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Contents REGULARS 5

Publisher’s Note

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News in Review

COLUMNS 7 How to Handle Conflict Among Your Employees 9

How to Help Others See Your Vision

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Understanding Google Analytics

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Integrating Google Apps for Your Business

FEATURES

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Your Journey to the Not-For-Profit Boardroom Raphael Goldsworthy – Managing Director, Better Boards Australasia

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COVER: David Koch Still A Leader & Mentor to Businesses Big & Small

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Emma & Tom’s Looking After Australia

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P&N Bank Harnessing the Power of &

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Make-A-Wish Foundation Psychological Intervention

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Samantha Chambers-Skeggs A Q&A on her first book, Ditch the Ladder

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Mondo Exclusive Homes Freedom and Flexibility

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Better Housing and Community Options It’s About to Get Interesting Michael Corcoran - National President, Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA)

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


The Australian Business Executive A division of Romulus Rising Pty Ltd ABN: 77 601 723 111 w: www.TheABE.tv t: (02) 8091 1410

Publisher’s Note

e: communications@theabe.tv Publisher Jesse Landry Writers Nicholas Paul Griffin Raul Betancourt Editorial Contributors Paul Amatril Arnie Taghoy Michael Hebron Design & Layout Bien Swinton Jr. Web & Digital Raizwan Butt Joed Locson

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or this edition’s cover story, I had the chance to catch up with David Koch at his Sydney offices. Kochie, as he’s affectionately known, has had an inspired career that’s seen him help found BRW magazine, before arriving in our homes each morning on Sunrise. Despite his busy schedule and national media presence, he continues to aid SMEs in their growth, and he shares his experience and tips with us in the pages ahead. We also feature some exceptional business from the West Coast in P&N Bank and Mondo Exclusive Homes. P&N is continuing its surge as a growing player in the credit union space and we discuss its turnaround story as it make inroads into the Eastern Australian markets. Over the coming months you’ll also begin to see podcast content appearing on our site www.TheABE.tv, which will include both ASX listed companies and executives, who will share insights on how they have progressed their corporate careers. We look forward to having you involved in the exciting changes taking place! As always, I hope you’ll enjoy. J. Landry Publisher The Australian Business Executive

Published quarterly, The Australian Business Executive (The ABE) provides an in depth view of business and economic development issues taking place across the country. Featuring interviews with top executives, government policy makers and prominent industry bodies The ABE examines the news beyond the headlines to uncover the drivers of local, state, and national affairs. All copy appearing in The Australian Business Executive is copyrighted. Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted without written permission. Any financial advice published in The Australian Business Executive or on www.TheABE.tv has been prepared without taking in to account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any reader. Neither The Australian Business Executive nor the publisher nor any of its employees hold any responsibility for any losses and or injury incurred (if any) by acting on information provided in this magazine. All opinions expressed are held solely by the contributors and are not endorsed by The Australian Business Executive or www.TheABE.tv. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but neither the editor nor the publisher can be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The publisher is not responsible for material submitted for consideration. The ABE is published by Romulus Rising Pty Ltd, ABN: 77 601 723 111.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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News In Review

ACCC Will Not Oppose Vocus Communications’ Move on Nextgen

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he Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will not oppose the proposed acquisition by Vocus Communications (ASX:VOC) (Vocus) of Nextgen Networks Group Pty Ltd and two development projects: the Australian Singapore Cable and the North West Cable System (together, Nextgen). The ACCC found that the services supplied by Vocus and Nextgen were largely complementary. Where there was overlap, the ACCC considered the combined competitive constraint from other major wholesale suppliers, namely Telstra, Optus, and TPG, would likely be sufficient to limit any harm to competition. The ACCC closely examined vertical integration issues in its assessment of the proposed acquisition. “In assessing this potential transaction, we took into account that Nextgen is the only remaining significant supplier of wholesale transmission services that isn’t vertically integrated. This possible acquisition has come under close scrutiny due to that fact, as I have said in the past that it would,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. “What the ACCC really had to consider here was whether the acquisition has the potential to make it harder for smaller broadband providers to compete if they have to acquire wholesale services from competitors that are vertically integrated.” Mr Sims said the market expressed very little concern over the proposed acquisition. “There was very little concern raised by market participants. Small broadband providers say they are not generally reliant on Nextgen to be able to compete. In addition, excess capacity in the wholesale transmission market provides an incentive for providers of wholesale transmission to sell that capacity, even if they are vertically integrated,” Mr Sims said. Post-acquisition, Vocus plans to expand its connection points to the NBN from 68 to 112 of a possible 121 nationwide NBN points of interconnect (POIs). This will provide additional wholesale options for smaller broadband providers at those POIs and will also offer access to a broader bundle of products. “While this proposed acquisition did not raise concerns, the ACCC will continue to keep a close watch on competition in the telecommunications industry especially given recent consolidation and increased vertical integration. The four largest retail service providers (Telstra, Optus, TPG, and Vocus) supply over 90% of broadband services in Australia. Any future potential mergers or acquisitions that increase concentration can expect to receive close examination from the ACCC,” Mr Sims said.

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BGC Contracting Joins Gold Industry Group

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ustralian mining and civil construction contractor BGC Contracting has joined the Gold Industry Group. BGC Contracting CEO Greg Heylen said the company was pleased to join the group which was making such an important contribution to the long-term future of the gold industry. “The gold sector has been a fundamental barometer of the health of the Australian economy, and particularly in Western Australia, for more than 100 years,” Mr Heylen said. “Ensuring a collective voice from all the participants of the sector will strengthen its position as a key economic driver for the future. “A strong and soundly based gold sector is absolutely vital for the economy as it reaches into so many different levels, from the miners, through the service providers and to the towns and local communities which are impacted.” Gold production in Australia reached a 15-year high of 9.4 million ounces in FY16, as resources firms moved to capitalise on the opportunity created by the current Australian dollar gold price approaching $1,750 per ounce, levels not seen since FY12, albeit assisted by a weaker exchange rate. Existing gold producers are optimising mining operations to lift output and strengthen their balance sheets, while development projects are being fast-tracked into production and exploration budgets re-evaluated. At current prices, the value of total Australian gold production in FY16 was $16 billion. Mr Heylen said that while the past couple of years had been good for participants in the gold sector, cycles and circumstances associated with global events and trends needed to be factored into planning. “Being part of a coordinated industry body will ensure the industry is on a sure footing to meet any challenges in the future,” he said. “The gold industry is a key part of BGC Contracting’s strategy to diversify into commodities beyond iron ore. We have built a strong reputation in the mining sector as a whole and recent contract success in the gold sector has reinforced this reputation as we seek to expand our reach into this precious metal. “In addition to specific gold industry expertise, which has included a strong presence in Kalgoorlie, our industry benchmark for a safe culture, performance and commitment to innovation will be significant contributors to our growth in this sector.” Gold Industry Group Chairman Richard Hayes welcomed BGC Contracting to its growing member base as more and more organisations see the importance of a united front for gold. “We are focused on promoting and supporting the gold sector across Australia and beyond to enable a strong, connected and sustainable gold industry now and into the future.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


How to Handle Conflict Among Your Employees

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n a perfect world, every person you’ve ever hired is a completely mature adult who is very socially aware, takes almost nothing personally, and has a nearly super-human ability to turn the other cheek when others don’t display similar qualities. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world—we live in this one. Sometimes you will be faced with having to deal with professional (or unprofessional) conf lict among your employees, c o n f l i c t t h a t m a y e ve n d e t r a c t f r o m t h e n o r m a l p r o duct iv it y i n t he work pla ce. W hile you may feel, as many do, that you can’t be bothered with your employees’ personality clashes, these are the sorts of problems that can escalate and affect the company’s reaching its goals. Morale can slowly erode over time as problems are left unaddressed and your employees start working against each other instead of as a team. Workplace politics can be very costly, and you will want to limit this kind of inefficiency as much as you can. So if you find that employees turn to you when they feel that there are unresolvable personal issues on their level, you might want to step up to the challenge and stamp these problems out at their root using some tried and true guidelines: 1) Don’t paint a rosy picture. It’s easy to delude oneself that a conflict doesn’t exist by sweeping it under the rug. For many people, this is their very definition of “professionalism”--to essentially pretend as if human nature and conflict is non-existent, rather than to address it directly in a mature way. You may be tempted to simply chastise your employees for their in-fighting, or to encourage them to ignore the seething problems underneath, but this will only lead to the illusion of peace. You might very well find over the long-term that your denial will come back to haunt you. Allow your employees to be honest with you about what is happening, and don’t try to compel them to sugar-coat things. 2) Strive to be non-judgmental. Do you want the truth? If you do, then your employees need to feel that you won’t over-react or otherwise make snap judgments about what they will share with you. Get both sides of the story during conflict-resolution, and try to remain as impartial as possible during your information-gathering phase.

Even if you hear about an employee doing something highly inappropriate, suspend your reaction for the moment, and listen carefully. This will encourage people to tell you the whole story, rather than just what they think you will be able to tolerate well. To truly get to the root of the problem, you will need the whole story. 3) Examine issues as quickly as possible and as they come. If you preferred to ignore conflict in the past, you may have noticed how it can seethe and blow up over time. Sure, some problems can “take care of themselves,” but this isn’t usually the case, so address conflicts as you become aware of them and smother them before they become bigger problems. If John comes to you complaining about how he thinks Karen took all the credit for the last major project, take this small resentment seriously and bring it out into the open before it turns into an all-out war of egos between two employees. 4) Help your employees see their common ground. When discussing the problem with your employees, try to see where they might agree amongst the disagreement. Using this starting point, you might actually be able to discover that the conflict was due to a misunderstanding. Often times, it is exactly as the cliché says: 10% of arguments are due to a difference of opinion; 90% are due to a wrong tone of voice. 5) Make a plan together that ends the tension. Ideally, all parties are involved when you come to a decision about some kind of resolution. Beware, however, of “compromise,” as it has a tendency to give both sides of the conflict less than what they want. It is much better to think win-win, and try to find a way for all employees involved to save face and have their needs met if possible. 6) Be pro-active about conflict resolution. One of the best approaches is to simply address problem s before t hey eve n happe n. I f you se e a n employee being negative, stepping all over the boundaries of others, or simply behav i ng i n a way t hat i nv it e s con f l ict , br i ng it t o h is a t t e n tion. Many people aren’t aware of how they affect others, and they may not even realize that the way they act causes the people around them to resent them.

