Spark Magazine Winter 2019

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2 Spark Magazine is “The fuel for business”. The target audience is business people, with an interest in innovation, technology and new ideas. We provide the ideas, motivation, and inspiration for success.

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MASTHEAD SPARK MAGAZINE Pow Wow Pty Ltd Level 7, 14 Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

EDITORIAL Paul M Southwick (+61) 424 70 40 10

ADVERTISING Paul M Southwick (+61) 424 70 40 10

CREATIVE DESIGN The information in Spark Magazine is of a general nature only and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances. In all cases take independent and professional investment, financial, tax and legal advice. Spark Magazine and all persons and entities associated therewith accept no responsibilities for loss or damage related to any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions in the magazine, or reliance on anything in the magazine. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the authors and do not imply endorsement by Spark Magazine, its controlling entity or associated persons. Similarly placement of an advertisement in the magazine does not imply endorsement by Spark Magazine its controlling entity or associated persons. In some cases journalists writing for SPARK Magazine may consult to or provide corporate writing for companies mentioned in articles. The journalists or Spark Magazine do not accept payment from companies to cover or include them. ©2019by byPow BSI Services All Rights Reserved. ©2015 Wow PtyPty Ltd.Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction Reproduction in whole or permission in part without permission is in whole or in part without is prohibited. prohibited.




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The articles in Spark Magazine are of a general nature only. Always seek independent financial, investment, tax and legal advice.

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T O S PA R K M A G A Z I N E SME OWNERS WELCOME FOCUS ON PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM SME owners and their advisers will welcome the signal by Prime Minister Scott Morrison of immediate and sweeping reforms to the public service “to make mandarins more accountable and ensure they are serving the “quiet Australians.” With so many serious fails in the last few years, including the regulatory bodies overseeing the banking and finance sector, aged care sector, gambling industry, Human Services’ Robocall, and who could forget the ATO debt collection scandal, such a review is timely. The recent US$7 billion fining by US authorities of Facebook, and even then, they were accused of being too lenient, has highlighted the timid and almost incipiently weak nature of public service bodies that are meant to protect Australians. Taxpayers have every right to expect that the public service is innovative,

efficient and progressive, not regressive, turning a blind eye, or condoning wrong doing. Prime Minister Scott Morrison was reported in The Australian as saying “My view of the public service is straightforward: respect and ¬expect — respect their capabilities and expect them to get on board and implement the government’s agenda.” The Prime Minster, a former civil servant, appointed himself to the role of Minister for the Public Service, so voters will have high hopes for real progress. With the government recoding a record support of respondents in the first postelection poll, and having passed key legislation on tax cuts, foreign fighters, and perhaps soon union reform, Australia is finally heading for a period of stability so desperately sought by voters. That will be good for business certainty too.

Paul M Southwick Editor

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ACCELERATE YOUR GROWTH Business Builders Group (BBG) helps business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs like you, to accelerate your growth by: •

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MELBOURNE GROUP UP AND RUNNING BBG has set up a bbglinkedin+forum in Melbourne at Race Party with ~20 new members. In future issues we will carry stories by the Melbourne group members. In the meantime, here is a list of the members and a profile of one Michael Bartura.

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MEMBERS Noirin Mosley from Race Party - v connected Doyle Buehler - digital strategy Caylene Vincent - hr workers comp - written a book Martin Haak - it cybersecurity expert Eric Bigalk - marketing Steve Lazar - property educator Rana Kordahi - sales trainer for non-sales people Peter de Boer - engineer - built something amazing for manufacturing Marion and Ekkehart Mundana - health and well being

Jenny Boyman - Marketing Irwin Hua - web dev and digital Emma Sidney - singer, digital strategist , entrepreneur Michael Bartura - life coach Bill McLellan - leadership coach Daniel Tai - accountant Naaman Shibi - IoT Kane Minkus - International successful speaker George Gismadakis - business strategy and digital transformation Diana Nguyen - actress and travels world with LinkedI

BBG MELBOURNE MEMBER PROFILE - MICHAEL BARTURA Michael has been involved in lifestyle education, health, and wellness promotion and organisational development since the Eighties. With close to 20 years of management experience in four continents, he brings to the table a well-refined cross-cultural team/community building capacity and leadership acumen amassed in both Non-Profit and business contexts. He has extensive experience in Mindfulness practices and delivers insightful and engaging group work through nondenominational science-based methodologies. In earlier years, Michael worked as a therapist and a workshop facilitator in clinics and centers in Australia, UK, the US, and Canada. Later, he undertook senior managerial roles in international businesses and charities. In recent roles, he was a manager for the East-West Learning Centre in Singapore in which he focused on designing platforms to deliver an integrated Mind-Body approach to leadership education, and later was the CEO of TeamUp in Thailand which delivers online group coaching for not-for-profits. Here in Melbourne, he teaches seminars and workshops for the School of Life; is responsible for strategy and business development for a start-up called ODIS Technologies, and runs his own coaching practice for executives and start-up teams. |



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by Danny Vandine

WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS WITH VIDEO 1. CREATE ENTERTAINING, INTERESTING & FUN VIDEOS! Content marketing videos are a great way to position yourself as the industry leader. Create a series of videos about business topics that you are knowledgeable about. (Make sure that they are things that your target audience will be interested in too!) Offer some tips, tricks and advice that will stand you out as the go-to expert in your market. Look for an interesting angle. Be professional but try not to act too serious (to the point of boring) and have some fun.

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meeting in stylish clothes? Do you


corporate branded TV channel.


use professionally branded business

YouTube is the 2nd biggest search

their website and landing pages to

cards and other presentation

engine in the world, and is owned by

promote and explain their brand. You

material? Why should your videos

Google (who we all know is No1), so

can also put different videos on each

look any less loved and cared for?

spend some time on setting up your

section of your website to showcase

These videos are ambassadors for

channel properly with your logo,

the range of products and services

your organisation, working hard 24/7

branding and business description.

that you provide. Host your videos

in a global marketplace. Treat them

Here’s a couple of other quick tips

on YouTube (great for SEO) or Vimeo

with respect.

below about playlists and keyword;

(add free) and use the embed codes

As a minimum your videos should

(a) You can group your videos together into playlists to make them easier to find and share.



have good camera composition, lighting and sound. Check your corporate brand guidelines for the correct use of logos, font, images and colours too. Shooting on green-screen lets you add a custom


(b) Add strong keywords to your title and description to make them search engine friendly.


Every business should have videos on

to showcase them on your website. Case study videos and customer testimonials videos are very powerful ways to tell your story and provide social proof by letting your customers tell their story and recommend what they value most about your products and services.

Studio option in Sydney for many of

(c) Share your YouTube channel and video links on your website, social media and blogs.

our clients at UpsideDown.

Check out how we’ve set-up our

their peers and 70% of people

YouTube channel for UpsideDownTV.

will trust a recommendation from

branded background in the editing. We provide a Mobile Green Screen

According to Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from

someone they don’t even know.

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integrate text, images and longer videos together more seemlessly on the one platform. IGTV also lets you now upload video directly from your laptop or desktop rather than previously just from your phone or tablet. Hopefully this new upload feature will roll out across the whole of Instagram as this is definitely a game changer for us!






