Thinking for change: The world's most effective "concept maker" comes to Cape Town

One of the most influential business thinkers and strategists in the world today, Professor Roger Martin, is coming to the UCT Graduate School of Business - in partnership with Deloitte - for a morning of turning conventional business thinking on its head for the greater good.

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has partnered with professional services firm Deloitte to host the sought after, international thought leader, Professor Roger Martin, in Cape Town next week. Martin will deliver the keynote address at a special business breakfast.

Regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on integrative thinking, business design, strategy, corporate social responsibility, and country competitiveness, Martin is a trusted strategy adviser to CEOs of some of the worlds largest companies, among them, Proctor & Gamble, Verizon, IDEO, and Lego. In 2013, the Thinkers50 list named him the third most influential business thinker in the world, and prior to that he's been recognised as one of the ‘most influential designers in the world’ and “one of the 10 most influential business professors in the world” by Business Week.

Martin is also the Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, he presides over the Skoll Foundation (investing in the world’s leading social entrepreneurs), and holds the Premier’s Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness in Toronto, Canada. He was formerly the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in Canada.

He has authored and co-authored 11 books including The Rise and Likely Fall of the Talent Economy, Getting Beyond Better, The Future of the MBA, Fixing the Game, and Playing to Win; and he has regularly been published in The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Financial Times.

Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran, Professor of Systems and Integrative Thinking and GSB EMBA Programme Director, says: “He’s the most effective concept maker in business education in the 21st century’ according to the number of successful new concepts he’s introduced to revitalise business education.”

In his most recent book, Getting Beyond Better, Martin explores how the disrupting, visionary, or change-making social entrepreneur develops, builds, and scales their solutions to stable but unjust organisational systems to bring about ‘”truly revolutionary change”.

“He has been remarkable because he detects both the systemic shift that needs to be made and appropriate pedagogical and conceptual innovations. He has a remarkable way of bringing lofty ideas down to a pragmatic, soul stirring level,” says Sewchurran.

“Professor Martin is one of the most influential business thinkers in the world, the application of his playing to win framework has assisted many corporates to think through their strategic choices enabling the development of clear and implementable strategies,” says Louis Kruger, Monitor Deloitte’s Lead Director.

The GSB has for the past few years been incorporating Martin’s concepts on the disciplines of strategy and innovation into its prestigious programmes, among them the Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) and Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice (PGDip), as well as at its specialised centres like the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His “intervention design” focus has been a key foundation of the GSB’s trademark Systems Thinking Action Learning (SYSTAL) process.

“The GSB aligns with a lot of the philosophies Martin has pioneered around systems thinking and innovation and I’m excited to expose the greater community to this level of thought leadership,” says Dr Fran├žois Bonnici, Director of the Bertha Centre, who was instrumental in orchestrating Martin’s visit to the GSB.

“I’m interested to see those in attendance engage with Martin on how to use these innovative strategies to make integrated socio-economic progress and apply these theories in our context,” says Bonnici.

“Roger Martin takes strategy beyond the clinical framework, into a journey of understanding, empathy, with logic and structure,” comments Lead Director for Deloitte Digital Africa, Valter Adao. “His personal experiences in working with some of the world’s largest clients and influential executives have contributed to my most memorable and enriching learning experiences. Having completed one of his Master Strategy Programs has been a privilege, as it is to have him here in South Africa speaking to some of our influential executives that shape our country’s economic landscape.”

Sewchurran adds: “In all of Martin’s publications it can be discerned that he has been tending to the systemic challenges society experiences with the design of shareholder capitalism and its subsequent impacts on organisational design, management decision making, the pursuit of innovation, and the design of the MBA.”
According to Sewchurran, Martin did not just stop at eloquently identifying these challenges, but he went on to point the way on how to remedy this at multiple levels.

The UCT GSB Business Breakfast will be held on Thursday, 1 September, from 7.30am for 8am to 10am, in the Exhibition Hall at UCT Graduate School of Business at 9 Portswood Rd, Green Point, in Cape Town.

24 Aug 2016 12:35