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How to Handle Conflict Among Your Employees

In particular, examine employees that are in leadership or managerial positions. Power—even in relatively tiny quantities—can enhance personality problems, and an accumulation of small injustices against employees that are lower in the hierarchy can be disastrous for morale. For these sorts of people, do your best to encourage self-awareness. 7) Screen problematic people from the beginning. When assembling your team, it is extremely important that you take personalities into account as much as you do technical ability. It would be great if people could always put their differences aside and focus on their work with the precision and depersonalization of a f leet of robots, but technology is not yet that advanced. In the meantime, you will have to screen your employees as best you can before you even hire them. While you are interviewing potential team members, ask them about their personal relationships with coworkers at their previous place of work. Ask them about conf licts

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they’ve had in the past and how they handled them. If your prospect seems to pit the blame on others and seems to take no responsibility for his hand in things, then think twice about bringing him in. 8) Lead by example. As someone with a lot of inf luence, you could easily out-muscle anyone who disagrees with you by invoking your rank. Instead, show understanding towards others. Don’t take things personally when your employees have differing o p i n ion s f rom you r s, a nd g ive ea ch idea respect and consideration, even if you don’t personally agree. Mediating conf licts between employees and dealing with other similar human problems can be one of the more d if f icu lt pa r t s of bei ng i n a lea de r sh ip posit ion. Simply remember to remain calm and address the problems directly, rather than t r ying to ignore them, and half the bat tle is already won.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


How to Help Others See Your Vision By Raul Betancourt

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ne of the hardest tasks that you will be faced with in an entrepreneurial endeavor—or any journey that involves leading others—is helping people to see the end product of the vision that you have in your mind. Since you cannot simply transfer your thoughts into the minds of others, you have to face the non-trivial challenge of communicating past their personal biases and individual perspectives. No two people see the world in exactly the same way, but you must find a way to help others see at least a glimpse of your inner world in order for them to understand the bigger picture of what needs to be done. Hiring purely obedient contractors or employees that have no commitment to your larger story, and don’t really care about the end goals of their work is fine in some cases, but you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle to get people motivated and to understand the meaning of their role in it all. On the other hand, a person who sees your vision is much more likely to not need to be micromanaged, to be more adaptable to changes, and to understand intuitively what it is that you are looking for. In order to guide people towards your ends and help them to see your vision, it takes more than simply rational explanation. As much as the pieces seem to fit perfectly well in your mind as a logical whole, the truth is that people need a narrative to be the emotional glue that will hold all of these truths together for them. How do you do this, though? How do you induce people to see your project the way that you see it? Nothing you can do will guarantee it, but there are a few tactics that you can employ to help communicate your intent in a much better way than simply relaying a linear set of instructions day after day: 1) First, establish the team’s identity. People have much more of a sense of mission when they identify with their role. This sort of thinking is both a positive and negative trait in human beings; it has built empires as well as destroyed them. Use this powerful source of motivation to your advantage. Tell your team stories about what kind of people you are and what sort of character your organization has. Tie this identity to the kind of goals that you want to achieve. Take a cue from the likes of Walt Disney, who was ve r y spe cif ic i n t hat h is compa ny produce media that embodied a quality of childlike wonder.

Observe Steve Jobs and how he demanded nearly inhuman results from his team of “pirates” during the microcomputer revolution. “Who am I?” is a very important question to every per son, and if you can at least par tially answer that question for members of your team, you will gain devotion in return. 2) Explain the path towards your goal as if it has already happened. Describe things as clearly as if the finished product were sitting before you. Even if plans change, people work best when they feel that there is always a direction, something definite to shoot for. Speak in concrete terms, and see the goal the way you would if it was already done. A little haziness can happen sometimes, but you can’t expect people to latch onto fog. Tell them stories of what you want and exactly how you plan to get there. 3) Allow your team to give input every step of the way. People can get behind something much more easily when they feel a sense of ownership. They are also much more likely to understand what your goals are if they are an active par ticipant in discussions on how to get there. Reward your team members for good suggestions and constantly ask for their input. This might even help you to expand your own limited perspective when it comes to your projects. 4) Show concrete examples of what you want. Sometimes your vision may be for something that does not yet exist in this world, but a case like this is very rare. More often than not, there will be examples of other companies with similar goals who have achieved their ends. Offer real-world examples of the results that you want, and the member s of you r tea m w ill have a much e a s i e r t i m e u n d e r standing you. As you compare the abstract ideas floating a rou nd i n you r m i nd w it h t he concrete results of other organizations, you may even realize that you didn’t have it as well figured out as you originally thought.

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How to Help Others See Your Vision

5) Give your team a big “why.” You can try to communicate the path to your goal, and you can try to influence your team to personalize their roles, but ultimately this may not be enough if the individual members don’t have a big enough “why.” You may have observed that morale is particularly low in people who feel that their work has no meaning. If your team is struggling to find a meaning to what they’re doing, then they probably don’t understand your vision well enough. Sometimes the very thing that will snap everything else into focus is revealing why you are ultimately pursuing your specific goals. The why is what determines the how, and so it will allow your team members to better understand the anatomy of your goals. For example, if you decide that your business should enter a very untested market, then explain to your team members why you think that you will meet success on the other side. 10

Give specific reasons and share all of your research with them. Do not let the direction of your projects be a huge mystery while you play the dictator. No one works well if they believe they are being led to their possible doom. Ultimately, though, the best thing that you can do to clarify your vision to others is to first clarify it with yourself. As you write down your plan, think of all the details as carefully as possible. Does anything seem fuzzy? Are you having trouble putting something into words? Do you have any negative gut feelings about possible obstacles in the future? Perhaps these are areas where you are not yet clear yourself. Once your vision is fully articulated in your mind, it is much easier for others to get on board. An obvious confidence in what you want will almost always induce others to follow, and you might find that your actions and demeanor will do much more to explain your vision than your words.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Understanding Google Analytics By Raul Betancourt You will be prompted to answer a few basic questions about your website, and from there you will be offered a tracking code that you may copy and paste directly into the HTML of your site. Normally, you would place this in the area between the <head></ head> tags; however, if you are using content management software of some kind, there may be other ways to insert Google’s script that doesn’t require you to dig into the source code of your pages.

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t’s not uncommon for business owners to leave the IT matters to others, but in a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by technology, it helps to have a firm grasp of the tools that will turn your Internet marketing efforts into a success. Without staying on top of who is visiting your website and how long they stay, as well as other important demographic statistics, you will be at a definite disadvantage when it comes to streamlining your online presence to better serve your customers. You need to know if your website is effective and if it’s converting visitors into clients. Keeping and analyzing stats doesn’t have to be expensive, however, and in fact it has been greatly simplified over the years thanks to Google. Their analytics software—aptly named Google Analytics—provides a host of features that you can use to track potential customers who visit your company’s site. It is also very easy to get started, and involves only a few basic steps: Installing Analytics It takes little more than access to the back-end of your site and a Google account to start collecting valuable information. Make sure that you choose a secure account that only you have access to and visit http://www.google.com/analytics/ to sign up for Google Analytics.

Using Analytics for the First Time Google Analytics has a multitude of useful functions and can be overwhelming at first, so it’s best to concentrate on a few key areas when you’re getting started. As soon as you have had enough traffic trickling in, you will be able to see on your Google Analytics dashboard where in the world your traffic is coming from, the general age groups of your traffic, and what other sites on the Internet your visitors have been coming from. This in and of itself is valuable, but there are many more features. One of Google Analytics’ best traits is its real-time reporting. You can view statistics on specific visitors that are currently perusing your website, and you can even set Analytics to alert you the moment that certain events— such as your traffic reaching a certain threshold—occur. Customize Analytics for Your Goals Every business will have different goals for its site, and you can tailor Analytics to suit yours. For example, if you are concerned with a new sign-up form for your mailing list which you are A/B testing, you can set parameters to track the conversion rate. The same can be done when it comes to e-commerce sales on your site, or any other task that you are inducing your visitors to perform. Google Analytics is a versatile tool that is invaluable for any business that generates sales through its website. If you don’t already use this popular web application, it may be time to go through the short and simple sign-up process.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Integrating Google Apps for Your Business By Raul Betancourt

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ust about everyone these days uses at least a few of Google’s many useful services, both for personal use and for business purposes. While their crowning jewel is still their search engine technology, Google is much more than that these days. In fact, they have many products—most of which are free or inexpensive—that you can use to make your business life easier. One of these products is a web software suite called Google Apps for Work (formerly known as “Google Apps for Business”) which professionals can use for a host of functions, and that can be had for a paltry monthly fee. Google Apps for Work can streamline many processes in your business, especially when it comes to the human element, in a number of ways: Information Sharing Apps for Work offers a huge amount of storage, from 30 GB to virtually unlimited space, depending on the plan that you decide to go with. All of the material that you upload to Google Drive would be available to other members of your team, so there’s a central location to store important information and there’s no need to fiddle with e-mail attachments quite so much. In addition, you can maintain a communal schedule on Calender to keep everyone on the same page. An E-mail Address on Your Own Domain It’s not terribly difficult these days to buy your own domain and set up an email account, but Apps for Work integrates this process with Gmail, so you can use the familiar interface that you already know. Collaboration Apps Working with other professionals on documents and presentations the “old fashioned” way can be cumbersome. Normally, you would work individually and then attempt to combine results, but since Apps for Work is completely web-based, you can get things done much more efficiently. Multiple users can edit text documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets, and more at the same time. These apps can be accessed from just about any modern browser as well, so users on multiple platforms can participate. 12

In addition to the ability to work together on projects in real time, members of your team will have access to Google’s multi-faceted video conferencing app, Google Hangouts. You can use this to stay in touch via voice or video during every step of the creative process. Security and Archiving Many businesses need to keep records of communications received from clients or exchanged between team members. Often, this information is sensitive, and needs to be kept away from the easily-accessed, collaborative storage areas. This is where Google’s Vault comes in. For a small extra fee, it can be added to Apps for Work’s suite of tools, and it will store emails, chat logs, and other data safely until a time is specified for its deletion. The communications are also easily searchable, which makes looking for long-forgotten information simple and fast. Google Apps at Work has a lot to offer to business professionals, especially those who are looking for a lean, inexpensive solution that addresses common inefficiencies. It is less expensive than Microsoft’s offerings, and largely platform-independent, so at the very least it is worth a try if you need to keep your team in constant communication.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Your Journey to the NFP Boardroom By Raphael Goldsworthy – Managing Director, Better Boards Australasia

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oining a not-for-profit (NFP) board can be an exciting and rewarding step for executives. For many, holding an NFP directorship is a way to give back to the community or to an important cause, for others it may be a way to build their experience and skills with an eye toward a non-executive director career with for-profit companies. Joining an NFP board is a rewarding experience, but there are several things you should consider before accepting such a position. Here are six questions to ask yourself to help you at key stages on your journey to becoming an NFP director. Do I really have the time? It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of becoming an NFP director, particularly if you have been already been asked to join a board. This excitement leads to perhaps the biggest and most overlooked issue associated with being a director – enough time to contribute at the level required. The fact is that being an NFP director, of a small or large organisation, will take up a significant amount of your time. The time commitment required to fulfil a director role is approximately 30 hours per month – that works out at about 45 days per year you need to devote to a single director position. If you are already busy with work, family and other personal commitments it is all too easy to let the work required for your role on an NFP board slip to the bottom of the pile. It is also worth noting that as the size (by revenue) of the organisation increases, or if you hold a position on the board such as treasurer or chairperson, the time required to fulfil the role increases. In short, ask yourself whether you truly have the time, or are willing to make the time, to fulfil a board role. If you do not, there may be other ways you can better contribute to the organisation. Do I know how to perform a director role? Before taking on, or going in search of, an NFP director position, you should invest the time, energy and money to educate yourself about how to fulfil the role of an NFP director. Having a clear

understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an NFP director, what you should expect from a board, what it will expect from you, and the skills and knowledge required to fulfil the role is critically important. Having insights into these areas will also help you decide whether becom i ng an N FP di rector is really for you. There are no shortage of resources available to start educating yourself and as with everything these days you can spend anything from nothing to thousands of dollars on var iou s educational resources. The best place to start is with the abundant f ree resources available (Better Boards offers over 250 free articles on NFP governance and leadership at www.betterboards.net/ar ticles)before you commit to multi-day courses or c e r t i f icates. Once you have begun e d u c at ing yourself, however, it is definitely worth investing the money in some form of course or conference to further your education. It is worth noting that once you have attained a seat on a board the learning should not stop, you still need to invest in on-going education in exactly the same way you would for your professional development at work. Any board worth joining will encourage its directors to engage in on-going director professional development whether it is online courses, reading or attending director events and conferences. Don’t I have to be a lawyer or accountant to be on a board? Many NFP boards traditionally recruited accountants and lawyers to the board as in the past these were the types of skills, knowledge and experience their organisations required. However, most boards have now realised that a more diverse mix will help them create greater value for the organisation. A board with directors of only a single or limited range of professional backgrounds certainly does not provide that. Thus in their recruiting most smart boards have become focused on capabilities beyond d o m a i n of e xpertise in accounting, legal or general business/management skills.

