A commercial edge, an exploratory edge and a learning edge

| December 6, 2010

At the First 5000 launch held at NSW Parliament House on 20 October 2010, Carl Harman, Academy Dean for Leadership at the National Australia Bank spoke about why NAB became involved with the initiative.

I should explain that prior to becoming the Dean of Leadership and Talent at the NAB I was heading up marketing and strategy for the Business Bank and as Australia’s leading business bank this segment is at the very core of our DNA.

Around four years ago, before I met Peter, we had been thinking about how we might connect businesses to draw systemic knowledge from the market place, rather than snippets, from the strong relationships we have made over the years with our customers. Yet as a bank we are not very good at playing in the online and social media space and that’s what we are going to be able to develop through the First 5000 initiative.

But not only that we see these medium size businesses as big business for banking and advisory firms and many of the partners that are represented here today. They represent the companies that are going to be the big companies of the future and this segment in their own right as a big segment for us as commercials playing into that space.

So yes, unashamedly there is a commercial edge to this where we want to play with the participants and the members of First 5000 but in doing so we want to learn how to engage with them in a more meaningful way through a medium that suits their needs. I guess the difference between us is organizations like the NAB have internal corporate universities like the Academy which can bring to bear some of those resources that the big companies have that the medium size don’t necessarily have themselves. We can bring that to bear for the benefit of both of us and to deepen those relationships. So there is a commercial edge, an exploratory edge and a learning edge for us.