Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

Machines Replacing Humans

Friday, September 23, 2016

AutomationAre you ready to be replaced by a machine? It is much closer than you think. A July 2016 article in McKinsey Quarterly (Read it here) reports on a major investigation undertaken by McKinsey to determine how much of each occupation automation could take over right now. At the moment, 45% of activities people are paid to do now could be automated.

However, while technical feasibility is a big factor, there are other factors to also consider, including:

  • The cost of developing and deploying;
  • The current supply and cost of labour;
  • Benefits beyond labour substitution – fewer errors, better quality, etc.
  • Regulatory and social-acceptance issues (are we really ready for a robot to perform routine surgery on us?)

The reality is also that it is more technically feasible to automate predictable physical activities than unpredictable ones (e.g. assembly line welding versus raising outdoor animals). Interestingly, though, it is not manufacturing that has the highest potential for automation, instead, it is accommodation and food services, with its routine activities of preparing, cooking and serving food, clean-up, preparing beverages, and more.

Another area that can have high rates of automation is in the middle-skill jobs, that include data collection and processing. This is where one-third of workplace time is spent and has great potential across all jobs. But in the financial services sector, it takes up on average 43% of a worker’s time and is ripe for automating.

Activities with a low potential for automation are typically those that involve managing and directing people, or where expertise is applied to decision making, planning or creative work. Humans also still need to determine proper goals, interpret results and provide common sense checks for solution. And the sector with the lowest technical feasibility of automation is education, as the essence of teaching is deep expertise and complex interactions with other people.

The article concludes with a very interesting point – the majority of the benefits of automation may come not from reducing labour costs but from raising productivity through fewer errors, higher output, and improved quality, safety and speed.

Are you ready for the future? If you would like further information on how Avondale Business School can help your organisation, contact Warrick Long

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

How To Do Sick days

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sick daysRecently I felt a bit out of sorts, but was proud that I was able to “soldier on” and still turn up to work and get a few things done. But I was challenged about the real virtue of doing that, and found an article in ‘The Muse’ by Richard Moy (read it here) that gives some tips on how to handle being sick.

Moy makes the point that we all feel like we need to get to work in order to keep on top of things, but challenges this. In the article he proposes three things most of us are not doing right, and offers some tips on how to get it right.

The article is not particularly long, so I’m not going to summarise it all, however the main issues Moy addresses are:

  1. You’re treating your sick days as an all or nothing proposition

What to do instead of going into work sick

  1. You’re trying too hard to get out of the house

What to do instead of going out

  1. You’re working too hard

What to do instead of taking meetings from bed

Presenteeism is a real issue in workplaces now, whereby employees come to work sick, but are basically ineffectual for as long as it takes them to get better. Whereas if they were to stay home, they are more likely to get well quicker, and you actually gain in productivity more than if they come to work sick. Not to mention the risk of spreading their disease to other employees causing them to get sick as well.

So let’s make a pact to take the time to actually take our sick days, and get better sooner. If 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

Why Leaders Lack Emotional Intelligence

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Emotional IntelligenceTravis Bradberry is the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and in a recent blog in Inc.com explained the counter-intuitive situation of CEOs having the lowest level of emotional intelligence (EQ). You can find the article here.

Through his organisation TalentSmart, Bradberry analysed over one mission EQ profiles across the spectrum of roles to find out who has the highest level of EQ. Surprisingly, it is middle managers, probably because people in these positions have been put there because of their ability to work with people and general level-headedness.

After this though, the scores drop continually until ending up with the CEO, who typically had the lowest EQ scores. However, Bradberry also notes that the best-performing CEOs will have the highest EQs. Bradberry proposes that KPIs and knowledge form a significant part of the appointment process for these roles, which focus on short-term results. Instead, he suggests that the key criteria should be their skill in inspiring others to excel. It is this new environment of leadership where leaders find themselves getting out of touch with people and their EQ levels dropping.

