Working together the lesson for local businesses

HOW could a future astronaut, a conflict resolution leader, a university professor and a celebrity advertising guru help Gladstone businesses?

By coming together in the one place they epitomised one of the lessons leaders become aware of - the importance of collaboration in sharing information and knowledge that enable us to make better decisions.

These four different strangers were invited to speak to a delegation of Gladstone businesses as part of the Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd's Shaping Our Regions Future Leaders Conference at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.

What they brought with them were stories of risk management in the Middle East, making life dreams come true and dealing with different one-sided perceptions in life.

Those stories, like every good fairy-tale, had messages, and street-wise leader Rob Redenbach got the audience interested with a hands-on exercise.

It required six audience members to take part in a white noise exercise, to remember details from a pile of personal cards and licences, before he tried to distract the group.

Individually, they had an average score of 13 pieces of information, but when collated they had 27 pieces of information between them.

"The group will always see more, understand more and comprehend more than any one individual," he said.

Mr Redenbach said a manager could be more experienced or qualified but their ego could erode the potential to tap into the collective.

"Smart business operators are smart enough to know they don't have to be the smartest person in the room," he said.

"They just have to be smart enough not to let their ego get in the way of a good result."

Tim Gibson runs a hotel by day but is preparing to go up in space in 2016.

He won a competition to be chosen for the flight, out of 105 people around the world.

Split into one of eight groups, they built rockets and although his group's rocket failed, they passed because of their group work and six of those in his team were selected.

They put that down, "as Buzz Aldrin himself told us, to group cohesion," he said.

Professor John Cole from the University of Southern Queensland said the teamwork to make regional Queensland sustainable and resilient was about the region demanding more and offering more.

"We need to be asking better questions of ourselves, measuring and managing the right things and dealing with the region," he said.

IDEA’S MAN: The Gruen Transfer’s Dan Gregory presents at the GAPDL Future Leaders conference in Gladstone on Thursday.
IDEA’S MAN: The Gruen Transfer’s Dan Gregory presents at the GAPDL Future Leaders conference in Gladstone on Thursday. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Gruen Transfer panellist shares how it's done

THE Gruen Transfer's Dan Gregory treated Gladstone business owners to a few pearls of wisdom on what makes people buy into a product or service.

The advertising guru said it was value and identity that businesses should look at to improve themselves.

Mr Gregory said a researcher at Ohio State University found 97.8% of the value of an innovation goes to the imitators not the innovators.

"Identity is what drives innovation," he said.

"It's not about being first to market; it's wrapping the innovation up in an identity that makes it saleable."

He said every year for the past five years Apple had been voted the most innovative company on the planet by Fast Company, and they didn't invent anything.

"Microsoft had tablet technology 10 years before the iPad hit the market. What (Apple) created was a powerful identity."

When consulting with a group of optometrists he asked what was most important - spending money to make the consult room look good or training the 19-year-old on front counter?

"People spend all their time, money and focus on the wrong things because they don't understand the value exchange they're engaged in…when they're aligned with people's values real change gets to happen."

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