Building a client centric high performing organisation by design?

high-performing-teamsIn 2011 a landmark study on high performing workplaces was conducted by the Australian Business School, the University of NSW and the Australian Society for Knowledge Economics (Boedker, C., Vidgen, R.l, Meagher, K., Cogin, J., Mouritsen, J., & Runnalls, J. M. (2011,  Leadership, culture and management practices of high performing workplaces in Australia: The high performing workplaces index).   The study sought to “provide insights into the leadership, culture and management practices that higher performing workplaces deploy and benefit from”.  The study was funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations and included 77 organisations throughout Australia.

The study found that customer orientation was one of six key characteristics of high performance workplaces.  The study quotes Continue reading

Which successful local organisations should you be learning from?

think globalI love the phrase think global, act local.  It ensures we are thinking globally around trends that are occurring and shifts that are happening but have our local clients’ front and centre with everything we do.   It has become such an important part of our mindset in building our businesses.

By implementing this philosophy it forces you to look outside your comfort zone in all areas of business including how you benchmark yourself against your competition, what markets you are going to target and where you want to be seen as an industry expert. If you honestly believe Continue reading

Are you productive, destructive or constructive?

questions-to-askWorking in the space of collaborative contracting and high performance I have generally noticed that there are three core groups of behaviours that you find in a team environment or when contracting with an organisation.  I have defined them as constructive, productive or destructive.

Destructive people or organisations are motivated by high levels of insecurity and fear and are driven by self-preservation.  They reflect this Continue reading

Have you really thought about your values and what you stand for?

stand-out-from-the-crowdLike all good organisations, our team worked collaboratively to develop our values for our businesses. We implemented Patrick Lencioni’s approach of including values that are both non-negotiable and aspirational.  That is, the non-negotiable focus on what we cannot compromise and the aspirational focus on the values we aspire to have happening in our business.   In our professional lives everything we do coincides with these values and we have them clearly visible for all to see on the walls of our office.

Our values provide clarity around the types of clients we want to work with, the partners we want to be associated with and the employees we want to have within our team. It also sets Continue reading

Ugly Parents Still Exist at Kids Sports


I currently participate in my children’s sports either as a coach or a spectator.  For most of the year I was so impressed with the way parental behaviour had improved since I was a kid.  I still remember my under 10s coach walking onto the field to take over the umpiring because he had abused the umpire to such a degree that the umpire walked off.

I thought those days were done.  However on the weekend I observed an opposition coach at my daughter’s netball game publicly sanction behaviour of her under 8 girls that caused one of our girls to cry.  I also saw the opposition coach at the under 8 football match tell one of my players off for trying to tackle and told my son off for talking to much (which I can understand can be true!) when the golden rule as a coach is that you never talk to opposition kids unless it is to clap something they did well.

I thought to myself – Continue reading

Commit to learning like a university

As a university student who has recently undertaken work experience at BRS and fast approaching the end of my degree, I speak to a lot of recent graduates who lament the uselessness of so many of their courses:

“I don’t use any of that stuff anymore!”

“Why couldn’t they have taught us what we actually need to know!?”

“None of what we learned is actually useful in the real world!”

We spend a lot of our time approaching the concept of learning as a means to an end: we recognise that we don’t know something, so we commit to learning about it until we have the understanding required to move on. But that is usually where we stop. This is because Continue reading

What’s wrong with our focus on safety?

Businessman Stepping on Banana Peel --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Australia has come a long way with its commitment to safety.  Particularly in industrial high risk environments such as mining, manufacturing and infrastructure.  We have seen significant improvements in safety with systems, processes, and focus.  However from my experience many companies have started to plateau with regards to their safety performance.

From my perspective the next shift around safety will come from a greater focus on well-being and mental health.

The problem at the moment is that we focus on Continue reading

Gratitude, sacrifices made by others for you and why humility is a sign of great strength

_45434234_parents_afpI love golf. It is a game I have enjoyed playing from a very young age. One of my favourite golfers is Rory McIlroy.  He is a great role model, fearless and plays exceptional golf.  He has bounced back from challenges and from a very modest childhood environment where his parents sacrificed an enormous amount to give him the opportunity to live his dream of playing professional golf.

A recent article in The Australian detailed this journey very well.  The journalist had the opportunity to interview Rory soon after a recent win in the United States.  The discussions with Rory were far and wide.  They covered everything from his childhood, personal life, his wins and losses, friendships and family. 

Rory was very level headed and measured as the journalist took him through all of the topics in the article, with the exception of one. His parents and the sacrifices they made, which he could still vividly recall and remember.  Some of the quotes in the article that were telling included “I always remember my dad working three different jobs, for more than 90 hours a week“.  Another was “all the way through my youth, he did what I wanted to do rather than what he wanted to do.  My mum was the same, working around the clock to help me pay for tournaments when I got to nine or ten’.   Very insightful and humbling insights from him around the people he clearly loves and values. Continue reading

Asleep at the wheel of the South Australian economy

dodge-durango-ron-burgundy-asleep-at-the-wheelI live in South Australia and am a passionate about the State, the lifestyle and everything it has to offer.  It is a great place to live with a fantastic climate, food and wine precincts, easy to get around and a great place for a family to grow up in.   The one glaring gap which I have wrote about previously, is our economy.  It is an economy that has been on the decline for the last 15-20 years and is continuing to struggle notwithstanding the natural advantages and lifestyle I advocated in the previous blog link.  We have created very little jobs in this State and continue to have a mass exodus of our best and brightest leaving to the Eastern States or overseas for “greener pastures” due to the lack of opportunities in their own backyard.

I am not sure why there appears to be little urgency from Continue reading