Griffith Business School officially launches Department of Business Strategy and Innovation

(From left) Professor David Grant, Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans, Transit Australia Group CEO Michael McGee, Professor Rosemary Stockdale and RedEye CEO Wayne Gerard at the launch of the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation.

Griffith Business School has ushered in a new era for one of its most enduring and significant Departments, officially launching the freshly rebranded Department of Business Strategy and Innovation at an event in South Bank last week.

Joined by industry partners, alumni, students, colleagues and distinguished guests, Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor David Grant officially opened proceedings to celebrate the Department’s reinvigorated vision alongside the new Head of Department, Professor Rosemary Stockdale.

Professor David Grant speaking at the launch

Also in attendance as guest presenters were the Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP — the Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts — and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Ms Leanne Kemp.

Formerly known as the Department of International Business and Asian Studies, the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation (BSI) will retain its focus on engaging with the Asia-Pacific, and particularly with Asia-Pacific business, while expanding its remit to reflect the nature of the evolving labour market.

“In the past decade alone, we’ve experienced the rise of the so-called gig economy, an increased focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, and rapid technological changes, all of which have brought with them a diversity of opportunities and challenges for employers and employees alike,” Professor Grant said.

“As a key incubator for the business leaders of tomorrow, it is only fitting that we, too, adapt, to both better respond to and anticipate the ever-changing nature of work.

“The renaming of the department to Business Strategy and Innovation, and the expansion of its activities to reflect this, is about ensuring that Griffith Business School is able to devote sufficient attention to these changes through our education, research and engagement.”

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP addresses the crowd

Professor Stockdale echoed Professor Grant’s sentiments, noting the Department’s origins at the beginning of Griffith’s nearly 50-year history, when the University was founded with a commitment to prioritising Asian studies and regional engagement.

“These are things we will not change, but rather build on as we seek to reform and refocus the department to meet the changing needs of a society increasingly influenced by what many are calling the fourth industrial revolution,” Professor Stockdale said.

The Hon. Ms Enoch MP also acknowledged the rapidly changing business landscape, noting the need for proactive leadership to anticipate and respond to future uncertainty.

“If we do not lead, we will be left behind or followers of other nations’ viewpoint on how we incorporate our economy, our social aspects and our cultural aspects into the changing world,” she said.

During an enlightening Q&A session with Griffith Business School’s Dean (Engagement), Professor Anne Tiernan, the Chief Entrepreneur, Ms Kemp, noted the vital role institutions such as Griffith play in influencing the direction and development of social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Ms Leanne Kemp (left) and Professor Anne Tiernan

“Universities have the most critical responsibility in the ecosystem,” she said. “They will survive and thrive beyond the choice of any government or any construct of leadership.”

All of the evening’s speakers highlighted Griffith’s strong collaborative ties to industry, government and the community, at regional, national and international levels.

These relationships — whether producing engaged research, influencing policy and legislation regulation, or improving service delivery — are crucial to the work being done by the reinvigorated Department for the betterment of society, Professor Grant said.

“Part of the mission of the Department, through its interdisciplinary, engaged research and teaching, is to break down silos, bring people together, and thereby address significant challenges faced by business, government and the community more broadly,” he said.

“And,ultimately,that is going to be achieved by the community of alumni, staff, students and industry partners that makes up the new Department of Business Strategy and Innovation.”