Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development’

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 or 02 4980 2168.

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, ( 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 ( that enables Parents to seek information on schools.

ABS Continues to Develop Avondale College Leaders

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Participants enjoyed a lively time together on a recent Friday morning at the second program in the Avondale College LEAD program, aimed at developing new and existing leaders at the College. Program coordinator, Warrick long, from the Avondale Business School, emphasized the need for leaders to learn firstly how to lead self, noting that the hardest person we will ever lead is yourself. The program covered the topics of values, personality and emotions (including emotional intelligence). These all led to the final section on their implications for leadership, including their impact on how we make decisions. Participants enjoyed the interactive and reflective nature of the programs, and the recommended readings, suggested book lists and additional videos. For those that undertake a voluntary quiz based on the program and additional resources formal acknowledgement of their participation in the program will be provided.

If you would like the Avondale business School to help develop your leaders, simply email or call Warrick Long at, or 02 4980 2168.

Sydney Teams Gather at ABS for Day of Learning and Fun

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Getting away from their usual environment, 13 colleagues from the Greater Sydney Conference of the SDA Church Company, Schools Company and Aged Care Company spent a day with the Avondale Business School (ABS) for their annual Professional development program. ABS have been involved with providing a day of fun, challenge and learning since 2014, with this year’s focus being communication. Peter William and Warrick Long from ABS took the team through some refreshers, and new issues in communication within their workplace. Paris Lawrence, from the Avondale Marketing team challenged the team with using social media to effectively connect both corporately and personally. Participants were appreciative of the practical relevance and personal touches of the presentations, not to mention the great food and environment. See you next year!

If you would like to discuss having ABS provide your next team Professional Development event, simply email or call Warrick Long on or 02 49802168.

Avondale College LEAD Program

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Developing leaders is a focus of Avondale College, and the Avondale Business School (ABS), through Warrick Long, is front and center in providing training for the Avondale staff through the Avondale LEAD program. LEAD stands for Leadership, Experience and Development, representing the focus of the initial six month program.

Participants meet together every month for a session where they discuss a key aspect of leadership, drawn from the four building blocks of leadership. Additional leadership resources are available to participants, including book reviews, recommended readings, videos and articles. A leadership challenge is set at each session, so participants have some goals to implement their new found knowledge. For those participants that are wanting to go a bit deeper and get some recognition for their participation, there is a series of assessments for them to undertake.

Ensuring that the program meets its goal of developing leaders, Warrick Long and Associate Professor Lisa Barnes (ABS Head of Discipline) are researching the effectiveness of the program through surveys and feedback, which will also form the basis of a research project for publication.

Performance Management Reinvented

Monday, May 23, 2016

Performance ManagementJust in case you didn’t know, the traditional annual performance management discussion is on the way out. An increasing number of companies are ditching the time-consuming, subjective and demotivating practices for new ways of managing employee performance.

McKinsey & Company have published an excellent article on this issue (read it here), complete with examples of companies that are implementing these new practices. Interestingly no one is suggesting the idea of performance management be abandoned, merely that it needs to morph into a much more effective process. Amongst the ideas raised in the article are the following:

  • Rethinking what constitutes employee performance
    • Instead of focussing on the middle ground, identify clear over performers and underperformers
    • Highlight and encourage exemplar performances
  • Automating real-time analyses
    • Using apps for continual crowd-sourced performance data throughout the year
    • Collected in real-time which is not only fresh, but enables managers to draw on actual evidence
  • Severing the link between evaluation and compensation
    • Link compensation to the performance of the company, not the individual
    • Studies indicate that employees value meaning (seeing purpose and value in work) as the most important factor.

In handling performance management, it is now coaching rather than evaluating that is the key. The article list three practices that seem to deliver the results, these being changing the language of feedback, providing constant crowdsourced vignettes, and focussing discussions on the future rather than what happened in the past.

Performance management is changing, and companies that succeed will be the ones that change with it. The Avondale Business School can help you keep ahead in performance management. To find out how, simply contact Warrick Long on:


P: 02 4980 2168

Stress Reduction Tips

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Stress ReductionThe calendar year-end can either be a relaxing time for many, or a frantic period for others. Either way you might just take a few moments to think about the stress in your life and how to reduce it.
Nicole Fallon from Business News Daily has collected a range of ideas and summarised them below (read the full article here). The challenge is to see if you can introduce even one of these in the New Year and improve your stress situation.