You can embed and upload

The author


video to your Linked in profile, posts and articles. You can also create Linkedin pages for company and services and add videos to your posts here as well. The potential to use

Instagram TV (IGTV) has arrived

video on Linked in is currently very

people to your Youtube channel but

and is already changing the video

under utilised by most companies

you should also upload your videos

landscape. IGTV lets you upload

and organisations so there is a big

directly to Facebook as well. The

your videos as widescreen (1920

opportunity here to get ahead of

reason for this is that your Facebook

x 1080 pixels) but the new trend

your competition in this fast growing

videos will then autoplay in peoples

for video now on Instagram TV is

social media space. (See image below

facebook feeds where as the

portrait (1080 x 1920 pixels) because

how I’ve embedded videos into

YouTube video link will only show up

that’s how we all hold out phones as

the about section on my Linkedin

as a still image and link. Facebook

standard. Of course this does create


also favours showing video more

a challenge (from a video production

often than just text and images so

point of view) when trying to make

your Facebook videos will reach

and re-purpose videos for use on

more people too in both organic and

multiple social channels. For this

also paid boosted posts. Facebook

reason advance planning of your

videos are however shown without

video shooting style in relation to

audio as default until you click on

social media channel distibution is

It’s not really rocket science that

them so it is also worthwhile to add

now even more important than ever

you can (and should) insert your

subtitles or other key text to your

because different shots will work

video links everywhere you can.

videos too.

better in landscape than in portrait

With so much social media going on

and you will also lose quality if trying

these days it’s getting harder to cut

to convert from one aspect ratio to

through the static. The good news

the other in post production.

is that you can multi-purpose your

video links on Facebook to take

Of course you can post videos to your personal Facebook Page but you should also set up Facebook business pages too. You should also

On the plus side Instagram TV

check out relevant Facebook groups

now offers brands the chance to

or even start your own.




videos in different ways including

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audio and text excerpts too. This blog itself is also a good example of how you can easily link to different videos on your website,



Do you show videos on your phone

YouTube channel, Facebook pages,

to family and friends? You can do

Vimeo, LinkedIn, Instagram and

the same In a business environment

more. “Google my business” is an

with your promotional videos.

important one to check out too.

The main thing to consider (apart

Of course you can also track and measure your video’s effectiveness on most social platforms. Mailchimp is a great free resource for sending custom branded newsletters. Not only that, it also shows you exactly who opens your email newsletter, how many times and what links they actually clicked on. Videos gets much higher click through rates than images and text alone however many people still won’t click on your video link regardless of how good you think it is. Test and measure

to ask questions and provide extra information about your products and services. With a bit of luck you may even close the deal.

sound may not be as easy to hear in


a noisy environment like a cafe. For

work for short videos without sound

this reason showing edited videos

eg a video screen recording of an

that have strong visual elements and

online process. Something visual (can

supportive text or subtitles may help

include animated text) that will work

keep your audience more interested

well in a loop. We use animated gifs

and entertained. The strength of

on our website to attract attention

your video to maintain an audience

because they automatically play

without sound is worth considering

in a loop on all browsers including

anyway because Facebook and


from keeping your videos short, entertaining and relevant) is that the

Instagram play videos without sound as the default before you click.

with different copy and thumbnails

Perhaps the best thing though about

(also try animated gifs) to improve

showing people your videos face

the overall success of your online

to face is that you can get instant

marketing campaigns.

feedback plus you get the chance


We love animated gifs but they only



As a general rule talk about the main

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The author Dani filming with the client

business problems that you solve

worked on television commercials

and how your service helps your

and corporate communications. High

customers achieve this. Don’t forget

production values are paramount to

to put a call to action at the end


of your videos. There’s no point in

Danny now manages the video

telling people that you can solve

production department at

their problem if they don’t know

UpsideDown. As his own company,

where to find you.

he enjoys directing the whole

If you would like help in creating

process on behalf of clients -

professional on-brand videos for

filming, editing and animation for

your organisation please email us or

commercials, on-line business


communications and social media video.
He finds the production process creatively satisfying and

About the author Danny has 20 years’ experience working in Sydney and London as a director, cameraman and

enjoys walking clients through a process which is often new for them, but which can also shed light on their business goals.

editor on TV drama, news, sports,

For Danny, it’s all about getting an

documentary, music, lifestyle and

insight into client’s businesses and

entertainment. Celebrities that he

telling their story visually so that

has filmed include Jennifer Hawkins,

potential customers and partners can

Robbie Williams, Ronnie Corbett,

connect with confidence.

Michael Caton, Glenn McGrath, Jeff Fenech and Bob Hawke. He has also

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by Sue Ellson



With over 10 million Australians now on LinkedIn and 5.5 million Australians as active monthly users, now is the time to revise your LinkedIn Business Strategy

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s a busy business

this cheat sheet

owner or manager,

making the best use

of your time on social media is essential. Here are the main reasons I believe that LinkedIn is a valuable resource: •

Secure Google Search Results

linkedin-profile-updates-cheatsheet-sue-ellson/ and understand the business case here https://www.

who don’t want to be messaged (Unsync here https://www.linkedin. com/mynetwork/settings/managesyncing). If you haven’t adjusted your Communication Settings, you may be getting far too many emails from LinkedIn (Change your options and frequency here https://www.

2) Update your Company Profile

Is your LinkedIn Company Profile

If you want to do some updates to

fully completed with the correct

your LinkedIn Profile but don’t want

information that is congruent with

to announce it to the world, change

Research and approach key

your other social media profiles?

your setting here https://www.

decision makers and future

When prospective clients complete


their due diligence, they will check

broadcast. If you don’t want to

you out and you need to have a good

receive Notifications about people’s

quality online presence. You may

birthdays or work anniversaries, go to

also like to think about how your

Engage with relevant content

employees can support your business

communications-controls/inapp and

for professional knowledge and

on LinkedIn too. Remember, it is not

choose Network and turn them off. If

branding purposes

what you know or who you know, it

you want people to Follow you rather

is who refers you and how they can

than Connect with you, change the

and patience, you also need to know

verify your authenticity.

setting here https://www.linkedin.

the quickest ways to achieve results

on LinkedIn – so let me explain…


4) Set realistic objectives for

1) Update your LinkedIn Profile


publishing Posts and Articles

I know for a fact this is what you

In reality, if you Liked, Commented or


Shared other people’s content once

don’t want to do either! But you are


a week, Posted in the Newsfeed once

doing yourself more harm than good

3) Change your Settings to avoid

by not making an effort to have a

unwanted correspondence and

great photo, background picture,


for your name or business name •

Build your network and maintain relationships

Publish articles that can appear in Google Search Results

However, if you are short on time

don’t want to hear and you probably

keyword driven, achievement summary and fully completed LinkedIn Profile. It will reduce your conversion rate, your appearances in search results and your number of views. Take the time to go through


a month and wrote three Articles a year, you would probably be more active than most of the 5.5 million average monthly users in Australia!

Busy people don’t have time for

Strategically engaging with other

multiple messages from LinkedIn.

people’s content is sure to help you

If you have synced your phone or

and your reputation in the online

email address with LinkedIn, you

world (a good engagement ratio is

are probably messaging people

12:1 – you engage 12 times, you post 1 time).Sure, video content appears

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to be more popular at the moment, but limit that to a maximum of 118 seconds long to increase the chance of it being watched to the end. Use images that are created in a landscape direction (not portrait) and select images that have one or more faces and tell a story in their

to navigate, these matters need

engagements. Direct referrals make

own right. Incorporate hashtags (#

to be addressed first. You also

up at least 30% of my business (either

subject), tags (@ names) and even

need to abide by the LinkedIn User

direct from a client or by maintaining

emojis (if you are on a desktop or

Agreement https://www.linkedin.

a relationship and leading to an

laptop, copy them from http://

com/legal/user-agreement, in

outcome at a later date). Other in Posts. Make an

particular, the Do’s and Don’ts in

articles on the topic of LinkedIn can

effort to Search Engine Optimise

Section 8. This means that you can’t

be found at https://www.linkedin.

your Articles so that they can

have someone else managing your


generate lifetime digital asset value.

