.

The chance that your job will be impacted by robots is fast becoming reality. Swift advances in technology are changing the labour market and almost half of Australia’s jobs are at high risk of being affected by automation. So how can you prepare?

Futurists believe that robot-resilient careers will rely on human-centred skills like empathy, creativity and building complex relationships with people. These skills are often associated with caring professions, but they’re also core to social entrepreneurship – an ethical approach to business that maximises profit while achieving social goals.

We spoke with social entrepreneurs Rafiuddin Ahmed (Rafi) and Professor Gillian Sullivan Mort, who lead La Trobe’s Yunus Social Business Centre, about how to turn a social business idea into a clever career for you, and for others.

Find the social problem you most want to solve

Like all innovators, social entrepreneurs start with an inspiring business idea. What makes it ‘social’ is its aim: to solve a social problem.

“If you start any social business, then you’re employing yourself, you’re solving some sort of social problem, and you’re engaging others as well,” Rafi says.

Rafi’s chosen social problem is unemployment. According to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, 470 million jobs are needed globally for people entering the labour market between 2016 and 2030.

If everyone follows the motto ‘I’ll be a job seeker’, then who will actually create these jobs? Rather than waiting for someone to provide for a job for you, you can create them,” he says.

Develop an entrepreneurial mindset

Inquisitiveness, optimism and the flexibility to bounce back from failure are all characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset. As a social entrepreneur, using these skills can give your social start-up the best chance of success.

Rafi applied them to finding the ideal audience for his PhD project, which aims to build a new generation of young social entrepreneurs in Australia. Initially he’d planned to teach social entrepreneurship to university students. But this changed when he realised children of primary school-age were less busy, less cynical and more open to having fun with the entrepreneurship curriculum.

In response, he and Gillian founded a social business start-up called Innokids to teach social entrepreneurship skills to children aged 8-12 years. They launched their idea at Bundoora Primary School in 2016, training grades five and six students for one hour each week.

“It’s a good thing to set up with this age group. The kids can choose to solve any social problem that challenges them. It opens up higher-level thinking by asking ‘What can we do about this?’ and it allows them to develop their maths skills in an extended problem-solving format,” says Gillian.

As part of social entrepreneurship lessons, Bundoora Primary School students learned to make and sell products and donate a share of their profits to a school in Indonesia. Image credit: Rafiuddin Ahmed.

With Innokids’ training, Bundoora Primary School students generated $2,500 profit by making bird feeders and selling them at local markets. They gave 50 per cent of this profit to an Indonesian primary school, which was used to buy wheelchairs for students with a disability. This combination of empathy and business is core to Innokids’ curriculum.

For Rafi, adjusting his social business idea to meet the needs of a different audience has opened up vast possibilities.

“It really works, so we’re trying to extend it to have a larger social impact. We want to expand Innokids to regional Victoria, then roll out to other parts of Australia. And our future plan is a ‘school in the cloud’ where, instead of coming to us, our school can go to others via online.”

Tap into start-up funding and mentoring

Like any entrepreneur, you’ll need help to accelerate your social start-up. Universities play a growing role in upskilling entrepreneurs – around one in five start-up founders have benefited from an accelerator or incubator program, over 100 of which are on offer at Australian universities.

Rafi and Gillian leveraged the La Trobe Accelerator Program (LTAP), a 12-week intensive that gives you up to $20,000 funding (equity-free) to fast-track your business idea, plus access to mentors, resources and workshops to help you get to market. The program has helped Innokids create a market strategy, connect with primary school leaders and education decision-makers, and pursue a lean start-up business model.

La Trobe’s Professor Gillian Sullivan Mort, Bundoora Labor MP Colin Brooks, Bundoora Primary School Principal Ms Lee Pollard, and PhD candidate Rafiuddin Ahmed.

Rafi also recommends La Trobe students apply for the Hult Prize, a global platform where university students can create and launch for-good, for-profit start-ups with the help of an annual $1,000,000 prize. To kick-start social businesses at La Trobe, he and Gillian are offering help and advice to interested students.

“As Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, says: ‘I believe everyone is a born entrepreneur’. You just need to find out who you are and what the opportunity is within you,” Rafi says.

If you have an idea, come to Yunus Social Business Centre to fine-tune it. The initiative shouldn’t come only from Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk – it should come from you as well.”

Whether it’s your sole income or a side hack, becoming a social entrepreneur is a great way to unleash your ideas to help others and create a positive impact beyond your business bank account.

Save your career from robots with a Master of Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) at La Trobe University.

LBS alumni event a huge success!

On 25 October, La Trobe Business School welcomed Dr Fiona McKenzie from the Australian Futures Project for the school’s annual Alumni Event.

Dr Fiona McKenzie was welcomed by La Trobe Business School’s Head of School, Professor Paul Mather. Event attendees included LBS alumni, university and industry stakeholders.

In her speech, Dr Fiona McKenzie spoke about how businesses today are influenced by massive digital disruption and are taking the opportunity to expand globally. This trend has often caused businesses process transform and jobs performed by people to be redefined.

La Trobe Business School would like to thank Dr Fiona McKenzie for attending!

Will robots take our jobs?

Find out more about how the digital disruption will affect the future of work at our upcoming La Trobe Business School Alumni Event with Dr McKenzie.

This article was first published on Nest, a haven of new ideas for people who are all kinds of clever. Read the original article.

Technology advances are rapidly changing the world of work as we know it.

PwC predicts 44 per cent (5.1 million) of current Australian jobs are at high risk of being affected by computerisation and technology over the next 20 years. ‘By “high risk”’ the PwC report clarifies ‘we mean there’s a greater than 70 per cent chance the job could be automated by technology’.

