09/04/2002 - 22:00

Sharing corporate change

09/04/2002 - 22:00

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Curtin University of Technology is to support an initiative bringing together the leaders of ten WA companies to share experiences in implementing changes in corporate practice.

Sharing corporate change
Curtin University of Technology is to support an initiative bringing together the leaders of ten WA companies to share experiences in implementing changes in corporate practice.

Participating companies will be required to complete an initial review of their relationships with key stakeholders before the commencement of a series of workshops, held over the 18-month period.

Each workshop will be conducted by one company willing to share its experience of implementing change to build better relationships with a particular stakeholder group, be it customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and the community.

One high-profile company known to have recently implemented a significant employee responsibility program has been targeted to become a participant.

Described as a "journey", the program requires companies to share with others from a range of industries and to challenge each other’s concepts.

The program, to be run by UK think-tank, the Centre for Tomorrow’s Company, will receive facilitation and research support coordinated by Curtin Business School manager business development Cisca Spencer.

Ms Spencer first heard Tomorrow’s Company vice chairman research board Russell Devitt present the idea of bringing companies together to share experiences of implementing inclusivity at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia function two years ago, and thought it a good way to bring innovative businesses and leaders together.

Mr Devitt presented some interesting statistics of the longevity of companies which operated along these lines, some dating back to the pre-Depression years, Ms Spencer said, and drew a contrast between these and "top-10" UK companies of the 1980s, which typically did not espouse stakeholder inclusivity and which have largely disappeared.

Under Ms Spencer’s direction, Curtin Business School students will prepare case studies of the participating companies in the Perth program, run a conference at the conclusion of the program and publish the results.

Mr Devitt, who will facilitate four such programs in Australia this year, in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Perth, said he was invited to present the Tomorrow’s Company idea in Australia by CEDA’s executive officer for WA, Lisa Scaffidi.

The companies keen to talk about participating in the programs were typically innovative and already actively involved in change which delivered greater inclusion to all stakeholders, Mr Devitt said.

Those showing keen interest in Perth came from the resources, financial, manufacturing and services sectors, and ranged from very large to very small businesses, he said.

The centre for Tomorrow’s Company was established in 1996, when 12 companies decided they ought to fund an organisation to positively advocate the findings of a two-year research project of

28 UK corporations.

Foundation members included

BAE Systems, British Telecommunications, Royal & Sun Alliance and Shell.

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