Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pass the BatonIn the most recent McKinsey Quarterly in May 2015 (Read it here), they cite a stunning statistic, that one in three CEO successions fail, because of the wrong person going into the role. That is a huge failure rate, and one that costs business an extraordinary amount of money.

While it is the responsibility of the Board to replace a CEO, it is the responsibility of the CEO to develop a pool of talent for the Board to choose from. And this is where many organisations fail. In fact, McKinsey further quote that two-thirds of US companies have no succession planning in place for the CEO. What are you doing to develop your successor?

The ideal process, according to McKinsey, is a multi-year (say 5 – 8 years) structured program that involves multiple candidates in a rotation system. The CEO is best suited to manage this process as they best understand the business, and what lies ahead (that is, develop leaders for where the business is going, not where it is). The Board should involve up to three board members to work with the CEO and HR manager to ensure the process is taking place and developing talent in-house.

McKinsey identify three areas, or clusters of criteria, to use in developing would-be leaders. These are:

  1. Know-how
  2. Leadership skills
  3. Personal attributes

They also caution about three types of bias that can creep into the process:

  1. ‘MOM’ Bias (i.e. More of Me) – whereby the CEO is looking for a copy of themselves.
  2. Sabotage Bias – when the CEO undermines the process by selecting one candidate and favouring them throughout.
  3. Herding Bias – where the committee adjusts their actions to reflect that of the CEO, thereby removing any independence.

Take the time to reflect on the succession plans (if any) of your organisation for your role. Do you need to start the process? Remember that the bigger the pool, the more options the organisation has to get it right!

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.


P: 02 4980 2168

Work Less and Get More Done

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Now that sounds like a great idea doesn’t it! Numerous studies have proven that regularly working in excess of 55 hours per week is counterproductive and results in less, not more, getting achieved. Not to mention the effect on quality.

Work LessTravis Bradbury, writing in the May 19, 2015 edition of Inc. Online pulls together ten tips for your weekend that can result in higher quality and quantity of work during the week. The full article can be found here. The tips are:

  1. Disconnect
  2. Minimize chores
  3. Reflect
  4. Exercise
  5. Pursue a passion
  6. Spend quality time with family
  7. – 10 You will need to read the article!

Many of you are probably already doing these things, and are not working the crazy hours of others. Well done. But if you are one of those who are regularly putting in too many hours, what do you need to do to change? Not only will you be better off, but the organisation will benefit as well.

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


P: 02 4980 2168

2015 Zado High Achievers Scholarship Opportunity

Monday, May 11, 2015

Zado is one of the top retailers of floor rugs in Australia. We essentially help homes, businesses and offices transform their property into something they’ve always dreamed of with our luxurious brand name rugs. Such brand names we offer (inexpensively, might we add) are Brink & Campman, Arte Espina, Bluebellgray, Scion and more.

We consider ourselves to be High Achievers in the sense that we’re continuously pushing to provide more to our customers. At the moment, this can be evidenced through our seven-day free trial, risk free purchases, Australia wide delivery system and low low prices.

We have put into place this High Achievers Scholarship Program to find and award like-minded students.

Value and Duration

Zado will award the winning student with $2,000. This is to be used towards tuition fees, book expenses and/or any other verified institutional costs.


Provided they meet the following conditions, we welcome all students to apply regardless of their geographical location:

1)      Students must be enrolled full-time or part-time at an accredited education institute.

2)      Students must be studying a Bachelors, Masters, Honours or Postgraduate Degree.

3)      Students must have a Credit Average WAM or higher across all their subjects.

4)      Students must be Australian Citizens or Australian Permanent Residents.

We actively encourage students from rural locations to also apply.

Selection Process

The winning student will be selected on how well they meet the following criteria:

1)      Student exhibits a strong dedication to their studies.

2)      Student has answered the short essay question to the best of their ability.

3)      Student has fulfilled all necessary requirements as outlined in the Apply Now section below.

Apply Now

Students should apply now via email to, with the subject as your “Your Name – 2015 Scholarship Application.” Students will also need to ensure that the following has been attached in a SINGLE document:

1)      A cover letter that outlines the student’s educational background, experience, skills and interests.

2)      The student’s latest academic transcript.

3)      The student’s response to the short essay question below.

Short Essay Question:

In 500 words or less, explain how Zado’s scholarship program will help you meet your future goals.

Terms and Conditions

Value: AU $2,000 to be used towards tuition expenses.

Length: One semester.

Closing Date for Entries: 31st December 2015.

