Ep 26: Intrapreneurship, innovation and the future of work – Dr Natalia Nikolova

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Dr Natalia Nikolova

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About this conversation
We are at the outset of one of the most turbulent periods of what Joseph Schumpeter termed creative destruction. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, internet of things, and big data will impact every organisation and every job. The only way to survive this creative destruction is to be part of it.

For established organisations, this means fostering a culture of innovation and intrapreneurship that supports innovative initiatives and practices within existing organisations. For individual workers, the implication is to invest in skills and capabilities that will enable them to develop an entrepreneurial, future-oriented mindset, and the ability to work with people from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. Both are not easy to accomplish.

In this event, Natalia shares insights from academic research and industry best practice on intrapreneurship as well as my personal experiences of cultivating students’ skills and capabilities necessary for the future of work.

More About The Speaker
Dr Natalia Nikolova is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of Technology Sydney Business School and the Director of UTS’ newly developed, innovative MBA. Her research focuses on organisational practices, strategy, innovation and leadership and seeks to provide students, the business community and the public with a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with the future of work.

Natalia specializes in designing learning experiences and courses that prepare students for the future of work through the development of ‘enterprise’ skills, such as complex problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, teamworking and project management skills.

Conversation Notes

  • Work is changing so rapidly, we cannot assume our skills will hold forever. We need to be opening to constantly acquiring new skills and opening ourselves up to new experiences.
  • Education providers need to plan for the future of work, adapting the platform they teach on, the content they’re providing and their business models going forward.
  • Businesses need to adopt an innovation process, ascertaining how to better meet customer needs and implement financial support initiatives
  • As an employee, we need to be open to collaboration with new backgrounds and perspectives. It’s about being comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • Leadership within organisations plays a big part in this, particularly by drawing on the skillsets and agendas from different technical understanding within the team.

“We have to be open to new experiences, we can’t rely entirely on our skills and knowledge. We need to keep learning, keep experimenting.”


Natalia’s Linkedin: Natalia Nikolova

Natalia’s UTS Profile: Natalia Nikolova

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