LinkedIn Account for you from

activity/posts/ and https://sueellson.

another location, you can’t use

com content-engagement-curationcreation-strategies-busy-peopleellson

automation tools and if you send too many Connection requests to people you don’t know, you risk

About the author

having your account deleted without


notice. Think very carefully about


ASA MPC WV is an Independent

your true target audience and just


LinkedIn Specialist, Trainer,

reach out to them and do not, under

Consultant and Author of four books

any circumstances, spam or annoy

including ‘120 Ways To Achieve Your



Purpose With LinkedIn.’ She attends


between one and four events every



week both online and offline to keep

5) Be very clear about how to


herself up to date with the latest tips and trends. She teaches various

generate Leads, Sales and Results

courses on LinkedIn, Social Media,

If you have a website, make sure

For the record, I am still using the

Search Engine Optimisation and

it WORKS before you start trying

Free version of LinkedIn and attract

WordPress at the Centre for Adult

to use LinkedIn to generate Leads,

multiple opportunities directly to

Education (CAE) in Melbourne and is

Sales and Results. If your contact

me. I currently have over 1,400 views

a Career Development Practitioner.

details aren’t visible, if you don’t

of my profile every 90 days and

Sue welcomes quick questions

explain how you can help people,

appear in over 700 search results

via and

if your website takes more than

every 7 days. Quality posts attract

connections on LinkedIn at https://

three seconds to load or is difficult

10,000 views and more than 100

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18 by Ivan Kaye



We had an amazing BBG Innovation session with Anne Marie Elias on “innovation - disrupt or be disrupted.” Anne Marie’s passion is “social justice” and over the years she helped develop a social enterprise incubator at “New Horizons” called “unboxd.”

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ew Horizons specialise in supporting people with disability, mental

health concerns, those who are aged, people at risk of homelessness, humanitarian entrants, youth, and indigenous Australians with advice, connections and services. The discussion led to the pain of many indigenous communities around Australia and how we can help “break the cycle” of poverty and generational abuse. A little bit of digging and research on LinkedIn brought me to a post by Gayatri Agnew who shares the five qualities that make the world a “more high opportunity place” 1. Good schools, 2. Greater levels of social

cohesion, 3. Many two-parent families, 4. Low levels of income inequality,

and 5. Little residential segregation, by

either class or race. The list is suggestive, but hard to interpret he says. The post took me to a link by a fascinating fellow called Raj Chetty who has found that opportunity

does not correlate with many

excelled, travelled to a nearby

traditional economic measures, such

college every day by bus to learn

as employment or wage growth.

chemistry - starting her trajectory to

It’s about “social capital” he says .

medicine and became a doctor.

“#socialcapital is about the set of connections that ease a person’s way through the world, providing support and inspiration and opening doors.”

“Why do you send her there? What use would a medical degree be to a stay-at-home mother?” asked her father.

A fascinating story of how the “poverty cycle was broken” which has

In 1962, Anbu married Veerappa

guided Cherry to his life’s work.

Chetty, a brilliant man from

A man whose mum Anbu, came

Tamil Nadu whose mother and

from a family of five siblings in the

grandmother had sometimes eaten

southern tip of India - Tamil Nadu,

less food so there would be more for

constrained by her poverty ridden


community, where men would travel

Anbu became a doctor and

to earn a living for their stay at home

supported her husband while he

mums and families.

earned a doctorate in economics. By 1979, when Raj was born in New

As she was finishing high school - a

Delhi, his mother was a paediatrics

local tycoon in the village decided

professor and his father was an

to open a college in his house, to

economics professor who had served

educate his children.

as an adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Anbu attended, learned English,

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Raj (then 9) and his family moved

90 percent chance of earning

to the USA, topped his class, moved

more than their parents, but for

to Harvard, earned a doctorate in

children born four decades later,

economics and at 28 was offered

that chance had fallen to 50

tenure. In 2012, he was awarded the MacArthur genius grant and a year

economist under 40. (He was 33 at the time.) In 2015, he launched his own research and policy institute at Harvard “opportunity Insights” , with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan

one of the country’s leading urban economists, “is not if he will win a Nobel Prize, but when.”

chance of reaching the top fifth.


Dozens of the nation’s elite

A black boy born to a wealthy family is more than twice as likely to end up poor as a white boy from a wealthy family.


The objective of the Institute is to

Chetty’s work using big data and

hopefully Australia and Africa can

millions of data points - is about how

learn and benefit from this research).

one can break the cycle of poverty and “generational abuse” in America. Some insights (or “Chetty bombs”) from his studies include: •

Children born in 1940 had a

valuable to the planet Earth.

household income had a 10.8%

family income. •

more pervasive than the USA - and be

Here’s the link that inspired this article:

in the bottom 60 percent of

the most influential social scientist

I believe that this research will be far

to a family in the bottom fifth of

the 1 percent than from families

Chetty now 40 is considered to be

Raj,” says Harvard’s Edward Glaeser,

In Salt Lake City, a person born

colleges have more children of

Zuckerberg Initiative.

of his generation. “The question with

American dream.

In Milwaukee, the odds were 5% •

manipulated. Chetty’s big-picture goal is to revive the

happen to grow up. •

if it can be understood, then it can be

Chetty created a map of the USA prospects depend on where they

awarded to the most promising

precision, then it can be understood;

percent - why? showing the people’s financial

later the John Bates Clark Medal,

mobility can be measured with enough

break the “poverty cycle” - (and

Despite the dismal track record, Chetty is optimistic that social scientists can fix the problems they articulate in journals. “If a phenomenon like upward

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22 by Naaman Shibi



Mobile Field Service Applications are used across all industries, no matter where businesses are located. From Engineers to Laboratory and Lift Technicians, Environmental Health Officers to Maintenance Coordinators and Facilities Managers. These paperless applications remain crucial to improving performance, saving time and money while increasing future business opportunities.

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obile Field Service

Offering many benefits to all parties

By implementing an automated

Applications are used

involved – from the customer to

mobile strategy and solution,

across all industries,

your back office, your technicians

businesses have seen increases in

no matter where businesses

and even shareholders – automation

core areas of productivity (27%),

are located. From Engineers to

will allow for immediate, timely and

customer satisfaction (19%) and

Laboratory and Lift Technicians,

accurate results.

overall revenue (17%).

Maintenance Coordinators and

With 40% of the workforce being

The partnership between

Facilities Managers. These paperless

mobile and two-thirds of these

automation and Mobile Field Service

applications remain crucial to

people owning a smartphone, taking

Applications offers users outstanding

Environmental Health Officers to

opportunities for their business’


development, not just now but long into the future too. Examples include:





Removal of manual data entry to minimise potential human errors and time delays

Process visibility will diminish

improving performance, saving time

advantage of our ‘mobile society’ is

opportunities for errors, no

and money while increasing future

crucial in advancing business...

matter the scale.

business opportunities.


