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Emerging Leaders get an 'Iconic' lesson in innovation

02 Sep 2013

Members of the AFR Boss Emerging Leaders Program and guests attended the University of Sydney Business School CBD campus on 28 August, for the first AFR BOSS Magazine Emerging Leaders Master Class of 2013.

The topic for the Master Class was Enterprise Social Media and Change, and featured a presentation and interactive workshop with Adam Jacobs, co-founder and Managing Director of leading Australian online retail company, The Iconic. Jacobs, a Business School alumnus, delivered insights into how The Iconic has leveraged the power of social media to become a premium destination for online retail.

During his presentation, Jacobs also outlined The Iconic's business philosophy and emphasised his view that "Innovation is in execution", which has been behind the company's meteoric growth. He also revealed the importance he places on being "ahead of the curve", through customer service initiatives like the three-hour delivery promise for clients in Sydney.

Additionally, he talked about his adherence to the "80/20 Rule", explaining that he would prefer to adapt the business to its needs, rather than letting the business get tied up with too much research and testing.

"Don't be afraid to fail," Jacobs said, "but do be prepared to change fast."

The Master Class also included presentations from Business School academics Professor Richard Hall, Associate Dean (Management Education) and Associate Professor Kai Riemer, from the Discipline of Business Information Systems, and Katrina Riddle, Customer Success Manager (CSM) at Yammer Inc, the Enterprise Social Network.

"The landscape of the business world is changing very rapidly, and that change is being driven by technology to a considerable degree," said Associate Professor Riemer. "The business leaders of tomorrow will need to understand how that technology works, and how they can use it to their advantage and gain a competitive edge. Events like this Master Class are the perfect environment for exposing young leaders to thought-leading academic and industry knowledge that they might otherwise miss."

"The Business School is very proud to be in a position to host these Master Classes and provide opportunities for the future leaders of Australia to meet prominent members of the business community, and hear directly from them about how they have achieved their success," said Professor Hall. "Our partnership with the Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine is proving to be of enormous benefit to participants in the Emerging Leaders Program, and we are already looking forward to the next events on the program calendar."

For more information on the Emerging Leaders program, please visit the Emerging Leaders website.