Julia Gillard: Leadership in the Asian Century: Opportunities Abroad, Lessons at Home

When Great Britain industrialised it took 70 years, in the last 25 years Asia has done it (and more of it). Julia Gillard kicks off her talk with a few really funny anecdotes (the Prime Minister of Italy in makeup…)

First thoughts: Julia Gillard is funny! #ColourMeSurprised

So what does this drastic growth in Asia mean for Australia? Australia’s attitudes to Asia and it’s rise have changed drastically.

What this means – Australia’s traditional source of heartache (distance from the world) – is now it’s biggest advantage. Beneath the economic churn (stock markets, demand and downturn of the requirement for Australian resources etc) there is a longer term growth which we need to be in a position to engage in.

Currently there is a summit in Sydney to discuss reform and the way forward to prepare us for this. The US is our ally – while China is our biggest exporter for Australia’s goods. Never before has Australia’s history depended on neither an ally nor a democracy.

HR is in the bsuiness of interconnections between people. For our industry Asia’s rise is the opportunity of a lifetime. Technological change will be the constant disrupter. 

Technological change is rapid (Julia (because we’re on a first name basis) great stories about the first time she used a fax machine here) – “how smart can these walking talking machines be?”. Julia introduces us to “Watson” who was created to play Jeopardy – he beat the best 2 human players ever.

Whaaat? Watson the computer has now enrolled in medical school. 


The rate of change is exponential – we’re running up a very steep curve.

So what will the future of work look like?

More and more is being done by machines (factory work, reading resumes, accounting work)… we’ve got to adapt HR people!

Machines will never be innovators. Never be ideas creators.

People-people that will succeed will be the ones that can adapt and change. Be crystal clear about what you want to do, who you want to be, what you want to change. 

Technology means it’s harder to manage the important over the urgent. Give yourself the time.

Maximise the talent around you free from stereotypes. Success and likability are positively correlated for a man and not a woman.


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