Event Review: Cardiff Breakfast Club 16th February 2011

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Cardiff Breakfast Club, Events
Tags: ,

By Becci Gould, Account Executive at Petersens PR

On 16th February 2011, Tony Bagnall, Head of Capability at Cassidian Ltd. addressed the Cardiff Breakfast Club. Despite being a strong Newcastle United fan, Tony was warmly greeted by an audience of over 100 business men and women who were keen to learn about a company that, as Tony explained, has remained closed to the public eye for many years.

Tony’s presentation spanned across all areas, from the history of Cassidian and its role within EADS, to his role as an leader of innovation within Cassidian and how the company supports interns, apprentices and graduates that are keen to follow Tony’s three-step mantra of ‘Inspiration, Innovation and Perspiration’. Tony’s presentation was packed with fascinating facts and complex discussions about how Cassidian develops large-scale integrated systems, many for our homeland security – all of which were articulated perfectly and without the use of PowerPoint!  However, I have selected a few key points that I believe are of particular interest to the business community…

Firstly, using the metaphor of a child building a sand castle, Mr. Bagnall described how complex systems evolve by continually rebuilding themselves and that businesses, too, often follow this model. To an audience no doubt anxious about the current systems in place within the UK’s economy, Tony explained that by rebuilding themselves, systems become stronger and more resilient and that there is no equilibrium to be reached, the only exception being extinction. Instead progress depends on a punctuated equilibrium and if you do not stay ahead you will become extinct – a strong and valuable lesson that, if nothing else, will no doubt remain in the minds of his audience!

Furthermore, Tony explained how, here in the UK, we have a strong reputation for invention but are often lacking in the innovation field. To combat this problem, through a joint venture with WAG, Cardiff University and EADS, Cassidian has generated a staggering £5.2 million worth of research in Wales through the ‘EADS Foundation Wales’ project.

Following recent discussions in the media of apprenticeships, graduate employment and the lack of promotion towards engineering as a career path in schools, Tony responded by explaining Cassidian’s input within each of these areas.  In addition to explaining how he aspires for engineering to be seen as a ‘sexy and interesting thing to do’, he noted that Cassidian attract the best graduates into Wales with a program that offers 12-18 months of training within six different sectors resulting in an extremely high retention rate. It is this type of graduate scheme that large companies should be providing to the UK’s top innovators – offering variety, comprehensive training and encouraging the kind of entrepreneurial thinking that can help to drag the UK out of recession!

In conclusion, Cassidian is about leadership and Tony Bagnall clearly represents this message by inspiring innovation in his position as Head of Capability and acting as a role model for young people who like him may often feel like a ‘square peg in a round hole’.

For more information on future Cardiff Breakfast Club meetings contact Becci Gould on bec@petersensone.com.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Petersens PR and Becci Gould, Petersens PR. Petersens PR said: Event Review: Cardiff Breakfast Club 16th February 2011: http://t.co/Ansz6HW […]

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