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Your Journey to the NFP Boardroom

Whatever the professional skill set you have, it is likely there is an NFP out there that would welcome the contribution of your skill set at their boardroom. As an aside, directors with a high degree of literacy in technology are becoming more sought after by boards. A board will also be looking for things beyond purely technical knowledge that you may be able to bring to the table, such as your network and an ability to fundraise or influence important/key people in industry. You should also note that even if you are not an accountant or a lawyer, you will still need to have a good handle on the legal ins and outs of being a director, as well as how to read and understand financial documents. How do I find an NFP director position? While there are sometimes NFP director positions posted on online listing sites like Pro Bono Australia’s job listing ser vice, many director positions are not always widely advertised. Perhaps a more effective method is to let people know that you are looking for a board to join. Reaching out to people in your network is the first step and actively “keeping your ear to the ground” is equally important. Recruiters who specialise in paid director recruitment also sometimes take on NFP clients. Similar to when you are looking for any new position, recruiters can be a useful resource as they can leverage their own networks to help you find a position, plus they can help you prepare a tailored board C.V. – just recycling your executive C.V is not sufficient. Just as when you are job seeking, you should ensure you are prepared so that when the right NFP board position comes along you can put your best foot forward. Does the organisation align with my values? When you do find a board to join, it is important to ensure that your own personal purpose and values align with the purpose of the organisation. To do this you need to become clear on what your own personal purpose and values are. Uncovering your personal purpose is a process that takes time, but one that will pay dividends. A great f irst step to understanding your personal purpose is to take the Individual Purpose Diagnostic offered by Imperative. Once you truly know and understand your personal purpose, you can utilise this to assess whether there is a purpose fit between yourself and the NFP board you are planning to join. If the organisation has not explicitly articulated its purpose, look closely at the documented vision, mission and values. Also take the time to observe whether the stated vision, mission and values actually align with how the organisation, its directors and senior executives act and behave. Many people join NFP boards because they want to give back, but without aligning at a purpose, values and culture level with the organisation and its board, serving on the board may be a waste of time for both you and the organisation. 14

Have I undertaken the necessary due diligence? Before you join any board, even if it is attached to high prof ile organisation doing amazing work, make su re you u nder t a ke r igorou s due d iligence on t he organisation and its board. T he list of thi ngs you ne e d t o d o d u e d i l igence on is extensive, but it is i mportant to cover as much as you can in order to ensure that you are not placi ng you rself i n a bad sit uat ion. A s a d i r e c t or you d o t a ke o n sig n if icant legal r e s p o n sibilities, ones which if not properly f ulf illed can have ver y real consequences and r isks, many of which are le g a l ( b o t h c r i m i n a l a nd civ i l) but s ome a r e a l s o r e put at io n a l. At an absolute ba re m i n i mu m here a re f ive i m p or t a nt q u e s t io n s you shou ld a i m t o a n s we r a s p a r t of you r d u e d i l ige n c e p r o c e s s. 1. W h at t y p e of leg a l e nt it y i s t he or g a n i s at io n? T h i s a f fe c t s you r r e s p o n si bi l it ie s a nd p ot e nt i a l liabilit ies. 2 . A r e t he r e a ny c u r r e nt ly p e nd i ng o r p a s t leg a l (criminal or civil) claims against the organisat io n , its b oard or executive team? 3. W hat is the reputation of the organisation like in the w id e r c om mu n it y? 4. Have you been provided with the constitution/articles of i n c o r poration, a f ull set of up -to - d ate a u d i t e d f i n a n cials, the s t r at eg ic pl a n a nd a c o py of the board’s policies and procedures manual? 5. H ave you been provided with a position description that outlines what is expected of you and what you can expect from the board/organisation? T he key with due diligence is to ask plent y of q ue s tions and to keep on clar if yi ng thi ngs if s o m e thing just does not seem r ight. Joi n i ng a n N FP boa rd is a com m it ment t hat r e qui res ti me, k nowledge and sk ills, a com m it ment to ongoing learning and a commitment to the organisation’s purpose and mission. Joining a board is not for everyone. If you a re ser iou s about f i nd i ng a n N F P boa rd p o s i tion it may t a ke some ti me to f i nd, but i n the end becom i ng an N FP di rector can be a rewardi ng exper ience that can help you to ma ke a sig n if icant i mpact. Raphael Goldsworthy is the Managing Director of Better Boards Australasia. He regularly writes and speaks on leveraging the power of business for social go o d , gover na nc e , l e ader sh i p , t e ch nol o g y and not-for-prof its.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


David Koch: Still A Leader & Mentor to Businesses Big & Small

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David Koch

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ever be afraid of change. Always tr y and be at the forefront of it.” These are the words of David Koch—affectionately known as “Kochie” by his audience—a man of many talents who has worn many hats throughout the span of his career. Certainly not afraid of massive change himself, he began his rise in media as a financial journalist, becoming an editor and founding his own magazines before transitioning into his role as a host on Seven Network’s morning show Sunrise. While he continues to work as a presenter to this day, David Koch’s life is a testament to the power of flexibility and imagination in business, including the ability to seize opportunities when they arise. Though it is not uncommon for most people to choose a single career and then become “pigeonholed” into serving only a specific role, Koch urges against this mindset. “[My father] brought us kids up with a great saying: ‘Have enough confidence in yourself to give anything a go, but also have enough confidence in yourself that if it doesn’t work out, go and do something else.’” Koch’s strategy is one that relies on immediate decisions to produce results as soon as possible both in business and in life. “If I fail,” he says, “I fail quickly.” He also dismisses the notion of using ones responsibilities to others as a reason not to pursue new paths. “Never get stuck in a job that you hate.” Koch has long had a presence in the media, and his personal brand gives him significant leverage in his business endeavors. However, this does not mean everyday people who are less widely known can’t also harness the power of personal branding to generate media attention for themselves. “Stick to your strengths,” Koch says, explaining that he rarely deviates from his core target of personal finance and small business advice. “The first step is sticking to a specialty and building that specialty.” He emphasizes that specialized knowledge can be of huge value to others, and that many times this knowledge can be used to pivot into a variety of fields. “It’s building a brand that isn’t selfishly about you, but is about using your skills to help a broader community.” One of the main sectors in which Koch applies his own skills is in support of small organizations and businesses. “The big [mistake] people make —and particularly big organizations and big business—is that they think small business is big business, but on a smaller scale. They don’t understand that every small business is owned and operated by a living, breathing human being.” He explains that small businesses suffer from a completely different set of problems compared to larger corporations because owners usually have much more at stake personally. They can easily fall prey to burnout because of all the roles that they must play, and they are more easily affected by even small financial setbacks. “It’s life balance and cash flow,” Koch says. 16

“Those are probably the two biggest issues for small business.” In order to avoid the burnout that would inevitably come from working 16-hour days, Koch advises small business owners should “hire good people around [them], and to delegate. Not surrender, delegate.” He finds that he can’t related to the popular notion of an entrepreneur who sacrifices his personal life for success. “Anyone who says ‘I haven’t had a holiday in five years,’ they don’t get my admiration—they get my sympathy.” When it comes to the issue of scalability and whether or not small business owners should consider planning for future investment or sale, Koch believes that this should be a feature of any business from the beginning. “You should run your business as if you’re going to sell it, every day of the week,” he says. Many of his early successes involved selling his media properties to larger corporations, and then using the funds to move onto new endeavors. Another one of Koch’s major areas of interest is business web strategy, which he works on through his brand KBB Digital. “The secret [to digital marketing] is finding the right supplier and one that will work with your business,” he explains, “and understand[ing] how it operates, and the market you need to get to.” The most powerful aspect of web marketing, according to Koch, is how it can be targeted to the right audience. He advises that small businesses should make heavy use of modern digital marketing strategies. “The days of hoping that someone will find your website and get the information are long gone. You need to have a digital strategy that represents what you offer online and then drags people back to your online assets. Think of it as your online salesperson.” Finding a targeted, ideal customer that one can sell to for a lifetime should be the end goal, according to Koch. It is precisely this capturing of new customers that is often a struggle with small businesses, however. To ease one’s way into the minds of potential consumers, Koch says that content marketing is a modern, effective strategy, but that ultimately the actual deal is closed only when a business is willing to forge a personal relationship with its customers. “It all boils down to the human being.” These are all major lessons that Koch has learned over the years through both experience and a tendency to surround himself with highly successful individuals. He notes that the most successful people in business are those who are very passionate about what they do, but who still recognize the human element. Most i mpor tantly, he insists that the path to success requires appreciation for others. “[Successful business owners] build really good people around them and they’re not stingy in rewarding them.” Even when it comes to clients, Koch notes that a major advantage that small businesses have over corporations is the ability to make deals more personal. “[Customers] want to know who is representing their interests and build a relationship. And successful business owners actually do that.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Emma & Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: Looking After Australia By Nicholas Paul Griffin

Made possible by:

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Emma & Tom’s

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aking great pride in being Australian-owned, manufacturer Emma & Tom’s was founded in 2004 by childhood friends Emma Welsh and Tom Griffith. The company’s brand philosophy is ‘Look After Yourself’, an ethos that permeates the entire business, helping Emma & Tom’s to stay committed to keeping Australians in shape by providing nutritious, healthy whole fruit products with minimal processing.

Well-Travelled Founders

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t’s like a marriage basically,” explains co-founder Tom Griffith, discussing the logistics of running Emma & Tom’s with childhood friend Emma Welsh. “It needs to be on that level of openness and honesty.” The co-founders had known each other for many years by the time they started the business, having met at a swi m ming lesson in their home town of Melbourne at age twelve. Ms Welsh had gone to school with Mr Griffith’s sister, and the two soon became friends. “We sort of lived parallel lives, she was at Melbourne University and [then] I was at Melbourne University; she was in France and she would come skiing with us occasionally. We were both in London as part of our friendship group.”

