‘Creativity Needs to be Harnessed so WA Economy Can Move Forward’
A GLOBAL business executive and futurist says Western Australia will need to embrace a cultural shift in thinking over the next five to 15 years.
Dr David E Martin said Western Australia had always been focused on producing commodities.
“There is a particular social view that one takes when you are essentially pushing commodities into the global market and typically that means you have to be responsive, and ultimately beholden, to things that live outside your control,” Dr Martin said.
He said commodity-sourcing enterprises see themselves and build themselves into high responsivity but they do not necessarily have high vision.
“One of the challenges for Perth and Western Australia is to take a step back and say – rather than having people dictate to us what they need – I think the real challenge and real emergent property around leadership is around letting creativity grow,” Dr Martin said.
Perth had a global, cosmopolitan population. “This global pulse could give rise to a new generation of leadership in Perth which can start articulating unique values from this place rather than be responsive to demands from other places,” he said.
“I think culturally there needs to be a big shift and that is possible. But it brings about some interesting identity issues because, when you have had to be relatively conservative to be accommodative to the supply chain, there is a huge challenge as people need to move into visionary leadership roles from what has traditionally been functional leadership.”
Dr Martin predicts there will be a big pivot in the way of thinking in Perth over the next 5, 10, 15 years. “It is a cultural shift – you can’t put together a 10 step self-help program to get there, you actually have to take some new narratives and new structures,” he said. “And those are the things that are going to be what makes Perth exciting going forward.”
Leadership WA CEO Robin McClellan, who organized for Dr Martin to take part in Leadership WA’s Leader in Residence program, met him on a recent visit to Antarctica. That trip was held by The Unstoppables, a group of Australian entrepreneurs who are committed to development that is purposeful as well as profitable.
“Dr Martin was one of the most inspiring figures on our expedition – he is an innovator, communicator, and catalyst and his insights will deepen our discussion of the Leadership WA theme of natural resources and sustainability,” Ms McClellan said.
Leadership WA is now assessing applications for its Signature Leadership Program. Go to www.leadershipwa.com.au
About Dr David E Martin
Dr David E Martin lives in Virginia, US. From the halls of Parliaments and Congress to HBO comedy, Dr David Martin – founder and Chairman of M•CAM – takes on some of the world’s most complex economic and social themes with solutions that he’s deployed in over 160 countries. Described as a futurist, fulcrum ninja, economist, and global business executive, David disarms the most ardent pessimists with the evidence that, with the right perspective, we can tackle any perceived problem and achieve extraordinary outcomes. In a televised speech in 2006, David correctly forecast the US housing financial crisis and identified it as a catalyst for the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
David says in Perth he is unusually adopting a public profile, in light of the Leadership WA Leader in Residence program and the film screening of Future Dreaming in Perth.