La Trobe Futurist Dr Fiona McKenzie discusses the challenges and opportunities of digital disruption in the future workforce, and how we can adapt.

What jobs will become automated?

The 2015 PwC report says jobs most likely to be affected are those where computer learning systems or robotics are able to perform simple and routine tasks faster and more accurately than humans. ‘These typically include unskilled or low-skilled activities in offices, factories and shops,’ it states.

Dr McKenzie says we’re already seeing the seeds of automation in our neighbouring countries. ‘There’s change happening in the manufacturing space with automated robots and co-bots (collaborative robots), which are potentially going to totally change the garment industry and affect employment for millions and millions of people in Asia.’

‘What’s interesting,’ Dr McKenzie further points out, ‘is that people in mid-level jobs are now starting to feel the pinch too.

‘People thought skilled-labour would be safe from automation but in actual fact there are developments where relatively sophisticated tasks can now be automated too.’

Dr McKenzie says ‘I’m hesitant to say whole sectors’ will be automated or safe from automation. Rather, ‘there will be chunks of every sector that will change.’

Roles that require creative thinking, emotional intelligence, intuition and ‘all those things that humans have the advantage on’ will be safe in the near future. As will jobs that require human, face-to-face interactions, such as those in the healthcare sector.

What opportunities can digital disruption offer?

‘We tend to fear that what we don’t know, but automation creates a whole opportunity for something else to be augmented,’ explains Dr McKenzie.

For example, a nurse whose job is to deliver food to patients may find there’s an automated delivery cart that can soon do just that. ‘This can create the opportunity for the nurse to spend more time sitting with the patient, measuring blood pressure and providing better care,’ Dr McKenzie says, ‘and in fact Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital introduced automated guided vehicles to move linen and food back in 2012’.

The advent of the internet and the ability to instantly connect with others across the globe has also enabled the rise of ‘digital nomads’ and freelancers to work from anywhere in the world for anyone in the world.

CSIRO’s recent report into ‘Tomorrow’s digitally enabled workforce’ ‘identifies plausible [future] scenarios via which the many – possibly most – Australian workers become portfolio workers and freelancers’.

Dr McKenzie says, ‘There’s a huge cohort that will be highly skilled, in demand and able to shape their future – and they’ll flourish in this environment.

‘There’ll be lots of opportunities in terms of entrepreneurialism, portfolio work, creating your own identity, being able to work around the world and doing work you’re interested in rather than being tied to one job.’

The rise of portfolio work and the gig economy could mean people can choose flexible work like nights, weekends and part-time, which could be particularly beneficial to parents.

It could also open up more doors for rural dwellers to work remotely for urban and international companies.

The dark side of the precariat workforce

The flipside of the rise of the precariat workforce – that is a working class characterised by ‘precarious work’ – could be that lack of job security increases stress and anxiety for some.

‘The precariat, that concept of “the new vulnerable” in the workplace is important to pay attention to because it is potentially a large cohort of people, says Dr McKenzie.

‘People may feel unsafe, they may feel insecure and like the economy is not ticking along. That plays out in all sorts of ways in politics and society and mental health.’

Dr McKenzie also wonders: ‘If we’re all working in a gig economy, what happens if we don’t have employment contracts and super?’ There’s talk of basic universal income, but we’re yet to know how that might play out.

Similarly, for an aging workforce expected to work into their 70s, Dr McKenzie says we might need to challenge assumptions and paradigms around retirement. People in this age-group might work on a semi-retired basis, they could work as business mentors, or perhaps unpaid roles like childcare and volunteering that this cohort regularly partake in will become financially rewarded roles.

The blurring of work boundaries that means we can potentially work remotely for overseas organisations, could also mean a lot of home-grown jobs are taken offshore.

In 2012, every third adult in OECD countries had a tertiary degree reports CSIRO. ‘That’s a massive cohort of young people coming through with higher education degrees worldwide, and what does that mean if work is more mobile?’ asks Dr McKenzie. Answer: competition for work increases.

How can we prepare for the future workplace?

To make the Australian economy and Australian workers competitive in the future, Dr McKenzie says we need to look at ‘how we can be the best in the world at the different industries we have and make sure we are winning jobs as well.’

Ultimately, Dr McKenzie says it’s less about the pace of digital disruption, and more about how quickly we respond to it. Dr McKenzie asks whether governments and others ‘will choose to be leaders on this or wait to react.’

‘The important point is that it’s not small. If you think about the Great Depression, unemployment was only around 25 per cent and here we’re talking about 44 per cent of jobs at risk.

‘We’re at six per cent unemployment and it doesn’t take a big shift in unemployment for people to really feel the impact. I hope we’ll all be proactive on this one.’

Find out more about how the digital disruption will affect the future of work at our upcoming La Trobe Business School Alumni Event with Dr McKenzie.

 

LBS Alumni Event: The changing nature of work

We are living in a time where businesses are influenced by massive digital disruption and are taking the opportunity to expand globally. This often requires entire business process transform and jobs performed by people to be redefined.

Join us as leading expert in the changing nature of work Dr Fiona McKenzie, discusses how business leaders can prepare for the future, and the skills required to take advantage of new opportunities.

About the speaker

Dr Fiona McKenzie, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy, Australian Futures Project: Dr Fiona McKenzie is a human geographer with a PhD on innovation and expertise in both public policy and academic research. At the Australian Futures Project, Fiona has led the design and implementation of a range of unique programs, including social innovation labs.

Panel Event

Date: Wednesday 25 October 2017

Time: 5:45pm – Arrival, 6:00pm – Presentation, followed by Q&As, 7:30pm – 8:30pm Networking, canapes and drinks

Venue: La Trobe University City Campus, Level 20, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne

Cost: Free

Register: Please register via the corresponding event page. Please RSVP by Friday 20 October.

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