Tage Andersson will receive a PhD tomorrow afternoon during the CQUniversity ceremony for his thesis on strategic project management
Tage Andersson will receive a PhD tomorrow afternoon during the CQUniversity ceremony for his thesis on strategic project management Jann Houley

Tage's take on strategic business earns a PhD from CQUni

TAGE Andersson from Denmark is one of the many imports who settled in Central Queensland for love, having met his Rockhampton-born wife more than ten years ago.

Originally an engineer for companies such as Nokia, he now brings to his lecturing role at CQUniversity a fascination for how the world's most innovative leaders create positive tools and techniques in international companies.

Mr Andersson is one of eight candidates who will be conferred with their doctorate during CQUniversity's graduation ceremony tomorrow afternoon.

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He will be joined by about 170 other graduates, from undergraduate and postgraduate courses ranging from accounting and arts to management and midwifery.

He conducted his PhD research in his home country of Denmark because the sheer distances in Australia required too hefty a travel budget, but all his interviews were conducted in English.

His thesis outlines a framework to understand how effective leaders increase the likelihood their business will succeed.

"A lot of people are successful in driving a project but they don't necessarily know why," he said yesterday as he tried on his robe for tomorrow afternoon's ceremony.

"My research shows that effective leaders are not only able to speak about what they want, but also demonstrate skills and knowledge. That builds trust and gets people on board with their vision."

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Mr Andersson said an inflexible hierarchy could sometimes get in the way of innovation, and the best leaders were comfortable with uncertainty.

"Imagine you're on a deserted island; the first thing you're going to do is pick up a machete to get to safety," he said.

"But when you get there, the next step sometimes involves stepping into the unknown and doing some exploration."

Mr Andersson finds Australian companies to be as entrepreneurial as their Scandinavian counterparts, though at 180 times the size of Denmark, Australia in much more reliant on reliable and fast internet connections.

"It's really important, not only for my research, but for all the students sharing research around Australia and the world," he said.

His research indicates that truly strategic project management has the potential to decrease waste, as ten per cent of businesses fail every year.

"As a society, we need to invest our money more healthily in the future - if we add some research-based rigour into the way we conduct ourselves in creating innovative products. World leading industries spend more than $68 billion euro on research every year; that's a lot of money," he said.

Mr Andersson also said his framework equally applied to non-profit enterprises.

"It's tradition to think of money as success, but happiness and wellbeing has huge value in itself," he said.

"Business is only successful when your customers appreciate the value you create, which might involve making products more sustainable, or example."

Mr Andersson said he felt enriched by the opportunity to spend time interviewing his subjects and listening to mentors, trying to codify what worked for them as an effective leader.

"I have a thousand students at CQUniversity and that drives me to become better at what I do and help others make a better world," he said.

Tomorrow's ceremony begins with a Welcome to Country by Robert Mann followed by a performance from the Darumbal Waru dancers.

It will conclude with the traditional turning of the tassel ceremony.