Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

The Unsociable Team Member

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dysfunctional TeamCollaboration, Teams, Partnerships, Alliances. All buzzwords in business at the moment, which capture the concept of working in teams and highlight how important it is in business today. But what happens when one of the team members is technically brilliant but much less so socially? Often the team is disrupted and becomes disharmonious and less effective.

For leaders and managers this is a problem which needs to be fixed sooner rather than later or else risk slowing the entire organisation down. Usually the most expedient option is to change the team member. However this is not always feasible or warranted, especially if that team member has invaluable skills needed for the project. Unfortunately in a time-poor working environment leadership frequently sees these sorts of issues as hindrances that need a quick resolution. But maybe there is a better solution. One that may take a bigger investment of time up front, but one that yields a heftier reward in the long run.

In their recent blog, MindTools addresses this very issue (Managing Unsociable People) and propose some excellent ideas that can see the organisation bring out the best of these people and achieve way beyond initial expectations. The article is a great read and well worth the few minutes it takes to do so, but as a preview, here are some of the main points for working with that unsociable team member:

  • Understand why this person is unsociable – there is more to them than meets the eye, and no two people are alike.
  • Identify their strengths and weaknesses – focus on the strengths, work around the weaknesses, and whatever you do, don’t micromanage them.
  • Identify their motivation – and then reward them accordingly
  • Encourage communication – early, open and honest.

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


P: 02 4980 2168

Where do all the Good Ideas Come From?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doing things because that is always what we have done is never a good business strategy. All organisations need to be constantly reevaluating what they are doing and why. If the business case indicates continuing with what we know is the best course, then by all means keep doing that. But how do you know?

innovationYou know by looking at alternatives. Some organisations are fortunate enough to have employees who seem to ooze good ideas, but that is not typically the case. So what do the leaders of an organisation do?

While some leaders think it is their job to come up with the good ideas, that only limits the organisation to the brilliance (or otherwise) of those leaders. Great leaders instead utilise the resources around them to draw on the ideas of so many others. According to a recent article by NAB (Easy Ways to Innovate for Success) there are three things an organisation can do to put themselves in the best possible position:

  1. Talk to customers – incredibly they know what they want and what they need from you. Ask, find out, and then develop.
  2. Talk to the people within your organisation – the people who have to deliver know what it takes. Listen to them and trust that they may know more about the nitty gritty than you do
  3. Create a culture of ideas – recognise and reward innovative ideas in your organisation. It may be as simple as publicly acknowledging where the genesis of the idea came from rather than taking credit for it. More good ideas flow when people know they won’t be ‘stolen’ or ignored.

A challenge for you – are you listening to and rewarding new and good ideas, or is your business limited only to what you can offer?

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

Position Vacant – Graduate Accounting in Sydney

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seventh-day Adventist Schools (Greater Sydney) Ltd

Epping, NSW

Full Time Graduate Accounting Position

SDA Schools (GS) Ltd is seeking an experienced accounts clerk to join the busy Education team. This position will be responsible for data entry, reconciliations, accounts payables, school liaisons, supporting school bursars, and assisting the Education Accountant.


Essential Criteria:

- at least 2 years’ experience in a similar role (negotiable for graduates)

- able to work in a team environment

- good written & verbal communication skills

- a commitment to Adventist Education, its ethos and mission


Desirable Criteria:

- well developed interpersonal skills

- able to work with deadlines and under pressure

- possess initiative and self-motivation

- Maze database knowledge will be highly regarded

- Proficiency in MS office package


Other Information:

The successful candidate must be eligible to work in Australia.


Enquiries To:

Maxine Su

Phone: (02) 9868 6522



Application Procedure:

To apply, please send your CV including 3 work related referees and a covering letter to: Maxine Su


Applications Close: 31/10/2014

The Multitasking Myth

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Do Not Disturb

So to all the ‘Multitaskers’, ‘Open door’ advocates, and email ‘Immediate responders’, I have bad news. While you may be able to get more done than the person next to you, new research proves that you are probably not as effective or efficient as you could be.