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The origins of Emma & Tom’s go back to the beginning of the century, when its founders were plying their trades in very different industries. “I had been hired to a start-up in the UK, but our backer had lost £1.5 billion of his own wealth,” Mr Griffith says. Before the doomed start-up, Mr Griffith had been an advisor to drinks conglomerate Pernod Ricard in the UK. Previously, he had worked both in France and Australia for several years, ending up in the investment bank company, Merrill Lynch. “Emma had a more suitable background,” Mr Griffith says. “She had done a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, she was then a grain trader at Cargill, and then worked in commercial at Uncle Ben’s, so that’s very similar to what she’s doing now.” Ms Welsh then travelled to France to complete an MBA, before moving on to London to work for a year at LEK Consulting, before returning to Australia to land the job as head of consumer marketing for NAB (National Australia Bank). Soon after, the well-travelled duo began working on Emma & Tom’s, the fundamental idea for which was conceived by Mr Griffith whilst skiing, taking advantage of the unique challenges faced on the slopes. “After this job fell over and our backer lost his funding, I went and had a season in North America. When you ski, you’re obviously at altitude, and it’s also super cold, and you’re also exercising, so there’s three different causes of energy burn.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Emma & Tom’s

Mr Griffith noticed a gap in the Australian market for a beverage that would help replace this energy and approached Ms Welsh about starting the company. “[Emma] rang back about a week later and said yeah, let’s do it.”

Starting from Scratch

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mma & Tom’s began by manufacturing and selling bottled fruit juices, but has since expanded to offer a range of healthy beverages and snacks to the Australian public. But the process of starting up was not as straightforward as it might seem to be from the outside. “We started from scratch,” Mr Griffith says, “which in hindsight was kind of naïve. We had to get a bottle made - who makes bottles? We had no idea. We wanted a square bottle, because this was going to be suited for premium fridges.” The original idea was to create a product made from whole fruits, with no additives, no preservatives and no sugar. With such a specific product idea, creating the right packaging was an important part of getting the brand off the ground.

“So we went and found a bottle manufacturer who backed us. We showed them the spreadsheet, and they backed us. They didn’t ask for money, and designed a bottle for us, showed us the mould and the models and everything else and drew it up.” The same good fortune was on the company’s side when dealing with distribution, which was provided by a friend’s relative, as well the original design being undertaken by James Sadgrove, a designer recommended by one of Mr Griffith’s skiing friends. “James had done a couple of seasons at Whistler, unbeknownst to me, when I was there, and his father is Brian Sadgrove, a famous Australian design icon, who did all these famous brands, and James is his father’s son. We’ve worked with James ever since.” With each new contact that was made, the founders of Emma & Tom’s learned a little more about the business, developing the relationships that have helped it grow into the well-respected Australian-owned brand it is today. The next step was getting the drinks into the shops, a task achieved by drawing up a list of potential customers in the Sydney and Melbourne areas, ranked by location, suitability and potential volume. “Basically, once we had product,” Mr Griffith says, “we went around and tried to sell it. We gave people some free stuff and hopefully it sells, and if it sells then they order more. It was as simple as that.” Mr Griffith admits there is no secret formula to follow in order to get the product to customers, just a lot of hard work getting out and meeting with vendors, a process he says the company still engages in to this day. The company began by selling just four flavours, which were bottled in runs of a thousand litres at a time, filling about a pallet’s worth of product. The first production saw Emma & Tom’s with four pallets of drinks and no customers. Today the company offers 40 products. “Emma and I started working together in 2003,” Mr Griffith explains, “and we launched the first sale in 2004, so it took them a year to get it together. It scaled quite fast, so we went first from handing out excess juice for free to quite quickly increasing our volume.” After launching in September, the company discovered by the time Christmas came about that their customer base was up and r unning. This saw Emma & Tom’s begin to grow on two fronts, expanding the company vision and increasing the range. “[We were] trying to get more customers, because in those days we didn’t have that many, and then we started to think, well we’ve got these customers, let’s sell more to them. So we increased our juice range, with another couple of blends and a couple of straight juices.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Emma & Tom’s

In those early months, the company’s distribution was handled exclusively by a third party, which Mr Griff ith admits worked well for the f irst two or three years, but soon began to create signif icant problems for the business. “We found that we had flat-lining sales,” Mr Griff ith says, “and we found that really dealing with that distributor wholly and solely wasn’t going to be good enough for us, because they had a phone book of suppliers.” The original arrangement saw the company losing customers due to the inadequate dist ribution ser vice being offered, despite a general regard for the product. This prompted Emma & Tom’s to change tacks and start selling out of a van, door-to-door. “So we took distribution into our own hands, and we’ve now got 40 vans today. What was good about it is, you’re seeing new customers and you’re selling them juice and while the handbrake’s on, let’s sell them other things.” After about a year of handling its own distribution, recognising how fast the customer base was growing, and seeing increased opportunities for bigger individual transactions, the company began to branch out to a whole new range of product. “You’ve got people wanting to look for healthy options, and whilst we all like a cookiethey’re made from butter and sugar and f loura bar made from dried fruit and walnuts would be a healthy alternative, which it has proved to be.” This realisation led to the company developing a range of dried fruit and nut bars, which now represents the biggest selling category in the health food section, as well as ranges of brewed iced tea, quenchers and a range of sparkling fruit juices.

really expensive. And whilst doing that, you’re shipping bottles from the bottling plant to the contract labeller, and it cost us $100,000.” Eventually, an agreement was reached whereby the labelling was provided and the bottling manufacturer agreed to the terms, 18 months after the company was launched. Although the company was approached by supermarkets about taking the product, Emma & Tom’s recognised a more prosperous market in local delicatessens and cafes, offering greater potential for premium products which can be hard to make stand out in the shops. “If you go into your favourite café or deli for lunch and are recommended a super premium Emma & Tom’s,” Mr Griffith explains, “you don’t feel you’re being advertised at, you feel you’ve discovered it yourself and you go and tell your friends. It’s a great place to grow the brand.” Another success story has been the level of interest the company has gained on such a modest marketing strategy, a strategy that consists of vans driving around Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth delivering and promoting the product. “Think of a van as having the value of a bus-stop billboard, that’s one way to value it. The other way is to think of the populations of those cities and suburban areas, and we probably get about two and a half million views per week just off the vans, so that’s been good.”

Getting the Word Out

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s w it h all st a r t-up compa n ies, Em ma & Tom’s e x p e rienced a few teething problems when taking that long journey from its beginnings to becom i ng a reputable, successful supplier of healthy drinks and snacks. A month before the launch of the first bottling run, the company was contacted by the bottlers and told it wouldn’t be able to do the work because of the difficulty in labelling the square bottle that Mr Griffith had been so keen on. “So we found a contract labeller in Melbourne, for the k nock down price of seven cents a bottle, which is 20

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Emma & Tom’s

This strategy is aligned with the point-of-sale itself, which has visibility in around 3,000 quality, high-end independent cafes and delis across Australia, and in the major grocery chains, creating a fantastic brand association for the company. “We’ve done some PR obviously,” Mr Griffith adds. “We do some public speaking, which we do primarily to have conversations with the Australian consumer and [to increase] brand recognition.” In order to undertake these speaking engagements, Emma & Tom’s has teamed up with Saxton, Australia’s leading speakers bureau, to get the word outan association which the company enjoys enormously. “Saxton is a wonderful business, they’re incredibly professional. It’s owned by a couple, Nanette Moulton and Winston Broadbent, and they’ve backed us as well, and they’ve given us time to develop our presentation.” This relationship has led to many business opportunities for the company, as both co-founders have been invited to speak at industry events that have helped them develop direct contacts with like-minded business people. “Whether it leads to an increase in general sales, I don’t know,” Mr Griffith says. “It obviously improves the brand awareness. You always get numerous communications after doing one of those talks, people want to see you about their products or they have an idea.” “One of our brand attributes is that we’re real. That’s one of the main words people refer to us as being, and we are. Emma’s real and I’m real, we both work in the business, we’re very engaged in the business. It’s our full time job.” Emma & Tom’s employs ‘real’, friendly staff, represented by the van drivers who are out and about day-in and day-out greeting and serving the public. On top of that, the ingredients and the products are real, meaning people are particularly keen to hear the company’s story.

“When we first launched, we’d come from big corporate backgrounds, which can probably be a disadvantage as well. The minute the phone rang, we thought ‘what is it this time?’ You’ve just got to knuckle in and solve your problems, and defend your turf.” For Emma & Tom’s, the journey has only just begun, with Mr Griffith admitting there is still some way to go before the company achieves its goals, that it is currently just “ten years down a thirty-year journey.” “[The business wasn’t built] to flip, there was never any consideration of that. We want to build a big, sustainable business. We can just nurture a solid, sustainable, good margin business, and bring our team on with us.” With the company growing at 30% year-on-year, a growth level Mr Griffith believes is good, but could be higher, Emma & Tom’s will aim to do more work within the Australian grocery market going forward to help increase profits. In addition to the company’s future plans, a recent partnership with the Cotton On Foundation has seen it help with raising money to alleviate the significant problem of youth homelessness in Australia. “It’s been going for a year now. We sell bottled water, which we sell out of our 40 vans, and just pass on the full margin, less production costs, but not any of our costs, to the charity. We can use our infrastructure for free, but we get the chance to work with a cause.”

Going It Alone

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n light of the company’s success, Mr Griffith admits that starting a business can be a very taxing experience. “You’ve got to obviously love it,” he explains, “because it’s not like a job, you can’t just detach from it one day and have a change.” “I think having cash is important. A lot of people start these things underfunded, and they haven’t got the cash to see it through, and so they lose their initial investment when it was going to take actually more to see their concept come to fruition.” As part of the business, Emma & Tom’s has developed a close relationship with National Australia Bank, keeping the bank up to speed on company finances and as a result received support from NAB.

Emma & Tom’s Co-Founder Tom Griffith

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Emma & Tom’s

Emma & Tom’s took their distribution in-house, allowing them to act as their own distributors to get closer to their customers and cross-sell their expanding product range

The project is called the Unite Project, and has already proven to be incredibly popular with the team and the customers, raising awareness and providing funds for an extremely worthwhile cause. “All those proceeds go to a charity called Ladder, and Ladder is a charity that fights youth homelessness. S o we’r e d oi n g t h a t , w h i c h we’r e e njoy i n g b e i n g i nvolved in, and now that the business has a bit of a platform, we can do it.” In addition, the company is already underway in its que st for i nt e r nat ional expa n sion , hav i ng re ce ntly established a supplier in Jordan, which will be the cornerstone of the company’s Middle Eastern business. “And we export our first containers to Malaysia this week,” Mr Griffith adds. “We’ve had quite a lot of interest in China, but as you can imagine, it’s about picking the best person or people to go with.” At the moment, the company will be exporting to its foreign markets, but Mr Griffith recognises that once a market reaches a certain volume, it will make more sense to move manufacturing operations over there. 22

“We’re about to star t expor ting bars to the U K,” Mr Griff ith goes on to explain, “quite soon, and once the f irst few containers go, we’ll f ly across and f ind manufact uring facilities in the U K.” One of the main benef its of the business for Em ma & Tom’s is its wide customer base. In a world where people are thin king more about staying healthy, there are no restrictions to the consumers the company can reach. “O u r con su me r s r a nge f rom 2-yea r- old s t o 85 -yea r- old s. Howeve r, t he major it y a re female s [f rom age s] 20 -35, be cau se t r a d it ional ly g i rls eat bet t e r t ha n boys. But , si m ila rly, my fat he r is 85 a nd t a ke s t he ba r s rou nd i n h is gol f bag, so eve r yone l i ke s t o eat wel l.” T he compa ny ha s t he refore always t a ke n t he view that people are happier when they are healthie r, meaning if people eat well, they stay well. Mr Griff it h a d m it s t h is is t he m ai n rea son Em m a & Tom’s st af f goe s t o work , t o ke e p t he pe ople of Au st r al ia healt hy a nd happy.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


P&N Bank: Harnessing the Power of & By Nicholas Paul Griffin

Made possible by: CEO Andrew Hadley 23


P&N Bank

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ester n Australia’s P&N Bank is the state’s foremost customer-owned bank. After the Glob a l Fi nancial Crisis, and experiencing a period of stagnant growth and performance, the company appoi nted A nd r e w H a d le y a s C E O i n a n ef for t t o r e i nv igorate the business. 25 years ago, Mr Hadley was already working in the customer-owned financial services industry, employed by CUA, the largest customer-owned f inancial services institution in Australia. “I worked my way up through the sales ranks initially, and went on to lead the branch network, contact centres and all the member-facing aspects of the business. I was then fortunate enough to have a stint running their subsidiary companies and back office operations.” In his final role with CUA, he was responsible for strategy and marketing. Over twenty years with the company, he was afforded several excellent opportunities to see exactly how the business worked. In 2012, he left the company to try his hand at something new and challenging. “I spent about 6-8 months in management consulting,” Mr Hadley says. “I then subsequently took up a role with CGU, who are part of the IAG group, and enjoyed what was a relatively brief stint in a different industry, in insurance.”

