Archive for the ‘ABS News’ Category

Book Review: Option B

Sunday, January 13, 2019

How do you rebuild your life after the loss of you husband and the father of you two young children? Business leader Sheryl Sandberg has no choice but to adjust to her option B life.

Sandberg, with the insights of her co-author psychologist Adam Grant, lays out the raw emotion of the loss she experienced, and the pathway she chose to move forward, pursuing her option B life, now that her option A had been taken away from her forever.  Their book is Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (2017 and published by WH Allen)

Whilst Sandberg draws from your own deeply personal experience, the book introduces a range of other issues in life that can cause us to have to look at an option B for our life. It addresses subjects like the role of friends and family, our own self-confidence, getting back into the workplace, and helping kids through the journey as well.

Using solid well researched principles, the authors give the reader tools rather than a prescriptive approach to handle whatever life has thrown at you. This acknowledges that each situation is deeply personal and there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.

The book is well written, organised well and flows easily. It was very easy to read and challenged me in not only thinking about how to handle the difficult moments in life, but how to help other people handle theirs. I highly recommend this book, which although is not a standard management text, certainly is very important in slef0leadersherip. I believe it is important that everyone read this book.

Reviewed by Dr Warrick Long, Lecturer at Avondale Business School

Book Review: Turn the Ship Around

Monday, January 7, 2019

Control, competence and Clarity is the three-pronged approach former submarine commander David Marquet used to transform the US Nuclear Submarine Santa Fe into the most successful submarine in the US Navy. He tells this story in his 2012 book “Turn the Ship Around: A Trues Story of Turning Followers into Leaders”, published by Portfolio Penguin.

Marquet believed that every follower can be a leader, and that through them becoming leaders in their own right, the organisation would thrive and grow. His approach proved right and transformed the Santa Fe into a highly efficient and effective network of people. Divesting control, developing competence and providing clarity are the key components of this strategy.

Detailing how he implemented this when he took over command of the Santa Fe, Marquet provides a look into the inner workings of life on a submarine. The book is a great read with examples and stories that make the practical application of his ideas easy to see and readily apply into other workplace contexts.

What I particularly appreciated was the stories of things that did not work, and how these “failings” were part of the learning process.

The book is well written, organized well and flows easily. This book is now one of my favorites and I would recommend it to any leader looking to take their leadership to the next level.

Reviewed by Dr Warrick Long, Lecturer at Avondale Business School

Book Review: Leadership in Action

Monday, January 7, 2019

Rising over 40 years from the rank private to two-star General in the Australian army, John Cantwell has spent a lifetime leading Australian men and women in challenging and sometimes deadly circumstances. Using practical examples of what did and didn’t work during this time, John Cantwell lays out his thoughts on leadership in an excellent book “Leadership in Action – Lessons for the real world from a real leader”, published in 2015 by Melbourne University Press.

Believing that anyone can learned the skills of leadership, Cantwell puts together a simple to read but highly effective book on the essential elements of leadership, within an Australian context.

The book is a great resource for new and aspiring leaders who want to find the key areas for their development, or to lay out a strategy for their leadership. It is also a very timely reminder to established leaders of what their leadership can be if they are prepared to continue learning.

The organisation of this book is very logical and straightforward. In fact, you don’t need to read cover to cover, but can pick out key areas that you may particularly want to focus on. The whole spectrum of leadership is covered, but in bite-sized chunks that are quick to read and easily transferable to the workplace. This is a very well written book that should appeal to all leaders, new and established and a highly recommended read.

Reviewed by Dr Warrick Long, Lecturer at Avondale Business School

ABS Congratulates 2 New Staff PhD Graduates

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

It was once again a beautiful day at Avondale for graduation 2018, and this year was very special as the ABS was proud to support the graduation of two staff members, Dr Peter Williams and Dr Warrick Long. Both started their PhD journeys together when they joined the ABS team and four (long) years later have completed the journey together, although their topics were very different.

