Inside the YNG+ Growing My Business Program at Melbourne Business School
What distinguishes the newest generation of business leaders to make Melbourne Business School home isn't their age, but their attitude.
Forty emerging leaders with an average age of just 24 came to Melbourne Business School earlier this year to take part in Australia's first custom development program for young adult children of YPO members.
YPO is a global leadership organisation for chief executives, which has more than 28,000 members in over 130 countries. YPONextGen – or YNG for short – is the network for their young adult children.
Participants on the inaugural YNG+ Growing My Business Program at Melbourne Business School heard from experts and industry leaders including Associate Professor of Business Strategy Brandon Lee and former Swisse CEO Radek Sali.
Mr Sali spoke about his experience turning the famous vitamin company into a billion-dollar enterprise and said he was impressed with the class's enthusiasm.
"It always invigorates me talking to young people and the next generation because they're so open-minded and excited about creating great workplaces that people love being a part of," he said.
"As a result, we're going to have a much better society."
The YNG+ Growing My Business Program was replicated in the Australia/New Zealand region, leveraging Melbourne Business School leadership expert Aviva Berzon, after the success of a similar initiative at London Business School in Europe.
Aviva said one of the most notable things about the program was the sense of optimism and social responsibility in the classroom.
"It was really about how to use business for good to make Australia and the world a better place, and that notion was so present with this group that I'm really excited for what the future holds," she said.
Based at Melbourne Business School over four days, the class covered everything from team building and decision-making to disruption, innovation and futures thinking.
For participant Declan Schuller, the experience was a chance to push himself alongside other high-achievers.
"The biggest reason to go to an event like this is that everybody is really ambitious," he said.
"You reset your expectations of what is possible and take on new skills that allow you to achieve a goal that is more of a stretch than you originally expected."
Classmate Michael Pennisi said one of the most rewarding aspects of the program was meeting fellow YNG+ members and establishing a new network.
"We've had people from the Los Angeles, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It was exceptional in that respect," he said.
In helping to design the YNG+ program, Aviva was conscious of how important it is to harness the energy, optimism and talent of the next generation of leaders.
"These things are essential to who you are now, and they can be leveraged to enhance your ability to operate well in business and as a leader," she said.
The next YNG+ Growing My Business Program at Melbourne Business School will run in 2020.