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In early 2014, the opportunity arose to join P&N Bank. Mr Hadley acknowledges that most of his professional life had been based around customer-owned banking. He understood the kind of challenges that the bank was facing, so he was seen as the best candidate to take the bank on the next phase of its journey. P&N, known as Police & Nurses Credit Society until 2013, had previously been one of the more successful financial institutions, but like many others, it had seen its growth stall after the GFC. “Certainly, in the two or three years prior to my starting,” Mr Hadley explains, “there hadn’t been a lot of growth in the balance sheet. So I think the board recognised it was time for a change, and I was obviously delighted when they asked me to come on board.”

Bigger & Better

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&N Bank is now one of the top ten customer-owned f i nancial institutions in the countr y, the largest customer-owned bank in Wester n Australia, and offers a full suite of retail banking products, with about 90,000 active members and assets of $3.7 billion.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


P&N Bank

“We operate predominantly in the Western Australian market,” says Mr Hadley, “and have a network of 15 branches. We operate a locally-based contact centre here in Perth, and are part of the second largest ATM network through rediATM.” Mr Hadley realised early in his tenure that growing the business would be an essential part of his agenda as CEO. In the first few months of the job, he set about implementing several key projects to begin driving this growth. “First and foremost was to understand the brand, and what it stood for. Beyond that, we needed to put in place a new five-year strategy, and the third and very important part of it was being very clear about what our customer value proposition was.” These important changes helped P&N become one of the fastest growing banks in Australia, a journey that began with brand understanding, recognising what differentiates P&N from the country’s four major banks, or one of the many other customer-owned banks. Mr Hadley admits he was always confident that growth would come, and spent a long time ensuring the bank was equipped to handle this growth by having the appropriate platform in place to do so.

“Within our strategic plan,” he says, “one of the three key themes is around improving organisational effectiveness, and we certainly spent the best part of the first twelve months focussed on that area.” These developments included process improvements, upgrades to lending platforms, investment in leadership capability and talent management, and a lot of work around risk, essentially transforming the existing culture of the bank. “Our leaders were re-educated in how to have quality coaching conversations. Our staff in the branches were t rained and educated on how to have a needs-based conversation with the customer, and we saw some phenomenal success stories.” This success could also be seen in the improvement of more than 200% in process efficiency. This growth in eff iciency is often looked at in terms of loan processing capabilities, essentially the volumes processed per FTE and the improvement in service level agreements. “There was a raft of decisions that we made in relation to process and policy, and the end result [was] we were able to process a lot more loans a lot quicker than we had in the past, and ultimately it’s our bor rowers who are the beneficiaries of those enhancements.”

Onwards & Upwards

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owards the end of 2014, P&N launched its Internal Brand Belief, an initiative designed to outline exactly what the brand stands for. The following 12 months were spent working on a Member Value Proposition and how to take it to market. “The brand is fundamentally premised on the notion of people being stronger together, and that the power of the collective can enhance the value of an individual. So in the end, we opted for a platform that we know as ‘The Power of &’ to take our member value proposition to market.” There are four pillars that the bank focusses on. “[These are] people, product, place and presence. Early on in the piece the focus was very much around the product and presence aspects. We knew we needed to simplify the products, and we undertook research to understand what that looked like.” This research resulted in the creation of the ‘& bag’ product line, beginning with a very competitive home loan that included a platinum credit card offering at the same low rate. The Home Loan & Bag has gone on to be very successful for the bank. “The research clearly told us that one of the things that consumers did not like was the notion of being forced into product bundles, so we deliberately didn’t do that, and in essence pulled together a list of attractive features that people could opt in or out of.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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P&N Bank

P&N Bank continues its growth beyond Western Australia The bank’s brand belief and Power of & Platform form the basis of decision-making across the business. “You see evidence of that through a number of the initiatives that we’ve created like our ‘Helping &’s’ community giving programme’. It’s early days, [but] we’ve certainly seen a huge uplift since we launched ‘The Power of &’ back in October 2015.” The campaign, recognised at the 2016 AB+F Retail Banking Awards as Campaign of the Year, began with a series of TV advertisements, along with the recognition that the ban k needed to explain the concept to consumers before it would connect on a level where tangible results could be seen. “We then moved into a phase where we began to own ‘&’ and we did that through our product ‘& bags’, and we’re moving into the final phase of the campaign now, which is very much about ‘Living &’.”

Listening & Learning

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Winning the Roy Morgan Bank of the Year award, an independent survey which is conducted on a monthly basis to around 23,000 respondents, has proved that P&N has something that many of its competitors don’t. “Off the back of that,” Mr Hadley explains, “[Roy Morgan] clearly get some good insight, not just into financial services, but into a whole host of different industry measures. So, to get that independent validation was really important to us.” T he awa rd h ig h l ig ht ed t he ext e n sive cha nge s implemented by Mr Hadley on his appointment to the position of CEO, and was therefore a good barometer for how well those changes had performed. “Whilst we had seen positive increases in terms of NPS, it was just nice to have that independent assessment. It was not only beating the big four banks, and the various regional banks, but all the customer-owned financial institutions at the same time.” This connection to the customer is integral to the business, and Mr Hadley is adamant that P&N would never consider outsourcing or offshoring its customer facing functions. “We have about 35 to 40 people based in our local contact centre here in Perth,” he says. Likewise, the access P&N provides its customers to ATM services by partnering with rediATM, although a relatively small part of what the bank does, is nevertheless further indicative of a customer-first approach. What that means for P&N is, it doesn’t matter whether our members are in Perth, or travelling out of state, they can go and use any machine in the rediATM network without having to pay to do so.

ustomer satisfaction and brand trust are two elements high on the agenda at P&N. In fact, Mr Hadley says, all customer-owned financial institutions of their kind are renowned for high levels of customer service. “P&N was recognised as Bank of the Year by Roy Morgan in terms of Customer Satisfaction back in 2014 and we continue to often top the monthly table since our rebrand,” he says. “We also enjoy world-class Net Promoter Scores [NPS], which are measures of customer advocacy, so we know we’re getting that right.” 26 The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


P&N Bank

Out & About

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n important part of the bank’s overall value proposition is the impact of its community initiative, making sure that the ‘presence’ pillar of its strategy provides great representation in the local area. “Being the locally-owned bank here in Western Australia, we have a social license and social responsibility as well, and we wanted to make sure that we were giving back to the community, so we put in place what we refer to as our ‘Flourish Foundation’.” This project incorporates a number of different initiatives, beginning with a community-giving programme known as ‘Helping &nds’, which sees the bank’s members and staff nominating the groups and individuals who receive support together with members voting on the group outcome. “We’ve [also] put in place a volunteering programme which we call ‘Flourish at Work’, where our staff actively get involved in community activities, and whilst that’s only about six months old, we’ve already had in excess of 25% of our staff participate.” In addition, the bank fosters a number of community partnerships, supported through the ‘We Champion’ programme, celebrating worthwhile causes the bank feels particularly passionate about. “The final aspect is what we refer to as our ‘Member Moments’, and that’s a relationship-based platform where we take the opportunity to recognise things that are happening in a very timely manner with our individual members. That could be, somebody’s been ill or has had a significant life event that we can respond to.” Even though it is still early days for many of these initiatives, the bank views community as critical to its success, and as such the ‘Flourish Foundation project forms an integral part of P&N’s strategy going forward.

The power of & campaign

Under CEO Andrew Hadley, P&N Bank is receiving the recognition it deserves

Growing & Sharing

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he third and final strategic focus for us is around partnering for growth. With digital technology at the forefront of the future of banking, we recognise that we are, relatively speaking, a smaller financial institution, and therefore can’t build everything ourselves. So where it makes sense to do so, we will look to partner with like-minded institutions.” These partnerships might include shared investments, or realising economies of scale, and have been formed with many different institutions, not just those in the financial services sector. “We partnered with another credit union to create our new website,” Mr Hadley explains, “which was a project that in our own right would have taken in excess of twelve months. We managed to get that to market in four.” Similarly, P&N has been an early adopter of the e-settlement platform, and continues to be involved in various conversations where opportunities are presented to partner with other institutions that will offer some benefit. “That sums up what we refer to as our strategic plan,” Mr Hadley says. “It is relatively simple and straightforward, and it’s deliberately that way, but clearly from the results we’ve seen, particularly over the past eighteen months, we think we’ve got the messaging right.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Make-A-Wish: Psychological Intervention By Nicholas Paul Griffin

Made possible by:

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CEO Gerard Menses


Make-A-Wish Foundation

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ounded in 1985, Make-A-Wish Australia works to provide very sick children and teenagers with tangible hope for the future. By receiving once-in-a-lifetime experiences, these children are offered not only moments of joy, but the strength to face the challenges their illness puts in front of them. Thirty years after its inception, the organisation has granted wishes to many thousands of children with life-threatening illnesses. One of the people behind this success is CEO Gerard Menses, a man with a wealth of experience in helping those in need.

Gerard Menses

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’ve had quite a varied background,” Mr Menses says. “I started as an assistant to the Anglican chaplain at Macquarie University. I worked as a school counsellor, and family therapist. I actually started doing work with young offenders running Anglicare’s Care Force.”

We did ground-breaking work with young offenders who required out of home care. Mr Menses admits that his work with young offenders was the perfect preparation for the world of management. During this time, a large amount of exciting and creative work was done with troubled you ng people, creat i ng a context of success w it h i n challenging lives. “ I t h e n m ove d t o S o u t h Au s t r a l i a . My w i fe b e came the director of the National Tr ust there, and I worked as a t herapist w it h t he D ulw ich Cent re, wh ich is one of t he le a d i ng fa m ily t herapy cent res i n t he world. It’s a ver y exciting place to work.” Experience with young offenders showed that they need more than psychological help and that it was critical to challenge the unintended str uctural bar riers keeping them i n a v ic io u s c ycle of p ove r t y o r c r i m e. T h e y n e e d e d o p p o r tunities provided by more stable housing, suppor tive education and employment So Mr Menses, became involved in the not-for-prof it sector in South Australia.

