Posts Tagged ‘Success’

Workforce of the Future

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

‘Competition for the right talent is fierce. And ‘talent’ no longer means the same as ten years ago; many of the roles, skills and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today”.

Rather than being daunted by this finding by PWC in their report “Workforce of the Future”, PWC provide some excellent scenarios of what 2030 may look like, and what organisations should be planning in order to prepare. The reports is based on a survey of 10,000 business leaders globally. (click on the image to access the full report).

PWC identified five megatrends, or forces, that are shaping the future. These megatrends are:

  • Technological breakthroughs;
  • Demographic shifts, that is, the changing size, distribution and age profile of the world’s population;
  • Rapid urbanization, which involves the significant increase in the world’s population moving to live in cities;
  • Shifts in global economic power, between developed and developing countries;
  • Resource scarcity and climate change.

Rather than extrapolate these into one potential future, PWC consider four scenarios (or ‘worlds’) based on varying degrees of fluidity between collectivism and individualism, and business fragmentation and corporate integration. These scenarios recognise that there are multiple potential outcomes possible, and that organisations need to ensure they are thinking about a range of futures, rather than betting everything on just one possible alternative. The outcomes of this extrapolation into 2030 are:

  • The Yellow World, where humans come first
  • The Red World, where innovation rules
  • The Green World, where companies care
  • The Blue World, where corporate is king

The one common thread throughout each scenario is the rise of automation and the implications of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), which will result in a massive reclassification and rebalancing of work.

While providing helpful recommendations for individuals and society as a whole, the report also suggests a few things organisations can also do to position themselves for whatever future unfolds:

  • Recognise that linear predictions don’t cut it – there are multiple and emerging visions of the future;
  • Make decisions based on purpose and values;
  • Embrace technology as a force for good;
  • Focus on humans and the humane.

This is an excellent and informative report that is easy to read, yet challenging. Leaders looking into the future would do well to consider this report and how their organisation is preparing for an uncertain, but different, future. And Avondale Business School is excited to be able to partner with you to achieve success.

Business Kindness

Monday, July 4, 2016

Business KindnessAs an accountant I was trained that the only things that matter are those that can be measured. And now, much to my surprise, kindness is one of these things! Recent research into Australian organisations has resulted in the Workplaceinfo Business Kindness Index. You can read more about it here.

I was unaware that there is a growing movement of business kindness within Australia and globally. Some people might even ask why is it important? The report cites research from University of NSW that provides an answer: “Leadership compassion – ‘the ability of leaders to spend more time and effort developing and recognising their people, welcoming feedback, including criticism, and fostering cooperation among staff’ – is the single greatest influencer of productivity and profitability”. Being kind makes money!

Some of the key takeaway points of the report include:

  • Providing time to listen and interact with others makes a difference
  • Voice concern and support
  • Understand that process systems revolve around people, not people around processes and their parts
  • There is no change without leadership.

So creating a culture of kindness makes good business sense. Can you afford not to be kind? The Avondale Business School can help you with your organisational culture. To find out more, contact Warrick Long at:


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Stretch Goals are Detrimental

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Stretch GoalsMany organisations use stretch goals, those “seemingly impossible” goals to motivate employees to reach beyond what they thought was possible. However, a recent study by Lemone, Blum and Roman published in February 2016 casts some doubt over the effectiveness of stretch goals. You can find the full article here.

Lemone et al studied the effectiveness of stretch goals in the running of organisations that deal with substance use disorders. Coming out of their research was the finding that in organisations with poor capacity, stretch goals made no impact, and in organisations that were strong stretch goals were found to be harmful and demotivating.

Overall they concluded that stretch goals are harmful for most organisations and that a better approach is to negotiate challenging but seemingly not impossible goals with the staff, which allowed for smaller but more frequent wins to be achieved. Essentially it means staff can have an increased expectation of achievement, which is much more motivating and means it is more likely to occur than stretch goals.

Is it time you re-evaluated the goals of your organisation to see whether they are motivating or de-motivating your employees? 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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11 Habits of Remarkably Successful People

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Success HabitKnowing the holiday season is often a time for reflection, a blog article by Peter Economy came to mind, which you can read here, where he proposes 11 habits of remarkably successful people. Of course this depends on what your definition of success is, but if you are looking to achieve, progress and maintain positive working relationships in the process, then here are a sample of these 11 habits. To find out all 11 you will need to follow the link above to the whole article.

