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...]

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...]

It’s Halfway through the Election Campaign and have you noticed the Subtle Shift in the Language of our PM?

Kevin RuddMany commentators are now talking about the negative shift in advertising by the incumbent Labor Government towards a fear-mongering campaign. This comes as Mr Rudd departs from his pledge for kinder politics and launches into a negative advertising campaign attacking the opposition leader. There is no coincidence that this shift in campaign focus follows the latest opinion polls indicating that Labor’s primary vote is falling away dramatically. However I want to draw your attention to another far more subtle indication that the personal focus of our Prime Minister has shifted considerably in the past 48 hours. [Read more...]

Election Time in the Land of Oz and Ten Things you are Guaranteed to Witness

Australia VotesBuckle up folks, the campaign has begun.  Five weeks of claim and counter-claim; five weeks of promises, promises, promises… or should I say… core promises; non-core promises; generalised promises; promises that say a lot but mean very little; promises to undo; promises to stitch up; motherhood statements; quick grabs of meaningless platitudes and so the list goes on. Call me a cynic, but as a student of language and behaviour, this next five weeks is sure to give me heaps of material to share with you. To start the ball rolling, here’s some of what you can be sure to see and hear… [Read more...]

When you are Giving Feedback, is your Message really Getting Through?

Giving FeedbackGiving feedback to your direct reports can lead to misunderstanding if you are not careful about the language you use to suit the person for whom it is intended. Here is an example of what I mean. [Read more...]

What Positives can come from a Racist Remark at the Football? More than you Think if you Look at it Differently

This weekend our papers were filled with the story about a 13 yo girl yelling a racist slur at one of our footy champions playing in the stadium in front of her and many thousands of fans. AFL Footballer responding to  racial abuseThe champion took offense, pointed out the transgressor to security and she was evicted from the ground in front of her shocked and embarrassed parent. There are many ways to view this episode and many points of view depending on what particular attitude you happen to have on the subject of racial slurs. I don’t intend to add my commentary to the rights and wrongs of what was said and done but what I would like to do is share an important lesson we learn from this incident about perceptions and the ‘framing’ we place around situations at work. [Read more...]

What do you do if your Team is Underperforming? Part 2 – Setting the Scene

In my previous blog before Easter I talked about some of the underlying causes which lead to team underperformance especially if the prevailing team culture is known for its ‘warm and fuzzy’ environment and its people-centric focus. Baby and Bathwater

Undoubtedly you do not want to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ in turning a people-focused culture around, so here are some tips on how best to address the issue of group underperformance in a more systematic and comprehensive way that avoids short term knee-jerk reactions or ‘scape-goating.’ [Read more...]