Dr Peter Williams’ research was “School Leadership Succession in a Faith-Based Education System: Perceptions of Different Hierarchical Levels”  and he was supervised by Dr Peter Morey and Dr Peter Beamish, both on campus lecturers from the Faculty of Education, Business and Arts here at Avondale College of Higher Education.

Dr Warrick Longs topic was “Australian University Accounting Academics: The Lived Experience” and he was supervised by Professor Tony Williams, Associate Professor Maria Northcote and Associate Professor Lisa Barnes. His research involved using surveys and interviews of current Accounting Academics to gain insights into the challenges ahead.

Both Peter and Warrick were supported by family on the day, and enjoyed the ceremony after so many years of hard work. On behalf of the ABS team, CONGRATULATIONS. We are so very proud of you both.

Book Review: The Truth About Leadership

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

While the content of leadership may change over time, the fundamental principles, or truths of leadership, do not, well known leadership authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner have written their list of the 10 truths about leadership in their classic book ‘The Truth About Leadership’, published by The Leadership Challenge in 2018.

Kouzes and Posner are amongst the most prolific and well-known leadership authors of the last 30 years. They have written many of the books that now form part of the essential reading for all leaders. Drawing from their extensive consulting engagements, and over one million responses worldwide to their research, their material is based on relevant and up to date examples.

Some of the 10 truths include:

  • Credibility is the foundation of leadership
  • Focusing on the future sets leaders apart
  • You can’t do it alone
  • Trust rules

This is a very orderly and logical book, meaning you can pick and choose areas of most interest if don’t want to read cover to cover. It is also well written and easy to read. The use of current examples makes it easy to relate to and apply to your own setting.

This book should be read by anyone aspiring to or currently in leadership, and is a fantastic book. While it is a few years old, it is a great reminder of the essentials of leadership which never grow old. Very highly recommended.

Reviewed by Dr Warrick Long, Lecturer at Avondale Business School

ABS Develops Avondale College Leaders

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Recognizing the need to invest in developing its leaders, Avondale College commissioned its Avondale Business School to develop and implement a program for middle and aspiring leaders. The Avondale College LEAD program was crafted and delivered by ABS monthly throughout the second half of 2018. Word of the program spread to other entities, who sponsored their own staff to also attend. The success of the program is such that it is being expanded for 2019 with any Avondale Staff invited to attend, and a range of new topics being developed, including dealing with conflict and toxic people, leading teams, and leading change. Participants from this year enjoyed the program and the following comment typifies their responses “I have very much enjoyed the sessions I have attended – love your presentation style and have appreciated learning some new concepts and skills”. Avondale Business School can also help you develop your leaders, and to find out how, contact Warrick Long at Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au or 02 4980 2168.

ABS 2018 Graduates

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

December 9 was the culmination of many years hard work for the graduating Avondale Business School graduations of 2018. Of the 13 graduates, 12 attended the ceremony at the Lake Macquarie campus, including two graduates from our partnering entity Universal Institute of Technology (UIT) in Melbourne. The Accounting, Human Resources and Marketing majors enjoyed a celebratory day receiving their Bachelor of Business Degree certificates and congratulations. Around 50% of the graduates already have employment confirmed, and a number of others are in the application and interview process. ABS congratulates all the 2018 graduates, and wishes them well for the future.

Board Memberships: Can you Contribute?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Here at the ABS several of our staff are engaged with the community by being on Boards and offering advice to particularly Not-For-Profit Boards on issues of governance, strategic planning and financial analysis. Currently all full-time staff at the ABS volunteer their time for community engagement via occupying board positions or as members of sub-committees as shown in the table.

