Workforce of the Future

June 20, 2018 by Avondale Business School

‘Competition for the right talent is fierce. And ‘talent’ no longer means the same as ten years ago; many of the roles, skills and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today”.

Rather than being daunted by this finding by PWC in their report “Workforce of the Future”, PWC provide some excellent scenarios of what 2030 may look like, and what organisations should be planning in order to prepare. The reports is based on a survey of 10,000 business leaders globally. (click on the image to access the full report).

PWC identified five megatrends, or forces, that are shaping the future. These megatrends are:

  • Technological breakthroughs;
  • Demographic shifts, that is, the changing size, distribution and age profile of the world’s population;
  • Rapid urbanization, which involves the significant increase in the world’s population moving to live in cities;
  • Shifts in global economic power, between developed and developing countries;
  • Resource scarcity and climate change.

Rather than extrapolate these into one potential future, PWC consider four scenarios (or ‘worlds’) based on varying degrees of fluidity between collectivism and individualism, and business fragmentation and corporate integration. These scenarios recognise that there are multiple potential outcomes possible, and that organisations need to ensure they are thinking about a range of futures, rather than betting everything on just one possible alternative. The outcomes of this extrapolation into 2030 are:

  • The Yellow World, where humans come first
  • The Red World, where innovation rules
  • The Green World, where companies care
  • The Blue World, where corporate is king

The one common thread throughout each scenario is the rise of automation and the implications of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), which will result in a massive reclassification and rebalancing of work.

While providing helpful recommendations for individuals and society as a whole, the report also suggests a few things organisations can also do to position themselves for whatever future unfolds:

  • Recognise that linear predictions don’t cut it – there are multiple and emerging visions of the future;
  • Make decisions based on purpose and values;
  • Embrace technology as a force for good;
  • Focus on humans and the humane.

This is an excellent and informative report that is easy to read, yet challenging. Leaders looking into the future would do well to consider this report and how their organisation is preparing for an uncertain, but different, future. And Avondale Business School is excited to be able to partner with you to achieve success.

Avondale College Research Soars to new International Heights

June 20, 2018 by Avondale Business School

Avondale Business School presented a paper at the European Accounting Association (http://www.eaa-online.org) Annual Conference at Bocconi University entitled “Are they ready? Accounting academics’ perspectives of the preparedness of new student cohorts”. The paper was from the research done by Warrick Long as part of his PhD, and was co-written by colleagues, Associate Professor Lisa Barnes, Professor Tony Williams and Associate Professor Maria Northcote, all from Avondale College of Higher Education. It was presented in Milan, Italy on 1st June 2018.

Presenting to this conference proved a success with the paper receiving positive feedback at the conference by participants, particularly as the conference is the largest and most competitive conference for presenting of “Accounting” issues globally, see scientific program link (http://www.eaacongress.org/UserFiles/EAA%202018%20Scientific%20Programme%20-%2022.05.18.pdf).

But the importance of the papers acceptance is shown in the statistics from the conference itself. A total of 1,089 papers were presented at the conference, with only 24 of them being from the Accounting Education stream, of which 5 papers were from Australia, with 90 papers presented by representatives from Australia in total (as shown below)

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The paper was presented in a concurrent session competing against 34 other presentations. With over 3,000 delegates in attendance, the European Accounting Association Conference is one of the largest conferences in the world. But it wouldn’t be worth travelling 29 hours door to door unless a bit of sight-seeing followed in the city of Milan, settled in 400 B.C.

The Duomo (Milan Cathedral) is a tourist must-see. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete with its Gothic architecture. The Milan Cathedral in Italy is the world’s fourth-largest church in the world. This view is taken from the roof looking down to one of the main plazas. It took over 700 steps to capture this view!

Milan is also home to Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper”. The Last Supper is a late 15th-century mural that took over four years to complete. The work is presumed to have been started around 1495–96. The painting represents the scene of the last supper of Jesus with his apostles, as it is told in the Gospel of John, 13:21. Leonardo has depicted the consternation that occurred among the twelve disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him. It is one of the world’s most recognizable paintings. The ABS representative couldn’t help but take this selfie!

