Archive for the ‘Social Media’ 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.


Social Media Trends for 2017

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Social MediaLike it or not, social media has become a mainstay for communication, both at a personal and business level. And in 2017 there are some trends that will change the game, according to Tom Ward writing in a recent Forbes online blog (read it here). Ward cites the fact that there are now over 2.5 billion social media users worldwide, and this is growing 9% per year. Your customers/clients, employees, and other stakeholders ARE using social media, and you do need to have an effective social media strategy to engage with them.

The article is an easy read, and won’t take long, but it covers 5 trends Ward predicts will impact business in 2017. You will need to read the article for the details, but in point form these trends are:

  1. Live Video
  2. Messaging Apps
  3. Social Commerce
  4. Virtual Reality
  5. Social Channels Will Continue to Evolve

As Ward notes, “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms have become such a part of our life, it’s hard to imagine how we lived without them”. Does your business have a strategy that will incorporate these trends? Or will your business be left behind?

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


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Appealing to the Millennials

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The MillennialsVery recently LinkedIn undertook a worldwide survey of the Millennials (born 1981 – 1997) about their attitudes to the financial services industry, and banking in particular. Business Insider has accessed the data for the Australian people and have compiled an infographic that gives their preferences. You can read about it here.

Whilst this is for the financial services industry, it is possible to extrapolate from it to get a better understanding of the Millennials and what it is they want. Listed below is my summary of these, and I would refer you to the full article to draw your own conclusions. However, if you are wanting to provide a product of service to this group (including offering employment), then it might pay to be aware of what it is that attracts them.

1. Connectedness

  • Is there a positive buzz about this organisation within social media that I want to be associated with?
  • What is the vibe from my own personal social media?
  • Do they offer a one-stop shop that includes easy to access information, a variety of communication channels, and one place for me to do all my transactions with them?

2. Tribal

  • What is the experience of my family and close friends with this organisation?
  • Would my family and friends recommend this organisation?

3. Inspiration

  • What influence does this organisation have?
  • Do I agree with their values and vision?

Ignore this group at your peril, as they are now coming into middle age, consumer power and influence.

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


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Cell Phone Distraction

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cell Phone DistractionTurning our cell phones onto silent in order to focus and not be distracted may just be a fallacy. A new study just released (read it here) has found that where we even hear or feel the buzz of our cell phone, our concentration breaks and we are more likely to make errors in what we are doing.

In the study, those participants whose phones stayed completely silent were able to complete the tasks with fewer errors than those whose phones made even the slightest noise; even a vibrating buzz was enough to distract to the point of errors being made. And for all those who have purchased the new Apple Watch – the small buzz you feel gently letting you know you have new messages or a phone call is all it takes to break your concentration and increase the possibility for you to make more errors.

It seems the only way to ensure your cell phone does not distract you, is to turn it completely off, or put is somewhere we you cannot see or hear it at all. As useful and convenient as they are, cell phones do pose a threat to our concentration levels and accuracy in our work. So when you really need to focus – turn off the cell phone.

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


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3 Ways Customer Service Has Changed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Customer Service 2Writing in a recent 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.


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Workplace Trends 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

At the beginning of the new year let’s take a moment to think about what trends are likely to impact on our businesses this year. According to a recent article in Business News Daily (read it here), the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SOIP) has identified the top 10 from a survey of its members.








While this is predominantly US based, we all know that what happens in the US pervades our own environment sooner rather than later. These trends are very interesting and business leaders would do well to take note and assess if they and their businesses are ready. The detail is in the article, the main points are:

  1. Mobile assessments, collaboration and recruitment;
  2. More Big Data for decision making;
  3. Less work-life balance;
  4. Technology changes (again);
  5. Doing more with less;
  6. Multigenerational workforces;
  7. Recruiting new employees and retaining high achievers;
  8. Diversity initiatives;
  9. More social responsibility;
  10. New laws.

How are your positioned to respond to these looming trends? Some are new, others are continuations, while some are good news and others bad. Whatever, the important thing is to ensure your business thrives rather than just survives.

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

The Deloitte Australian Business Trends 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

In a recently published report, Deloitte have identified nine business trends that will re-shape the world and Australia in 2014. Their report can be accessed here.

Leaders of organizations can be forgiven for feeling nervous at the potential shake-up in the business environment that is looming. Looking at just three of these trends should be enough to rattle your tree. Remember these are trends not predictions, reflections of what is already happening, not what is predicted to happen.

  1. Social Impact

The social issues of Australia are too big for any one sector (Government, NFP, Business) to solve. The realization is dawning that it will take collaboration and partnerships between sectors to have any real impact.

Some businesses in the mining sector in particular are already engaged in such partnerships, with marked levels of success. Programmes such as these will grow within Australia, and entities involved in the NFP sector should be looking at ways to ‘partner-up’ with the business sector.

  1. Social Media

Surveys of executives’ consistently highlight the growing use and importance of social media as a legitimate business tool. A 2013 survey by Deloitte Australia noted that 48% of Australian consumers update their social media nearly every day (5-7 days per week) and 34% consider it an important tool. But the growing digital footprint does come at a cost.

However, social media advertising is now the fourth most influential category of advertising.

Social media now includes as standard social TV channels (like YouTube).

