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New Zealanders to tackle innovation uncertainty in public lecture

The businesses in New Zealand, no matter the size, history or industry, are constantly assessing the threat coming from the disruptive technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

Although uncertainty will always be present, some companies are more skilful than others at responding to these challenges.

In order to grow the nation’s wealth, businesses from all sectors, ranging from agriculture to tourism, need to find ways of learning from market leaders to reduce the uncertainty associated with investment in technological innovation.

A public talk called, ‘Navigating Disruptive Innovation in an Uncertain World’ will be given by the Dean of the University of Waikato’s Management School, according to a recent announcement.

It will cover two approaches in tackling innovation uncertainty. The first is by using a new science of demand in order to gain a lens into the mind of future customers.

The second is by unpacking resource allocation choices by integrating demand with supply.

Waikato is often described as one of the best performing regions in New Zealand for generating innovative new ideas.

However, when it comes to commercialising the ideas, it is actually among the worst performing regions.

For a Triple Crown-accredited business school such as the University, the implication is that good management science, when intuitively applied, can be used to help business leaders make better strategic decisions.

Going with gut instinct is unlikely to yield desired results when uncertainty is high.

Taking a more scientific approach to recognise the impact of disruptive technologies can lead to more accurate forecasts and even slight improvements, and can even save big money.

Also to be discussed in the lecture is the impact on higher education, where the threat of disruptive technology is real.

The trick is to recognise that disruptive innovation is not a product at a single point in time, but the evolution of a technology over time.

The lecturer’s research showed that the language of disruption is always faster than actual disruption in the workplace.

While technology is changing at a faster rate than ever before, it takes much longer for the business landscape to change in a material way.

The key message for students is that the basic economic laws being learned in business schools like the University’s Management School are likely to stand the test of time.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato, starting at 5.15pm on 23 October 2018.

It is a part of the 2018 Hamilton Public Lecture Series that demonstrates how the work of the newest professors of the University is having real impact on the world.

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