Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

Avondale Business School collaborates with Business

Monday, May 15, 2017

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.


Running Better Meetings

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Meetings 2It is a common fallacy that organisations that have a lot of meetings must be good at meetings. In reality, they typically just perpetuate the embedded meeting culture that is often not very effective. There is a wealth of resources on running effective meetings, and one of the latest offerings comes from Renee Cullinan in the April 29 2016 edition of (Read it here), in which Cullinan identifies three of the biggest areas for improving meetings.


  1. Including Introverts

Noisy people are not necessarily smarter, they just think out loud and so create the impression they are. Introverts are typically much quieter and process information internally. Consequently it is very common in meetings for the loud people to dominate discussion and reach a conclusion or consensus before the quiet ones have had a chance to contribute, leaving the decision-making process the poorer as a result.

Cullinan advocates a number of potential solutions for this, one of which is to circulate the meeting material prior to the meeting, thereby giving the introverts an opportunity to read and process the material prior to the meeting, and to then come to the meeting prepared to contribute.

  1. Remote Team Members

People who join meetings via teleconference often find it hard to contribute and report feeling left out. It is not uncommon for them to zone out and do other work during the meeting.

Again, Cullinan has a number of worthwhile suggestions for inclusion, one of which is to use video technology as often as possible instead of teleconference, thereby giving people a visual reference and ability to be seen.

  1. Women

Numerous research efforts have proven that during meetings women are far more likely to be interrupted and their ideas taken less seriously.

Amongst the proposed solutions from Cullinan is to create a culture of not allowing any interruptions, irrespective of who is speaking, and to “call it when you see it”.

The Avondale Business School can help you ensure your meetings are highly productive – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Millennials: Burden, Blessing or Both

Monday, April 11, 2016

MillennialsSo the millennials are joining the workforce, and by 2025 (less than 10 years time) will comprise 75% of the workforce. They know they have options, and are more than prepared to exercise them. As employers, you need them more than they need you, so what are you going to do to attract and retain them, because they are more than prepared to not work than work for someone they don’t like.

In a recent article by Joanna Barsh, Lauren Brown and Kayvan Kian for McKinesy & Co (read it here) they report on the results from interviews with millennials to find out more about what it takes for employers to engage with them and provide an attractive workplace.

It is important to realise that as employers, you cannot assume “business as usual”, and you have to change to stay competitive, no matter what your industry. Here are the six tips the authors propose, coming from the millennials themselves – to find out more about each of these, follow the link above to the full article:

  1. Build bridges with data
  2. Put communications on steroids
  3. Develop a culture of mentorship
  4. Get creative about professional growth
  5. Make flexibility more than polite talk
  6. Shape mid-level managers into leaders

This week, try and incorporate just one of these ideas into your workforce culture, and get ready for the millennials.

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

Important Lessons For (and About) Female Leaders

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Females in LeadershipNicole Fallon Taylor, of Business News Daily, tackles the issue of what women need to be doing in order to move ahead in leadership. She does this by seeking advice from a number of women already in senior leadership positions who are prepared to share their collective wisdom. The full article can be read here.

Listed below are the five tips from the article, but next to them we have twisted them to list what senior leaders (male or female) should be doing to facilitate more women in leadership.


Lessons Aspiring Female Leaders Need to Learn


Lessons for Senior Leaders to Develop More Female Leaders


Unpack your fears and conquer them 1.  

Understand it’s not a ‘boys club’ and don’t mistake lack of confidence for lack of ability

2. Find a mentor 2. Facilitate and encourage mentoring



Put yourself out there




Go looking


Stand your ground and show your strength


Don’t misinterpret questions and emotions for weakness




Act as if equality is a reality




Make equality a reality

Business needs diversity in leadership in order to be able to respond to global challenges. Think about your organisation, how many women are in your senior leadership ranks? What are you doing to develop more?

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

Diversity in Business

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

uber vs taxiA few weeks ago in a ‘Diversity in Business’ class we discussed the historical disadvantage people with a disability experience with regards to workforce participation. As an area of interest to me, some of the statistics explored were quite surprising. So you can imagine the potential for the creation of jobs that a partnership between Uber, the ride-sharing car service provider and Enabled Employment, an Australian start-up operated by people with disability for people with disability, may have. Uber is hoping the partnership will not only help Enabled Employment members find income opportunities, but also encourage the 53 per cent of disabled people with a driving licence to consider driving on the Uber platform.

“Uber is a big believer in diversity and are already challenging the stigma by offering an extension to their app which accounts for people with difficulties in hearing or speaking. This opens up a world of opportunities for people with disabilities to earn a flexible income as Uber-partners”, Enabled Employment CEO Jessica May said. “Uber offers flexible options for people with disabilities and their carers to get back into the workforce, which is what is needed to increase diversity. As long as the requirements for Uber are met, people can be their own boss, work when they want, including around medical appointments or their limitations, and still earn a decent wage.”

Uber may be facing controversy with regards to its business model, with the taxi industry particularly vocal about it’s practices, but this is a good initiative that will likely be considered a step in the right direction to the four million people in Australia who live with a disability.

– Peter Williams –

Lecturer:  Avondale Business School


phone:  02 4980 2175