Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

5 Best Practices of Customer Service Done Right

Sunday, March 29, 2015

customer serviceNo matter what industry or aspect of business you are in customer service is essential. Customers include both external and external clients. Customers have more choices today than ever before, and do not hesitate to change supplier if they do not receive the level of service they feel they deserve.

A recent online article by Business News Daily (Read it here) looks at five best practices of customer service. While the article provides very insightful and useful details, the summary of the five practices are:

 

 

  1. Hire great people
  2. Make a great first impression
  3. Be pro-active
  4. Offer a seamless experience
  5. Treat customers as individuals, not demographics.

The full article will surprise you with what each of these actually entails, so I would invite you to review your business practices in light of these best practices and see what you might do to make your customers experiences world class.

 

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Highly Successful People Do These 39 Things Well

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Little ThingsSuccess is not a one-off event. It is the culmination of a series of habits. Highly successful people know this and make a habit of doing the small things well. In football terms these little things are referred to as the ‘one-percenters’, and it is these things that separate a good team from a great team.

In a very recent blog by Peter Economy in Inc. he identifies 39 things that highly successful things do well – the ‘one percenters’ of the business world. You can read the full article here, but as a taster, just seven of them are:

  1. They never make excuses
  2. They ignore negativity and those who say, “You can’t.” (So say “I can.”)
  3. They admit to, fix, and learn from their mistakes quickly. (So move on.)
  4. They focus on one thing at a time. (So quit multitasking.)
  5. They create realistic daily to-do lists. (So do a few things well.)
  6. They postpone big decisions when their emotions are on high. (So be level-headed.)
  7. They vehemently guard their reputation by running their lives and careers with compassion, empathy, and strong ethics. (So be honest–always.)

As you read and reflect on the full list, ask how many of these you have made a habit. A challenge for you is to pick just one or two and commit to making them part of your life.

The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Bureaucracy Must Die

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gary HAmel 2If you are in senior management or administration, then this article in HBR by Gary Hamel, one of the most influential business thinkers, will cause you to become very uncomfortable and probably stop reading before the end. As I read it I was confronted by ideas and statements that rocked the very core of my management experience.

Rather than give a summary of the article, below are some of the many confronting ideas. My challenge is for you to actually read through the entire article without getting defensive, and instead to consider how your organisation might adapt to succeed in the new business world .

  • It is the unchallenged tenets of bureaucracy that disable our organisations – that make them inertial, incremental and uninspiring.
  • As one of humanity’s most enduring social structures, [bureaucracy] is well-suited to a world in which change meanders rather than leaps. But in a hyperkinetic environment, it is a profound liability.
  • A formal hierarchy overweights experience and underweights new thinking, and in doing so perpetuates the past. It misallocates power, since promotions often go to the most politically astute rather then the most prescient or productive.
  • Managers worship at the alter of conformance. That’s their calling – to ensure conformance to product specifications, work rules, deadlines, budgets, quality standards, and corporate policies.
  • Bureaucracy is the technology of control. It is ideologically opposed to disorder and irregularity. Problem is, in an age of discontinuity, it’s the irregular people with irregular ideas who create the irregular business models that generate the irregular returns.
  • Shrink an individual’s scope of authority, and you shrink their incentive to dream, imagine and contribute.
  • Unfortunately, managers often see control and freedom as mutually exclusive – as ideological rivals like communism and capitalism, rather than as ideological complements like mercy and justice.
  • As long as control is exalted at the expense of freedom, our organisations will remain incompetent at their core.

Gary HAmel 1If you would further information on how Avondale Business School can help your organisation, contact Warrick Long

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

SMART or CLEAR?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

GoalsOne of the most fundamental business planning principles is to ensure you have SMART goals. That is, goals which are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Most students of business can recite these within just a few weeks of starting their course. And it has proved to be a very effective way of planning.

However, in a recent blog Peter Economy challenges the basis of SMART goals, suggesting that while they have served a very useful purpose, they are no longer able to keep pace with the agile and flexible environment of business in today’s world. You can read his article here.

Instead, the suggestion is for CLEAR goals that are suitable for today’s business context, and which are ‘compelling’ for every member of the team. To understand what CLEAR stands for, you need to read the blog, but as a teaser, the first couple of steps are Collaborative, Limited and Emotional.

A challenge this week is to review your goals and see if they meet the CLEAR test.

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Women in Leadership

Monday, March 9, 2015

As a lecturer in a subject called “Diversity in Business”, I have often been asked questions about the role of women in management. Much classroom discussion has ensued, but I have never yet been as optimistic as to suggest that 50% of management in a large organisation might be women. But this figure is the new goal for Westpac, who have long been supporters of workplace practices that attract and support women. Women in Leadership

Westpac announced targets for women in management back in 2010 of 40% – which was exceeded in 2012. Now they have set their sights – and timeframe – to 2017 where they are aiming to have 50% women in leadership positions.

How exactly are they planning to achieve this? Westpac are introducing innovative new programs for women to join traditionally male-dominated areas such as IT, recruiting women from outside the banking sector. A focus on making flexible work practices an everyday occurrence, and in addition, measuring gender diversity progress and holding management accountable.