Global Trends in the Business of People

Sunday, May 10, 2015

People JigsawEach year Deloitte publish a report into the global trends in the area of leadership and human capital. Their most recent report has just been released, called Global Human Capital 2015: Leading in the new world of work (Access it here). In compiling the report, Deloitte consulted with 3300 business and HR leaders in 106 countries (including Australia and NZ).

The report identifies ten major trends, within four major themes. The top five major trends are:

  1. Culture and engagement: The naked organisation
  2. Leadership: Why a perennial issue?
  3. Learning and development: Into the spotlight
  4. Reinventing HR: An extreme makeover
  5. Workforce on demand: Are you ready?

What is evident from the report is that the “softer” areas of business are now the priority, as it is a new world in which we operate. For example, employees are now always connected and can access information about whatever management says instantaneously to confirm its validity. They also use social media to check perceptions and reputations. Employees also consider themselves more as customers or partners than employees. As such, they have expectations on how they will be treated that is substantially different to the traditional employer-employee model.

Two paragraphs from the report are particularly interesting in directing company leadership to addressing these issues:

It is time for a shift in how leaders’ performance is being measured. Rewards should be directly related to leaders developing successors and sharing talent not simply on meeting a strategic or operational KPI. A greater emphasis on a coaching environment should form a part of development and assessment frameworks with out-of-the-box development opportunities considered, such as business partnering, being considered.

Today’s leaders must look to engage their employees and therefore it must be made a corporate priority. Real steps need to be undertaken to ensure work is more meaningful. Leaders need to ensure they are being authentic in their style and transparent in their approach to feedback and coaching.

Thinking about your business, are you planning for the future, or responding to the past? Your success depends upon the future, not the past.

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


P: 02 4980 2168

The Answer is Involvement

Sunday, May 10, 2015

DirectorsBut what is the question? The question centres on what makes the best directors (or Executive Committee members).

Research by McKinsey research and published in the Harvard Business Review Online (Read it here) have found that there are no shortcuts to being a very effective director. In fact, the latest trend is for effective directors to be spending just as much time out of meetings engaging with the company on board activities as they do in board meetings.

The article details the various types of engagement with management on the following topics:

  • Engaging between meetings;
  • Engaging with strategy as it’s forming;
  • Engaging on talent;
  • Engaging the field;
  • Engaging on tough questions.

This concept runs contrary to established thinking of directors keeping their involvement to a minimum, and leaving management “to do its job”. However the research found that directors who took the time to engage had more significant and valuable contributions to make, thus adding value to the board.

One other thing this process enabled was for directors to mix up their roles, and for someone to be assigned each meeting to ask the hard questions of management. Being engaged meant the directors had confidence that they knew enough about the issues and the business to do this, and that management respected this knowledge. It also ensured that the board process was more robust and that all issues were appropriately examined and interrogated.

There are no short cuts to being an effective director and board, and management needs to have a thick skin and engage with directors who are prepared to learn more about the business.

The Avondale Business School can assist your board to become a high performing board – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Marketing Scholarship Opportunity

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Cubic Promote 2015 Marketing Scholarship

Cubic Promote is one of Australia’s pre-eminent vendors for businesses and government departments in fund raising and marketing merchandise. We are the people behind the scenes responsible for some of the highest profile marketing and fund raising events in Australia. We know that marketing and business students of today will eventually be the creative marketing leaders of tomorrow. For that reason, we are committed to offering aid in the form of financial study assistance.

Value & Duration

Cubic Promote will provide $2000 towards tuition fees for students in their chosen field of study within Marketing & Business. In addition the winning applicant will have a chance to work and learn business and marketing basics from a BRW fast starting company for 1 week.


We welcome all applicants to apply who meet these criteria:

- Students must be studying a Bachelors or Masters degree in Business, Marketing, or E-Marketing within Australia

- Applicants must be Australian Citizens or Australian Permanent Residents

- We encourage students studying in rural locations within Australia to apply, as we believe creative ideas of the mind knows no physical boundaries.

For the winning applicant who is not based Sydney you will still have the opportunity to work and learn with our company, as we invest heavily in computing to allow communication via Skype or Facetime.

 Selection Process

-The winning applicant will be assessed based on any or all combinations of the following:

-Academic results

-An ability to demonstrate originality or creativity. This may be in the form of past achievements in organizing events, or any other relevant extra-curricular activity where you needed to use marketing concepts to achieve an objective.

-Ability to demonstrate in words your career goals, objectives and future accomplishments within marketing.

