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Visionary strategist and transformational specialist

Business & personal growth when challenged by adversity or disruption.

Ron Gauci is the “go-to” person when adversity needs to be turned into an opportunity.

As a crisis manager and transformation specialist, he has continuously and consistently delivered significant growth during the most challenging times across a wide variety of industries. He is best described as a “pracademic” by those who have heard him talk through management journeys.

Ron shares his experiences as a CEO and Non-Executive Board member given his unique mix of roles across technology and the high-performance sports industry. Ron provides guidance and insight on the challenges and opportunities that Boards and leadership teams should consider when managing their business and their people. Technology and the drive for optimal performance need to be understood to be leveraged.

His topics include:
- The Ten Guiding Principles of Success
- Leadership in the Face of Adversity
- Business Transformation - Are you the Disruptor or the Disrupted
- The Loneliness of Leadership
- The Business of Sport
- Getting the Value Proposition Right
- Organisational Optimisation
- How does technology help and not hinder my business?
- The Growth Agenda - Building the Right Tools

Current Work:

Ron is currently the CEO of Australia’s peak innovation technology association, the AIIA. The AIIA has been directly influential in setting the country’s digital agenda and Ron has been at the forefront of setting that agenda.

He also enjoys taking organisations yet to realise their growth opportunities, setting them on a journey of reaching that potential. Ron has an innate ability to navigate through complex environments & stakeholders generating opportunity & growth regardless of any adversities, challenges, or industry. He is recognised as an inspirational leader with a reputation for getting the best out of his teams and getting things done. His Keynotes focus on real-world examples of how to deliver success in times of adversity and challenge. He is a coach and a mentor.

Previous Experience:

Examples of previous roles that Ron has held include Interim positions as CEO at Fed Square, Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, and the financially challenged Melbourne Polytechnic (Formerly NMIT). As CEO & MD of the Melbourne Storm, Ron navigated the club to success post the Salary Cap scandal that rocked the sporting world. Despite not having any direct experience in rugby league, he oversaw the restoration of the Storm. Gauci has also held senior positions in some of the largest multinational and domestic technology organisations. He is a Graduate of AICD and has extensive Board experience across a variety of different industries including being the current Chairman of Vicsport.

Talking Points

Ten Guiding Principles

Ron Gauci has taken on some of the most difficult challenges in high profile organisations. His successes have been acknowledged as being extraordinary. Gauci shared his philosophies for successful leadership through his experiences. These are his Ten Guiding Principles for successful leadership:

1. Recruit & keep the right people. You are either on the bus or off the bus
2. Know your role and be accountable
3. Remove the de-motivators
4. Plan to succeed
5. No Data. No Decision
6. If you don’t ask you don’t get
7. A crisis needs a cool head. Leading & managing are different
8. WIFM: Have a clear value proposition
9. Communication is key: Get the language right
10. If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it

Ron steps through each of these guidelines through insights and experiences gained over a number of decades across multiple industries. He draws also, on the experiences of others who have influenced his own thinking. Gauci has been invited many times to speak to these principles and his presentations have been described as inspirational.

Leadership in the face of adversity Leadership in Crisis

Ron Gauci shares his experiences on how as CEO, he has worked for and with organisations to success and indeed grow despite any adversities and challenges that confronts the organisation. With these skills he was appointed as CEO & MD to work with the team at Melbourne Storm, faced with a crisis, to turn the Club and the organisation around from a devastating 2010 to win the Minor Premiership, 2011 Club Championship, 2013 World Club Challenge and the NRL Premiership in 2012. This has become one of sport’s true success stories in the history of sport. Gauci shares his experiences within organisations such as Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly NMIT) and more recently Federation Square bringing real situations to his lessons on growing and transforming businesses.

Regardless of industry, Ron talks about how to lead and manage through crises. He talks about the key principles that get organisations through situations of adversity and how to steer back to more successful waters.

Loneliness of Leadership

Leadership can be a very lonely place in certain organisations that are going through significant changes, or are experiencing difficult times. Ron talks about the key attributes leaders need to have to manage through these times and the steps they can take so as not to become their own issues when leading an organisation.