The point of difference in choosing


Prioritise corrective actions by risk level.

the right application for your

Keep data safe and accessible with Cloud storage.

business comes when considering

Introducing a mobile field service

the ability to customise to your

application can offer your business

delivering real value and those

organisation’s needs. Be it meeting

outcomes ranging from increased

that require improvement. By

industry standards, the ability

business productivity, revenue and

creating an actionable list from

Understanding functions

to access data off-line or the opportunity to provide quality reporting on a custom-built list of assets. By automating your systems, you


are removing the guess work, simplifying processes, all while

customer satisfaction through to

this information, potential issues

ensuring compliance when and

a decrease in response time, and

can be solved before they arise.

where required.

service calls per visit.

This paper will take you through the

Among the key benefits of Mobile


process of understanding how the

Field Service Applications is their

technology of Mobile Field Service

ability to automate inspections.

Applications benefits the user, and

Automation simplifies processes,

those around them.

streamlines tasks and ensures compliance throughout an organisation.

Ensure compliance with industry standards.

Simplified compliance activities.


access to data no matter your


Store and access information •

Streamlined customer service.

based on comprehensive and

costs down, allow for quick

Tasks prioritised dependent on

real-time data.

access to data no matter your

location, urgency. •

location. Increased knowledge –

Visibility and transparency throughout process.

Automate workflow

sets. •

management ensuring customer

spot (eg ordering parts) resulting

customer history ensuring more

expectations are met and/or

in less repeat service calls

efficient and timelier customer


Store information on the Cloud


to allow for easy, real-time

Ability to make immediate and

performance and processes promoting continual

ensure prompt customer service and rescheduling when required.

– Data can be easily extracted

customer history to ensure

and presented in a meaningful

resources, time and save money.

the right solution can be

way. Consequently, the ability

Increased visibility of processes

implemented immediately and

to drive efficiencies in the field

with minimal hassle.

and behind the scenes, update

Tasks can be completed on the

processes while understanding

this allows for better workflow,

spot, for example automatic

where, when and how changes

reduced downtime as well as

ordering of parts and scheduling

are able to be made becomes

the ability to mitigate potential

future inspections. The result

an easy, smooth and natural

risks to the organisation

being jobs are completed in a


Prioritise actions in accordance with business needs, technician

timely and efficient manner. Dynamic data collection


availability or customer

resulting in opportunities for



change in real-time.


Technicians and office staff use

the same application to maintain data integrity. •

the touch of a button.

Before you begin to delve into the

Prompt response time –

hundreds of applications available

customers now expect to be

in the area of Field Service, it is

documentation, forms to ensure

kept informed and provided with

important to understand where your

the information collected

prompt and accurate advice and

business sits now, and where you

provides the required level of

solutions. Those unable to offer

envisage your business developing


this will simply be left behind.

and growing in the future. This is a

Making faster, better educated

process that is crucial in assisting you


to choose the optimal product or

Progress tracking.

service for your organisation.

Control and implement

Instant, accurate information at

Standardise processes,

processes as required to take company into the future. •

Increased business intelligence

Technicians have access to

areas of the business. In turn,

improvement . •

and maintenance will free up

that may not be linked to wider

Constant measurement of

See where technicians are to


planning. •

informed decisions.

PROCESS MANAGEMENT AND Elimination of manual data entry

Real-time results data for increased visibility and forward

Tasks can be completed on the

technicians have access to

access no matter the location.

Optimise technicians’ schedules based on their locations, skill

service. •

Make instantaneous decisions

from the Cloud to keep implementation and instant

standards. •

Store and access information from the Cloud to keep


Obtaining feedback from all staff

costs down, allow for quick

Deliver optimal service in

that may use the software will ensure

while complying with industry

you hold a complete picture before

implementation and instant

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shortlisting features you would like to see. Features required will differ

improve? Why?

ensuring compliance with industry

Is there any other software that


between departments, as will the

you will need to integrate? (eg in

importance of each feature to the


3. How important are off-line

How would you prefer the data


to be stored? (eg in checklist)

Not important

What applications are currently

Somewhat important

in place?

Very important

department’s day-to-day activities

and KPI’s. • Before shortlisting the key features you’d like to see, try to map out

your complete business process from start to finish, including in-field

transparency and reporting?

4. What platform and devices will the

What are your must have and

software run on?

processes. You may wish to consider

nice to have features? (eg in


some of the following points:



Tablet Desktop

How important is data security,

Who will use this software,


where and how will they use it?


Tip: Look at what hardware you

(eg in checklist)? •

currently have, would you like to run

How important are off-line

Map out your complete business

your inspections from these devices?


process from start to finish, including

Or would you prefer to invest in

What platform and devices will

in-field processes before starting

something new?

What are your top three

1. Who will use this software, where

5. What are your top three priorities

priorities for software

and how will they use it?

for software functionality?



How will you measure ROI?


6. Where is most of your revenue

Where is your revenue coming

the software run on? •

from today? •

What areas would you like to

coming from now? 2. What is the current process for 7. How will you measure ROI?

Customer satisfaction



Return jobs



Contract renewal

PRODVIDER Using your business priorities

8. What areas of your business would

checklist and processes map, narrow

you like to improve? Why?

down the key functionalities you

got in mobile technology and

Compliance with industry

require from your software and

software development?


provider. Suggestions might include:

Customer service and satisfaction


Response time

On and off-line access

Service calls per visit

Customisable functions (eg

Productivity and efficiency

Staff satisfaction

Cross platform solution

Staff retention

Cloud/server based


Painless integration with existing


you will need to integrate? •

Sales Force

How much experience have you

2. How do you stay up to date with changes in technology?

9. Is there any other software that


software •

Easy to navigate

3. How recent is the current version of your software? 4. How often are updates made to the software, are these updates included in the price? 5. What devices and platforms will the software work on? 6. What level of customisation can you offer? 7. What software is compatible, or

User friendly

can this software be integrated

10. How would you prefer the data

Assign work orders

into other applications we are

to be stored?

Access to job information/ work




using? 8. How quickly would you expect

Data capturing methods


9. How long does roll out take?

11. What applications are currently

Speech to text

10. What training do you provide?

in place?


11. What ongoing support is

Unlimited assets

Ability to take and store photos

Storage of multiple process

Excel spread sheets

12. How important is transparency and reporting?

documents, manuals…

us to see ROI?

available? 12. Who can provide a referral? Understanding their experience in

No reporting required

Somewhat regular reporting


and how the product will fit are



crucial for success all round.

Regular reporting required

Prompt integration

the field, their product specifications

Comprehensive training

Many organisations will offer a

13. Features list

Ongoing support

complimentary demonstration of

Access to data off-line

Support across multiple

their product, this is a great way


platforms and devices

to gain a better understanding of


Regular software updates to stay

features and benefits that may assist

Customised checklist

ahead of the game

and grow your company toward a

Limited number of assets

Take time to understand business

very successful future.

Unlimited number of assets

Restricted access


The final step of the process will

Naaman Shibi is a General Manager

Speech to text

include drawing up some questions

with Pervidi software- paperless


you would like to ask providers.

inspection solutions.


• •

needs About the author

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28 spark magazine


by Odile Faludi

GOOD REASONS TO START WITH heart “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Ambrose Bierce


onversation it is a tricky

The only person we can continually

subject. Two egos, two

inspire, poke and change with any

minds, two hearts have a

degree of success is ourselves.