  Apply Now

1.     Applicants should visit our page to check for any possible updates regarding the scholarship, and if all terms are met, send their application to

2.     Please attach a cover letter and your latest academic transcript to date.

3.     Additional material: 500 Words essay to demonstrate:
A) Your career objectives and your desired future accomplishments;
B) Your past experience in utilizing business and marketing acumen (online or otherwise) to complete an objective (it may be something as simple as organizing an event)

Value: AUD $2,000.00 and 1 week Work experience

Length of Scholarship: One semester

Closing Date/ Deadline for entries: 31/12/2015.

9 Habits That Lead To Terrible Decisions

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The online Harvard Business Review of September 1, 2014 contains an article by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman on the habits that lead to terrible decisions (Find it Here). They studies over 50,000 leaders and compared the behaviour of those perceived to be making poor decisions with those perceived to be making very good decisions. In doing so, 9 factors emerged that were most common to poor decision making. In order of most to least significant, these are:Mistakes

  1. Laziness (failure to check facts, confirm assumptions etc.)
  2. Not anticipating unexpected events
  3. Indecisiveness
  4. Remaining locked in the past
  5. Having no strategic alignment
  6. Over-dependence
  7.  - 9. You will need to read the article to find out!

A challenge for you is to realistically assess your decision-making habits against these factors. Keeping in mind what these pitfalls are will help you as a leader be a more effective decision-maker.

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.


P: 02 4980 2168

3 Ways Customer Service Has Changed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Customer Service 2Writing in a recent blog (Read it Here), Nicole Fallon highlights a significant consequence of social media and mobile technology – the ability of your customers to broadcast their experiences (positive and negative) to the world. Customers are increasingly using this new found power to share their thoughts about your company and their experiences with it. Left unaddressed, these experiences form a picture of your company that you would rather not see.

To address this, Fallon, highlights three issues and consequent strategies to take on board.

  1. Customers are in control – and that’s how it will stay.
    Irrespective of how good you think your company is, or your products or services, it is the customer who decides and shares their experiences. They also have the internet available to them 24/7 and 365 days a year to give voice to their story. You need to be there too, and to resolve whatever issues are raised in that space
  2. Quick, personalised responses in social media will continue to be a service benchmark.
    Ignoring social media is pointless – it is a reality and it is here to stay, so you need to be monitoring it. When issues are raised and you can deal with them quickly you will often be heralded as a champion. Customers understand that mistakes are made; it is how you deal with them that count. Personalised and not generic responses are important in this.
  3. Collaboration will be the key to improving service.
    This essentially means all the units of your business coming together to solve the issues raised. An even better and becoming more common approach is for customers to help themselves through feedback forums etc.

Customers are sharing their experiences with your company on the internet and social media. It is going to increase. You need to be in that space with a strategy for engaging with customers and especially dealing with any negative comments. When prospective customers search your business on the internet, what they find is up to you.

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.


P: 02 4980 2168

A New Look At Meetings

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boring MeetingsMy workplace utilises a number of meetings, many of which are necessary, some of which, in my opinion, are not needed. Recent research from the United Kingdom and reported by the Australian Human Resource Institute online suggest that up to three-quarters of meetings are “proving completely unnecessary”. Additionally, the article places a dollar value on the cost of these ‘wasteful’ meetings.

According to the UK based consultancy firm providing the research, a one-hour meeting attended by 10 people and one manager can cost $480 before any additional travel costs for those present is taken into consideration. This figure can be up to $1400 if a legal representative or senior manager is present. Additional external consultants can see this figure rise closer to $2000 for that same one-hour meeting. Representatives of the UK based consultancy firm point out that senior management are often oblivious to the cost of such unnecessary meetings. The major take away for managers and workplaces alike appears to be that other communication forms such as email, short briefings, and desk-based conferencing tools should be relied upon more, and face-to-face meetings that are absolutely necessary should be kept as short as possible.

You can read the full report here

The 4 Unshakable Beliefs of Every Great Leader

Monday, April 13, 2015

Great LeadershipPositivity is a key to great leadership, creating long term benefits to the organisation rather than short term gains produced from negativity, fear-mongering and pessimism.

In a recent online article in Inc. Peter Economy (Read it Here) outlined four basic beliefs that every great leader has:

  1. Our company is the best
  2. Our services, people, and training are the best
  3. We are the best
  4. Our customers or clients are better off using us and our company

What employee wouldn’t want to work with a leader who lived and espoused these beliefs? They instil confidence, trust, pride and a sense of empowerment that brings out the best in people and can only add value to the organisation. In the full article Economy expands on these four beliefs, and it is well worth the short amount of time to read these.

Take a moment to consider your leadership, or that of your leaders, and see whether your organisation is based on positivity or pessimism. The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop great leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168