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Make-A-Wish Foundation

“I [then] ran the South Australian Council Social Service, and I did a really intense apprenticeship in politics, economics, government lobbying, and it was great job, because I was representing the entire not-for-profit sector in the state and getting to challenge structural poverty” This work also provided Mr Menses with a fantastic opportunity to learn about the workings of the not-for-profit sector, knowledge which has continued to serve him well in the later roles of his career. “I then accepted an offer to run,” he explains, “what was then called Anglican Community Services, in South Aust ralia, and merge all the different small A nglican ser vices into one big organisation.” The organisation became known as AnglicareSA; indeed Mr Menses was the architect of all Australian Anglican welfare organisations adopting the common name of Anglicare. After his work with AnglicareSA, he was asked to run Australia’s biggest state-based charity, Endeavour, in Queensland. Endeavour helps people with intellectual disabilities, and at the time was in some organisational trouble. “The organisation received minimal government funding. In essence Endeavour was being asked to provide 24/7 supported care for individuals at a cost to government of only $4,000/year/individual. At the same time State

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Government services were costing $150,000/year/individual. Endeavour’s services were independently assessed to actually be of the same quality, if not better, than the Government’s. We won an addition $30m recurrent funding and ensured the long term security of many people with intellectual disability. Endeavour was an amazing organisation and provided a lot of commercial experiences as we transformed the prize home lottery, reinvented a chain of 52 op shops and reformed 52 “sheltered workshops” into supported business enterprises. On the back of his exper ience with Endeavou r, Mr Menses was invited to lead Vision Australia, a project that brought together the three biggest blindness organisations in Australia. “We subsequently brought eight [blindness organisations] together,” Mr Menses says, “to create this national organisation working with people who are blind or have low vision. And that again was just an amazing experience.” The project helped the organisation build to be the biggest service provider in Australia. After successfully delivering on this enormous project Mr Menses took a short sabbatical after several years of incredibly tough charity work. “When Make-A-Wish asked me to come in, and I wasn’t certain about taking on the leadership of what was then a relatively small organisation, but I am so pleased I did.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Make-A-Wish Foundation

Originally, Mr Menses agreed to do just two years with the organisation. He has now been working with them for four years, and freely admits that he’s fallen in love with the place and the work. “It’s brought me back to my therapeutic roots. It’s brought me back to being much more creative. It’s brought me back to working directly with individuals, and I’m able to use all the skills I’ve got from the bigger organisations to help this place grow.” As part of the international network, Mr Menses is Chair of all the international affiliates, representing them to the international body. “I’ve got the scale that keeps me intellectually challenged,” he says, “and I’ve got emotional and direct work that keeps me satisfied.”

Using the Imagination

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he organisation’s vision is to give every eligible child a wish. Make-A-Wish provides wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, which they must have to qualify. This doesn’t mean, however, that all the children are terminally ill. “Most people think that what we do is give gifts to a dying child, and that’s not the case at all. We actually are making a psychological intervention with a very sick child, to give them the emotional strength they need to overcome the illness.” Some of the children do have terminal illnesses, but for the most part it includes complex medical conditions such as cancer, tumours and other similar conditions with the real potential of shortening or ending the child’s life. “70% of the children who we work with go into remission,” Mr Menses explains, “or move on to live a longer life. We describe ourselves as an essential component of the medical system, and I sometimes jokingly say that we’re too beautiful to be taken seriously.” I say this as the media usually only report the wish itself rather than the amazing transformation it brings. The organisation endeavours to harness a child’s imagination, looking to identify the one true wish in their heart, and to then work with them to help them anticipate the realisation of this wish, before going on to realise it beyond their expectations. “[If we] do this say, over an eighteen month to two-year period, we actually build the child’s resilience. We give them something to live for. We give them something to ground them and normalise them, because once they’re in the medical system, they get into a negative spiral.”

Scarlett’s Unicorn Wish. Image: Rob Leeson, provided courtesy of The Herald Sun The wish and the anticipation of the wish help a child cope with the endless medical questions, treatments and hospitals, during which they have little chance of experiencing normalcy. It helps children look beyond this reality and gives them something to live for. “A lot of kids will tell us: I actually don’t want my wish until I’m well. And it actually helps the family as well. It gives the family something to do other than talking about the child’s illness. They can talk about what they’re going to do with the wish.” Recent scientific studies, such as one by Israeli psychologist Anat Shoshani, give credence to the positive psychology of the process, showing that if a child receives a wish, he or she sleeps and eats better, has reduced anxiety and is able to retain a more positive outlook on life. “Arguably, [the child] even responds to the medication better than a child that doesn’t get a wish,” Mr Menses adds. “In Spain, Make-A-Wish is actually physically part of the medical team, and there are three specific instances where they will prescribe a wish.” The first instance of this is palliative care, where the condition is terminal. The second is in cases where the child is not responding to medication, and the third is to help the child in the final stages of recovery, giving them additional motivation to fully recover. “It’s fantastic work, because it’s just so creative. It’s very emotional work, because you’re dealing with children and families at an extraordinarily difficult time in their lives. But it’s such uplifting and inspirational work.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Make-A-Wish Foundation

The journey of the wish has a transformative effect, not just on the child, but on the entire family. Mr Menses admits that one of the most exciting parts for him is that it also manages to have a transformative effect on communities. “Domenic [Pace] wanted to be Iron Boy. Domenic has Cystic Fibrosis, and Domenic felt weak and he wanted to be strong, that’s what his wish was actually about. His wish was about finding strength.” With the help of Disney, Make-A-Wish was able to make Domenic’s wish come true, resulting in thousands of people turning up to watch him battle Ultron on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in February this year. “Thousands of people tweeted and spoke to us about how this actually gave them hope, and reaffirmed their own dream. Two billion people worldwide saw that wish or were touched by that wish, because it just went crazy around the world with twitter and other social media”. The response to Domenic’s wish was on the same scale as that received by American cancer survivor Miles Scott, whose dream to be Batman for a day garnered worldwide attention as he took to the streets of San Francisco as the Caped Crusader. “The community is looking for hope, and Make-A-Wish is there giving it in spades. I believe it helps us reconnect with those years when we were child ren, with the wonder ment of imagination and the power and innocence of the belief that we had.”

This sense of wonderment and imagination is typified by many of the wishes the organisation grants, such as that of five-year-old Scarlett, who wanted to see a unicorn fly, with a horn that tasted like a rainbow. “We made the impossible possible for Scarlett,” Mr Menses says, “and therefore we are also making it possible that she can get well. So it’s a very powerful psychological intervention.”

Forward Steps

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n terms of the progression of the organisation, Mr Menses is looking to reach two goals. First is to make sure that the power of the wish and what it can achieve is properly harnessed, so it can in turn have a positive effect on families and communities. “It’s a carefully designed psychological intervention to create hope, strength and joy,” he explains. “To give the child the emotional armoury they need to have the best chance of life. We’ve rediscovered that in the organisation, that’s giving us a lot of energy.” Secondly, Mr Menses insists the organisation must now go on to realise its vision, and believe it’s a vision that is possible to achieve, which is to reach every child in Australia with a life-threatening medical condition.

“Most people think that what we do is give gifts to a dying child, and that’s not the case at all. We actually are making a psychological intervention with a very sick child, to give them the emotional strength they need to overcome the illness.”

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The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Make-A-Wish Foundation

Keely, 13, diagnosed with Hemimegalencephaly, wished to visit Playschool

“That means we need to do 2,000 wishes a year, and that means we need to quadruple the number of wishes we’re currently doing, because we’re only doing 500. We, together as an organisation, since I’ve started, have moved from 300 wishes, getting up close to 600 now.” In Australia, six children every day are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, meaning Make-A-Wish needs to drastically increase its output to keep up with the number of eligible children who would benefit from their service. “We understand, from medical statistics, that there are at least seven and a half thousand children in Australia living with a life-threatening medical condition, and we want to get to every single one of them.” The target of 2,000 per year would allow the organisation to first catch up with the amount of eligible children already in the country, before moving on to reach all future children in a way that is physically possible to achieve. “So that’s where we want to go, and we’ve got a ten-year architecture that we’re on a jour ney to achieve, and we’re about to see if we can accelerate that,

because there’s an urgency in what we want to do, we want to get to every child as quickly as possible.” With such a large number of charitable organisations out there, all doing different things for different groups of people, it is important for organisations like Make-A-Wish to form the right professional affiliations to support the cause. “The charity sector shouldn’t be seen as a beauty contest,” Mr Menses says. “We’re all responding to different needs, and all the needs are important. We’re filling gaps that are not filled by governments and not filled by the private sector.” All these organisations are driven by a powerful vision and sense of vocation for the work that is being done. Mr Menses feels lucky, bearing in mind his professional history, to have had the privilege of working in many different settings, with many different people. “I absolutely respect the work that everyone else does. What will touch one person’s heart, may not touch another person’s heart. What I think touches people’s hearts with Make-A-Wish is that you can actually see the impact fairly quickly on an individual.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Make-A-Wish Foundation

Genuine Partnerships

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he organisation works with a number of partners, a nd not ju st t o re ceive f i na ncial suppor t. Ma ke -A-Wish helps companies retain employees and experience the creativity of building and creating a wish, and is more than happy to take them on the jour ney. “[We want them to] see the hope that they can create, to rediscover their own imagination. To live the joy with the people that we’re working with. So, we are a charitable cause that people can work with and be p a r t of t h e a c t u a l s e r v i c e d el i ve r y i n a ve r y h a n d s - o n w a y.” These relationships are all the more important as Make-A-Wish relies 100% on fundraising, boasting 1,200 volunteers, organised across 57 branches throughout Australia, each of whom undertake local fundraising across the country. “We’ve got an amazing business partnership team. We’ve got some amazing business partnerslike Krispy Kreme, Barry Plant, Adaptive Insights, Qantas, Caltex, who come a nd work w it h u s a nd e n su re t hat t hei r employees also work with us to realise a wish.” The organisation doesn’t run a specific, annual f undraising campaign, rather these par t nerships are ongoing throughout the year. On top of that, there is World Wish Day on April 29th, a day which sees the organisation’s worldwide work celebrated. “We don’t have a specific campaign,” Mr Menses explains, “like Red Nose, or a door-knock campaign like the [Salvation Army]. We’ve got a variety of diversified strengths. O ne st r at eg y i nvolve s work i ng w it h pa r t ne r s t o d iscu ss what t hey wa nt t o re ceive ba ck f rom t he com mitment they give, because the organisation knows that consumers will actually support a company which has affiliations with a charity. “If they’ve got a choice, the charity that the organisation supports, or the fact of them supporting a charity, influences the choice positively. We know that companies are looking for new and clever ways to retain their staff and encourage innovation and creativity.” Make-A-Wish works directly with its partners to tailor the experiences of employees, to ground them and give them experiences beyond their day-to-day jobs. The organisation does not just ask for money, but works to create a genuine partnership.