Listed below are a few of Bradberry’s strategies for boosting your EQ:

  • Acknowledge other people’s feelings
  • When you care, show it
  • Watch your emotions like a hawk
  • Sleep
  • Quash negative self-talk

In the coming week, why not give at least one of these strategies a try, and see if your EQ gets a boost. 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

Two Types of Leadership

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Leadership 2

Leaders can be categorised into those who have a desire for either dominance or prestige. So writes Emily Stone, reporting on research that has just gone to publication from John Maner and Charleen Case of the Kellogg Institute. You can find the article here.

From their research, Maner and Case found that typically people are motivated either by their desire for dominance or prestige. Neither is any better or worse than the other, but each works best in different circumstances. Typically, leaders have the capabilities for both types, and effective leaders are those who know when to switch between the two types, depending on the circumstances and situation.

A desire for dominance leaders typically led by intimidation and coercion, and demand following rather than inspire it. But they are also decisive and swift decision makers. Unfortunately, they are also characterised as likely to sacrifice the best interests of the group in order to retain their power.

Prestige seeking leaders will display their skills and knowledge, convincing people that they are worth following. They are known for being able to foster creativity and innovation in their teams, but they are also prone to avoid making the right decision in order to continue being liked. They are reluctant to give the hard feedback required at times.

You might be a dominant type leader if you do most of the talking in meetings, and lower your voice when talking. But beware, people often mistake you talking for competence, just because you sound like you know what you are doing. Time reveals the truth. Alternatively, you could be a prestige style leader if you listen more than you talk and can empathise with your employees who are able to find innovative and creative solutions to issues.

Stone points out at the end of her article that Maner and Case remind readers the best leaders are those that are able to switch between the two types as situations and circumstances change.

So which type of leader are you? Most importantly, are you able to adapt? 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

5 Strategies for Leading a High-Impact Team

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Teams2For introverts like me, working in teams can be very stressful, but it is more a fact of working life now than ever before. As a result, I am also glad to find some useful tips on how to work in teams better, and one such piece of useful advice comes from Leigh Thompson in the July 2016 edition of KellogInsight (read it here).

Thompson offers some strategies for teams, based on her extensive research in the area as an academic leader at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Without wanting to take anything away from the substance of the article, and it is highly recommended you read it for a richer experience, a quick summary of the main points are:

1.Teams are not cocktail parties: don’t invite everyone.

  • In other words, keep things small and co-opt specialists when you need them.
  • Also, think about changing the membership regularly in order to keep ideas fresh.

2. It is possible to set ground rules without stifling creativity.

  • You will probably find that some structure will actually provide a safe environment for the creative juices to flow.
  • At a minimum, have a clear goal for the team, and a brief charter of how to function. Teams that do this are proven to be more nimble.

3.Drop the pride talk. Vulnerability can be a good thing.

  • Almost counterintuitively, but based on research, team members who have shared an embarrassing moment typically generate more ideas in subsequent brainstorming sessions.

4.You may be able to cut your meeting time in half – if you are smart about it.

  • Again, based on research, it is better to have four one-hour meetings than two two-hours meetings. The article has some really practical tips to help with this.

5.It is possible to get along too well. Agree to keep disagreeing.

  • Disagreement that is properly managed helps teams to avoid groupthink by probing the strengths and weaknesses of any idea.

This week, think about teams you are a part of, and see if there is an opportunity to introduce one or maybe two of these suggestions, and take your team to the next level. The Avondale Business School can assist your team to become an effective team – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

12 Lessons You Learn or Regret Forever

Sunday, August 28, 2016

LifeIt is painful having to learn lessons the hard way. So we at ABS have found an article that will help take the pain out of life’s lessons. Writing for Inc. magazine, Travis Bradberry points out 12 lessons that as a leader of an organisation we need to learn sooner or later, and the sooner the better. You can read it here. We are not going to spoil the article for you, but as a teaser, following are some of the lessons Bradberry helpfully points out, and offers some advice with:

  • You’re living the life that you’ve created
  • Being busy does not equal being productive
  • Don’t say yes unless you really want to
  • Seek out small victories
  • Don’t seek perfection

Without even going into the details of them, those simple headings alone should change your life, so don’t neglect reading the full article.