And of course, no trip to Europe would be complete without analysis of their “small and smart” vehicles and parking precision, for a city with a growing population but limited space.

Finally, it was time to admire the architecture of the city buildings and of course, the conference venue of Bocconi University, where the conference paper was successfully presented.

Overall, the conference was a success with over 3,000 delegates attending, and over 1,000 papers presented over the three days. Great to see Avondale Business School show casing their research on the world stage. https://wp.avondale.edu.au/abs/

 

 

What’s Keeping You Awake at Night?

June 14, 2018 by Avondale Business School

Sustainability and long term growth prospects are what’s keeping Australian company directors awake at night, according to the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Director Sentiment Index 2018 (Click here to access the report).

Other issues troubling the sleep of Australian directors include:

  • Structural change/changing business models
  • Corporate culture
  • Business reputation in the community
  • Data security

Do these issues resonate with you? What about the following trends identified in the report as having the biggest potential impacts:

  • Positive Impact:
    • Big data
    • Increased transparency
    • Automation
  • Negative Impact:
    • Mass retirement of older workers

Australian directors have a generally optimistic outlook for both the Australian and international economies, with NSW directors most optimistic for their state, and WA directors most pessimistic for theirs. While directors expect lower unemployment in the next 12 months, they also anticipate increases in inflation, wages and the ash interest rate over the same period. Growth is still expected, including an increase in profits. However, there is growing pessimism regarding the level of government red-tape and corporate reporting requirements.

Directors are also focusing more on corporate culture, with the three most significant ways of changing corporate culture being:

  • Regularly featuring culture on board and audit committee agendas
  • Capturing data on key cultural indicators
  • Communicating the ethical position of the board and business

As you reflect on your own business, are these issues similar or different to your own circumstance, and how these issues may impact your business. Most importantly, how prepared are you to face what is looming on the horizon. Avondale Business School is well-placed to help you position your organisation to ensure you enjoy success.

Are You Digitally Mature?

June 13, 2018 by Avondale Business School

We have no choice – digital disruption is on us, and those organisations that can adapt and adopt quickest will be the market leaders in an increasingly competitive environment.

This finding comes from the recently released research through the MIT Sloan Management Review, in collaboration with and sponsored by Deloitte Digital. Their report, ‘Coming of Age Digitally’ (click to view the report) shares the findings of their research project, involving more than 4300 managers and executives from around the world.

Also included in the findings are some important insights regarding companies adapting to the digital environment, including:

  • Digitally maturing companies push decision-making further down into the organisation;
  • Digital business is faster, more flexible and distributed, and has a different culture and mindset than traditional business;
  • Developing – not just having – digital leaders sets digitally maturing companies apart.

Obstacles that companies may face as they attempt to mature digitally include the need for a change in mindset, increased collaboration, and the need to move quickly. The research report offers a number of suggestion and practical steps to adapt, including experimentation and iteration, continued learning and pushing decision-making down the organisation.

Digital transformation is occurring so rapidly that organisations need all the help they can get in keeping pace with this change. This applies to all organisations, profit and not-for-profit. Reports such as the one from MIT Sloan can help you keep abreast of best practice, and the Avondale Business School is happy to partner with you to see your business succeed.

ABS Hosts Future Students

June 7, 2018 by Avondale Business School

Avondale Business School hosted some students from various Adventist high schools around New South Wales. The students were attending the Futures Day at Avondale College, which is our Open Day, where high school students have the opportunity to come and visit our College campus and gain some information into the courses that we offer.

The students who visited ABS were hosted by Warrick Long, one of our lecturing staff, who shared with the students the opportunities and the experiences they will gain through studying Business with ABS, in particular Warrick highlighted the opportunity to gain practical work based experience and that the ABS lecturing staff take a personal interest in the development of all students.