Being on a Board is usually voluntary, but what it means to the business is an over-arching strategic perspective that senior executives do not get in the day to day running of the business. The Australian Institute of Company Directors has issued its Corporate Governance Framework to assist particularly Not-For-Profit Boards, (www.aicd.companydirectors.au) in recognising their duties in relation to various legislative requirements of directors such as the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission) and ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

Associate Professor Lisa Barnes has joined the Audit and Risk Committee for ACARA (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority) which is governed by the ACARA Act 2008 and the Public Governance & Performance Accountability Act 2013. At her first meeting they discussed the continued risks associated with the organisation and updated the current risk register in light the Boards risk appetite matrix. Members of the committee meet 4 times a year to support the Board in making sure the organisation is compliant with legislation, and that the organisation is continuing to assess its risks going forward particularly in relation to the information provided by the My School website (https://www.myschool.edu.au/) that enables Parents to seek information on schools.

A Trip down Memory Lane

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Being an Alumni of the University of Sydney, Assoc. Prof. Lisa Barnes was given the opportunity to walk the halls of her undergraduate days when she attended the 13th World Congress of Accounting Educators and Researchers, held at the new Ambercrombie Business School building, on 9-10 November, 2018. The conference was an initiative of the International Association for Accounting, Education and Research (www.IAAER.org).

The TRAC Model

The conference was attended by delegates from around the world and included symposiums as well as plenary sessions. A paper prepared from Warrick Long’s PhD entitled “Accounting Academic Workloads in the Higher Education Sector: Balancing Workload Creep to Avoid Depreciation” was presented. Delegates could relate to particularly the TRAC model presented, where it was demonstrated that Accounting Lecturers are undergoing a type of workload creep with the current changes to student cohorts and changes to the way in which accounting is taught in the higher education sector.

Erin Poulton, one of ABS’s sessional lecturers also presented a paper entitled “The Alzheimer’s approach to Financial Disclosure: the case of Australian Residential Aged Care Providers”. This paper was from Erin’s PhD and is timely in the fact that there has now been an announcement of a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO have been appointed Commissioners. Justice McGrath is a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and Ms Briggs is a former Australian Public Service Commissioner. The Royal Commission’s interim report is to be provided by 31 October 2019, and its final report no later than 30 April 2020.

Erin’s recommendations in relation to disclosure of Financial Statements by Residential Age Care providers, is that currently they are inconsistent and inadequate and recommends the use of the General Purpose Financial Reporting (GPFR) standards when preparing accounts. She also recommends an audit of these accounts to enable the entities to release financial information to stakeholders to help them assess their ability to be sustainable, and make sure they family members are well provided for in the facility.

The conference website links are as follows can be found here.

ABS Graduating Students Learn to “Do Lunch”

Sunday, November 18, 2018

ABS graduating students were treated to lunch in celebration of the last 3 years of work they have put in to achieve their Bachelor of Business undergraduate degree, see link here to degree information. Students will attend graduation in December 2018, after finishing sitting their final exams in the next 2 weeks.

Graduating students have a range of majors from Accounting, to Marketing and Human Resource Management. Some students have already secured employment at organisations such as Sanitarium (https://www.sanitarium.com.au/), & Adventist Schools Australia (https://www.adventist.edu.au/).

Taking the students out to lunch was a chance for students to reflect on their journey, and give some feedback to lecturers on ways to enhance the journey for future students. Students shared stories on previous lecturers, and their quirks and lecturers also shared their experiences as an undergraduates. It was a great way for students to finish their final semester, and shows the importance of the care and service that ABS staff show towards their students. Clearly small class sizes enhances the student-teacher relationship, making it one of trust and care, instilling confidence in the students for their future success upon graduation.

The graduation ceremony will be held on Sunday, 9th December, 2018. Before that, students also celebrate graduation with a student dinner, breakfast with Avondale Staff and finally lunch with the President on graduation day. The ABS expects approximately 15 students to graduate this year, with three students making the journey from our Melbourne offering on the day.

We wish all graduating students from ABS well in their future, and will take pleasure in adding them to our ever growing list of successful Alumni. We also take pride in introducing them to the necessary business skill of “doing lunch”, where so many important negotiations in business take place.