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A newly-established Deakin Business School (DBS) research unit is set to support organisational front-runners navigate complex 21st century challenges.

With organisations facing escalating challenges in an uncertain and volatile world, a new DBS research unit, led by Associate Professor Jeff ShaoDr Yuen Lam Bavik, and Dr Matt Mount, will provide cutting-edge research and resources to help leaders from all industry sectors build their capabilities and problem-solving skills.

The Leadership Futures Hub has its soft launch on 19 October with the panel discussion event Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling in Australia featuring five speakers from 2021’s “40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards”, including hub member Dr Lee Martin, who was recognised for her contributions to education.

The hub’s director, Assoc. Prof. Shao, says DBS’s leadership scholars have both the passion and expertise for helping 21stcentury leaders address complex challenges and create new opportunities.

‘The hub is an important platform for us to work together and make a positive impact on society. It brings together scholars and industry leaders to produce advanced leadership knowledge and best leadership practices through collaborative research projects, public forums, and consulting services,’ he explains.

Academic members of the hub are some of DBS’s leading scholars who have extensive experience working with industry and research published in international peer-reviewed journals.

‘We also have an Industry Advisory Board consisting of senior leaders from cross-section of industries,’ says Assoc. Prof. Shao.

As one of the research units under DBS’s Business and Society theme, the hub has established four strategic pillars to address key leadership challenges. These include responding to crises, managing increasingly diverse workforces, socially-responsible leadership, and maintaining and improving workforce wellbeing and mental health.

Assoc. Prof. Shao says the hub’s academics are ready to work with organisations and industry leaders to exchange ideas and investigate solutions.

‘Knowledge will be disseminated through a variety of channels including academic publications, industry reports, masterclasses and media releases. Additionally, we will work closely with Deakin’s Master of Leadership program to include latest leadership knowledge in course materials.’

Co-director, Dr Yuen Lam Bavik says they are looking forward to creating opportunities and investing resources into establishing partnerships between organisations, leaders, and academics. 

‘We will do this through research and consultancy projects, grant applications, and leadership training and mentoring. The hub will provide members and leaders with an accessible platform to both acquire and disseminate leadership knowledge and insights.’

She adds the hub is an open platform that welcomes affiliation from individuals and institutions.

‘We will be working with individual leaders, teams, and organisations who are seeking to identify gaps in their practices and tools for improving leadership development. Further to our upcoming soft launch event, some of our members are also developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on crisis leadership which will be available on FutureLearn in early 2022.’

Registrations for the 19 October webinar ‘Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling in Australia’ are welcome here.

More information and contacts about the Leadership Futures Hub and other DBS research initiatives can be found here.

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