The Newman University School of Business launched its Distinguished Speaker Series on Tuesday, March 28 with a keynote presented by David Burkus.
Burkus is a best-selling author, podcaster and associate professor at Oral Roberts University whose most recent book, Under New Management, was the focus of his presentation to the audience at Newman.
More than 100 individuals gathered in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center on campus to listen to what Burkus had to offer.
Burkus talked to the audience about innovation within businesses and how businesses today are changing the game when it comes to hiring and managing. "My goal today is to talk about the things that I've found over the past years studying a variety of different companies that are doing things differently and attracting talent," Burkus said.
He added, "The biggest thing I'm going to focus on today is [...] what the companies you're always hearing about in the business press are doing to attract talent," he said. "And in a lot of cities, including Wichita, it's a big deal because the talent is going somewhere else. So we're really focusing on what we're doing and the changes we can apply at the local level to attract and retain talent, to keep them here and to keep them working for us, so we can take advantage of that value."
Kacie St. John, chief marketing officer with Eddie'sEverything.com said she was "all ears" and ready to learn more about, "hiring the right employees and new management processes."
Owner of Advanced Physical Therapy David Todd said he's always open to new ideas and new ways of managing. He said books like Burkus' are a good tool for businesses to use. "I read these and think, 'We should be doing this,' and then the next thing you know someone is creating new things that we can do management-wise. These books have a lot of good ideas. And an idea is just an idea unless you implement it."
Burkus also talked about the future of work, how to attract and utilize new talent, and even how to effectively partner with employees that choose to leave and move on to another branch of the industry. "Most people step somewhere else within the industry," said Burkus. "We need to begin to think about the fact that they didn't disappear — they didn't betray us — they just stepped somewhere else in the network. The question becomes, 'What can we do to stay in touch with them and can they be a new source of information?'"
President Maury Edwards of CECO, a local manufacturer of steel and metal doors and frames, said he likes hearing others' perspective on business and managing, and the direction it is taking. "Everything is changing. I'm there [in the office] day to day, trying to improve efficiency and keep everyone happy," he said. "Managing people is ever evolving — I'm always up for new ideas on how to make a happier workplace."
Dean of the School of Business Brett Andrews said the Business Speaker Series will play an integral role in raising awareness for the recently structured School of Business at Newman. "The Speaker Series is specifically for outreach to the business community, to invite them to come, and taste and see what Newman has to offer in terms of its business school and programs; and in this case, how we can help bring solutions to the Wichita business community."
Andrews said this event was the first of many to come, adding that the Business Speaker Series will continue as an annual event at Newman. For more information on the series, contact Andrews at 316-942-4291, ext. 2111 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.