Monthly Archives: June 2011

Steve Wozniak: The Profile of The Inspirational Leader

I, perhaps like most of you, have always associated Apple Computers with the other Steve, Steve Jobs. The one who is always interviewed, who is behind all deals, who gets most of Apple’s publicity.

So I didn’t know what to expect when Steve Wozniak took the stage. I did expect him to read his presentation, since, pardon the stereotype, a lot of engineers like Steve feel uncomfortable presenting without “security blankets”.

But it wasn’t the case with Steve. He didn’t read his speech, and he didn’t have sensational facts and stories to tell us.

He just told his story and the story of Apple Computers, and in doing so he captured the undivided attention of every single person in the hall for a whole hour.

Such is the power of Story Telling, it is not just for kids, it is for adults in business suits as well. And this skill is priceless. But I will get back to it later.

For now I just want to present the profile of the Inspirational Leader, from the way I saw and heard Steve Wozniak. [...]

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The Productivity Slump

Key note from Saul Eslake, a leading Australian Economist and Director of the Productivity Growth ProgrammeSaul Eslake

(summary, comments and interpretation by Denitza Genova)

Productivity growth has been in decline since 2000 (still growing but at declining rate of 1% compared to 3.5% in the previous decade).

Reasons:

  • Decline in population growth and levels of labour force participation; increase in labour costs and smaller pool of capable workforce
  • Capacity constraints and shortages of skilled labour  plus infrastructure bottlenecks have caused an increase of down-time
  • The increase of corporate profitability has led to diminished importance of the need to continuously improve performance;

This has changed in the last 2 years with businesses on harder times and refocusing on increasing efficiency (via lean manufacturing programmes, process reengineering, reducing waste, service blueprinting for example.) [...]

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Australia…still the lucky country

This was a fascinating debate with some big names round the table.

We weren’t able to capture all of it for you, but here are some of the highlights:

On the heated carbon tax debate:

One radical opinion in support of government intervention to reduce carbon emissions was that of Goran Roos, “Thinker in Residence” in SA who gave the example of Sweden, where the Government have been imposing strict regulations on all companies who didn’t innovate their practices to become carbon efficient.

As a result Sweden, as a country, is very close to becoming carbon-neutral, which is very impressive!

Our take on the issue of carbon dioxide reduction, business and politics: [...]

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Understanding Entrepreneurs

Malcolm Gladwell: Understanding Entrepreneurs

Why do some ideas or behaviours take off and spread successfully – and others don’t? The best messages and ideas behave like viruses, and understanding the laws of epidemics can shed new insight in how to rise above the clamour of voices trying to reach consumers.

Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996 and has an incomparable gift for interpreting new ideas in the social sciences and making them understandable, practical and valuable to business.” Extract from the business congress website

Key Points from Malcolm’s Presentation:

  • The key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs include intelligence, courage and having no fear of social exclusion
  • Successful Entrepreneurs have a Bi-Modal attitude to Risk, which is often misunderstood. [...]
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