Three Signs You Should Not be enrolling in an MBA (and One that You Should)

Earlier this week, I published a post on LinkedIn drawing three lessons from Queensland’s recent domination of the Australian Financial Review (AFR)/BOSS biennial review of Australia’s best MBA programs. For those who missed the results, Queensland schools took out four of the top five positions, including the top spot, with another two schools in the top eight of a survey that gives its highest weighting to the value graduates put on their experience. At the crux of each of the lessons was one central truth: in a market as crowded as that of Australia’s MBA providers, the key is to give the people what they want. Which raises a question for those thinking about undertaking an MBA – what do you want? And is an MBA the right way to get it? Here are three signs your plans to commit serious time and money to an MBA – the winner of the best value-for-money title (also a Queenslander: number 8 overall) has full-time fees of $AU32,400 – may not be the best way to get what you’re really after: Continue reading

How Many Reviews Does it Take to Change a System?

Consultation closed yesterday on the Review of Australia’s Research Training System by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA). For those of you playing at home, yes, I *did* post recently about another public consultation process that also closed yesterday, and yes, I *did* suggest it had great potential to lift the innovation industries out of a long running problem – for a semi-controlled riff on the consultation blues, you can have a look at my post today on LinkedIn.

Back to the ACOLA review, and before I go any further I should be clear: any criticisms (and there will be some, trust me) in this post are in no way directed at ACOLA or the well-respected and very busy people on the Expert Working Group tasked with completing it. This review was not their idea, and I have no doubt they will do their best to make it a constructive investment of public monies. I had the pleasure of meeting Working Group Chair John McGagh several years ago when he was head of Global Innovation for Rio Tinto, and that’s just the kind of man he is.

That said, it’s not exactly news that workforce capability and development outside technical aptitude has been a recurring challenge for the innovation industries: Continue reading

Filling the Skills Gap for Innovators – A Rant

There appears to be a growing perception in the innovation industry base, particularly but by no means exclusively in those in their first 10 years of experience, that commerce equates to bringing an invention to market and as such, is irrelevant to them as “someone else does that”. And, at a time when headlines are full of gloomy stats regarding employment rates for graduates of tertiary and higher programs, one wonders if that misperception is a big part of the problem.  Continue reading

Reflections on the Budget – 2014

In every battle, there comes a point when the grinding of teeth, stomping of feet and name calling – the fun bit – has to end.  Reaching that point doesn’t mean They’re right, but rather that one is getting down to the business of the battle, channelling one’s efforts into something that will make a difference.  That first phase is just as important as the second – it’s where you build up the outrage, the energy-in-motion of emotion, to burn as fuel for those efforts. Linger there too long, however, and you’re likely to find yourself still holding the grenade when it goes off.  Continue reading

Rough Week?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a rough week – one of those weeks where you tell yourself to get over yourself cos it’s not like you’re in Syria, but then feel so bad for the Syrians that you feel worse, because now you’re the kind of person who compares themselves to the Syrians struggling to survive to make themselves feel better. Yeah, one of those weeks. Continue reading