Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

It Doesn’t Have to be a Sacrifice

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Corporate Social ResponsibilityUp until recently, much of the discussion surrounding corporate social responsibility puts it as either profits or being socially responsible, but not both. And on face value it might appear that way, however more and more organisations are recognising that the two are not mutually exclusive.

Studies are showing that investing in socially responsible ways of doing business are generating longer term profitability and generating higher returns for investors. A recent article in the Huffington Post Australia outlined 10 companies that are in fact achieving this. You can read the full article here.

Some of the ways these companies are achieving social responsibility include:

  • Zero waste
  • Valuing aging workers
  • Women in leadership
  • Environmental responsibility

Think about your organisation – is it demonstrably socially responsible? Should it be? Maybe this week think of one way your organisation can take some positive steps towards being a model corporate citizen in the area of corporate social responsibility.

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

7 Secrets of ‘Servant Leadership’ That Will Lead You to Success

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Servant LeadershipI’ve never been comfortable with the term ‘servant leadership’, despite writing a Masters paper on it that scored very well (the lecturer loved servant leadership so I just told him what he wanted to hear!). I wonder if it was because I had not seen it modelled very effectively, and in more recent times I must admit that I am seeing more and more. When it is done well, it creates an environment of trust and confidence where people flourish and organisations gain the benefits from that.

Writing recently in the Inc. online edition, Peter Economy identified the 7 secrets of servant leadership. You can read the full article here, but as a teaser, here are a few of them in simple point form:

  1. Every person has value and deserves civility, trust, and respect
  2. People can accomplish much when inspired by a purpose beyond themselves
  3. Lovingly hold themselves and others accountable for their commitments

Once you read the full article, it’s time to reflect on your own leadership and see if there are some aspects of servant leadership that you can introduce. Maybe think of just one you could try this week.

The Avondale Business School can help you with servant leadership in your organisation – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

5 Ways to Authentically Engage Your Customers

Monday, April 11, 2016

Customer EngagementIn case you hadn’t noticed, customers are more likely than ever before to complain about your organisation, using their personal and social media networks to “spread the word”. They are also acutely aware of their options – they can walk away from you and engage with another organisation just as easily.

Mohanbir Sawheny of the Kellogg School at Northwestern University has researched this phenomena (read it here) and found that the number one thing customers are interested in is a positive relationship. Now customers is a big word, and includes not just people who buy a product, but also who may attend a school, are residents at an aged-care facility, donate to your organisation, volunteer their time or make a commitment to follow your values. They all have options and are not afraid to exercise them.

In exploring this engagement with customers, Sawheny recommends five things organisations can do to enhance this relationship. The full details are found in the article, but in summary they are:

  1. Offer customers real value
  2. Build a community
  3. Inspire people
  4. Provide entertainment value
  5. Keep conversation going

The best time to change is now, so this week think of two things from the above list that you could do to better engage with your customers.

The Avondale Business School can help you with change management in your organisation – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Millennials: Burden, Blessing or Both

Monday, April 11, 2016

MillennialsSo the millennials are joining the workforce, and by 2025 (less than 10 years time) will comprise 75% of the workforce. They know they have options, and are more than prepared to exercise them. As employers, you need them more than they need you, so what are you going to do to attract and retain them, because they are more than prepared to not work than work for someone they don’t like.

In a recent article by Joanna Barsh, Lauren Brown and Kayvan Kian for McKinesy & Co (read it here) they report on the results from interviews with millennials to find out more about what it takes for employers to engage with them and provide an attractive workplace.

It is important to realise that as employers, you cannot assume “business as usual”, and you have to change to stay competitive, no matter what your industry. Here are the six tips the authors propose, coming from the millennials themselves – to find out more about each of these, follow the link above to the full article:

  1. Build bridges with data
  2. Put communications on steroids
  3. Develop a culture of mentorship
  4. Get creative about professional growth
  5. Make flexibility more than polite talk
  6. Shape mid-level managers into leaders

This week, try and incorporate just one of these ideas into your workforce culture, and get ready for the millennials.

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

Good Employers Encourage Sleeping

Monday, March 28, 2016

SleepingIt is no secret that sleep-deprived brains are less effective and make more bad judgements. While it may ultimately be the individual’s responsibility to manage their sleep, employers can play a significant role.

In recent research from McKinsey and Company (Read it here) the links between a good night’s sleep and effective leadership are clearly demonstrated through an extensive survey of 82 organisations comprising 189,000 people around the world.

Unfortunately many organisations encourage and reward employees who routinely work extensive hours, or who answer their phone and emails at all times. I wonder how many of these entities would tolerate an employee being on the job with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 (the drink driving limit)? Yet that is how the brain performs after 17–19 hours of wakefulness!

What can organisations do to encourage employees to have better sleep patterns and therefore better effectiveness and productivity? McKinsey note some suggestions in their article, a few of which include:

1. Training employees in effective sleep patterns

2. Ensuring company policies reflect outcomes. For example:

  • Travel – ensuring employees have opportunity to get good sleep while travelling
  • Emails – discouraging the use of emails outside of work times
  • Culture – discouraging a culture of long hours and “all-nighters”

3. Preparing for the new generation of employees who won’t put up with current practices

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

Work-Life Boundaries

Monday, March 28, 2016

Work life BalanceA critical component in maintaining psychological well-being and recovering properly for a new day is effective detachment from work. New research from Brendon Smit, and reported in BPS Research Digest identify (Read it here), the number one way you can effectively detach from work.

Detachment is important so that work does not totally invade our lives and thoughts, imposing on family and personal time that is important in our recharging and recovery process. Without effective “down-time” our productivity declines and effectiveness is reduced.