Second, clarify what you really don’t

heated debate and head for

The Power of And.

want. This is the key to framing the

a collision. How do you find a place

of the workload.”

“and” question. Think of what you are

of mutual purpose? The place where

Brilliant communicators understand

afraid will happen to you if you back

both sides feel like they are winners.

the “Genius of the word And” –

away from your current strategy of

continuity and change can sit

trying to win or stay safe. What bad

Those who are skilled with dialogue

together. When sharing ideas there

thing will happen if you stop pushing

will always start with their heart in

doesn’t have to be a winner or a

so hard? What horrible outcome

the right place. That keeps motives

loser in a conversation. New York

makes game playing an attractive and

honest and thoughts on track when

Bestselling authors, Patterson,

sensible option? For example, “What

speaking. When conversations

Grenny, McMillian and Switzler in the

I don’t want is to have a useless and

become crucial most people resort

book, Crucial Conversations explain

heated conversation that creates bad

to flight or fight techniques to

the important and ever-elusive and.

feelings and doesn’t lead to change.”

overcome the stress. They either

Here’s how this works:

say absolutely nothing or do

Third, combine what you really want

everything to avoid the subject or

First, clarify what you really want.

and what you really don’t want into

get aggressive and agitated. We

You’ve got a head start if you’ve

a question that forces you to search

all do it. But there is a place in the

already started with the heart. If you

for more creative and productive

middle and it is called “mutual

know what you want for yourself

possibilities than resorting to silence

purpose” and that’s the sweet spot

then you’re in a position to break out

or violence. “How can I have a candid

of all conversations. The really good

of picking the easy choice by setting

conversation with my peer about

communicators get smarter at

up new options. For example, “What

being more dependable and avoid

breaking down barriers. The reason

I want is for my peer to be more

creating bad feelings or wasting our

is they are not afraid to work on

reliable. I’m tired of being let down

time.” Is there a way to tell your peer

themselves first in an attempt to

by him and I am left carrying the bulk

your real concerns and not insult or

be better at saying how they feel.

offend them?

Clarify what you don’t want, add it

Odile is a passionate freelance

to what you do want, and ask your

writer and a business development

brain to start searching for healthy

consultant. She is trained in “Crucial

options to bring you to dialogue.

Conversations” through VitalSmarts. They have helped 300 of the Fortune

Robert Fritz says, “We learn how

500 realise significant results using

to do something truly new only

a proven method for driving rapid,

through doing it, then adjusting.” It

sustainable, and measurable change

requires creative thinking. If all else

in behaviours. Odile runs workshops

fails, and you cannot get your brain

in Australia, teaching Business

into gear to work out what to say

Development Managers, Start-up

remember ‘speech is silver; silence is

Entrepreneurs and Sales teams’ how


to initiate client conversations. The aim is to widen their business net to

Remove the word BUT and replace

make more money now and in the

it with the word AND. Create a


philosophy of Abundance. And yes I can do that!

Odile may be contacted on +61 425 250 677 or at

Finally, “special” is a word that often pops up when people are having conversations that start with heart. Its a word that is used to describe something that is one of a kind, like a hug, or a sunset, or a person who spreads love with a smile or kind gesture. Special describes people who act from the heart and keep in mind the hearts of others. Is special the word people would use to describe you?

About Odile Faludi Odile has worked in the notfor-profit, real estate and the management consultancy space for the last thirteen years. She has a proven track record of opening doors of C-suite level executives in the top 200 companies in Australia. With her fearless approach she successfully facilitated a small team of management consultancy experts to secure a $2.2 million deal with a large Australian financial organisation. Her initial entry point was a cold call.

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30 32

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31 33

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issue no.15

This 3 hour event takes you from starting on LinkedIn to monetisation of your network. At this Masterclass, you will learn how you can •

Connect with the entire room

Stand out, get found and position yourself as an authority and build credibility and trust

Create relevant content

Write messages that command a response

Collaborate with the right alliance partners

Generate more leads

Converting those leads to REVENUE

We will create a bespoke whatsapp forum so that the panelists and audience can share their knowledge, tips and tricks with each other on an ongoing basis, and start to build a connected, collaborative community with each other. You will meet 5 professionals who have successfully used Linkedin to generate inbound and outbound leads and face to face meetings that convert into sales. If you want to learn the art of social selling, content creation, collaboration & personal branding – do not miss this event!! By the end of the event, you will learn the nuts and bolts of ‘how-to’ from people who have DONE IT.

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bythe Spark Magazine Editors


business success

A maverick is an unorthodox or independent-minded person. Unconventional means not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed. Different means not the same as another or each other, unlike in nature, form, or quality. Whatever way you say it many businesses embrace this ethos as their super-power, and in this overly homogenised world, it seems they may be on to something.

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ichard Branson’s risks

big rewards that come from being

every other house down the road and

are the stuff of legend so


did not create community,” explains Ian Ugarte, founder of Small Is The

it’s not surprising to hear

what he said to Forbes Magazine late

Small is the New Big (SITNB),

New Big.

For every market mismatch, a so-

When we offered these big box

called maverick has always emerged

houses to the market, what we

to disrupt the status quo and make

found was shocking, staggering and

their own rules, for example, Uber,

ultimately, business changing. The

Netflix, Amazon and Bitcoin.

majority of people needing housing

last year about taking risks.

“If you allow the fear of failure to become a barrier, you’re already putting road blocks in your way….entrepreneurs take risks by attempting to change the status quo.”

were the single older woman In Australia, SITYNB for a property

and young professionals, living

development company, creating

precariously and needing somewhere

Challenging the status quo takes

community connection through

affordable to live.

vision, commitment and just a little

housing that is needed, wanted and

bit of guts.

diverse. But it wasn’t always this way:

“Not only could they not afford to pay rent on a 4-bedroom home, but

To inspire our readers we’ve

“With the developments being done

they didn’t need or want a house of

taken a closer look at a handful of

by our previous company we turned

that size. I realised that the industry

businesses that are true mavericks in

out standard everyday cookie cutter,

was creating homes that were

their fields, we peaked behind their

house and land developments that

oversized and unaffordable, the

operations to understand what is at

created small block sizes with the

mismatch in the marketplace became

the heart of their unconventional

biggest houses possible - think

obvious,” says Ian.

approach and discovered, not

4-bedroom 2-bathroom oversized

surprisingly, that they are reaping

houses. They looked the same as

Research into this mismatch and how

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best to address it, revealed heart-

giving them security and privacy,

and show governments that we

breaking statistics.

along with the opportunity to

can make new rules and can create

engage with others.

better outcomes of making life

“When we saw that it was actually

easier for everyone.

the women over 55 who represented

“I just can’t conform with a capitalist

the largest growing demographic of

society that doesn’t look at a social

homelessness, we knew a complete

outcome for people, and I can’t

change in our approach was

stand back, and watch people be

needed,” Ian explained.

used and abused and put in worse situations for someone else’s gain

“People think that creating wealth and social contribution are completely separate worlds – they’re not. We believe in providing beneficial outcomes for everyone. There must be profit for purpose,”

This rude awakening led SITNB to

and profit. The manufacturing

come up with alternative solutions

of wealth from property without

to create a massive change in the

a broader purpose has greatly

industry. SITNB tailored successful

contributed to the growing housing

Ian and the Small Is The New Big

international approaches to the

crisis in Australia,” Ian says.

team are challenging and changing

Australian market and now takes

how the property and housing

these oversized properties with

Now, SITNB is on a mission to show

industry is shaped. The strategies

unused rooms to create multiple

other investors and developers how

they have developed not only

living spaces within the one home.

they can produce this same style of

produce win-win-win outcomes

property and help solve the housing

for investors, the clients and the

crisis in the process.

government, but also recreate the

By using space creatively, they have developed an affordable housing

genuine community connection that

model that is appropriate for a

“By working within the confines

broad range of occupants, not only

of the current rules, we can be

reducing their rental costs, but

advocates and action takers to lead

has been all but lost in Australia.