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“[We say] we’ve got some things that will help you achieve your outcomes, and through your financial support, and your staff, you can help us achieve our outcomewhich is, really we want to quadruple the number of wishes.” These partnerships are managed through quarterly meetings, where discussions are focussed around what can be done together, including opportunities that can be created for the staff. One idea that has been put into practice is the Make-A-Wish Business Challenge. “We’ve done this with Apple now for a couple of years, and Deloitte. We actually spend a day with 70 or 100 employees and we talk about the work at Make-A-Wish. We will bring in an excellent motivational speaker and we will share some of the wishes.” The course involves the dissemination of some basic psychological training to participants regarding the impact of the wish journey, before splitting off into teams to work on real wishes and running through the entire wish process. “So they will understand how the wish is captured, they will work with the information that we’ve got from a wish capture to then build a wish journey. They will then have some insight into how we might then generate the funds for that wish journey.” Mr Menses admits to often finding that employees will tap into their own networks to help particular wishes get realised. “The companies that have done it have just raved about the experience, because they get to meet a wish kid and a wish family, they get to hear about the experience that’s been had - but they get to really have a great opportunity to do their own team building.” The program has already proved extremely successful with the companies who have taken part, and Make-A-Wish is finding more and more companies and employees wa nt ing to get involved in this unique, creative and inspirational experience. “We do charge for the day. We do talk to the company about what it is they want, and we can tailor the experience to match expectations on the day. So it’s a lot of work from our par t, but it’s just a fantastic experience for the company.” What is clear after talking to Mr Menses, is the huge amount of passion and excitement he has for his work at Make-A-Wish. There is little doubt that he will keep working hard to achieve the next stage in the organisation’s development. “Whilst we seek to inspire the children,” he adds, “we’re often in turn inspired by them, and that’s what we actually find with the corporates who come on board, they too are inspired by the courage of the children that they meet.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Samantha Chambers-Skeggs A Q&A with the Sydney-based change management leader who recently published her first book, Ditch the Ladder.

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he speaks with The Australia Business Executive about her journey into entrepreneurship and her lessons in empowering others with practical insights to step off the corporate ladder and start their own business. Before moving into consulting, you had a successful career in major corporates including PwC and Qantas, what did you learn from their environments?

The opportunity to work with great colleagues and work on some great projects in those organisations helped me build essential skillsets around leading others, stakeholder management a nd bu si ne ss f u nd a me nt als q u i t e q u i c k l y. T h e y we r e g r e a t e nv i ron ments to perfect career behaviours like professionalism, discipline and a results focused attitude.

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Samantha Chambers-Skeggs

Also, having worked in many varied roles from finance to continuous improvement to ones where I was engaging and leading people through change, having respect for others was paramount. On a similar theme, the concept of change and understanding the impact on people when change occurs in the workplace, whether cultural, technological or strategic, was certainly an epiphany moment for me. Change is a constant in business and it is happening at an accelerating pace across industries and businesses so engaging and leading people in change and taking them on your company’s journey is critical for success. What was your motivation to “ditch the ladder”? Living a fulfilling, rewarding life and a life of purpose suddenly became paramount and I realised that was only going to happen if I made a significant change in my life. My motivation and drive that had helped get me to where I was in my career had tapered, and I was essentially operating inside a comfort zone that, while very familiar and unambiguous, was no longer challenging. The motivation to create a future that would be dictated by me not someone else was there however, and I had the courage to consider how I could improve the lives and businesses of others on my own terms using my learnings and experience that I had acquired in corporate. Knowing that I had value to add in encouraging others to experience positive change, as well as play smarter not harder and focus on strengths was a key driver. So often I hear people say to me that now is not the right time. I had those thoughts as well – I’ll start thinking about it tomorrow, I’ll make a change next year etc. For a lot of things that involve significant change, there never really is a good time. There will always be something that could have the potential to slow down or impact what you’re doing. Taking action, no matter how small the steps, fuels one’s motivation even more to pursue a desired destination.

• Performance: You need to focus on your discipline. Corporate environments provide structure – there are policies, procedures, start times, finish times, hierarchies etc. When you start working for yourself this structure becomes loose. There is no one to look over you. There is no boss to answer to. Having a disciplined mindset for how you manage your time, your finances and generally managing yourself and others is key. • People: While it sounds grand, being your own boss is a tough gig. Surrounding yourself with good people who can help by providing expertise, clarity and motivation is key.

What lessons did you face moving from employee to business owner? There are so many and ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ could sum up the learning experience. My top three lessons are: • Planning: It’s exciting and enticing to jump in and set up a company, create a website and spread the word you are self-employed or are in business though you are less likely to get a favourable outcome if you haven’t done some planning. As important as foundations for a house, cracks will appear in the ground work if not solid from the star t. Things like ar ticulating your why, vision, understanding your strengths, and formalising a business plan are all important.

What sort of organisations can benef it from your services, and how? Those interested in finding, and capitalising on, the value that exists and can be enhanced in engaging people in the organisation to live the organisation’s strategy, values and journey. When change is being experienced in an organisation, there is a key transition for people to go from, being a position of comfort to a future which is uncertain. Those who need help in guiding people through transition and making it a priority. Engaging people and managing change can be tricky. There is an art to juggling the interesting juxtaposition of change, being both the emotional and the pragmatic components of shifting from a current state to a desired, but somewhat unknown, future state.

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Who is the book aimed at? The book endeavours to fast track career transitions, help avoid the pitfalls that come with entering an unfamiliar world where success requirements differ, and provide guidance that it is as much about personal growth as it is business. Ditch The Ladder is aimed at empowering people in corporate who lack satisfaction, have lost passion for climbing the ladder, have innovative business ideas yet remain hesitant to make a move. Statistics from The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education indicate that for all small businesses that start out each year, just over half are still in operation four years later. Further, according to an independent study by Servcorp, it takes up to a year for Australian entrepreneurs to overcome fears and doubts before starting their business. These fears included concerns about money, fear of leaving a secure job, failure and perceived lack of expertise. Starting a business involves substantial change. When I moved out of the corporate world to ‘go it alone’ in business I discovered there was a lot more involved in surviving the transition. The new skillsets, behaviours and ways of working which were required differ markedly from the corporate way. I understood the fine line between success and failure and that the time and cost involved were easily underestimated. I was compelled to devise critical steps and strategies to avoid becoming another statistic.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Mondo Exclusive Homes: Freedom and Flexibility By Nicholas Paul Griffin

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Mondo Exclusive Homes

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estern Australia’s Mondo Exclusive Homes is a custom home builder based in Perth. The company offers full-service design and build, and boasts a wide range of experience in building high-quality single and double storey homes. Mondo Exclusive Homes’ goal is to not only help customers design and build their dream home, but to make the process easy and enjoyable. The Australian Business Executive recently interviewed Director Ray Kershaw to find out what really sets the company apart from its competitors.

Ray Kershaw

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y father was a carpenter,” Mr Kershaw explains, “and I started my apprenticeship with him when I was sixteen years old, and went through with him for a long time doing that, and then basically from there started up a small renovations business.”

Director Ray Kershaw

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Mondo Exclusive Homes

This business was focussed mainly on carpentry, and included undertaking roof extensions and small additions to properties. Mr Kershaw ran the business for two years before going on to work as a supervisor for a residential building company, aged just 21. “For me, I’ve always been a very hands-on person, working from the tools. It was a bit different being so young, having to [manage] people that had obviously been in the industry for a lot longer than I had. I ultimately became their boss, and had to tell them what to do.” These first steps into people management helped Mr Kershaw learn a lot about delegating work and even more about the administration process, including everything that is required to meet health and safety standards. “It was a real big eye-opener in terms of all the other bits of legislation required as a builder,” he says, “and from there that made me pursue my building license a bit more, because it was quite interesting to me.” After performing well in this supervisory role, Mr Kershaw was given the opportunity to move into the commercial sector as a site manager, working on a number of mixed-use apartments and commercial space, such as restaurants, cafes and office blocks. “I had a GM that sat over the top of me, so the site manager is based onsite ten hours a day. I had people working under me, such as a contracts administrator, estimator, scheduler, so I would delegate to those guys and do all the stuff on site.” The general manager’s job was to keep the site manager informed about budgetary requirements, and any other administration that needed to be tightly managed. Onsite, Mr Kershaw was in charge of the work of four or f ive employees. “It was a pretty big change from the residential,” he says. “[On] the residential, I had a construction manager above me, I had the director, I had pretty much everyone above me and I was just the onsite guy dealing with tradesmen.” This st r uct ure highlights the major differences between the two sectors. In residential, firms take on fairly straightforward, similar projects that tend to follow the same structure. In commercial, things can work a little differently. “In the commercial arena, I suppose there was a lot more as far as health and safety, council requirements, working at night permits, hot works permits, excessive noise. We’re working in the city, so traffic permits. There was a lot more focus.” These extra requirements mean onsite management is vital in order to keep all the moving parts working, revolving around daily site meetings where expected achievements for each day are discussed.

A Perth based custom home builder “I think the commercial sector is just a lot more organised. We had very strict schedules, we had time delays that would cost money. We’d be penalised if we were running late on schedules, and things like that. You don’t really get that in the residential market.” The management st r uct ure in com mercial is therefore focu ssed t owa rd s m a k i ng su re t h i ngs a re del ive red on t i me. T h is is ma de more i mpor t a nt by t he fa ct t hat t he money i nvolve d is ge ne r al ly fa r g reat e r t ha n i n re side ntial. “You’re talking a lot bigger numbers. You know, $25m projects as opposed to a $200k house, needs a lot more management and a lot more people getting involved and making sure that everything runs on track.”

Branching Out

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n 2009, Mr Kershaw made the decision to branch out on his own, revisiting some of the skills he learned in his previous residential work, combined with those re ce ntly develope d i n com me rcial, t o st a r t Mondo Exclusive Homes. “ So ba sical ly I t houg ht , f rom my re side nt ial ex p e r i ence and now my organisation skills that I’d developed in commercial, they paired up quite well as a residential builder, so I thought I could bring a boutique product to the residential sector.” Mr Kershaw’s vision for this product would be enhanced by having a greater understanding of scheduling, estimating and organising onsite, including site safety and quality.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Mondo Exclusive Homes

The company has worked on projects at costs ranging from $250k to $2m

“ I’d b e e n wo r k i n g fo r a lo t of a r ch it e c t s i n t h e commercial sector, and they’re not as prevalent in the residential, so I thought we could probably bring a product to the market that is highly organised [and] very good quality.” With a new focus on health and safety, the team at Mondo Exclusive Homes has been able to schedule and estimate jobs to a very high standard, meaning the business is run more in line with commercial standards rather than residential. “I thought there was a bit of a niche in the market for that,” Mr Kershaw explains, “and as soon as I jumped across I instantly had jobs on the go, so there probably was a hole in the market for it.” All of the company’s homes are custom built, never built before or again, and Mr Kershaw admits that as a consequence, ideas that look like they will work on a plan don’t always work as well onsite, meaning innovative methods are needed to make sure the job gets done right. 40

“We’ve developed a lot of 3D graphing now, in order to try and spot some of these problems before they get to site. So, we’ve got 3D walk-throughs available for our site supervisor on iPad, which then go out to all the trades and clients.” This allows the company to be more proactive, ensuring staff can walk through the home digitally before it is built, helping them to see around corners and identify potential problems before work commences. “When you’re doing a project-scale house, a display home or something like that, you may build the same home 500 times, so you can really work out the problems and it becomes very profitable. Whereas in the custom home market, it’s the first time it’s ever been built.” To ensure these one-off builds stay on budget and on time, a lot of work and supervision is required, and because of its nature there will always be problems along the way. “It’s not a cookie-cutter style home,” Mr Kershaw says. “It’s 100% custom.”