It is an aspirational target, but the research suggests the benefits of having women in management makes it one worth shooting for.

http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2015/03/gender-diversity-westpac?utm_source=Pro+Bono+Australia+-+email+updates&utm_campaign=82f98b6ab0-jobs_06_033_6_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ee68172fb-82f98b6ab0-146874989

https://www.wgea.gov.au/gender-equality-initiatives/westpac-banks-female-talent

Peter Williams

Workplace Trends of the Future

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Future“When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?” asks author Chuck Palahniuk in his novel Invisible Monsters. It is a good question, as the future does hold a lot of promise, but can easily turn into a threat if we are not cognizant of what is looming on the horizon.

As leaders of various business entities, it is our responsibility to be looking at what our business faces and how we might need to respond. Failure to think ahead is a certain way of turning the future into a threat.

In a recent ‘In The Black’ article Susan Muldowney looks at what nine trends are likely to impact our workplaces sooner rather than later. While you can read the article here, the summary of the first four trends are:

  1. Robots will rise
  2. Ohm! Workplaces get more flexible
  3. Leadership gets more provocative
  4. Democracy shows up at work

The remaining five are well worth the time to read and consider. Once you have looked at all nine trends, the challenge is to work out whether your business is positioned to take advantage of them, or be overwhelmed and have your business suffer.

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

How to be More Influential

Friday, February 27, 2015

Effective leadership is built around being able to influence. If you cannot influence, then you cannot lead. There are a plethora of leadership books based on this simple premise, with one of the most enduring being Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.Influence

For some leaders their ability to influence comes from the power of their position in the organisation. Often this is authoritarian and is one of the least effective methods of influence. Other leaders influence by their charisma, essentially charming people in the process. While this may work, it is very shallow and often does not survive the tough times. Some leaders influence through a ‘Follow Me!’ approach whereby they inspire and lead by example, which is good in the tough times, but can be exhausting for their followers over the long term. There are many other styles of leadership and influencing people, some more successful than others.

However you lead, you need to be able to influence in order to be effective. Jon Pratlett is an expert on leadership and his tips for being more influential are shared in a recent NAB blog (Read it here). While the article goes into more details on influence, and the importance of being a CARER (someone who creates Certainty, Autonomy, Relationship, Equity and builds your Reputation), Jon’s tips for influencing your employees are:

  1. Ask questions rather than give instructions
  2. Take time to build the relationship
  3. Encourage them to make suggestions and their own decisions, wherever possible
  4. Ensure they have a sense of being treated fairly and with respect
  5. Don’t try to convince them with a purely logical argument – appeal to their emotions
  6. Don’t expect them to be motivated by profit – link their job to a sense of higher purpose by emphasising the value they provide
  7. Be a CARER not a scarer

The article also has tips on influencing your customers, and I highly recommend you take the time to read it. The challenge is to reflect on your own leadership and influence style and see if you could become more effective.

The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

HR Internship Available

Thursday, February 26, 2015

People and Culture | Sanitarium Australia
(based at Sanitarium, Berkeley Vale)

Looking for: University student currently completing HR or Business degree with HR major. All applicants must have experience in Microsoft Office Suite, good research skills; be motivated and considering a career in church employment.

You’ll gain exposure to:

- Researching Leadership Resources

- Learning Management Systems

- Engagement and Culture Surveys

- General HR processes and procedures

Tenure of role: 2 to 3 days per week for up to 6 months

Start date: ASAP

Applications close: Once we find the right applicants so be quick!

Please apply via the Student Connect link – http://www.adventistemployment.org.au/studentconnect

Biggest Issues Facing Australia Today

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The National Australia Bank recently undertook a survey to find out what it is that Australians find and the issues of most concern to them. Not surprisingly, overall it is the cost of living, then access to healthcare; employment and jobs; the economy; and terrorism/security. Whereas we are least worried about indigenous issues, infrastructure and transport and taxation.NAB

The full report can be found here, and it is worth exploring as there are significant differences between the various states of Australia (for example, in WA it is the threat of terrorism/security that is of most concern to them) and demographics (over 50’s worry about access to healthcare).

However, just reading the report is one thing. Thinking about how it impacts your business is more important. For example, if you are reliant on donations for income, how will the worry over cost of living impact on people’s willingness to donate? Or what about aged care, can your potential client’s access appropriate health care? And overall, how do people worried about terrorism react in an increasingly multi-cultural Australia?

You should be seriously considering how your business is set up to alleviate these fears for people, as customer/clients will be attracted to those entities that can.

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Are Bean-counters More Selfish?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Yes. But I can say that, because I am one of them. Also, I have recent research to back up that statement. The research was conducted by J. Keith Murnighan, Long Wang and Chen-Bo Zhong, and it looked at the over-emphasis on quantitative analysis in problem-solving. That is, relying too much on numbers, and not enough on other, more social factors.

BeanCounter

Their research reviewed whether quantifying everything and reducing it to numbers means people would tend to act more unethically and selfishly, taking less account of social consciousness and motives. And they found that people do tend to do so. It appears that greed and selfishness take over and mask the more social factors. This referred to as a ’calculative mindset’.

A calculative mindset works in a short-term frame, but is not the answer for long term sustainability. The researchers propose that a better way of operating is to change the way problems of business are viewed. Rather than thinking exclusively about maximising profits, that is, grabbing as much of the pie as possible, instead think about maximising value, or creating a bigger pie, generating a sustainable business model.

The full article can be viewed here, and it is worth exploring further. As you think about your way of approaching business decisions, are you about a short term or a long term sustainable approach to business?

The Avondale Business School can assist your organisation take a longer term view – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168