Victoria’s agricultural community comes together to produce a plan to stop the Queensland fruit fly invasion.

Victoria’s fruit and vegetable sector have united to develop a management plan tackling the state’s growing Queensland fruit fly population.

The cost of Queensland fruit fly surveillance and response more than doubled in six years up to 2012 and the pest continues to threaten Victoria’s fruit and vegetable exports, valued at $809 million per annum in 2014.

A workshop, convened by the Horticulture Centre of Excellence in the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, brought together Victoria’s fruit growers, researchers, local government representatives, Fruit Growers Victoria, public land agencies and other industries impacted by the fly.

The meeting was led by a globally experienced lateral thinking consultant, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, who was given the task of facilitating the discussion between a range of stakeholders within a complex supply chain.

Victorian state government Principal Research Scientist – Invertebrate and Weed Sciences, David Williams, explains that the agricultural community urgently needed to come together to create a plan with buy-in from all stakeholders.

“This is an industry wide issue that affects all parties, including the end consumer, and there’s a strong need to educate each party on how they contribute to the problem and also on how they can play a part in solving it,” he says.

“As an experienced independent consultant, Dr Hewitt-Gleeson was brought in to help all the different stakeholders cut through the fog surrounding their current view of the problem to develop a solution to a growing problem.

x10_Thinking_Logo_RGB“Through simple but effective thinking techniques, he was able to stop the blame shifting and change thinking from silos towards a united approach.”

International management and lateral thinking consultant, Dr Hewitt-Gleeson, suggests that whilst it may seem like an unusual approach to solving such an issue, it’s the thinking that is actually at the heart of the problem and of the solution.

“Having a room of one hundred people collectively committed to formulating a plan is much more powerful than ten distinct parties trying to solve the same problem with different end goals,” he says.

“I used a lateral thinking technique called Retire That Idea (RTI), which helped all parties challenge their current logic.

“By asking everyone to retire their preconceived ideas and hit the reset button, all parties were able to set aside their different interests and begin thinking cohesively.”

Following the workshop, a business case tackling the problem was developed for submission to the Minister of Agriculture, Jaala Pulford.

– Ends-

About Dr Michael Hewitt-GleesonDr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson (born Melbourne 1947) is known as “the father of x10 thinking”. He is an intellectual philanthropist and world authority on lateral thinking. Over thirty years ago Dr Hewitt-Gleeson first wrote about the better view of the situation (BVS) as being ten times better than the current view of the situation (CVS) in his book NewSell. This powerful lateral thinking concept (cvsx10=bvs) is a way of escaping logical thinking patterns that inhibit your ability to think outside the box. Today, Dr Hewitt-Gleeson facilitates workshops across a variety of sectors to help overcome key industry problems and to assist with finding solutions through lateral thinking techniques. He also acts as the daily mentor for his fully online corporate service called x10 Thinking.


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