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36 now 29 years of PR experience and

commitment are palpable, and her

maverick approach as they hone how

enthusiasm is intoxicating. The term

When renowned Fairfax journalist,

to language their business in a new

‘PR Anti-Christ’ tag fits her well.

Leo D’Angelo-Fisher wrote a

way, and perfect their pitch for the

scathing article about PR people. He

media, before nine of the country’s

said that their billing structure was

best journalists gather to eagerly

flawed and he was tired of receiving

hear each and every business in

Having been perfecting his art as

pitch after pitch that was totally

attendance pitch directly to them.

a chocolatier since 1983, Angus



Suttie was shocked to be diagnosed

irrelevant to his publication (BRW no less!), Kate Engler, “The Publicity

Chiefs of staff, producers, editors,

with the early onset diabetes at the

Princess” couldn’t get on the phone

executive producers and senior

tender age of 26. Those around

fast enough.

journalists gather, year after year, to

him wondered if his wonderful

hear from the businesses at Engler’s

chocolate-making career would be


called to a pre-mature end.

that had taken her all around the

“I just saw too many amazing

Not to be dissuaded, Suttie turned his

country for two decades. It was to

Australian businesses over many

chocolate making prowess to help

congratulate him on calling out what

years make a decision to walk away

those like him who had a diagnosis of

she had witnessed during her 20-

from the opportunity for publicity

diabetes and needed to cut out the

year career in PR. Big agencies, high

because of the fees most PR

sugar from their diets.

monthly retainers, juniors racking

agencies charge. I love Australian

up fees with mismatched pitches to

entrepreneurs and believe they all

disinterested journalists to meet/pad

deserve the opportunity to share

out said retainers. Yep what Leo said

their stories with a much broader

rang true.

audience through the media.

As she congratulated Leo for his

“And journalists deserve to hear

candour and explained her own

amazing pitches! They work so hard

Suttie set about trying all the sugar-

background and how it informed

and are doing a brilliant job. But too

free products on the market and

what she does now, Leo was the first

often they spend a good part of their

discovered that whilst they may not

Fairfax journalist to coin the phrase

day hearing dud pitches.

contain sugar, they certainly had

Engler’s call to Leo wasn’t to chastise him on his criticism of the industry

ingredients that he was not keen to

that has become Kate’s unofficial title, the PR Anti-Christ. It’s a title Engler is happy with. Whilst most PR people want to rack up monthly retainers and manage (read manage/guard/protect!) their relationships with journalists fiercely, Engler has flipped the paradigm

“My diagnosis made me think differently about what we produce and investigate the market for sugar free products,” Angus explains.

“I wanted to shake up the paradigm and bring these two vital pieces of our media landscape together so that our gorgeous journos get sensational pitches from businesses who really deserve to share their message,” says Kate.

consume. Sugar-free doesn’t always mean healthy, as there are many manufactured, synthetic substitutes that health experts suggest should be avoided. Suttie decided he wanted to make a chocolate that was sugar free, that he would enjoy eating and that had

on its head with her twice yearly, application only “Meet the Press

There are rewards for the Publicity

all the ‘nasties’ (as he calls them)


Princess too, and not just talking


financial. Listening to Engler share Over three days, carefully pre-

her excitement for each and every

screened businesses are stretched,

piece of coverage her “Meet the

challenged and trained by her

Press MasterClass” attendees gets is intoxicating. Her passion and

“I made a dramatic change in our business, went against convention, and took on a niche market in the sugar free

chocolate range.

journey that would lead the way in

organic, the industry is still focused

organics, skin care and the marriage

on the surface level of beauty,

“Whilst I was creating the chocolate,

of products with inherent energy

Synthesis is pioneering, linking the

I wanted to make it stand apart from

from the plants used to create them.

product with the energy of the plants used in its creation.

other products in the market and create flavours that were unique.

Theme Rains was just 21 and top of her class at Sydney University

“This guiding desire to be of service to humanity, to the planet is what has moved me my whole adult life, and led to the creation of Synthesis,” explains Theme.

“In this vein, when making our dark

Law Faculty when she realised that

chocolate that is sugar free I also

there wasn’t a lot of genuine organic

wanted to encompass the dairy

products in the market. She saw

free market, which most businesses

an opportunity to create products

shy away from, and make a proper

with full integrity, from the seed

dairy free product. It took a lot of

of the plant, used right through

“Synthesis began as a healing

discipline, and I knew creating a

the whole supply chain to finished

response to friends and colleagues

great tasting, sugar-free/dairy-free

product. Her challenge was finding a

and not with a business plan or

product would put my skills to the

cosmetic chemist willing to push the

even a motive to make profit.

test,” Suttie explains.

boundaries and formulate a product

Unconventionally, we have grown

that would reach the required 95-

organically, made profit to reinvest

He was up to the challenge with

100% Certified Organic Ingredient

in Synthesis and other life positive

“Nature’s Tribe” as a part of Born


projects, and stayed true to the core values of being of service and living

Wild Foods emerging. Not to be deterred, Rains went back

and creating from the heart.”

Growing from the core belief of

to school to learn how to do it. Her

quality plus taste, only natural

maverick formulas have gone on

Never one to rest on her laurels

ingredients were included. Suttie

to win many awards, including the

however, the Synthesis Skin Care

never wavering from the idea that

International Green Formulational

team are still pushing conventional

chocolate must taste of enjoyment,

Award. Hers was the only Australian

boundaries with the unconventional

comfort, and deliciousness.

brand nominated in the Paris

by implementing a blockchain

Sustainable Beauty Awards 2017,

traceability protocol to go above

where it was runner up to Weleda.

and beyond in traceability and

Not only did Suttie develop a range

accountability of their product

of chocolates with no added sugar


which, if present at all, is the result

While Organic products are now

of small amount of sugar originating

widely available, when Theme started

naturally from the added ingredients,

it was not the case. She blazed a trail

“Our unique approach means

for example fruit or nuts, his

in skincare that many have attempted

Synthesis has elevated skincare

chocolate range can be enjoyed by a

to follow.

to essential self-care, taking into account the ‘secret’ of

wide range of increasingly prevalent dietary requirements in our modern

Two decades of study, practice

health, wellness, beauty and self-

age: keto, Paleo, calorie controlled,

and teaching have added layers to

actualisation realised by the great

diabetic, FODMAP as well as the just

the Synthesis approach, which is

healing traditions of the world,

plain chocoholic…YUM!

essentially guided by what is called

and more recently the medical

“Intelligence of the Heart, or Love.”

and scientific community that we

This takes everything into account,

are much more than our physical

understanding every action impacts

appearance, and the quality of the

the whole.

flow and integration of the energy in,

SYNTHESIS ORGANICS Before ‘organic’ was popular, a quiet,

through and around us is at the heart

elegant woman left her university studies and thoughts of becoming

While consumer consciousness has

a lawyer. She embarked upon a

shifted to a greater appreciation of

of true healing,” Theme says.

