A Paradigm-Busting Australian Study Tour

Showcasing companies that are changing our world and the way we do business today.

Time For ActionAcross the globe executives are realising that we need to change the way we are running our businesses, because the old ways don’t serve society and its people effectively any more. The current model has served us well for the last 150 years but the world is changing faster now than we have ever experienced at any other time in our history.  Businesses lose their relevance at the same rate that internal change lags behind the pace of external change.  We’re now at a time when we are facing the option of change or become irrelevant. [Read more...]

A Short but costly Lesson on giving too much Freedom

Landscaping - Instant TurfI must admit I got caught out recently when I thought I was doing the right thing by this young tradesman. I needed some landscaping to be completed at the front of my property and it just so happened that at the same time I was considering my options, a young man (around 25 years) happened to drop by with a business card offering to quote me on the job. He had been doing some work in the area and noticed that I had been preparing my front yard for a major facelift. He seemed knowledgeable about his craft (landscaping and concreting) and was personable enough in a rough ‘tradie’ kind of way. Once I had seen his handiwork on some previous jobs, I felt comfortable he could complete the work to an acceptable level, so I decided to give him the opportunity. So far so good… [Read more...]

A Heart-Centred Philosophy for a Financial Services Organisation

Rob Hunt ex CEO Bendigo Bank“It seems today that everything we have known and understood is being challenged on the basis of globalisation.” Such were the words of the then managing director of Bendigo Bank, Mr Rob Hunt, when he wrote about communities of the future back in 2004. He went on to say, that the best way to build sustainable communities of the future was from within, by involving, uniting and engaging local people in regional and rural Australia in community building programs. [Read more...]

Companies that are Changing our World and the Way we do Business

Conscious Capitalism - WholeFoods StaffWelcome to a smarter, more socially and environmentally sustainable model for doing business today. It’s such a wonderful surprise to find a large, publicly listed company with more than 74,000 staff, in the highly competitive grocery industry boldly stand and say ‘noble cause before profits’.  This company even made the statement, ‘It’s not about share of wallet anymore, it’s about share of heart’ and the leaders of this company are happy to put both on the table, placing their trust in others by offering them a share in the profits as well as recognition for the difference they make in the world. [Read more...]

First “Do No Harm… and then Do Massive Good.” The amazing story of Dr Sam Prince

Zambrero - Dr Sam PrinceDr Sam Prince is a Scottish born, Australian medical Doctor with Sri Lankan heritage running a chain of Mexican restaurants. He’s an aid worker and founder of ‘One Disease at a Time’ which is currently on a mission to eradicate scabies from our indigenous communities.  It seems that Dr Prince knows no limits.  In fact he lives by a motto his mother gave him… ‘Expand your life to the limits of your mind and expand your mind to the limits of your life.’ [Read more...]

R.O.I. + I. – Return on Investment and Integrity. The new Breed of Brands.

Southwest Airlines - Fortune's Most Admired listWhen you think of some of the world’s most admired brands, there have been precious few who have lasted the distance remaining consistently near the top of all the “best” lists for the whole of their corporate life since inception. We have witnessed many burst on to the scene from nowhere only to disappear from view within a decade or so. And quite a few have remained in the public eye as product/service innovators one year; top financial performers another; employers of choice at other times; and maybe even good corporate citizens on other occasions.

But to be recognised as consistently high achievers in the triple bottom line of Financial, Social and Environmental performance takes a special kind of company with a special kind of culture and ‘servant leadership’ who understand the true meaning of ‘stewardship’ and all that it represents. In my opinion there is one company in the USA that has remained the stand-out performer for almost all of its 42 years in an industry littered with failures, and it continues to outperform on its “R.O. Double I” to this day. And no, it is neither a hi-tech nor an IT based company. It plies its trade in a brown fields industry that has been around for decades. [Read more...]

Here’s a company with a big heart and purse strings to match – ‘Conscious Capitalism’ in action

Atlassian Group PhotoAtlassian is an Australian software company that lives, works and plays by its noble cause and values. The people at Atlassian exist not only to provide quality software to corporate Australia and the rest of the world but also to help companies share information, be more collaborative and help people all over the world to live better, more purposeful lives with deeper and richer relationships. They are certainly on track to doing just that. [Read more...]

Imagine a High School where ‘Adult Learning Environment’ is the reality not just an idea

Nossal High SchoolAnd where there is an Information Resource Centre where books are borrowed and returned on an ‘honour’ system; where there are no bells or buzzers because the students are responsible for their own time keeping; and where appreciative enquiry, team teaching and collaborative study in an open learning environment is the order of the day. If you remember those old school days between 15 and 18 years of age when you sat in dreary classrooms while the teacher stood at the front and filled you full of information that you had to commit to memory and regurgitate at appropriate times, then it’s time to consider a new form of student utopia. [Read more...]

What do you do when Reference Checks throw up two diametrically opposed assessments?

Project ManagementThis happened to a global resource company client of mine a couple of years ago. They had advertised for a senior engineer to fulfil the role of Project Manager for all of their major feasibility studies that were in the pipeline. The person they had shortlisted had all of the right experience and qualifications, and had recently been employed in a role at another company that involved major project oversight. Prior to that, this candidate had a succession of business development type roles which relied on his engineering experience and training. According to my client he seemed like the right person for the job. Certainly he seemed to ‘tick all the right boxes,’ but there was something that didn’t quite seem to gel in their due diligence and so they asked me for my assessment. It concerned the fact that the two reference checks they had undertaken were throwing up anomalies that they could not reconcile and they wanted to know why. Here is what I discovered…
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Australia’s Election is over and our outgoing PM gives a Victory Speech!

Kevin Rudd on Election nightSo at last the election is over and we can get on with our lives. We have a new conservative government  and a new Prime Minister, Mr Tony Abbott. Once again I would like to draw your attention to the language used by our outgoing Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, as he delivered his 30 minute concession speech. From what the pundits are saying, it seems I may not be the only one who wondered whether he had achieved a marvellous victory, rather than a resounding defeat. It seems to me that Mr Rudd was attempting to “reframe” the loss as a victory of sorts, but in my opinion it falls short for a number of reasons. [Read more...]