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Mondo Exclusive Homes

Continued Growth

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s a member of both the MBA (Master Builders Association) and the HIA (Housing Industry Association), Mr Kershaw receives plenty of industry support and oppor t unit y, which benef its the work done at Mondo Exclusive Homes. “I’m a higher member, activity-wise, in the MBA,” he explains. “For me, I sit on the housing council, I’m an elected counsellor for the housing council, and we attend meetings once a month and are looking at making decisions for the good of the industry.” The council’s focus is not on individual gain for the companies of its members, but on working to develop gove r n ment policies and other areas that will help the industry big builders and small builders alike. “It’s been a really good networking tool for me. I’ve met a lot of other builders, I’ve learnt a lot about things that are coming up in the industry, changes that the government’s making. I do judging for the MBA as well, and that’s been really beneficial.” By being involved in judging MBA and HIA excellence awards, Mr Kershaw has found great benefit in seeing what the market is putting out, comparing his own company’s quality with those of its competitors. Mr Kershaw has heard people say they don’t get anything out of these organisations, but admits that those who put the most in have the most to gain. By attending meetings and networking at seminars, the greatest benefit can be achieved for a business.

Clients get to deal directly with the builder

Mondo Exclusive Homes employs just four members of staff

“It’s always meant that I’ve come away and thought we could do things better, and change our processes. I would highly recommend any start-up to join MBA and HIA, and you only get out what you put in.” All of these benefits are added to what is an already impressive portfolio for Mondo Exclusive Homes, which despite the economic downturn that has been seen in Perth over the last few years has continued to grow as a business. This is particularly impressive given the company’s modest size, employing just four members of staff and outsourcing to around 150 subcontractors to help deliver a steady f low of custom-made residential properties. “We are conti nually look i ng to i mprove ou r processes, and clients have seen a lot of media attention about us as far as awards that we’ve won, both personally and as a company. Last year we won Australian Young Builder of the Year, which is a pretty big award.” In addition, the company has had several homes as finalists and winners in a number of awards in the state for their excellence, all of which is extremely good for trade, showing clients that the company is doing the right things. “They also see that I’m putting back,” Mr Kershaw goes on to say, “and an active member in some of these MBA and HIA organisations, so I think that goes a long way with a lot of clients.” Lately, clients have seen the bigger project builders differently, recognising that they are unable to provide the same kind of service offered by Mondo Exclusive Homes in terms of weekly site meetings and constant client contact.

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016

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Mondo Exclusive Homes

“We go from design, right through construction. We can help them with their selection of furniture and soft furnishings, right through to landscaping. We just have that all-inclusive package really for the clients.” This process means clients can deal directly with the builder as opposed to a sales rep, not having to speak with a dozen staff in an office, but dealing with small team of staff, each of whom k nows exactly what is happening with each job. “I think the fact that both myself and my supervisor are both fully qualified carpenters [is helpful]. I’ve got a number of certificates in my diploma of building, cert 4s in const r uction managing, cer t 4s in super vision, estimating, scheduling.” These impressive qualifications ensure that clients k now t hey a re i n safe ha nd s, w it h k nowledgeable, expe rienced staff taking care of their build. This has helped the company’s profitability, resulting in steady growth.

Project Range

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he company has worked on projects at costs ranging from $250k to $2m, occupying a particular place in the mid to higher end of the market. In 2015, Mondo achieved a high of 16 new homes, ensuring that the same house is never built twice. “On the smaller contracts, we have to look at the risk vs reward I suppose, on quality over quantity. So, on the real big scale contracts there’s a lot that can go w rong on t he m , a nd t he re’s a lot more supe r v ision required and a lot more planning.” There is more f lexibility in the smaller projects, which can get off the ground much quicker and more easily, with decisions able to be made along the way without being too detrimental to the cost. “Whereas on a lot of the bigger stuff,” Mr Kershaw adds, “we have to have everything figured out beforehand, because a minor change can cost tens of thousands down the track once we get going with construction.” In terms of supervision, the company runs the same quality insurance checklists on both small and large scale projects, as well as running the same scheduling and all office work and tradesmen being the same for both scales. “I’d say on the bigger scale [it requires] just a lot more planning in the early stages to ensure that everything is 100% correct before we get to site. That said, we still do the same thing with the smaller stuff, it’s just a lot easier.”

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One of the company’s recent projects in Gwelup had a slightly different feel. As a high-end single storey, the build was very architecturally designed, intended not to have any hallways, each room f lowing seamlessly into the next. “ It w a s q u i t e a cl e ve r d e s ig n ,” M r K e r s h a w e x plains. “The master bedroom, for example, is actually a separate pod off the back of the house, and the theatre room is a separate pod off the front of the house.” This design enabled the team to include garden a reas all around, and hidden windows to make them visible from many vantage points. The interior showcases a soft industrial feel, boasting polished concrete and commercial besser blocks. “It’s sof t e ne d w it h a lot of A me r ica n wal nut timbers, on the cabinetry, and quite an expansive cabinetry, probably $200k on cabinetry on the project. It’s got a real resor t feel inside, the gardens and the greener y really come into the house.” As a result of these excellent features, the Gwelup house was awarded runner-up in the 2015 Master Builders Association awards, and is currently being judged for this year’s Housing Industry Association awards.

Ray Kershaw is an active member of both the MBA and HIA

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016


Mondo Exclusive Homes

A Team Effort

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o go alongside these awards and impressive projects, Mondo Exclusive Homes was recently approached by Channel 7 TV to run a segment on the show featuring Mr Kershaw, called ‘Ray Kershaw’s Building Tips’. “I’d previously done a few segments with them, where I’d paid them to view some of our projects, and they went quite well and they said I came across quite well on camera. [They approached] last year, on the back of winning the 2015 Young Builder of the Year Award.” The arrangement sees the company running a weekly, minute long segment, where Mr Kershaw highlights his best trades, suppliers and contacts in the industry, and gives viewers an insight into who to deal with to end up with the best possible product.

“So far it’s gone really well,” Mr Kershaw adds, “and we’ve gotten really good feedback on it, and Channel 7 are quite happy. I think we’re negotiating at the minute to possibly do another ten episodes, so that’s good.” At the end of our interview, Mr Kershaw is keen to stress that although the focus often lands on himself, having won awards and been involved in projects, he owes a lot to the small team of staff that works with him. “They’ve been there from day one, and really helped us to grow and they’ve brought so much to my company and to me, and improved me as a builder. And also, a lot of our trades have been with me since I met them when I was a carpenter, when I was 16.” The journey Mr Kershaw has taken to create and sustain Mondo Exclusive Homes wouldn’t have been possible without these relationships, and he is well aware that he owes a great deal of his own success to the people who’ve worked with him over the years.

The company runs the same quality insurance checklists on both small and large scale projects

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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s About to Get Interesting & Truly Innovative By Michael Corcoran - Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National President

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UDIA

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quarter acre block with a three-bedroom home and a Hills hoist out the back was the dream of many Australians for almost a centur y. In a matter of a decade, that has all changed. The dream is alive but the home looks decisively different. T he s u p ply of development ready land has been a major issue confronting ever y capital city for more than 15 years. The development industr y has had to innovate, especially with higher density living, and homebuyers have had to change preferences and expectations. Many wou ld s ay t h at d evelo p e r s h ave b e e n t o o slow t o i n novate and Gover nments create bar riers rather than incentives. In Sydney, the lack of supply of land has pushed many lower density-housing options off the affordability spectr um. In 2008, the median house price was around $530,000. Today, the median house price is over $1 million. Over the same time, household incomes have only increased by one third (not the almost doubling of prices of housing). In all major Australian cities the stor y is similar. T he real issue is that we haven’t released the development ready land necessary to match historically high population growth. Developers and builders are facing this affordability challenge by innovating. You will often hear commentators talking about how we need more density and apartments in our cities. To a degree that’s cor rect. But what is actually needed is a broader mix of housing solutions that meet the needs & price points of homebuyers at certain stages of their lives. Providing the mix is critical. UDIA’s recent State of the Land report shows that lot sizes have plummeted across Australia. The median new lot size across Australia is 453 square metres down from above 600 square metres a few years ago. Small lot housing is gaining momentum across the countr y at a rapid rate. Whether you are in Oran Park in South Wester n Syd ney or Lightsview i n i n ner nor ther n Adelaide you can see innovation at its best with developers introducing apartments, townhouses and small lot houses in master planned communities. The quality and s c a le of t he d evelo p me nt s a r e exc el le nt a nd t he y e m phasise the importance of open space & community connection over private space. These innovations have been a boon for homebuyers and developers ali ke. Homebuyers can pu rchase a far more afford able home (with la kef ront homes i n Lightview selling a little over $500,000) and developers can mai nt ai n thei r margi ns as they are usi ng the sca rce englobo land more eff iciently. Compan ies li ke Eden B r a e h o m e s , S e k s u i , M a s t e r t o n , S t o c k l a n d ,

Lend Lease and the like have designed homes to fit on the blocks that from the street look like a similar in scale as houses on much larger traditional lots. Many developers are embracing the past with the re-emergence of the terrace house as a highly demanded option, these innovations & reinventions have seen the market remain buoyant as a mix of dwelling and price points broaden the buyer catchment and have helped the industry recover from the doldr ums of the 2000’s to produce historically high numbers of new housing. This jour ney is producing better housing and community options, however if you look over the horizon you can expect to see expediential changes over the next 10 years. This is being driven by technology and t he r e s u lt i ng d i s r u pt ive for c e s. 3D p r i nt e r s h ave a l ready been used for building a home in China but the i m mediate benef it is li kely to come f rom real t i me design with homebuyers. Drones enable mapping f ly throughs for developers, gover nments and potential homebuyers. Dr iverless cars will change the i n f r a str ucture demands in our cities for the better and free up new inf ill lands for re-development. Big data will mean town planners will no longer be sitting down with paper maps and development applications but will be required to be mathematically competent computer prog ram mers who can t ransfor m what is an arcane reg ulator y system. It’s all about to get ver y interesting and the benefits to the economy, community, homebuyers and gover nments will be immense. The development industr y is full of innovators and entrepreneurs. More than ever before, the next 10 years will reward those brave and visionar y enough to embrace & leverage the disr uption ahead. Michael has more than 27 years’ experience in Property Development and Contract Housing, working for market leading development companies He has he held a variety of senior executive roles over this period including National General Manager Marketing, Sales, Design, Sustainability and Development practices, and a variety of Business Unit General Manager-Development roles in NSW, Victoria and SA. Michael’s currently heads his own Development Advisory Company, MC3 Advisory, which consults to major companies in the Development and Investment Banking Industries providing advice and management services in areas including development funding & delivery, strategic business performance review, mergers and acquisition strategy and asset review. Michael has been a Councilor with UDIA NSW for the past eight years, is the Immediate Past President for UDIA NSW and has been the National Vice-President of UDIA for the past 4 years.

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The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016  

Cover story: David Koch. Also includes: P&N Bank, Emma & Tom's, Make-A-Wish Australia, Mondo Exclusive Homes, Better Boards Australasia, Urb...

The Australian Business Executive - Q3 2016  

Cover story: David Koch. Also includes: P&N Bank, Emma & Tom's, Make-A-Wish Australia, Mondo Exclusive Homes, Better Boards Australasia, Urb...

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