Dion Draper (ILF2020)


Harvard Business School (USA)

Advanced Management Program

My sincere thanks and gratitude to the Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) and its board, and to its former CEO, Mr. Geoff Vogt, for providing a life-altering and transformative opportunity to attend Harvard Business School and participate in its Advanced Management Program (AMP).

The ILF Application Process

The application process was an extremely intuitive on-line process, designed to articulate your leadership aspirations.   This initial step forward to apply was the start of a journey that created a real sense of excitement.   The final stage of the process is the interview with the ILF Board members who are all leaders of industry and are passionate about developing leaders in South Australia.

The Harvard Experience

AMP is an immersive experience that empowers executives to create and renew competitive advantage for their organisations.   The absolute privilege to sit alongside this learning journey with over 170 business leaders from around the world, listening and contributing to new perspectives and insights, is the something that I could never have imagined.   Together with my cohort we emerged with greater leadership confidence, armed with the toolkit and resources to tackle existing and emerging strategic challenges, and a global network of leaders ready to support each other.

From a personal perspective, the AMP answered an extremely valuable question.  Was I good enough to be a higher performing leader, and an executive that would contribute more value to the business?    The answer is a resounding yes!   AMP taught me that we are exceptional on the global stage, and that we can compete and excel with the very best from around the world.   I was not out of place, and I have returned with a real sense of purpose to achieve amazing things.

Leadership in Action

Since completing the Harvard Business School AMP, I have worked closely with our executive team to drive greater business performance.   The new skills and knowledge obtained from the AMP has enabled a renewed focus on driving business performance through exploiting the value of our core business units, whilst ensuring that there is an inquisitive view to explore new and emerging opportunities.

To drive business performance, we have undertaken and organisational and portfolio review, ensuring we have the right structure to optimise and accelerate profitability.

We have established an industrial cyber security capability that is a beach head for long term sustainable performance, and one that provides a competitive advantage from our competitors.

The Harvard Business School experience has transformed me as a leader, but importantly, it is also transforming our business.   The connections that I have made with business leaders around the world, who have also become great friends, will continue to pay dividends, and drive my leadership to exiting new levels.

Once again, a HUGE thank you Goeff and to the ILF for your vote of confidence in me. 

Dion Draper, Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary

SAGE Group

Harvard Business School – Advanced Management Program (AMP 203)