Innovation Under Pressure

How To Impact's inaugural innovation breakfast, 'Innovation Under Pressure' features Michael Maguire (Head Coach of South Sydney Rabbitohs) and Richard Tognetti (AO, conductor, artistic director and lead violin of Australian Chamber Orchestra).

We hosted this panel discussion between two top coaches from two starkly contrasting worlds of high performance to explore how they do their jobs under extreme pressure without sacrificing the quest for innovation.

We have had great feedback on the inspiration provided by two inspiring leaders in contrasting fields. It was fascinating to see such similarities in areas such as:

  •  Drive for continuous progress and restlessness to learn from others -- learning must come from within and without the organisation
  •  Unflinching standards and daily communication of them to and by the team -- behaviours are owned by the team
  •  Importance of team unity (right down to training socks) -- team culture is at the heart of everything
  • The power of practice and planning to reduce failure -- the live performance version of prototyping

Richard Tognetti, AO, conductor, artistic director and lead violin of Australian Chamber Orchestra

During Richard's 24 years and more than 2,000 performances with the Australian Chamber Orchestra he has established an international reputation for his compelling performances and artistic individualism.

Richard is renowned as a risk taker in the classical music industry. He rose to the coveted appointment of Lead Violinist of ACO at just 24 years of age. In his complementary role as Artistic Director, his rigorous approach, and attention to detail demand superior performance under pressure from his team, to ensure the risks pay off. Under his leadership the orchestra has developed into one of the world's most lauded chamber ensembles and an iconic element of the Australian musical landscape. Driven by the scale of his creative vision, the ACO maintains a full national reach and in 2012 was the ACO's eighth successive surplus year.

His recordings for ABC Classics have won three consecutive ARIA awards. Richard established the ACO's Education and Emerging Artists programs in 2005. Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010, he holds honorary doctorates from three Australian universities and was made a National Living Treasure in 1999. He performs on a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù violin (valued at $10m) lent to him by an anonymous Australian private benefactor.


Michael Maguire, Head Coach of South Sydney Rabbitohs:

In only three and a half seasons as a Head Coach, Michael Maguire has established himself as the most exciting new coaching talent in rugby league.

After a long apprenticeship under Tim Sheens and Craig Bellamy, Michael joined Wigan RLFC for season 2010. With no roster changes, and from a base of 12th from 16 teams in 2009, Michael won the Grand Final of English Super League in his first year. On announcing his early exit from Wigan to take up the reins at Souths, Michael's high performance systems and coaching education meant that all key staff remained and went onto Grand Final glory the following year without him.

When Michael joined Souths, expectations were sky high for this beloved club with an inverse relationship to fan support and pride against grand final wins. From a roster that couldn't crack the top eight, Michael came within a whisk of the 2012 Grand Final and this year is at the top of the ladder. Considered the first 'total club coach' in rugby league, Michael obsesses over all details and all operations of the entire club as the key to on-field success.