1. Go above and beyond
3. Keep it respectful
5. Listen to the needs of others
7. Have a sense of humour
9. Know when it’s time to make a list
11. Remember to praise

The Avondale Business School can help you and your team be successful – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.
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6 Workplace Myths You Need to Stop Believing

Sunday, October 11, 2015

MythsJust a few days ago Forbes online published a blog with this title by David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom (read it here) that really challenges conventional wisdom about the workplace. They look at six common beliefs and then dig into the research to find out whether it is actually true of not. Here are the ones they quashed:

  1. 8-hour work days lead to productivity
    Wrong! Research indicates that the most productive workers do not work a full eight hours in a day, and take 17 minutes of break for every 52 minutes worked. They also point out that some places are now introducing 6-hour work days with no loss in productivity.
  2. Money is the best motivator
    Wrong again. The research shows it is actually feeling appreciated and having good relationships at work that employees value most and keeps them motivated.
  3. Jump right in, put your head down, and get it done.
    Again, wrong. Instead, research shows that tasks are best accomplished by pausing first, asking plenty of questions, and taking time to tweak the project.
  4. High achievers make great managers.
    Sorry, this is wrong too. Instead, the research has revealed that great managers are those people who actually take them time to understand their people and their talent.
  5. Remote employees are less engaged.
    Uh Oh. Wrong. The research shows that employees who moved to working remotely experienced a sustained productivity increase of 13%. Not inconsiderable.
  6. Do what you love, and you will never work again.
    No – this is wrong as well. On this issue, the research notes that it is asking the question at the start of a project, “What difference could I make that other people would love?” that makes all the difference.

As you process these rebuttals to traditional thinking, challenge yourself to implement one of these changes and see if it works for you and your organisation.

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


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

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


P: 02 4980 2168

Making Your Career Count

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Social ImpactIf you want to have a social impact, what is the best career for you? A new online tool has been launched by 80,000 hours, a Centre for Effective Altruism member whose name comes from the approximate number of hours that the average person will spend working in their lifetime. They have developed a career recommender, which utilizes a 6 question quiz in order to recommend the 4 best social impact careers individuals are suited to. Currently 25 careers are able to match those taking the quiz, and it is expected that this number will increase. “We expect the career recommender to remain a core part of our career guide in the future. It’s already useful, but it will become much more so over time as our research expands and we ‘review’ and rate a wider range of paths, especially those in which people can achieve great things without having to have far above average quantitative or language skills, change the questions to more precisely measure people’s key abilities [and] check that it gives good answers for any possible set of inputs,” Executive Director of the Centre for Effective Altruism, Rob Wiblin, said. Read more here.

– Peter Williams, HRM Lecturer, Avondale Business School

Global Trends in the Business of People

Sunday, May 10, 2015

People JigsawEach year Deloitte publish a report into the global trends in the area of leadership and human capital. Their most recent report has just been released, called Global Human Capital 2015: Leading in the new world of work (Access it here). In compiling the report, Deloitte consulted with 3300 business and HR leaders in 106 countries (including Australia and NZ).

The report identifies ten major trends, within four major themes. The top five major trends are:

  1. Culture and engagement: The naked organisation
  2. Leadership: Why a perennial issue?
  3. Learning and development: Into the spotlight
  4. Reinventing HR: An extreme makeover
  5. Workforce on demand: Are you ready?

What is evident from the report is that the “softer” areas of business are now the priority, as it is a new world in which we operate. For example, employees are now always connected and can access information about whatever management says instantaneously to confirm its validity. They also use social media to check perceptions and reputations. Employees also consider themselves more as customers or partners than employees. As such, they have expectations on how they will be treated that is substantially different to the traditional employer-employee model.

Two paragraphs from the report are particularly interesting in directing company leadership to addressing these issues:

It is time for a shift in how leaders’ performance is being measured. Rewards should be directly related to leaders developing successors and sharing talent not simply on meeting a strategic or operational KPI. A greater emphasis on a coaching environment should form a part of development and assessment frameworks with out-of-the-box development opportunities considered, such as business partnering, being considered.

Today’s leaders must look to engage their employees and therefore it must be made a corporate priority. Real steps need to be undertaken to ensure work is more meaningful. Leaders need to ensure they are being authentic in their style and transparent in their approach to feedback and coaching.

Thinking about your business, are you planning for the future, or responding to the past? Your success depends upon the future, not the past.

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


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Highly Successful People Do These 39 Things Well

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Little ThingsSuccess is not a one-off event. It is the culmination of a series of habits. Highly successful people know this and make a habit of doing the small things well. In football terms these little things are referred to as the ‘one-percenters’, and it is these things that separate a good team from a great team.

In a very recent blog by Peter Economy in Inc. he identifies 39 things that highly successful things do well – the ‘one percenters’ of the business world. You can read the full article here, but as a taster, just seven of them are:

  1. They never make excuses
  2. They ignore negativity and those who say, “You can’t.” (So say “I can.”)
  3. They admit to, fix, and learn from their mistakes quickly. (So move on.)
  4. They focus on one thing at a time. (So quit multitasking.)
  5. They create realistic daily to-do lists. (So do a few things well.)
  6. They postpone big decisions when their emotions are on high. (So be level-headed.)
  7. They vehemently guard their reputation by running their lives and careers with compassion, empathy, and strong ethics. (So be honest–always.)

As you read and reflect on the full list, ask how many of these you have made a habit. A challenge for you is to pick just one or two and commit to making them part of your life.

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.


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