  1. Change your habits
    a. Schedule breaks into your day.
    b. “Go for a walk, grab coffee or take the time to sit down and have lunch”
    c. Devote time to physical, mental and emotional self-maintenance.
    d. Keep a handwritten to-do list.
  2. Change your communication
    a. Socialize with your co-workers.
    b. Use the right communication tools.
    c. Cut ties with negative people in your life.
  3. Change your mind-set
    a. Accept that you’re not immune from stress
    b. Stop thinking you have to be right.
    c. Remember that all negative situations will passs

The full article gives more detail and examples for each of these, which might help you reduce the stress in your life.

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

Stress Busters

Sunday, September 27, 2015

ChaosIn the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale there are a number of events that if they occurred within the past year and when added together, can provide a rough estimate of how stress will affect your life. For an adult, death of spouse tops the list with 100 points. Divorce is next at 73 and so on. Incredibly, at number 7 with 50 points is being married – not getting married, just being married! It rates as more stressful than being dismissed from work (47 points), being pregnant (40 points), or the death of a close friend (37).

There are many more mild things that all add together to give us stress, and they need to be managed to ensure that we can live life to the fullest. Nicole Fallen from Business News Daily recently wrote about three changes we can do that will help us beat stress. The full article can be read here and is worth the time to do so, but the summary of these changes are as follows:

1. Change your habits

  • Schedule breaks into your day
  • Devote time to physical, mental and emotional self-maintenance
  • Keep a handwritten to-do list

2. Change your communication

  • Socialise with your co-workers
  • Use the right communication tools
  • Cut ties with negative people in your life

3. Change your mindset

  • Accept you’re not immune from stress – but remember that you can overcome it
  • Stop thinking you have to be right
  • Remember that all negative situations will pass.

Before leaping to conclusions or dismissing these suggestions, take the time to read the full article to see them in their context and what it is they are trying to achieve. It is time 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

Use Your Calendar to Form Good Habits

Sunday, August 30, 2015

CalendarRecently Stephanie Lee blogged some really useful tips on using your calendar more effectively to form good habits. You can read the full article here. These habits can be personal (like exercising) or professional (read ABS InfoLink each fortnight). Whatever they are, Lee has some very handy tips to use your calendar to help.

The major parts of the article are as follows, and under each are specific tips and ideas to help make it work. It is worth the time to read the full article and take on board the finer details. Here are the major points of the article:

  • Break down the habit
  • Figure our time and frequency
  • Add the main action item to your calendar
  • Tips for when you ignore calendar alerts
  • Help to drive the habit home
  • Have patience

This last point was particularly interesting. In it, Lee refers to the common understanding that to make a new habit stick it takes 21 days. This is not actually the case, as shown in research undertaken in 2009 and referred to by Lee, which discovered it takes anywhere from 18 – 254 days to make a habit stick.

So what are you going to do today to begin a new habit?

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 Five Levels of Delegation

Sunday, July 5, 2015

DelegationI was interested to read Peter Economy’s thoughts on delegation in a recent online Inc. blog (read it here), as I had not really thought much about there being different levels of delegations. It is obvious now that it is through delegation that a leader manages to achieve the objectives of the organisation, and to actually get things done. Leaders who claim not to be able to delegate to their staff merely highlight how ineffective they themselves have been at recruiting, training and managing their staff.

The article goes into some details as to each level, and where it is most effectively used, and is well worth the read. In summary, the five levels are:

Level 1 – Assess and Report

Level 2 – Recommend

Level 3 – Develop Action Plan

Level 4 – Make the Decision

Level 5 – Full Delegation

Ideally, as a leader you will be looking to develop people to the point where they are capable of operating at level 5, but realistically that will not be the case with everyone. The decision you then face is whether they can be developed further, or they have reached a level where they can still contribute to the organisation effectively, or if it is time to part ways. The tough stuff of leadership.

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