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Garden centres invited to get creative to be competitive

Published: 9 January 2017 - Jenny Wonnacott

Garden centre owners, managers and teams attending the 51st Garden Centre Association (GCA) annual conference this month will be challenged to become more creative to cultivate a competitive edge.

Prof. Gareth Jones, an expert in business culture and creativity, is one of the top-billed speakers at this year
Prof. Gareth Jones, an expert in business culture and creativity, is one of the top-billed speakers at this year's GCA conference

Throwing down the gauntlet is Professor Gareth Jones, an expert in business culture and creativity, who will be presenting to delegates on Tuesday, January 24. He began his career as a university academic in economic and social studies at the University of East Anglia before moving to the London Business School, where he joined the Organisational Behaviour Group.

GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said: “During this period he directed the School’s Accelerated Development Programme. At this point the attractions of a ‘real’ job in business proved too great and he joined Polygram, then the world’s largest recorded music company. Appointed as Senior Vice President for Polygram’s global human resources, his responsibilities covered more than 30 countries.”

In 1996 Prof. Jones converted to academia when he became the BT Professor of Organisational Development at Henley where he also served on the Board of Governors. His most recent job was as director of HR and Internal Communications at the BBC. He is currently a visiting professor at INSEAD, known as The Business School for the World.

Prof. Jones' interests are in organisational design, culture, leadership and change. He has published several books and won a prestigious McKinsey Award for the best article in the Harvard Business Review entitled ‘Why Should Anyone be Led by You’.

In addition, he is a founding partner of Creative Management Associates (CMA), a consultancy focussed on organisations where creativity is a source of competitive strength.

Mr Wylie continued: “We pick our conference speakers with a view to giving our delegates some thought provoking ideas to go away with. The business climate can be challenging and it’s important that we provide inspiring and stimulating speakers that help our members reach their business goals, and sometimes this is all about going for the unexpected.

Throughout the conference, the information shared will focus on a wide range of topics, including merchandising, marketing and management. There will also be plenty of opportunities for delegates to network and socialise, and we still have places available to anyone interested in coming along.”

The GCA conference takes place at St Andrews in Scotland between January 22 and 25, 2017. More than 300 delegates are expected to attend the event.

Source: GCA

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