The students left with new insights about the Bachelor of Business Degree, the depth of experience of the ABS staff and the potential for them to gain a head start in their business careers. They also took away one of the prized ABS promotional pens!

ABS hopes that the students will choose Avondale Campus for their future studies and look forward to seeing them again.

Book Review – iGen

June 5, 2018 by Avondale Business School

iGen, by Jean Twenge, published by ATRIA books in 2017, reviewed by Warrick Long.

iGen’ers were born in 1995 and beyond, and are sometimes referred to as Generation Z. This books explains, as the subtitle notes, why today’s super-connected kids are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy – and completely unprepared for adulthood. And what that means for the rest of us.

The theme in this book that struck me is that iGen’ers are scared. Twenge notes that due to the devise constantly within their reach, the iGen have extended their childhoods and isolated them from true human interactions. While being the physically safest generation, they are also the most mentally fragile.

Jean Twenge has a wealth of experience with the generations, holding a PhD and being a professor in psychology. Her area of research is the generations, her other books include Generation Me and The Narcissism Epidemic.

The book uses US data, particularly the major longitudinal studies of generations, and is supplemented by interviews with iGen’ers in order to hear their own stories. It is a well-supported book, but is US centric. However, with so much cross-fertilization of social media, television, movies and celebrity, the distinct cultural differences between countries is rapidly eroding and this book gives a good indication of what other countries can expect from this generation.

It reads in a very orderly and logical manner, but still provides the opportunity to just pick and choose areas of most interest if don’t want to read cover to cover. I found the book to be well written and easy to read. While solidly researched, it speaks to a wide audience and intersperses important data findings with humor and the voices of participants.

I recommend this book to anyone hiring and employing iGen, who has iGen kids, who teaches iGen, or is in anyway involved with iGen. You will find this book interesting and illuminating. It is very useful in understanding the uniqueness of this generation, and not confusing them with previous generations, and provides ways of effectively interacting with them.

ABS Research Shared Internationally

June 1, 2018 by Avondale Business School

Associate Professor Lisa Barnes recently returned from Milan, Italy, where she met with over 3000 other accounting academics from around the world, for the 2018 European Accounting Association conference.

Lisa attended the conference to present the paper she co-authored with Warrick Long, her colleague at Avondale Business School, entitled “Are they ready? Accounting academics perspectives of the preparedness of new student cohorts”. The paper draws on the research undertaken by Warrick as part of his PhD dissertation.

Apart from the opportunity to present to this premier event, Lisa was also able to network with fellow academics, and even fitted in a couple of moments for sightseeing and shopping.

Well done to Lisa and Warrick in preparing leading-edge research and showcasing it on the world stage.

ABS Challenges Directors

June 1, 2018 by Avondale Business School

The Board of Directors of Adventist Senior Living NNSW recently completed several modules of professional development, delivered by the Avondale Business School team. The sessions were held over three days, in February and May, and topics included the roles and responsibilities of directors, as well as finance, marketing, human resources and information management for directors.

Warrick Long and Associate Professor Lisa Barnes shared cutting edge practices and the latest research in these areas, also drawing on their extensive experiences as directors and leaders in the not-for-profit sector, including with aged care and disability services. The directors appreciated the interactive nature of the sessions, with up to date and practical information. Their feedback reflected that while they had been challenged, they were presented with easy to understand relevant concepts.

ABS presenter, Warrick Long, noted that “this is a great example of a board of directors taking their responsibilities very seriously, and endeavoring to improve their knowledge and sharpen their governance skills – it was a pleasure to work with them”.

The Avondale Business School has a suite of programs that can help your directors and leaders develop the winning edge for your business. For more information, contact Warrick Long to discuss customizing something unique for your organisation. Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

The Great Debate 2018

May 30, 2018 by Avondale Business School

Business students in the Professional Ethics class participated in the annual Ethics Great Debate, as their final assessment for the semester. The two teams argued an ethical issue from a case study involving an aged care facility, and much loved staff member, missing medications and a terminally ill child.