Surveying a number of professionals and testing a variety of methods, Smit identifies the key factor is to spend a few moments at the end of each day creating a simple list of incomplete goals and a few actions steps to tackle each one in the new day. This process effectively ‘closes the loop’ on these items and allows your subconscious to leave them alone. This simple yet effective strategy was demonstrated by Smit to help participants put their work issues out of their minds and effectively detach from work. It seems our minds carry around any “open loops” and continually attempt to find solutions and develop plans for them, never giving the subconscious the rest it needs.

So if you want to detach from work and increase your productivity and effectiveness, take a few moments at the end of each day to ‘close the loop’ and leave it all behind.

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

Important Lessons For (and About) Female Leaders

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Females in LeadershipNicole Fallon Taylor, of Business News Daily, tackles the issue of what women need to be doing in order to move ahead in leadership. She does this by seeking advice from a number of women already in senior leadership positions who are prepared to share their collective wisdom. The full article can be read here.

Listed below are the five tips from the article, but next to them we have twisted them to list what senior leaders (male or female) should be doing to facilitate more women in leadership.

 

Lessons Aspiring Female Leaders Need to Learn

 

Lessons for Senior Leaders to Develop More Female Leaders

1.

Unpack your fears and conquer them 1.  

Understand it’s not a ‘boys club’ and don’t mistake lack of confidence for lack of ability

2. Find a mentor 2. Facilitate and encourage mentoring
 

3.

 

Put yourself out there

 

3.

 

Go looking

4.  

Stand your ground and show your strength

4.  

Don’t misinterpret questions and emotions for weakness

 

5.

 

Act as if equality is a reality

 

5.

 

Make equality a reality

Business needs diversity in leadership in order to be able to respond to global challenges. Think about your organisation, how many women are in your senior leadership ranks? What are you doing to develop more?

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

Why Front-line Workers Are Disengaged

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Leadership mistakesFor many senior leaders the question of why their frontline workers seem so disengaged remains a mystery. A recent Gallup poll in the US notes that only three out of ten workers actually feel engaged in their work. My guess is that it would be similar for Australia and New Zealand.

In a very brief article, McKinsey & Company offer some suggestions as to why this might be the case. The full article (Read it Here) refers to some research undertaken by McKinsey in 2013 that notes senior leaders are under two very big illusions about how effective they really are. These are:

  1. Senior leaders typically overestimate their effectiveness as motivators and leaders;
  2. While typically 86% of senior leaders believe they are modelling the changes they want employees to make, only 53% of employees think managers are.

In both of these areas senior leadership is oblivious as to the gaps between what they perceive as reality, and what reality actually is. The cold hard truth? If you are a senior leader, then the chances are this applies to you.

Maybe it’s time to stop living under the illusion of ‘greatness’ and instead roll your sleeves up and start trying to reconnect with your employees in meaningful ways that reengage them with the organisation. Motivated and engaged employees translates into effective and productive employees.

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

Board Members – How Long is Long Enough?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

BaordHow long should someone be a member of your board? Until recently conventional thinking was to cap someone’s tenure at 9 years. It was felt that any longer and the member would become “captive” to management and no longer be considered independent. Some national regulators already impose such restrictions on corporate board membership tenure.

Research from the University of New South Wales in late 2015 (read it here) has challenged this tradition. After looking into 1500 firms, the UNSW researchers found that there are actually a number of very clear advantages of keeping board members for longer. These advantages include:

  • More likely to have a higher level of commitment
  • More likely to attend meetings
  • Generally less CEO turnover in firms with longer serving members
  • Less likelihood of CEO ‘empire-building’
  • More innovation

In investigating the potential reasons why this might be the case, the researchers postulate it is because the directors value their reputation, and the longer they are associated with the firm the more their reputation is at risk. This, coupled with their deeper knowledge of the firm and its operations means that long serving directors are better able and more likely to stand up to management.

Not reported in the research itself, but commented on by the researchers is that in their view, the optimal term for a director is 21 years. Is it time for you to review your board appointment policies and consider whether it is time to give directors the change for a longer stay?

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

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Don’t Let the Facts Get in the Way

Sunday, February 28, 2016

justthefactsWe have all been in the situation I am sure where we are in a “robust” discussion with someone and they just will not budge from their position, despite the fact we are putting indisputable evidence and facts before them. Our brilliant argument backfires. Frustrating to say the least.

Typically this has been explained by psychologists as the other person, in hearing your argument, recalling their own defensive arguments and “digging in” for the battle. It results in a fruitless attempt to reason and does not resolve the situation. If we are honest, we have probably been guilty of doing this ourselves. But there is another possible explanation for such belligerence.

Recent research by Gregory Trevors and other published early in 2016 (read the full article here) studied the responses of 120 people to arguments that challenged their erroneous position with facts. They found people did not “dig in” because they were convinced their argument was right, but because the contrary argument threatened their sense of identity and consequently triggered negative emotions that impaired their ability to understand and digest the new information.

For many of us our beliefs define who we are, and to have those beliefs challenged, even with indisputable facts and evidence, is to challenge who we see ourselves as – our very identity. Consequently our instinctive reaction is to defend who we are, and in that process, we are unable to digest this new information.

While more research is needed in this area, the current research can give us some clues as to how we might handle these sorts of discussions (arguments) better by giving us pause to reflect on how we might frame our discussions/arguments. We need to avoid putting them into the context of this identity concept by de-personalising the points we are making. Also, it may be better to handle such discussions in two or more parts by initially exposing the other person to this new information and giving them time to process and assimilate it before requiring them to act on it.

Think about your role and situations where you may be required to challenge someone with new facts, for example in the context of introducing change into the workplace. How can you approach this differently, now knowing that you may well be threatening people’s very identity?

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