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

Four Ways That Accountants Turn To The Dark Side

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Accountant FraudAccountants and book keepers are not perfect. That may be a revelation to many, and unfortunately recent research at the University of NSW reveals that they have been known to commit fraud. Not all of them, of course, but a number of them

A recent online UNSW BusinessThink article (read it here) showcases research by Paul Andon, Clinton Free and Benjamin Scard into fraud by accountants in Australia, examining 192 successful fraud prosecutions. Essentially they found the four major pathways into fraud:

 

  1. Personal circumstances – “crisis responders”, people who have some personal crisis in their lives (like marriage breakup, gambling debts). This group is the most common (in excess of 50%), the majority of whom are female.
  2. Situational elements – “opportunity takers”, people who see an opportunity too good to pass up, and are often satisfying some need to take revenge or right a perceived injustice.
  3. Humans are fallible – that is, anyone is capable of fraud – people make mistakes.
  4. Attitudinal flexibility – “opportunity seekers” who are proactively looking to commit fraud, and “deviance seekers” who are calculating and unremorseful in their actions.

Interestingly the research also found that it frequently takes a long time to get caught. Warning signs to be on the lookout for include people not taking annual leave (for fear of being found out), and not having adequate separation of duties.

Fraud is committed by anyone, for a variety of reasons and motives. Are you reducing the risks of fraud in your organisation? If 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

Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Strategy 3What contributes the most to making good competitive-strategy decisions – Education? Experience? Outsiders with new ideas? Mark Chussil, in a recent HBR Online article (read it here) shares some findings from data he has collected based on competitive-strategy decisions.

Chussil has developed a matrix of decisions, highlighting the four styles of strategy decision-making as follows:

Chussil

 

 

Chussil’s experience indicates that those in the best performing group are the “I don’t knows”. These are the people who take their time and consider alternatives before launching into making their decision.

This is opposed to those who “Already know”, and are overconfident, not really looking for other solutions, because they “already know” the answer. Close behind this group are the “Now I knows”, who have a high degree of confidence following pondering the issue for a time.

The lesson that Chussil draws out is to take a “not so fast” approach and really consider alternatives before committing to action.

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

Not-for-profit Workers Are Happier Workers

Sunday, July 31, 2016

NFP WorkersMoney doesn’t always buy happiness! Reviewing a recent article by Martin Binder in the Journal of Economic Psychology (find it here), Christian Jarrett writes in the BPS Research Digest (read it here) that Binder’s study looked at British people working in both commercial and not-for-profit organisations.

One of the surprising findings was that while there are many “perks” in working for a commercial organisation, people in the NFP sector were typically happier with their lives, more satisfied in their jobs, and believed more strongly they were making a difference.

Other findings included:

  • For-profit employees would need to earn an additional £27,000 to be as happy as an equivalent NFP employee
  • Women and higher education people are more likely to work in the NFP sector

Some may question whether by their very nature happier people are more likely to enter the NFP sector, however Binder does not believe this is the case.

This is a very interesting and challenging research project, and has implications for both sectors of the workforce. What else can for-profit entities do to increase the happiness of their workers, and how do NFP entities ensure they do not exploit the generosity of their happy workers?

Are you happy in your work?

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

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

If You Are Hiring on the Basis of Skills, You Are Doing it Wrong!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

HiringManagers typically don’t do enough to understand their own organisational culture, and that exposes the organisation to significant risk. Such is the assertion in a recent Australian Financial Review article (read it here) that looks into organisational culture.

In fact, the traditional definition of organisational culture as being ‘the way we do things around here’ is challenged in the article with an alternative suggestion being ‘how we understand what motivates individuals at the forefront of our business and why they are engaging in the conduct they are.’

One of the main points of the article is that organisations typically hire people based on their skill sets and capabilities, yet fire them because of their behaviours and cultural fit. Why not instead consider behaviours and cultural fit at the time of hiring? Hence the question as to whether Australian managers really know enough about their organisational culture and people to really know what people are needed to move the organisation forward.

Another issue raised in the article concerns what organisations say is their purpose and culture often being quite different to what customers and front-line employees are actually experiencing. This is identified as a significant risk for organisations whereby people are empowered to disregard management statements because they have proven to be meaningless.

Within your organisation, does your organisational culture at all levels match what you say it is? And even more importantly, are you hiring people who are congruent with that culture? 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