Whilst the “for” team won the crowd support for the persuasiveness of their arguments and position, the “against” team acquitted themselves very well. The audience appreciated their professionalism and the depth of research they put into their arguments.

Although the debaters were nervous, their professionalism shone through when their turn to speak came, and students afterwards were appreciative of the experience. During the debrief after the debate, the students agreed the subject had challenged their thinking, made them expand their thinking skills, and had prepared them well for entering the workplace where they will face ethical dilemmas first-hand.

Their lecturer, Warrick Long, commented that this subject is one of his favorites to teach as it “…provides a forum where students are confronted with the realities of there often being no one right answer for the challenges of the workplace, and seeing their thinking mature and develop is very rewarding”.

The Great Debate is held each year in first semester as the final assessment for the subject BBUS36090 Professional Ethics (Christian Studies III).

Avondale Business School collaborates with Business

May 15, 2017 by Avondale Business School

Business and College collaboration is a wonderful way to enhance student learning. A recent excursion organised by the Avondale Business School to Sydney saw students visit 3 business to get insights into risk management, marketing, human resources and accounting.

The first business to open its doors was the Mascot Air Base facility. Manager of Airline safety lead them into the emergency procedures training facility which demonstrated the approach to risk management, in particular in relation to the evacuation of passengers in the event of an emergency. Students were privileged to be shown the various different aeroplane doors used to deploy passengers, rafts and survival kits. They were also shown the pool used for ocean training, in both the dark and in the rain.

Students were then put into the emergency procedure training simulator, where they experienced a crash landing in which the cabin lights turned off and the cabin filled with smoke. Students followed the orders of the cabin staff in relation to “evacuate, evacuate” and were led safely out of the simulator. Some students also were given life vests to deploy, and shown the various safety features such as the water activated light. Students had a better appreciation for flight crew and risk management procedures, after this confronting experience.

Students then headed out to Allianz stadium, for a tour of the facility. Students were taken down the ramp into the stadium, and the logistics of running the stadium that is shared by three different codes of sport (NRL, Rugby Union and Football) was explained. The marketing of the stadium signs, the sponsorship of the different codes and general keeping of the grounds were explained. Students asked questions such as who are the sponsors and what are the benefits of sponsorship from a marketing perspective.

Student then headed into the Sydney Roosters facility where they were led into the boardroom for an “Apprentice” style session (yes Mark Bouris is on the Board of the Sydney Roosters), by the Chief Financial Controller Mr Manuel Vlandis. Students were presented with financial information about the club and the challenges of running a rugby leagues club from a financial perspective. Questions were asked of the salary cap, costs of injured players, and how the model works in relation to revenue streams such as memberships, gate takings and sponsorship. The CFO was happy to answer the questions, and speak of his relationship with the Board and the new strategic plan they are currently developing.

Students then headed next door to the NSW Waratahs headquarters. There the player development manager Lachie McBain explained the complexities of running a rugby club, including issues such as preparing players for life after sport. He talked about the initiatives the club has in place for players such as further education and financial planning. He discussed the available careers in a rugby association, and his role in relation to his employer being RUPA (Rugby Union Players Association), formed to prepare players for life after sport. The club facilities were shown to the students, including the training areas, technology viewing areas and player lounge. Students asked questions in relation to membership numbers, revenue from Foxtel, sponsorship and player wages.

Feedback from the day included the following:

“It gave us insights into jobs where we do not see what happens behind the scenes”

“It was awesome to see business applied in a sporting context”

Avondale Business School will continue working with these businesses in the future, turning textbook learning into the reality of business. As the late Wallaby and Lawyer Ross Turnbull stated “There is nothing that I learnt in SPORT that doesn’t apply to BUSINESS, or LIFE” (2014). This excursion came from research done previously into the education of current sports people for their career after sport, a paper to be presented at the Global Conference on Education and Research (GLOCER 2017), which will be held during May 22-25, 2017 at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus in Sarasota, Florida.