Research published online in April of 2014, ‘Do Interruptions affect quality of work?’ (Foroughi, Werner, Nelson, & Boehm-Davis, 2014) (find it here>>) highlights that we already know interruptions increase the completion time of tasks, and that on average an office worker faces up to six interruptions per hour. We also know that interruptions reduce accuracy, but until now we had no idea about how interruptions affect quality.

The researchers ran a series of experiments on participants trying to write an essay. They faced interruptions during planning, during writing, and none at all. The results indicated very clearly that interruptions DID affect the quality of the output. We know this intuitively, but this research proves that getting going again after an interruption is more difficult, and that we rarely commence from exactly where we left off.

The message – multitasking comes at a price – it impacts on both the time taken to complete, and the quality of the individual tasks. It’s time to shut the door, turn off the phone, and ignore emails for awhile – and to respect those that do so. While you may still be able to get things done, are they being done as well, and as quickly as they could be?

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

Foroughi, C. K., Werner, N. E., Nelson, E. T., & Boehm-Davis, D. A. (2014). Do Interruptions Affect Quality of Work? Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 0018720814531786.

Ditch and Switch

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How many times have your heard the claim that a particular product is “the best on the market” or “leads all other brands”? If you are like me, the answer is “too often!”.

But if we are to be honest, how many times have we been guilty of those sorts of claim? Across the various industries and organisations I have been associated with I have heard claims like “we have THE truth”, “our lifestyle is the best there is”, “our schools provide the best education possible”, and “our standard of aged care is unsurpassed”.

Recent research is cautioning organisations from making these sorts of claims as it has a tendancy to chase consumers away. Many people today are in a ‘Maximising Mindset’, which means they are undertaking more research and exploring more options before making a decision. The most recent research by Jingjing Ma and Neal Roese has explored this phenomena, which can be found here, or for an abbreviated version, try here.

BrandsWhere an organisation has made such big claims the consumer has bigger regrets if the product or service does not live up to them, or they find something better. They will be unsatisfied unless it is the most amazing thing ever. Or in other words, they are very quick to ‘ditch and switch’. And this applies to services as much as products. Education, health care, aged care and even lifestyle choices all factor into the maximising mindset. The feelings of regret and dissatisfaction are amplified in the maximising mindset.

A close examination of the marketing approaches of many of the world’s leading brands today will show that rarely do they actually tout the taste, speed, function of the product or service. More likely, the advertising will be promoting an experience and connecting the product to that experience. The assumption being that by having that product or service, you as the consumer will share that experience.

So the advice for organisations that do have a great product or service – don’t make broken promises or create excessive expectations, instead, create memories and experiences for people. Essentially, the more experiential you can make the product, the happier people are.

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


P: 02 4980 2168

2015 Accounting Internship

Friday, October 10, 2014

AVC Logo



 If you are a committed and enthusiastic Accounting student eager to gain some experience applying your classroom lessons to real world scenarios then Avondale College has the opportunity you need. The friendly Business Office team has an internship available for you in Semester 1, 2015 to come and get some experience in your field of study.

The successful applicant will have completed at least one year of their Accounting Major in undergraduate studies. To apply, send your application and Curriculum Vitae to the Accountant via email or post to PO Box 19 Cooranbong NSW 2265.

The closing date for applications is 24 October 2014.

A Good Idea Going Nowhere?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

moving forward

You are the leader of your organisation and you have a great idea (inspired even!). Your leadership team is on board. But you just can’t seem to get the rest of the organisation moving in the same direction. What can you do?, because a good idea on its own is no good to anyone.

A recent article in Inc. by Kevin Daum (Read it here>>) gathers together some of his ideas and those of his peers that address this very issue.

The following is a summary of their collective wisdom, the details for which you need to read the article – it contains tips and strategies in addressing each of these points:

  1. Constant communication regarding the why and how of the objective
  2. Focus on small steps towards a greater goal
  3. Get everyone contributing
  4. Lighten the stress
  5. Generate excitement

Try this approach in your business (even for old ideas) and see how much more effective your group can be.

