How an MBA gave Tigers Chair the confidence to lead diversity charge

marinagoWhen one of Australia’s top media industry executives Marina Go was appointed Chair of NRL club the Wests Tigers in 2014 she knew she had a tough job ahead of her.

Applying the skills she acquired through her MBA she has played a major part in the club’s cultural turnaround, despite a lack of on-field success.

“I really love a crisis, a steady ship bores me,” Ms Go, who is also General Manager of Hearst-Bauer Media, told the audience at a recent Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) alumni dinner.

Ms Go first came to prominence after being appointed editor of Dolly Magazine when she was 23.

It wasn’t too long after Dolly that she was approached with the opportunity to launch Australian Good Taste, a magazine designed to take the stress out of cooking. While having no previous experience in the sector, Marina jumped at the opportunity crediting the success to having clear consumer strategies.

“We identified an emerging market opportunity – a result of generational changes in lifestyles and attitudes to cooking – and were forensic in our approach to reach them,” Ms Go said.

After landing the job of a lifetime to take on the editorship of one of Australia’s leading fashion magazines, Marina decided to take on a different challenge and undertake a part-time MBA at AGSM.

“I love to learn and wanted to have a solid grounding in the formal discipline of strategy, it taught me to think outside the square and that taking calculated risks was a positive thing.”

Equipped with her new MBA skill set, Marina set her sights on contributing to organisational changes at the board level. She developed a particular passion for governance after joining the Women on Boards organisation, seeing firsthand the positive impact that having a diverse board can have on corporate performance.

“Boards need a diverse group of people who will challenge the thinking at the table, rather than a homogenous group that sits there agreeing.”

Seeing the difference diversity can make, Marina is taking the agenda to the football field “ensuring the club remains united and committed to the long game, by keeping the board on track during the many roadblocks ahead.”

When asked for advice for anyone considering an MBA Marina says “just go for it. Throw everything you have into it because the outcome will be worth it in terms of the way you will forever view problems and opportunities.”

Avatar
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).