Category Archives: Leadership

#1 Lyndal’s Pink Gems

What a fantastic weekend! 60km trek in searing heat (Saturday) and driving rain (Sunday) with a great team of new and old friends who valued the journey over the result, and still came in first by raising over $107,000 for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA.
While there are more pics to follow, this is what our journey looked like:
27kms in…

27kms in

It’s not too late to donate http://sy13.endcancer.org.au/site/TR/Events/Sydney2013?px=1075822&pg=personal&fr_id=1060

Cold, Wet and NEVER giving up…
Sunday

The START and FINISH lines
Start and FInish Line

Post walk bubble
Post walk Moet

It’s not too late to donate http://sy13.endcancer.org.au/site/TR/Events/Sydney2013?px=1075822&pg=personal&fr_id=1060

Why Generation Next Must Be Nurtured

Tonight, I had the privilege of watching a young woman of The Women’s College within The University of Sydney bring the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to rapturous applause and laughter.

With nothing more than astute insight and articulate delivery, 19 year old Nicola kicked off question time at Anne Summers Conversations with aplomb.

And I wasn’t the only Women’s College Alumna enjoying the spectacle from Row J ; alongside Labor heavyweights, Mr Wayne Swan and Mrs Tanya Plibersiek was Women’s College alumnae: Ros Strong and the first woman on the NSW Supreme Court, Judge Jane Matthews.

With both current and past students scattered around the Concert Hall, we caught up with the ever approachable Judge Matthews over a glass of Chandon prior to the show.

And while the iPhone pics on the Sydney Opera House forecourt failed to capture the elegance of the occasion, Dr Anne Summers and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, had it in bucket loads as they discussed treatment of women in the workplace of High Government, the prevalence of Misogyny and the tactics that worked/ failed in the face of patriarchy.

Politics aside, when you listen to Former Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard in the flesh, it really is very hard not to admire her.

For when it comes to appreciating and recognising strong, capable women and engaging through shared experience (not that I’ve ever been PM, but I have spent most of my career in male-dominated industry), when Julia talks candidly, you can’t but help prick an ear to listen intently.

For while you may not agree with what she says, it’s hard to deny just how rich chocolate caramel she can actually sound and how she can make even the most unsavoury decisions palatable.

Perhaps the true effect of her very distinctive drawl…

19 year old Law student, Nicola was wide-eyed and in a state of absolute delight on meeting Judge Matthews pre-show, however, when she kicked off question time with the PM on live television, this competent young woman did not take a backwards step.

Her instrument of choice? The confidence to ask Australia’s first female Prime Minister what advice she’d give the new Minister for Women: Prime MInister Tony Abbott.

Ms Gillard’s response was just as articulate and witty, a feature – it would appear – of the Anne Summers Conversations.

Can’t wait until the next one!

Look out for further details in Looking Glass

Women of Merit

Last week, Australian media was saturated with discussion of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s new cabinet.

Statistical comparisons with cabinets from New Zealand to Africa to Afghanistan were a plenty.

Discussions centring around how poorly Australia sits from a representation of women in politics, point of view.

While the Iraqi and Afghani comparison’s were a stretch at best.

In Australia, post Federal Election, it was as though the Australian media commentators had only just realised there was a dirth of qualified women in senior positions within the Liberal and National Parties.

Which is strange, because even casual observers wouldn’t have expected anything less, whether it be observing men:women ratios within Government, Automotive, Finance, Education and Sport or any other industry.

Is this appalling? Not in the face of the amount of time dedicated to evolving an informed change about it.

Why? Ours is a patriarchal society. And numerically, men lead.

The business environment sees men progressing to positions of power. Which is possibly more a reflection (outside of social influences) there are more of them to choose from.

And quite frankly, if the best person for the job is a man, then I’m fine with that.

But as Sue Boyce, Liberal Senator for Queensland pointed out on morning television last week, where in the
discourse of representation within cabinet do you hear discussion of ‘Men of Merit’?

What is disappointing is the fact we (Gen Next) make no effort to raise and engage in a sustained and new discussion about a number of things:
– failure of the Major Party Leadership to nurture promising young female party members (aka 1990s)
– how to raise and engage the interest of boys and girls in pursuing studies across the traditionally ‘male’ dominated professions of public service, finance, commerce and engineering.

Women are not escalated to senior positions in the interests of equity, but appointed on occasion.

So how are we intending on evolving it?

Or couldn’t we be bothered…

Media misuse and abuse = The New Media Sandwich

Athletes and Management behaving badly. It’s nothing new.
Recent developments in Australian sport make you wonder, why? when? and how?