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by Kate Engler

R. Edward Freeman, former trustee at Conscious Capitalism, Inc and professor at University of Virginia Darden School of Business was once quoted in Forbes magazine as saying: “We need red blood cells to live (the same way a business needs profits to live), but the purpose of life is more than to make red blood cells (the same way the purpose of business is more than simply to generate profits).�

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inding a heart-felt

that our attitude is what will get us

What Dr Evan’s clinical experience

purpose in business and

through life and that life goes on

showed him was that pet owners

not simply focussing

no matter what gets thrown at you,

are usually well-intentioned, but

on profit is often language heard

so I just got on with things after the

they often don’t select the right

when women entrepreneurs and

diagnosis,” explains Dr Evan.

treatments for their pet, and they

‘mumpreneurs’ discuss how to shape

After graduating though, Dr Evan was

often forget the due date. The result

and build a business.


is broken hearts for pet owners and

But finding a purpose in business

“The best way to describe MS is it’s

or having a heart at the centre of a

like having a house where all the

business isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the

wiring is missing its plastic coating,

sole domain of women in business.

so when the wires touch, you get

Fleamail is a monthly subscription

Fortunately for our society, more

shorts and messages don’t get

service where the exact flea, tick and

and more men are stepping up and

through very fast.

worming medications that pets need

vets alike. And with that, Fleamail was born.

are posted to customers’ mailboxes

into an understanding that the heart really can drive a successful business

“My MS symptoms are random and

by a vet at the exact time their pet

and shape the very purpose of its

come and go with no notice; the last

needs to take it, ensuring Aussie pets


thing I wanted to do was take a full-

are kept safe and most importantly,

time job in someone’s vet clinic and


And sometimes, this shift in business

then turn around one day and say,

structure comes from a heart-

sorry, my hand’s not working today

“I think it’s too easy to forget our

breaking moment.

so I can’t do that injection.

pets worming schedules because our lives are busier than ever these days,”


“So instead, I volunteered for the

explains Dr Evan.

RSPCA two days a week for six

With the flea, tick and worming

One such heart-breaking moment

months to build up my experience,”

industry for cats and dogs tipping

that totally restructured the way

Dr Evan explains

the billion-dollar mark in Australia, it’s almost inconceivable that studies

he did business, happened for veterinarian Dr Evan Shaw on 24

And things were going well until that

show 25 per cent of dogs and cats

April 2016.

fateful April day. On April 24, 2016 Dr

get no flea, tick and worming in their

Evan had to euthanise 16 pets from


Evan had always planned to start

preventable parasite-related illness.

university as a mature aged student

He had to counsel and comfort 16

On average 80 per cent of pets

when he turned 30, to fulfil his

families whose hearts had been

whose owners feel they are on top of

childhood desire of becoming a

broken, and he realised that his heart

their flea, tick and worming regime

vet. He brought this forward after

had also broken that day.

miss 5 of the 12 treatments due for their pet each year. People either

receiving what he calls a wake-up call from life with a diagnosis of MS

Around 46,000 domestic cats & dogs

forget or find it too complicated or

at the tender age of 28, and enrolled

are taken to the vets each year in


in James Cook University, graduating

Australia for preventable parasite-

in 2016.

related diseases, many of which need

“I’m taking all that thinking away

to be euthanised.

for people; they just tell me what animals they have, how big they are,

“My parents, Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw, former captain of the Wallabies,

Dr Evan explains it best when he says,

and I take care of the rest and bill

and Lindy Shaw, a teacher, always

“I signed up to save animals, not kill

them a small amount every month.

drummed into me as a child kid


“When the medication arrives, they

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give it to their pet, and they’re

because we don’t always know

protected. End of story,” says Dr

what we’re doing. We struggle to be

“Although the business was


patient with our kids because we’re

successful, the major problem was

so stressed. And we struggle with

that the late nights seeing clients

Dr Evan’s Fleamail business allows

guilt because work takes us away

and the constant travel around

him to work effectively as a vet even

from our kids – and we often don’t

the country inspecting different

despite his MS, and to also meets a

get a say in the matter.”

properties and property markets

dire need in the community. Heart-

When his first son was born, he took

made me feel like I was missing out

centred business in action right

two weeks off for Paternity Leave.

on time with my kids,” Niro says.


Yet, the first day he got back, his boss, (a woman) told him that he

“Now I couldn’t just manufacture

Having launched in Australia

should have come back to work

extra time to spend with them

recently, Dr Evan and his partners

earlier. There was work to be done

overnight. So, I decided to instead

have plans to conquer New Zealand

and she made it clear that she felt he

focus on coming up with strategies

next, before rolling out the Fleamail

had no right to take “that much time

that increased the quality of the time

concept in California, France,

off. After all, looking after kids is a

I did get to spend with my kids. I

Germany and Britain.

woman’s job and what use is a man?”

stopped giving my best only to work

is what this female boss said to him.

and just giving my kids whatever little of me was left over after

It seems Dr Evan’s heart-based mission to save people’s fur-babies is

Not surprisingly, Niro left that job

seeing clients. It was a life-changing

well on track.

soon after in the hopes of spending

moment,” he explains.

Real babies

more time with his children and, on

What about people’s real babies?

the back of a successful track record

As a result of Niro’s heart-driven

How do working parents take a

as a property investor, he started his

restructure of his life, he now

heart-centred approach to juggling

own investment property advisory

proudly reports an amazingly close

their careers with their roles as


relationship with his kids, which makes him feel like he’s succeeding

carers? Yet, his problem of quality time with

as a father and as a husband, and he

One dad who’s on a mission to help

his children was not solved in the

now looks forward to going home

parents, especially dads, is Niro

way he’d hoped. As many who have

after a hard day’s work to immerse

Thambipillay. He believes that dads

ventured down the entrepreneurial

himself in time with this children.

today face three major challenges.

path know only too well, sometimes

He knows because he experienced

the hours are longer rather than

Whilst Niro felt he had made the right

this personally:

shorter when the decision is made to

decision, as he looked across the

“We struggle with self-doubt,

start up a new business.

landscape of what other fathers were

doing, he wondered whether other

“Many of them have reached out to

become the father both they and

dads were silently struggling with

me asking for advice and support

their kids want them to be,” explains

the same problems he did; of self-

on their dad journeys, often relaying


doubt, work/life balance and a lack

exactly how I used to feel, that

of patience due to the fact they were

fatherhood is a lonely journey and

Perhaps the final word on leading

stressed all the time.

there is so little support.

from the heart, should come from

Earlier this year, Niro set up a

“My aim with my new coaching and

heart-centred leaders, a man who

Facebook page specifically for dads

consulting business Family Focused

showed the world just what’s

called Family Focused Fathers, and in

Fathers is to show dads that they

possible when we allow our hearts to

under six months, nearly 3,500 dads

no longer need to feel alone. They

guide us, Nelson Mandela.

from all over the world have flocked

can get help from other men to

to the page, relieved that they were

have an easier and more enjoyable

“A good head and a good heart are

not along in their struggles.

fatherhood journey. Ultimately

always a formidable combination.”

one of this generation’s greatest

spark magazine


spark magazine


spark magazine


by Darren Walsh


impact & return Social media is a content machine that is never satisfied when you’re running a small business. Your audience is always demanding new content. That alone can create a bit of stage fright or ‘flashing cursor syndrome’ when it comes to trying to work out what to post, when to post and how to online. This tends to lead to overwhelm.

