Innovation Policy and Practice Event: Growing Leadership, Management and Mindsets for Innovation in the West Midlands – 7th December 2021

07 December 2021

A promotional image for the Innovation Policy and Practice event due to take place on the 7th December 2021.

You are invited to our next Innovation Policy and Practice event

Growing Leadership, Management and Mindsets for Innovation in the West Midlands

Tuesday 7th December from 09.30am to 10.55am (online)

Innovative leadership and mindsets are essential parts of innovation talent, and our consultations with you, our stakeholders, show that talent is a major enabler (or barrier) to innovation.

Chaired by Julie Nugent, Director of Productivity and Skills at the WMCA, this panel discussion will help to understand and shape the West Midlands’ approaches to developing the Leadership, Management and Mindsets for Innovation required to see continued recovery and improved prosperity across the region.

The panel will be a mix of organisations providing support to businesses and businesses that already have strong innovation leadership.  


09.30 Welcome and update on the Innovation Alliance WM and WM Innovation Programme

(Pam Waddell, Director IAWM)

09.40 Welcome and scene setting by Panel Chair,

and panel opening introductions and reflections on innovation leadership and an innovation mindsets

(Julie Nugent, Director of Skills and Productivity at the West Midlands Combined Authority)


• Taran Singh, Founder and CEO, Taran 3D

• David Lunn, General Manager, W.H.Tildesley Ltd

• Anna Jester, Director and Founder at Jester, home of Lead Happy™ 

• George Akomas, Assistant Professor and Help to Grow Programme, Coventry University

10.10 Q&A Panel and Chair

10.30 Audience Q&A

(convened by Iain Mansell, Deputy Director IAWM)

10.50 Closing reflections from Chair

(Julie Nugent)

10.55 Close

The event is on Zoom (once you register you will be sent a link a day or two before the event)



Dr Julie Nugent has extensive experience in the productivity and skills sector having held a range of senior roles across government and the further education sector. She has particular expertise in financing further education and has led on developing new funding systems for the Skills Funding Agency and the Learning and Skills Council. Julie has worked in the Black Country and in Birmingham which has provided her with a keen understanding of the importance of skills in improving economic competitiveness and people’s life chances.

More recently Julie led on the West Midlands negotiations with Government securing the first Skills Deal in the country with additional investment of £100 million to develop the regions skills.


Taran is passionate about supporting the next generation of tech talent into the industry and as a company, Taran 3D are committed to nurturing new talent where possible. They proudly work with partner organisations to teach, inspire and motivate young people to understand the industry and consider tech as a worthy career path. 

As a leader in 3D design, Taran is a keen advocate of the digital industries in Birmingham and surrounding areas. He is regularly involved in events, panels and workshops to champion the digital industries within our region and push the message that combined, we offer an incredibly powerful proposition in digital innovation & creativity. 

Taran3D is a creative 3D Agency based in Birmingham producing amazing interactive content and experiences with their ever-evolving 3D, VR and AR capabilities.


Prior to founding Jester, Anna had her own global leadership career. Thought of as a high potential and a natural leader, on the inside she felt anything but. During a transformational few years, Anna learned the biggest leadership lesson there is – that to lead brilliantly is to feel confident in who you are, comfortable in your own leadership skin and capable in your own, unique leadership style. Jester is all about helping others to do the same. 

Anna has developed Jester’s unique Lead Happy™ approach using her own leadership experience, plus over a decade of supporting other leaders. It’s been described by many as the piece of personal and professional development that gets remembered 10 years later. With a wide range of experience in creating high performing teams and cultures, creating the conditions for creativity, ideation and innovation is often at the heart of Anna’s work with leaders across the country.


General Manager, W.H.Tildesley, Willenhall

W.H.Tildesley Ltd, established in 1874, is one of the oldest drop forging companies remaining in the United Kingdom.

A recent £1.4 Million refurbishment means that they now have the most modern drop forging facility in the UK. Their extensive in-house capabilities enable them to offer an efficient service by reducing the use of sub-contractors, improving quality and lead times.


Assistant Professor and Help to Grow Programme, Coventry University.

George has a passion for strategy and a love for excellence, with an objective to keep pushing boundaries.

Through the Help to Grow programme, Coventry Business School is offering a three-month, online and face-to-face practical management training programme. Delivered by Coventry Business School and accredited by the Small Business Charter, this course aims to support senior managers of small and medium sized businesses to boost their business resilience and long-term goals.

Key areas of focus include strategy and innovation, building vision and brand, financial management and leading for high performance.