Why are athletes calling press conferences to ‘state’ their position, prior to official discussions with their employer?

Why are professional sporting bodies calling press conferences, prior to the completion of official investigations?

When did these ‘scare them into submission’, ‘air our dirty laundry’ tactics become an appropriate form of professional issues management?

And how, did the power base of Australian sport shift so significantly that the CCA calls the major Australian sporting codes, yet fails to produce representatives of Olympic sports like swimming to discuss failures in team and drug management.

I’m a proud Australian, a keen observer of sport both here and abroad and a professional communicator. I suspect, I am also not the only person who finds the emergent ‘trial by media’ practice of sports management, abhorrent.

The Business of Australian Sport will suffer. And it really doesn’t need to.

Athletes and management excited about being in sports management, will always stumble. The trick is to put supports in place that provide the requisite guidance to ensure professional development both on and off the pitch.

This is not always easy in our new world of instagram, twitter and all things social media.

So as we evolve our understanding of dialogic interaction, thanks to the prevelance of mobile and social media communications, let’s not forget the art of conversation and business best practice.

How do I shut down Twitter?

The mere question rings alarm bells.

Moreso when reports out of the recent HMV experience suggest they were the words of HMV’s marketing director as HMV’s official twitter account was hijacked by disgruntled staff.

I’m no lawyer, but there is a reason internal communications are structured and handled differently than its external counterpart. There are legal, political and economic repercussions for businesses, hence why corporate messages are often ‘crafted’ and ‘approved’.

Now before you get all indignant about ethics and freedom of speech, it is timely to remember these are common, respected practices and behaviours of business men and women (of all ages) within the global business community.

However, for the rest of corporate Australia (and elsewhere) now is not the time to look down your nose at HMV management or their disgruntled staff and keen tweeters (I’m sure HR and engaged lawyers will cover that debate sufficiently).

It is however, time for management the world over to do an audit of strategic web-based marketing communications operations, focusing on process, procedures and governance.

Not sure where to start?

1.Start by acknowledging a title doesn’t determine superior knowledge. While it should reflect experience, in the constantly evolving world of ICT communication (embodying web-based, digital and social communications) a few conferences, or campaigns, an expert, it does not you make. (Not sure why, but Yoda seemed appropriate all of a sudden). Most companies are placing juniors in charge of digital communications (web and social media). I cringe every time a first or second year student seeks guidance for a job interview in social media which starts with: ‘how do I use it for business’ only to tell me the following week they are now the social media manager!

The savvy traditional marketing communications ‘experts’ (a term I cringe at whenever I hear it) are ‘dipping their toe in’, and playing it safe by applying the age old ‘suck and see method’ based on hunches, recommendations and gut instinct. When in doubt, this is a sensible, albeit soon to be dated approach (especially, if they’re outsourcing it!). More on that later…

2. Ask yourself, do I know who we (brand/ business) are?
That’s right, take it back to basics and ask yourself point blank, do I know who we (brand/ business/ team) are? You’d be stunned by how many successful business practitioners (and their staff) have NO IDEA how to answer this question comprehensively and succinctly.
If you’ve just discovered you’re one of them, then you have you’re opening question to your senior management team brainstorm right there.

3. Where are your team members in the great cycle that posits their professional life with your business/brand life cycle. Are they complimentary? Where are the gaps? Opportunities for growth? How and where can you best provide the necessary supports to lift your team as individuals as well as, a well-oiled marcomms machine to support your business…?

4. If you’re one of the few who answered question #2 with relative ease, then congratulations. You’re off to a great start. As the lead executive, ask yourself how you communicate down through your team, department, business and across key target markets and media. Be sure to identify the key points of variations within those communications, your teams’ response (as individuals and a group) and where they may be improved upon.

This step takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve realised you’re moving a littler slower all of a sudden…

As senior leaders, this is actually our FIRST real step in the process. It’s the one that exposes whether we have the entrepreneurial mindset that enables agility in strategic thinking and multi-channel campaign design. Thinking that drives market-leading specialists. It also enables clear aims, researched objectives and practical processes to be successfully married to the prerequisite sense and intrinsic response.

This is skill that in acquisition, is challenging and demanding in the most honest of ways. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t come straight away. It’s a skill that develops overtime.

A process that enables you as a professional to reflect on how you can better contribute to the success of your team and your business through applying thought leadership to management practice. A process that does not include (at any time) the question: How do I shut down anything.

Why? Because you saw the potential problem before it had the chance to arise.

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