Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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.


Core Values

Monday, June 20, 2016

PurposeWhat are your organisations’ core values? Not the ones that you say are values, but the ones that actually reflect who you really are?

In a recent article by Nicole Fallon Taylor (read it here) she highlights core values and the role they play in our organisations. Essentially they are the culture of the company, and irrespective of what we might say our organisation does, it is these core values that really matter.

It is certainly one thing to define your core values, and quite another to actually live them out. Saying one thing and doing another is a recipe for disaster in any organisation.

Do you live your values, or simply talk about what you want other people to think they are? The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop core values – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Work-Life Boundaries

Monday, March 28, 2016

Work life BalanceA critical component in maintaining psychological well-being and recovering properly for a new day is effective detachment from work. New research from Brendon Smit, and reported in BPS Research Digest identify (Read it here), the number one way you can effectively detach from work.

Detachment is important so that work does not totally invade our lives and thoughts, imposing on family and personal time that is important in our recharging and recovery process. Without effective “down-time” our productivity declines and effectiveness is reduced.

Surveying a number of professionals and testing a variety of methods, Smit identifies the key factor is to spend a few moments at the end of each day creating a simple list of incomplete goals and a few actions steps to tackle each one in the new day. This process effectively ‘closes the loop’ on these items and allows your subconscious to leave them alone. This simple yet effective strategy was demonstrated by Smit to help participants put their work issues out of their minds and effectively detach from work. It seems our minds carry around any “open loops” and continually attempt to find solutions and develop plans for them, never giving the subconscious the rest it needs.

So if you want to detach from work and increase your productivity and effectiveness, take a few moments at the end of each day to ‘close the loop’ and leave it all behind.

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

Special Event – The Finance Professional of the Future

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Finance ProfessionlExplore the role of the financial professional of the future and update technical skills in this continuing professional development event presented by Avondale Business School.

Featuring: Keynotes from Todd Saunders, Executive General Manager—Australia, Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, Dr Lisa Barnes, Lecturer, Newcastle Business School, The University of Newcastle, whose academic interest is in corporate governance, and Mercer Australia, which will share its insights and perspectives on the economic outlook for Australia.

Also featuring: Technical session from Grant Thornton Australia.

Up to four CPD hours available.

Single tickets: $495 (early bird offer for orders before March 25, 2016); $550 (for orders after March 25, 2016). Includes morning tea and lunch.

Save 10 per cent by booking before Easter 2016!

Group tickets: $470 per person (early bird offer for orders before March 25, 2016); $495 per person (for orders after March 25, 2016). Includes morning tea and lunch.

Save almost 15 per cent by booking a group before Easter 2016!

Proceeds from this event will fund the refurbishment of a collaborative learning and information centre for students at Avondale Business School.

Presented by Avondale College of Higher Education and Avondale Business School.

Thursday, May 12, 2016
9 am, Clinical Education Centre, Sydney Adventist Hospital

Knowing When Corporate Headquarters Adds Rather Than Subtracts Value

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Big IdeaWe have probably all experienced the program lumped upon us by head office, who is far away and (in our view) wouldn’t have a clue what does and doesn’t work at the coalface. Or we may have been in an organisation where the senior leadership introduces “efficiency measures” that make their life easier, but adds significantly to the load of the already overworked employee who actually does the work of the company. Andrew Campbell and Gabriel Szulanski, writing for consulting firm McKinesy and Company have addressed this in an excellent article, which you can read in full here.