The consensus is that while specific tools may come and go, social business is here to stay. Avoid it at your peril.

  1. C-Suite version 3.0

The C-suite (derived from management titles beginning with chief….) has been based on a traditional model. Today there are more and more functional specialists being appointed. Roles are appearing like Chief Operations Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Information Officer, etc. to the point where CEO’s today have more direct reports than ever before.

Typically the most recent additions are in the digital, customer oversight, innovation and transformation areas. This highlights the importance business is placing on these aspects of business. The challenge is to avoid a silo mentality by compartmentalizing these functions, and to ensure there is cross-collaboration and integration across the business.

It is a challenge, but an important one.

Thinking about your business, are you ready for these trends that are happening now? What changes do you need to make to ensure your business is not left behind?

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


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A Leadership Master Class

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Outside the box

If you had the opportunity to pick the brains of 8 of the smartest people in leadership today, would you do it? How much would you be prepared to pay?

Plenty of people took the opportunity recently to attend the ‘World Business Forum’ in Sydney, held May 28 – 29, 2014. They were treated to leading edge thinking and ideas that challenge the status quo and call leaders to think in different ways.

Thanks to one of the major sponsors, NAB, you are able to get the benefit of this forum through a synopsis of each presentation which captures the major points. These are a great read; quick, punchy and challenging.

The main presenters and their areas of interest are (click on the presenter to read more):

  • George Kohlreiser – Lessons in leadership from hostage negotiation
  • Randi Zuckerberg – Developments in technology
  • Ram Charan – Good ideas with no execution ends in no results
  • Gary Hamel – Change management
  • Kevin Roberts – Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) thinking
  • Andreas Weigend – How people are making purchasing and lifestyle decisions
  • Michael Porter – Opportunities if we are willing to recalibrate thinking and strategy
  • Lyn Heward – The 7 doors to enhance creativity, motivate high performance and foster innovation

While there is something for everyone in this mixed bag of leading thinkers, my personal favourite is Ram Charan’s 7 steps to excellent execution – the way to actually get things done.

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


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Connecting with the Swollen Generation

Monday, April 28, 2014

gen yConnecting with people is how organisations can best market their “product”, whether the product is something traditional like cars or drinks, or something more service oriented like education, spirituality, or aid and development. Marketers know that if you can connect with the people you product is aimed at you stand a much improved chance of gaining market share.

A new group of consumer has emerged amongst the youth of Australia, which has been termed the ‘Swollen Generation’. This article by Colin Jowell looks at this unique group of people and what it is that appeals to them.

It is a challenging idea, as the three things a product needs to incorporate is:

Ego – making the consumer look good
Ease – minimum effort, maximum response
Evidence – the results need to be obvious

How to market within this paradigm things like a permanent life-change, assisting the less privileged in far off lands, or committing to a 4 year education process can really stretch one’s creative bent. It would be easier to just ignore or pass the buck, claiming that these people just need to grow up and stop being so selfish. But as Jowell says,

“…trying to fight this phenomenon seems fairly futile…we might as well accept we are dealing with adults, making their own decisions, and we would be better off understanding what it is in our brands that may resonate with this audience”

So the question hangs in the air, Are you going to ignore this group, or are you going to make the effort to reach them with your product or service?

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

How is Your Digital Etiquette?

Monday, April 14, 2014

A few years ago I was part of a working group whose membership was spread across Australia. We would often “meet” via teleconference to save time and travel costs. The meetings would usually start at 9.00am for the host site, which was 6am for me, so I usually had to get to the office quite early. Generally this worked okay, except for one day when I forgot about the teleconference. Just as I was getting out of bed this particular morning I received a phone call from the meeting organiser confirming the number they should call me on. Luckily I lived close to the office and set a new personal best time for showering and shaving, making it to the office just in time for the call. I also took advantage of the ‘hands-free’ function on my phone and got dressed while participating in the meeting. Luckily the other participants had no idea what I was doing, and even more so that it wasn’t a video-conference!

My point? In this digital age of texting, social media and “techno-meetings” we still need to ensure we are considerate of the people we interact with, by whatever means.

A helpful guide produced by Robert Half entitled ‘Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age’ is an excellent resource addressing all forms of digital interactions and provides ways we can ensure we express ourselves effectively yet courteously and politely.

RH Etiquette


Some examples:

  • Email – Think before you send ( the guide identifies that 78% of people have emailed the wrong message or copied someone without intending to) and be clear in your subject line what the email is about and what you want.
  • Mobile Devices – Turn off your ringtone in meetings (if not the entire phone!) and remember that texting is no substitute for meaningful dialogue.
  • Social Networking Sites – Ask before you tag people in photos and respect the fact that not every co-worker or boss wants to be your ‘Friend’ on Facebook.
  • Phone, Video and Web Conferencing – Be inclusive by regularly inviting responses from those joining via phone or online, and (please) keep local time zones in mind!

The guide deals with so much more, including Twitter, professional networking sites(e.g. LinkedIn), instant messaging and more, and is a very useful resource for all organisations.

But at the end of the day, mistakes do happen, and as the report states, “…forgiving quickly could indeed be the best etiquette lesson of all.” So in the spirit of good etiquette, Paul R, all is forgiven.

What is your digital etiquette like? Are you a considerate user, or a digital abuser?

No matter where you are at, 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