Ron also talks about the importance of getting the staff, the management, the executive team and Directors engaged and bought into the strategy and the importance of moving on those not on board.

Brand: The importance of the value proposition

For one reason or another, brands often do not realise their true value. Competition in the market place, pressure to obtain apparel sponsors, damage caused in the marketplace through little fault of your own are a small number of reasons for this happening.

Knowing, believing in and positioning your brand are critical to its survival in this highly competitive and demanding world. Getting the value proposition and realising its value are vital to breaking through in a cluttered market. Ron provides an insight into strategies that can be considered in protecting and growing the brand and its commercial worth.

When you’re on top they say the only way is down. Why?

Can success be sustainable? The answer is yes if you have the right people with the right process and the right strategies. History proves this to be the case albeit not often. History also gives us many examples where this isn’t the case. We can learn much from when it can be achieved and why and when it isn’t and why not. Ron looks at this from his own experience across multiple decades and across multiple industries particularly with his own experience as a successful sports administrator.

Organisational Optimisation

This is a concept that Ron created to enable organisations to determine what success looks like if you were to have achieved the full potential of your operational levers. Once you have determined what those levers are and what optimisation looks like, Ron then works with your organisation to determine how you get there and even more importantly, once you are there, how to leverage for even further growth. Often organisations identify a gap or shortfall against their objectives even after optimising all their levers. What then? Ron takes your organisation through a process of how you then use the power of leverage to resolve this impediment to optimising your full potential. It is a powerful process that challenges you and your organisation to think and plan laterally.

The Business of Sport

Controversy surrounding sports codes and their athletes continues to become more prevalent in the pursuit of success. Indeed the very meaning of success has never come under more scrutiny. Additionally, as sports codes have grown dramatically so have the costs associated with the pursuit of sustainable and viable success. Sport is no longer just about winning premierships or titles. Indeed, if winning a premiership was the primary criteria then each year only one club in each of the myriad of codes would deem their year a success. The reality is that sporting clubs need as much if not more success off the field to ensure sustainable success on it. It also needs to ensure that it adopts comprehensive governance processes and practices so that the substantial investment in their brand and that of their sponsors are protected. The growing body of evidence is clear that poor decisions off the field can have a prolonged direct impact on an organisation’s success on it. Therefore sport is now a business first and foremost.

Ron shares war stories about how to build and protect your brand; how to commercialise properties; create inventories and monetise assets to substantially build an organisation's revenue and manage profitability. He talks about his Ten Guiding Principles that have enabled him to deliver success even through the most difficult times. Ron’s presentation is recognised as being thought provoking on how to realise the potential of any organisation and its people regardless of industry.

Social Media in Sport

Social media has become a critical part of an organisation’s communication platform but is as much an issue as it is an opportunity. Used wisely, social media can become a powerful weapon for an organisation, however not managed carefully, it can be a weapon of mass destruction to a brand and its asset value.

Ron speaks through experiences gained both from within his two decades in the ICT industry and his most recent position as a sports administrator on how to use social media for good and how to avoid evil.

Technology in Sport

Sport today has become so competitive and the stakes so high that clubs and sports departments are constantly looking for the edge. The issues raised by ASADA, WADA, ACC and the Federal Government are a realistic perspective on how high the stakes have become. Further, the growth in the investment on operations and high performance units in sport is putting significant pressure on administrators to fund the investment seen as critical to success. The honest way to become your best is through information, technology and choosing the right people. It involves raising the investment required to recruiting wisely. It also involves putting in place the right process and governance procedures to ensure the club remains accountable for its integrity and reputation. Ron talks about how technology in sport today enables club to excel through powerful information and data whilst maintaining proper governance.

Negotiating to get what you want every time

Negotiating is an art form that requires a clear strategy, the ability to seek out relevant information and an ability to adapt and adopt through reading the play. Ron has been brought into negotiate significant complex situations. He shares some of the key aspects that need to be addressed to achieve successful outcomes. Using practical examples, he takes you through his experiences in a truly powerful way that will change the way you view negotiating.
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