In summary, the authors propose three tests that every proposal should have to meet before being unleashed on the company. These tests are:

  1. Whether the project adds significant value
    In asking this, the proposed value needs to be real, and not simply promises of what is perceived should happen. This brings into play the question of how this value has and will be measured, and some form of accountability for it.
  1. Whether there are risks of unintended value subtraction.
    This entails looking at the complexity of the projects, whether it will decrease the engagement of existing entities and employees, and other potential risks.
  2. Whether the initiative will encounter barriers to implementation.
    The article authors list 9 specific barriers, which they have researched and found to be the most common. Their research also indicates that if an initiative meets three or more of these barriers, then it is less likely to succeed. These barriers are:
  • Actions needed for a good outcome are poorly understood;
  • Little evidence that the proposed change will yield improved results;
  • The designated change agent is not motivated to lead the project;
  • The change agent does not have credibility;
  • People whose contribution to the project are needed aren’t interested;
  • People who will have to change their behaviour will probably find it hard to do so;
  • Few spare resources are available to help those who need to change;
  • There is little contextualised pressure to motivate change;
  • Managers concerned have a history of poor relationships.

When you next propose a change within your organisation, run it past these three tests and see what its chances of success really are. The challenge is to have the courage to admit your brilliant idea just might not be the right thing at this time.

The Avondale Business School can help you with change management in your organisation – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Workplace Trends for 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

ChangeDuring my holiday reading I came across an article in the Australian Financial Review Weekend Edition that offered its predictions for the five major workplace trends in 2016. The article can be read in its entirety here, but as a summary, I’ve listed below the major points:

1.       Email will be Sacked

There is a growing trend amongst businesses to significantly reduce the amount of email, especially internally. Some companies now ban all internal email, instead insisting on personal meetings, telephone calls, and drop box for exchanging documents. Others have a moratorium each day (usually one hour) when email is shut down. Still others are offering employees the opportunity to sign a pledge that they won’t read or send emails between 7pm and 7am each day.

2.       Performance Reviews Get a Makeover

Increasingly Australian companies are no longer using the full employee performance review on an annual or half-yearly basis. Alternatively companies are providing immediate feedback to employees, and training and trusting line supervisors and managers to do the job.

3.       Data Dominates Decisions

Big data is on the rise, and the growth of data analytics as a tool and profession is ensuring greater scrutiny of data and decisions.

4.       Employers Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is now recognised as one of the most powerful social media tools available. Consequently employers are finding that it is often quicker and more efficient to communicate with their employees through LinkedIn. Organisations are increasingly using LinkedIn to advertise for jobs and to recruit prospective employees, and monitor existing ones.

5.       Job titles

A growing worldwide trend is the decreasing use of titles. HR professionals see this as a flattening of organisational structures and implementing greater consistency throughout the organisation. Potentially, we are seeing the downsizing of the C-suite.

Are you keeping ahead of the waves of change coming your way? Or are you reacting and getting left in the wake? Maybe pick one of these trends and see if you can implement one in your workplace that puts you ahead.

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

Nobody Cares How Hard You Work

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Long HoursAn article recently in 99U had this headline, and it really caught my attention. And you can read it here. Working through the available research, author Oliver Burkeman points out that most likely we “chronically confuse the feeling of effort with the reality of results”. That is, just because we have spent a long time at work doesn’t mean we have actually achieved anything of significance.

Burkeman highlights the “labour illusion” which is where people are more concerned that a job appeared to take an appropriate amount of time rather than whether it was actually done properly. He gives examples like the locksmith that became so good at his job he was able to do most things in little time, but then his customers complained that they felt cheated that it took him so little time and effort. Also, you know that little whirly thing on flight search pages that spins about while you are waiting for the best deal available? Well people would rather wait for a longer time with that showing, than not have it showing and get the results quicker, because it looks like the site is “working hard”.

He also brings to attention the “Effort Trap”, whereby spending a 10 hour day barely achieving anything other than routine is felt more worthy than spending two hours “in deep hard concentration on hard thinking, followed by a leisurely afternoon off”. Yet the two hours is more effective than the 10. Yet we still fall trap to the idea that hard work is what ultimately matters.

This idea lives in too many workplaces, where promotion is linked to the boss sensing the effort and hard work resulting from long hours, rather than your outputs. It should be more about making sure you are doing the right things, rather than just doing a lot of things.

