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...]

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...]

Fathers Day Downunder – A Tribute from the Trenches

Dad and DaughterYesterday was Fathers Day Downunder so I am going to be a little self indulgent and share my ‘perfect day’ with you. I was woken an hour earlier than I’d planned to the raucous chorus of my seven and ten year old. I received toast crumbs in my bed and juice splashed on my bedclothes, with the delivery of my “binb” surprise. I was compared to aliens from other worlds and came out on top (‘best Dad in the whole Solar System and Galaxy’). My gifts (nothing over $5 allowed please) brought tears of laughter as I invented a myriad of uses I could put them to and then some, much to the satisfaction of my little boy and girl. I played adjudicator for the argument between siblings as to whose presents were better (declared a ‘draw’). I watched my Fathers Day lollies being devoured by those more needy than me, and I agreed that a trip to the local pancake house was indeed my choice of eatery for lunch. And then there were the hand designed and written cards… the icing on the proverbial cakes. [Read more...]

If a Tree Falls in a Forest…

Trees in ForestTo complete that famous question… ‘If a Tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it actually make a sound?’ Although this is a philosophical question regarding the nature of reality and whether it actually exists without the existence of the observer to witness and judge the event, I would like to hijack that question and move it to another context that I believe concerns us all… [Read more...]

What if your Darkest Moment was actually your Greatest Gift?

Heart Shaped CloudThis was the question that Mastin Kipp, blogger to over 600,000 people daily on his site www.TheDailyLove.com asked of himself and all of his followers recently. It is of particular significance to me this week because a very dear friend and colleague of mine is going through one of those moments as I write. JK RowlingI thought I would pose this question to my friend and to every one of you and in so doing, remind you of the quote attributed to famed author, J.K. Rowling, whom we all know had quite a long relationship with life’s dark clouds before the silver linings finally shone through. As J.K.  said… “Rock Bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Who hasn’t had a time in their life when every seed that was sown seemed to fall on arid ground? I know I have… [Read more...]