More than 50 local business leaders attended a masterclass on 23 January 2019 at the University of Gloucestershire’s School of Business and Technology as communications agency, Target, unveiled its innovation white paper.
Organised by leadership development and strategy specialists QuoLux, Target’s Chief Executive, Sarah Bryars, shared the findings and insights from her MBA Leading Business research project which explored communications as a driver of innovation. Sarah is one of the very first graduates of the qualification, dubbed the ‘practical MBA’, which was designed and delivered by QuoLux in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire.
The event was introduced by the Head of the School of Business and Technology, Kamal Bechkoum, who stressed the important role the University plays in working, and forming partnerships, with local businesses. This was followed by Sarah’s masterclass, before a panel discussion, chaired by QuoLux Managing Director, Stewart Barnes, rounded the morning off.
Sarah was joined by fellow MBA Leading Business graduates Luke Freeman, Joint-Chief Executive of MF Freeman, and Linsey Temple, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Engineering Training (GET), who spoke about their own research projects. Jocelyne Fleming, Academic Subject Lead in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Gloucestershire, also contributed to the discussion, talking about the significance of work-based learning in bridging academia and business life together.
“To have so many business leaders take time out of their busy days to come to this event was fantastic,” said Sarah. “The feedback has been very positive so I hope that I was able to provide some food for thought for people to take away, particularly in relation to thinking slightly differently about innovation and how it should be part of every successful business.
“The role communication plays in helping to drive innovation is rarely discussed, yet offers so much potential for businesses of all sizes and sectors. What does it mean to innovate? Does culture play a part, or is it simply down to R&D? These are some of the questions that we explore in our white paper, which draws upon existing academic research and a small study among chief executives from SMEs in the South West which I conducted as part of my MBA. We want to encourage businesses to make innovation part of their overall strategy and show how expert communications can enhance innovation.”
“To date, our masterclass programme has consisted solely of outside speakers, so it was a proud moment for QuoLux to have one of its own alumni take to the floor,” said Stewart. “Sarah’s MBA was the culmination of several years of work-based learning on our LEAD, GOLD and GAIN programmes, which we designed to support SME leaders grow their businesses through enhancing their leadership. To hear from all three of our MBA Leading Business graduates was inspirational.”