Futurist David Martin: WA needs to change its thinking

Leadership WA chief executive Robin McClellan with futurist David Martin.
Leadership WA chief executive Robin McClellan with futurist David Martin.

DURING a short trip to Western Australia, futurist David Martin concluded that Western Australia would need to embrace a cultural shift in thinking over the next 10 years.

The US-based business executive recently took part in the Leadership WA’s Leader in Residence program and spoke to a room full of alumni of the organisation’s signature program.

Dr Martin said WA had always been focused on producing commodities and that commodity-sourcing enterprises build themselves into high responsivity but do not necessarily have high vision.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“I think culturally there needs to be a 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 of the supply chain, there is a huge challenge as people need to move into visionary leadership roles from what has traditionally been functional leadership.”

Leadership WA chief executive Robin McClellan said Dr Martin was an innovator, communicator and catalyst and his insights would deepen the discussion of the organisation’s theme of natural resources and sustainability.