Posts Tagged ‘Avondale College’

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.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

3 Ways Customer Service Has Changed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Customer Service 2Writing in a recent Businessnewsdaily.com 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.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

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.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

How to Open The Donor’s Chequebook

Monday, April 13, 2015

Not all donors are motivated to give by the same strategies – no surprises there. What is surprising is how many charities do not bother to vary their donor appeals to accommodate these different motivations.

Donor MotivationResearchers at the Kellogg Institute have compiled a summary of their various investigations of donor motivations into a guide for charities on how to structure marketing to donors in order to maximise returns. Drawing on the experience of commercial organisations, which recognise it is important to vary the marketing approaches according to their specific target markets, the researchers developed the following four questions to ask, the answers to which guide your organisations marketing program:

 

  1. Is the potential donor powerful or powerless?
  2. Is the potential donor committed to you organisation or a newcomer?
  3. Does the potential donor value independence or relationships more?
  4. Is the potential donor feeling like resources are abundant or scarce?

The full report (Read it Here), while giving excellent detail and suggestions for developing your marketing strategies, also provides a summary infographic based on these questions that gives suggested strategies based on the answers. This is an excellent quick guide for any entities that seek funding from donors, including churches, schools, and aid agencies.

A challenge for your organisation is to think about whether your marketing strategy is focussed or haphazard? 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

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