Griffith University and Graystone BTP Partnership

On Friday 4th August, leaders from within the business and technology precinct (BTP) community were brought together by hosts Graystone and Griffith University at the inaugural BTP Executive Luncheon, a series designed to provide an opportunity to connect with fellow business and thought leaders over an intimate lunch setting.

Peter Robbie (Director, Graystone), John Kirwood (CEO, Seymour Whyte), Ian Whiting (CEO, Markinson). Griffith University and Graystone Guests.

Peter Robbie (Director, Graystone), John Kirwood (CEO, Seymour Whyte), Ian Whiting (CEO, Markinson).

Attendees at the luncheon were joined by guest speaker, Professor Sara McGaughey, who presented findings from her new book, co-authored with Dr Jo Amberg, entitled “Fostering Local Entrepreneurship in a Multinational Enterprise.” The book is the product of a research journey investigating the causes of inertia in corporate entrepreneurship.

Professor Sara McGaughey’s research identifies a configuration of inter-dependent factors that mutually reinforce each other and sustain inertia. These factors can be grouped in the following main domains:

  • organisation design or “process orientation”
  • organisational culture characterised by indecisiveness and lack of empowerment that stifle the bottom up generation and implementation of ideas; and
  • human resource policies and practices that had unintended consequences.

John Kirkwood, CEO of Seymour Whyte, reflected on his own experience within large corporate environments and agreed that while all organisations need process, “successful companies are those that have a level of maturity and an ability to recognise which processes can be flexible. People within an organisation need to be empowered to know when to say ’yes that’s the process but we’re doing something different’.”

BTP Executive Luncheon guests. Griffith University and Graystone Guests.

BTP Executive Luncheon guests.

He also acknowledged that sometimes processes must be followed to the letter. “In the construction industry there is no room for flexibility in Quality Assurance and Safety”. Typically an entrepreneurial culture requires longevity within an organisation where people have comfort in their own decision making ability and that they won’t be called out by others. This is the organisation that succeeds. The lunch was the first in a series of executive luncheons hosted by Graystone and Griffith University, with the next event scheduled for November.

To register your interest for the next event, please email .
For more information about Professor McGaughey’s research contact the Griffith University Business School on 07 3735 4889 or email .

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