CEDA member profile: Nous Group



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Maryann Hazard, Principal,
Nous Group

What are Nous Group's top priorities for the year?

Nous Group's focus is to become Australia's most influential management consulting and leadership development firm.

In our Western Australian practice we are focused on growing our capacity to meet the needs of all our public, private and not-for-profit clients and work collaboratively to address their business challenges. We will expand our team and continually refine our approaches to reflect what our clients tell us is important to them. We will continue to balance our work between regionally focused projects and those in Perth or at a national level to ensure we can provide the policy and business insights that are relevant to our WA clients. WA is a unique economic environment. Only by staying in touch with that environment are we able to meet our commitment to provide bold ideas and influential and enduring solutions.

We will continue to contribute to the policy debate in our sectors of focus. If I had to pick three policy areas to keep an eye on in the coming year they would be:

  • Higher education - where the challenge will be is how best to manage the policy settings for what has become a significant sector of our national economy;
  • Energy - innovative responses will be critical for Australia to manage the rapid change in the energy sector which is being driven by geopolitical, technological, economic and environmental factors; and
  • Primary health - tackling the burgeoning demands on our health system is dependent on us connecting the dots in primary and community health and significantly altering service models and attitudes to health in Australia.

How does CEDA assist Nous Group to achieve its agenda?

For more than a decade, Nous has had a relationship with CEDA across multiple states. During this time we have collaborated on over 50 occasions to deliver bold and engaging conversations on the central economic and social issues affecting Australia. We have enjoyed the relationship and as a result, Nous this year made the decision to become a national member of CEDA.

CEDA events provide a fantastic opportunity to keep in touch with our clients and hear a range of perspectives on current issues. The opportunity to collaborate with CEDA and contribute to their event calendar and provide speakers gives Nous another avenue to provide our clients with information and insights on matters important to them. For example, the recent trustee lunch where our Managing Director, Tim Orton, spoke on the role of leadership in productivity. Last year we collaborated with CEDA to convene a discussion from some of the key people who are actively setting the direction of higher education in Australia.

Who was your favourite speaker at a CEDA event?

This is difficult to answer from my perspective because what I value most about CEDA is their capacity to bring together people with disparate, well-formed views around a particular issue or debate.

I think back to the discussion on Gonski reforms last year, where we had the opportunity to hear in real time the perspectives of the current principal of a well know private school, The Grattan Institute and Nous Principal, Tanya Smith, who led a key piece of research into the state of secondary education across Australia. This presentation of different perspectives creates a forum to debate the real issues with the people who know. This makes the events incredibly valuable discussions that contribute to the public dialogue and debate on those things important to us all.

What type of CEDA activities matter most to you and your company?

Being a trustee at CEDA has given me great opportunities to participate in thoughtful discussions with industry leaders on important issues. If I think about CEDA's broader set of activities, the annual Economic and Political Overview event series and publication always provides a great snapshot of the national and Western Australian outlook and provides interesting insights into the coming year.

The publications around the areas of policy focus align with Nous' sector and policy expertise. Part of the reason we collaborate with CEDA is our commitment to staying abreast of contemporary issues. Opinions and research efforts such as Healthcare: Reform or Ration  are a great resource.