Image (left to right): Tim Wall, General Manager, Caltex Lytton Refinery & NAWO Board member; Thea Jackson, Caltex; Lisa Roobottom, Caltex; Jane Thomson, McKinsey & Company
By Kartini Oei, Transformation Manager – ANZ, BP Australia & NAWO QLD State Committee Chair
Uber Drivers Need Not Apply (held on the 5th of June) was NAWO’s third Queensland event for 2017 and was well received by around 50 attendees. It was the second time Caltex has generously hosted a QLD Quick Bite.
Focusing on Commercial Acumen as the learning theme, the event explored whether ‘innovation in traditional manufacturing is an oxymoron or business reality’.
In an era where innovation in the public conversation is quickly linked to the newest app, ‘disruption’ or new industry, for those of us working in more traditional manufacturing and operational businesses, it can be hard to know what innovation looks like and how it can be incorporated into your role. Our guest speaker Jane Thompson, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company, generously shared with the audience what innovation trends are already happening in manufacturing, helped to identify what practices are being borrowed from start-ups to generate new ideas in traditional manufacturing and how to think about innovation to encourage more of it in one’s role and teams. The second speaker, Thea Jackson, Operations Process Engineer, Caltex, brought innovation to life, sharing with the audience a recent project she managed which applied a new solution to a reoccurring maintenance problem at the Caltex Refinery – one that was much cheaper and quicker while staying safe. The audience was inspired – while our businesses might not be traditionally thought of as innovative, there are plenty of opportunities to innovate!