Burkeman advises us to spend the first two hours of our workday on the most important tasks, and challenges us to consider limiting our working hours. Being tired at the end of the day is not a good indicator of a day well spent.

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 to Lead Like it Really Matters

Sunday, June 21, 2015

LeadersFew topics have as much written about them as that of leadership, and it is very difficult keeping pace with the new ideas and thoughts on the subject. One book that has been released recently is Lead Like it Matters by Roxi Bahar Hewitson (available for loan through the Avondale College Library shortly). This is an honest look at leadership and does not trivialize how difficult it can be.

One recent reviewer, Peter Economy, has picked out eight key insights from the book that will enable you to develop significantly as a leader (full article here). These key insights as identified by Economy are:

  1. Knowing is the easy part–doing is the hard part
  2. Leading people is messy
  3. Leadership is a discipline, not an accident
  4. Leading and individual contribution require opposite skill sets and motivations
  5. Leading is all about relationships
  6. Learning the “soft skills” is hard
  7. Most change efforts fail, and they don’t have to
  8. Leaders create and destroy cultures

What I particularly like in this list is the recognition that leadership is “messy” and involves managing relationships and unquantifiable issues. Leadership is about people – not machines, relationships – not rules. What about you?

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.


P: 02 4980 2168

Opportunity comes our way …

Friday, June 12, 2015

opportunityOpportunity comes our way….


I often bump into or get connected with some of my high school or college class/college mates. This sends me to the world of reflection and memory mode trying to recollect details about this old friend or acquaintance of mine. When things get put together and I can see how things have changed over time in regards to this person. How he or she is faring now and what sort of opportunities were taken by this friend. How successful an opportunity has turned in to for this friend?

Time and time I notice that one thing is common to many of my friends who have been successful and unsuccessful in career or life can be pointed to the opportunity that was seized or missed out in the right time and place.

Two thoughts come up in regards to opportunities and they are so true when we look back and the reality is that it happens to us too.

“Many of us wait for opportunity to knock on our doors. However, most successful people are prolific door openers and do not wait for knocks.”

“Many times SUCCESS is more about DOING the things you know you should do, not waiting to learn the ‘secrets’ that you don’t know.”

Another motivational quote that I found on the web that reads like this;

“Lucky people get opportunities; Brave people create opportunities; And Winners are those that convert problems into Opportunity.”

There are numerous illustrative stories told where opportunity plays a key role in the lives of people’s success. Here are a few links for you to connect and read them.

– David Wilson –

Lecturer, Avondale Business School



Mental Health in the Workplace

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mental HealthHow often when you think of your work environment do you consciously think of mental health? New statistics indicate that 75% of senior business leaders in Australia now realise that mental health should be an increasing focus within workplaces.

A year ago, boyondblue, a mental health not-for-profit entity, and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance initiated the ‘Heads Up’ program aimed at providing information, resources and strategies to help workplaces implement action plans for improvement in this area.

A significant change in attitudes towards mental health occurred within more than 300 senior leaders and other managers of Australian businesses. A report from Social research agency TNS said the number of senior leaders who indicated they had information and materials regarding mental health at work had risen to almost two-thirds, an increase of 29% since the launch of ‘Heads Up’. More than half (54 per cent) these senior managers also said their workplaces were running mental health awareness training, also an increase of 29%.

The impact of employees’ mental health conditions cost Australian employers at least $10.9 billion a year. However, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by beyondblue last year found that for every $1 invested in effective mental health strategies, Australian businesses received an average return of $2.30.

Business Council Australia CEO, Jennifer Westacott, said such outcomes show businesses are increasingly understanding the economic and health benefits of mentally healthy workplaces, stating “The return on investment is clear…. Mentally healthier workplaces deliver for everyone – employees, employers, customers and shareholders”.

Perhaps in the future the link between metal health and the work environment will be even more clear.

– Peter Williams – ABS HR Specialist