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


P: 02 4980 2168

Power Alone Isn’t Enough

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We’ve all known leaders that just can’t seem to pull it all together to achieve outcomes, while other leaders in similar positions appear to be able to ‘get things done’. While a lot of factors can account for the difference, one recent study suggests that it is perspective that counts. Just published in Social Psychological and Personality Science is research by Columbia Business School (Galinsky, Magee, Rus, Rothman, & Todd, 2014) showing that powerful people who see the world from someone else’s point of view produce better outcomes. For a press release about the research, read this link.

Car crash

The research uses the illustration of traveling to a destination in a car. You need two things to get to your destination – acceleration (power) and steering (perspective). If you exercise your power without perspective you are bound to crash. And equally so, if you rely only on your own point of view and fail to take into account other perspectives, then you are bound to crash also. Essentially, taking into account the perspective of others (referred to as perspective-taking) works as a directional corrective to ensure you stay on the right path.

There are three significant findings in the study:

  1. Power diminishes perspective-taking – once in positions of power, leaders have a tendency to rely too much on their own perspective, failing to take into account the perspectives of others;
  2. Perspective-taking alone is not enough – if you do not have power, then simply understanding the perspective of others is not enough to get things done;
  3. Power + Perspective-taking = Effective leaders – when a leader uses their power AND takes into account others perspectives, synergistic effects with superior outcomes result.

The authors found that in these situations better outcomes occurred because:

  1. Leaders handled situations better, and with greater respect and fairness; and
  2. Improved information-sharing with groups was facilitated, leading to them making better decisions.

In other words,

“…information sharing flows more effectively when people consider others’ vantage points and have the power to act. Power with perspective-taking allows people to reach their destinations without crashing into others along the way” (Galinsky et al., p. 633).

And honestly – none of us want to be crashed into.

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

Galinsky, A. D., Magee, J. C., Rus, D., Rothman, N. B., & Todd, A. R. (2014). Acceleration with steering: The synergistic benefits of combining power and perspective-taking. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(6), 627-635. doi: 10.1177/1948550613519685

Need to Cut Costs? Try This…

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cost CuttingImproving the bottom line of a business is actually very simple as it means impacting just one of two areas:

  1. Increasing revenues, or
  2. Decreasing costs.

I said it was simple, not easy! But when times are tough (and when aren’t they?) and you need to reduce your cost of doing business, Brett Hay, a consultant with Expenses Reduction Analysis, says there is a simple 7-step process that can cut costs 10 – 15%. You can read a more detailed description of the process here, but in summary point form, the 7 steps are:

  1. Analyze your costs
  2. Where possible, rationalise your purchases
  3. Benchmark your spending
  4. Talk to your suppliers
  5. Beware of buying in bulk
  6. Manage your people
  7. Monitor your success

Maybe now is the time to start reviewing your costs and seeing how much your bottom line can improve.

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


P: 02 4980 2168

Successful Leaders Say These Things

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Getting to be in a position of influence is one thing, being a person of influence is quite another. Great leaders are those who understand that positional influence is very limited, but personal influence is much more long-lasting and widespread.


What is it great leaders do that sets them apart from mediocre leaders who depend on wielding their positional power? By and largely it is in the words they use. Peter Economy, a writer for Inc., has compiled a list of the 17 things successful leaders say every day that sees their employees becoming partners rather than adversaries, complete with the trust and loyalty that businesses need to function at high levels. You can read the full article here, but the 17 things? Here they are:

  1. What do you think?
  2. I trust you.
  3. I know you can do it.
  4. It’s not your fault.
  5. I’m proud of you.
  6. Please.
  7. Thank you.
  8. Great idea–let’s do it.
  9. I’ve always got time for you.
  10. I couldn’t have done it without you.
  11. No one is perfect.
  12. What can I do to help?
  13. I made a mistake.
  14. I need your help.
  15. Anything is possible.
  16. I’m sorry.
  17. I’ve got your back.

A challenge is to try using some of these over the next two weeks (and mean it!) and see what happens in your workplace.

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