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Re-thinking how governments make investment decisions

savings-choiceGovernments have huge budgets and an ongoing challenge is to ensure that the greatest possible value from spend is being created for tax payers and the community more generally. There are timeless philosophical debates around the role of government but fundamentally we should all agree that if money is going to be spent it should be spent so we are all getting the best possible bang from our tax buck.

Business cases, cabinet submissions and budget bids are key tools through which governments can make the case for investment. These tools are supposed to be the ‘check’ and screen to ensure that taxpayers and the community are gaining greatest possible value for money. Unfortunately these tools and the processes Continue reading

Organisational Behaviour vs Organisational Design

leadershipI have often written about the importance of leadership in building an externally focused high performing organisation or team.  It is by far the most important factor in performance.

However in working with a range of my clients over the past 7 years I have noticed a tendency in many of the organisations to focus on organisational behaviour without addressing organisational design.

Organisational behaviour is the executive coaching and training approach with an emphasis on leadership, communication, expectations, role modelling and behaviours.  It is about Continue reading

Reflecting on your year – are you getting your satisfaction?

reflectionOne of the questions as we approach the end of the year is where did it go?   The year has gone very quick and it is a great chance when we go on holidays to reflect on where you are at and why you do what you do?    It is an opportunity to slow down to speed up, refuel and reenergise our thinking in readiness for 2016.

One of the areas you may wish to reflect on is whether you are gaining satisfaction from what you are currently doing professionally and personally.  Satisfaction lies at the heart of personal and professional fulfillment and without it long term, it can lead to frustration and unhappiness.   To gain an understanding of Continue reading

South Australian companies need to think and act bigger

cat-sees-lion-mirrorWe are struggling in South Australia from a business perspective.  When speaking with other business owners, they are being challenged in every way to continue to stay afloat during what is a very difficult business environment.  There are few things that have changed recently for the better with optimism being very low in our State.  There are some significant challenges we have coming up that we need to be proactive as business leaders in putting together an optimistic plan for our economy that is focussed, clear and can be executed.    This plan needs to be focussed on ensuring that we are competitive long term not just short term as without the long term game, we will have a short term lift that will bottom out quickly.

Part of this plan should work through how we create more great companies that operate on a global scale.  This to me lies to the core of building a growing and sustainable future for our State.   We have some terrific people who run outstanding companies in this state like Continue reading

Value for money is not about the lowest price when evaluating tenders

savingmoneyI have written a great deal over the last four years on our various blogs around the importance of commercial acumen particularly for government organisations.  I see this as a critical skill for government organisations to develop in all leaders at all levels.  This is particularly important given how much government organisations interact and work with the private sector in looking to achieve outstanding outcomes for the community and their stakeholders.  The challenge has always been government and government leaders understanding the business models and commercial practices of the private sector.  They are not well understood nor are they taught to government leaders which is disappointing given the role the private sector is to successfully delivering outcomes.  In addition to this, the private sector do not always Continue reading

The Value of the Industry Briefing

proudHaving attended a number of industry briefings in the last couple of months when I hadn’t for a number of years, it reminded me of how invaluable they are as a consultant and service provider.  They are critical when looking to work with a client for a number of reasons which include the following:

  • I understand the “why” behind the tender submission or the client brief.  That is, why they are looking for the outcomes they are, why this project is being undertaken, why this is important to them and other why questions that often are assumed to be known by service providers when tendering for work;
  • They give me an understanding of the language, acronyms and approach each particular client takes to their engagement with service providers as well as internally within the organisation.  This is important to assist in framing our bid submission, offering and approach in ensuring there is an alignment with the client should we get the opportunity to work together;

Continue reading

Shattering the glass ceiling through commercial acumen

looking through glassAs women in business we are often reminded of the gender gap at senior levels, whether this is through a glance at the latest figures regarding comparative percentages of women in senior management and Board positions, an analysis of the gender pay gap, or simply in our day to day workplaces – particularly in the industries where I work!

There are thousands of reports and studies as to why gender gaps still exist, and thousands of training and professional development programs, advocacy groups, women’s mentoring and leadership networks, and educational tools designed to enable us to close this gap.  In fact closing the gender gap has become an industry in itself.

It was not until I recently had a ‘light bulb’ moment Continue reading

Why risk taking is more important now than ever

daredevil-mouseRecently two of our friends from Brazil arrived in Adelaide to make a new life for themselves – they have a good life in Brazil but decided it was time to take a leap of faith and do something completely different.

This made me reflect on the nature of risk and why taking risks, such as moving to a new country, add so much value to our personal and professional lives.

Today in business we are all faced Continue reading

Orientation towards self and others

personal compassI currently facilitate about 5 to 7 debriefs on culture and personal leadership per week and have come to notice a couple of key trends around peoples thinking.

Orientation towards Self

The orientation towards self factor is about how we see ourselves and how Continue reading

Re-thinking Sustainability

support sustainabilityIn a few weeks the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as “Paris 2015” will be held. The focus of this conference is to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

This conference is a good Continue reading