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June 15, 2017
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Ken’s last Lecture

Published by David Fogarty:

Things came full circle for me last Thursday. In the very room that I made the decision to sign up for the MBT, which included a confrontational Ken Dovey speech, I had the good fortune to hear Ken give a final “moralising sermon.”

Despite the relatively short notice and the very inclement weather, Ken’s farewell event attracted a standing-room-only crowd. The mood was amazingly light – good spirits were abundant as connections were refreshed among those waiting for the formalities to commence. I remain envious of Ken’s ability to put a name to a face so readily. So many times I have felt that I had Ken’s singular attention: the reality is that the nurturing I have felt through my post-grad years was shared, in some form, by everyone present. Ken’s ability to maintain a connection with so many is even more impressive: I joined the dots as Ken spoke about his courage to hit the “network reset” button to settle in Australia. That he has become a hub for so much interconnection is amazing.

Ken told (or retold) stories that recent MBT students would be well familiar with – whether it was the intelligent caring of nudging an over achiever to just show up on time to challenging that academically, meeting a commitment is such a meaningful attribute with which one can leave the program.

By the end of the lecture, I was certain of the theme that Ken was such an excellent educator. Helping others learn at such a level is indeed his passion. I recall that as I have worked through various assignments, I have told my wife that “I like the way that Ken makes me think.” I had the same wake up listening to that lecture – Ken was teaching to the end.

The pride he felt in the achievements of those who’ve been through the MBT was palpable. I encourage everyone who has had their thinking challenged by Ken to revisit the transcript of the lecture (Click here to open the transcript) Hopefully, you too will have a moment of pause that allows you to consider how transformative your MBT experience has been.

Here is a summary of some of the key points taken from the lecture :

‘Leadership: What have I Learned from Running the MBT for 16 Years’.

1)    Leadership is all about developing capabilities in other people, this might become confrontational at times but it’s for the benefit of the individual and overall collective (intelligent caring)

2)    You cannot lead effectively without power.  The generation of power is absolutely crucial. In the MBT, the power base was created by establishing an independent board and leveraging the broader community

3)    To protect the quality of the program, I had to be an intrapreneur and take risks but I had always to be seen as acting in the interest of the university

4)    To lead successfully requires really strong sources of courage. You really have to be fully aware all the time of what it is that you have in order to grow.

5)    We’ve distributed the leadership by making the community co-owner of the MBT brand and this sense of ownership has created intangible capital resources: relation-based resources such as trust, passion, commitment, resilience and ideas.

6)    By using part time industry lecturers, we’ve created an operational structure that supports a very agile and flexible offering that can respond to student’s feedback and always stay up to date and relevant

7)    To learn to lead effectively, you need to have a degree of intellectual humility being open to tapping into the knowledge of others and putting your ego aside.

8)    As an intrapreneur, as an academic, as a human being, I need recognition. This came in the form a community of people who are incredibly generous, interesting, knowledge-rich, and dynamic. Through these relationships I have been inspired to stay young in spirit; to stay relevant; and to keep shaking my fist at death.

Ken wishes to thank all and is also still very keen to stay in touch.

 

Click here to see the gallery of photos from the lecture. And here’s a few pictures of Ken during the night.

1 Comment

  1. Charlie says:

    Ken is a person not only teaches you knowledge but also inspires you to be a better person for the society .

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