Jun 192017

The government is hopeless says Mark Sowerby, the soon to retire Chief Entrepreneur of Queensland.

Sowerby’s views are a long way from the heady days of a year ago when it was announced he would lead the state’s startup policies.

The sorry tale is a classic tale of all parties not really understanding what they were getting into.

In Mark’s case, he admits he had little of idea of how government operates;

To be honest my experience with government has been limited and I’m going to limit it to zero after this job – but bloody hell does everyone get everything wrong.

I came in with fresh eyes and lots of hope and I am just disgusted. It’s extraordinary to me how hard it is to get the simplest things done.

Sowerby’s poor understanding of managing governments and stakeholders should have been a warning sign for Advance Queensland but they themselves really didn’t really know what they wanted, as the Entrepreneur In Chief job description says;

He will act as the state’s startup ambassador working with local, national and international entrepreneurial communities to help develop and grow Queensland’s innovation ecosystem and attract investment.

From that description it’s clear the Advance Queensland panel sees “the knowledge based jobs of the future” coming from Silicon Valley type tech startups.

Thinking an official government entrepreneur with a funds management background will create a startup ecosystem is another example of cargo cult thinking from Australian governments so it’s not surprising the appointment failed.

Despite his unsuccessful tenure, Sowerby should be an asset to the Queensland government in an advisory role given his proven skills, experience and networks. It’s a matter of putting the right people into the right roles – and understanding your own objectives.

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