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usinesses cannot afford to

marketing that speaks directly to

consistently, multiple times per day.

ignore the importance of

them as humans. From their fears

(Productivity tip: You can share the

using social media, especially

and problems that they have to their

same thing you posted on Facebook

if it wants to be relevant and still

stress points, dreams, goals and

to a different platform at a different

in business in the next few years.

desires. Knowing this will help to


According to Forbes magazine 78%

create an emotional connection with

of consumers say companies’ social

your audience online.

media posts impact their purchases. That’s a huge number and one that SME owners simply cannot afford to ignore.

For example, if you know that your audience is someone who wants to write a book but they’re deathly afraid of putting themselves out

4. HOW TO GET A RETURN With all of this social media and digital activity many business owners neglect the most important step, which is letting people know how they can buy.

How much are you missing out by

there for fear of judgement. You’ll

not using the power of social media?

have a very different conversation

My rule of thumb here is: post five

There are four steps to work through

with them online versus the standard

pieces of valuable content (solving

in order to create impact and return:

“3 Steps To Writing A Bestseller”

problems your audience has or


helping them with achieving their


goals, dreams or desires) and then make an offer for customers to

We’re not just talking about your

Connect with them on an emotional

buy a product or a service or even

products and services here. We need

level. This will have you standing out

download something for free as a

to be clear on what makes you as

as being different.

way of getting them into your email

people different to your competitors.



What are your strengths, your knowledge, your R&D processes,

When you follow the four steps above you will be creating impact

your people. This is very different

One of the most powerful things

to the standard ‘USP’ because it

that you can do online that will drive

requires you to delve deeper into

impact is to share opinions and

what makes your business, your

thinking in your area of expertise,

company and yourself different.

products and services.

Being able to articulate this clearly

There are many platforms out there

will create the confidence for you

their biggest problems, because you

to choose from where you can share

to be able to share online with

understand them and they feel heard

this and it can often lead to being

authority and certainty in a way that

and validated.

put in the ‘too hard basket’ when

builds impact.

trying to decide where to focus your



Business 101 will have you doing

growing user-base of more than

work on your ideal audience and it’s

2.2BN people you cannot ignore

an incredibly valuable process, but

it), your website where you’ll be

most companies only do it to about

blogging regularly and then choose

50% of how it could be done.

either Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter,

If you delve deeper than their gender, age range and marital status you’ll find all sorts of gold that you can use to create digital

Focus on my “3 Pillar Rule.” Build a presence on Facebook (with a global,

depending on where your audience tends to spend the majority of their time. Posting various pieces of content

and return because you are speaking directly to your audience. They might be scrolling through endless content but then realise that you and your business are the ones who can solve

About the author Nicola Moras is a social media specialist, speaker and author of Visible, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing. Nicola helps clients around the world achieve visibility, impact and profits, enabling them to become ‘professionally famous’ online. Find out more at

issue no.15

47 3

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48 by Dr Amantha Imber



Every minute of every work day, there are several (or, in fact, many) managers that are inadvertently killing their team’s productivity.

They are doing this through expecting their team to be at their beck and call, responding to IMs or emails within a few minutes. They do this by constantly interrupting their team – because it’s okay for managers to interrupt people, isn’t it? These managers spread out many meetings across the course of the week, most of which are not helping anyone make progress on their most important projects.

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spark magazine



ndeed, Adobe’s Consumer Email

in between. You can determine

to think to ourselves ‘what on earth

Survey, conducted across 1000

where people lie by asking them to

did I achieve today’?

white collar workers, showed

complete this assessment.

we spend 2.5 hours in our

inbox per day. And when it comes to meetings, research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review revealed that executives spend 23

need to help them protect at least

one hour of their day where they


can work proactively on their


most important projects without

hours per week in meetings – and

Once you know where individuals

their subordinates are probably not

sit on this scale, encourage them to

that far behind.

structure their day based on their

But often, when we talk about improving productivity, common sense suggests that to achieve big gains, we need to make big changes. Yet what we know from fields such as cognitive psychology and behavioural economics is that small changes can actually lead to big leaps forward in performance. This is called “Microproductivity” – tiny changes that can lead to huge improvements in the way we work. If you manage a team, here are three simple Microproductivity tactics you can try that will have a dramatic impact on your team’s performance.

Do you know which members of your team are morning versus

morning? And which ones come to life at night? If you don’t know this

calendar invite to your team titled

means letting them leave early too.

“Distraction free hour”. Block this

And encourage your Owls to do the

out in everyone’s diary for the first


hour of their workday (note that for

Larks and middle birds are best suited to doing focused and analytical work in the mornings, and then less cognitively intense work in the afternoons. For Owls, their days should be structured in the opposite manner. On my team at Inventium, I have a couple of Larks who regularly start work between 4-5am, when their brains are firing, and finish a bit after lunchtime.

to their individual chronotypes, you’ll boost performance significantly by aligning people’s natural inbuilt clocks with work tasks.


to know it because this has huge

reactive mode. Emails and Slack

implications for performance.

are checked at the start of the day,

bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6am. Another 21% are Owls, who peak in the evening. And the rest of us are “middle birds” and fall somewhere

Owls, their hour of power should be at the end of the day). Giving people permission to stay out of their inboxes and protecting this time from meetings will allow your team to get a big chunk of deep and focused work done. You’ll see that people will use this time to make big steps forward on their projects and as an added bonus, this creates a much more energising start to the day compared to getting buried in emails. After your team has mastered its hour of power, you might start to build up to 90 minutes or even two hours. The more time you set aside for focused and uninterrupted work, the greater the productivity gains you’ll see.

information, then you need to get

Larks, the type of people who are

start competing for their attention.

work as early as they like, but this

The average team starts the day in

Around 14% of the population are

of the day before incoming messages

To kick things off, send out a

evening people? Which ones are firing on all cylinders in the

interruption. Ideally, it’s the first hour

Chronotype. Let your Larks start

By encouraging your team to work


If this sounds like your team, you


which puts everyone on the back foot, playing whack-a-mole with their inbox to try to achieve the elusive inbox zero and attempting to respond to everyone’s requests for their time. And come the end of the day, we wonder why it’s so common

BATCH MEETINGS As a manager, you are probably responsible for setting many of the meetings that your team attends. Many managers don’t give much thought to the timing of meetings. Indeed, all that often matters is that all attendees are free at the allocated time. However, by not giving thought to the timing of meetings, you are unwittingly killing productivity.

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51 Researchers from Ohio State University conducted a series of experiments which showed that when people have a meeting coming up within an hour or two, the time in between is used much less productively. One of their studies found that when people had a meeting coming up, they got 22% less work done in the time before the meeting started compared to if they didn’t have a meeting approaching. To boost productivity, batch your team’s meetings. You might decide to allocate two or three afternoons per week that are specifically for meetings, or you might want to keep meetings to only occurring during certain hours of the day, such as between 2-4pm. By batching meetings, you will eliminate the “dead” time that happens when meetings are scattered randomly throughout ever work day. All three of these changes should be quick and easy to implement, but the changes that will spring from any one of them will be enormous.

About the Author Dr Amantha Imber is the Founder of Inventium, Australia’s leading innovation consultancy and the host of How I Work, a podcast about the habits and rituals of the world’s most successful innovators.

spark magazine


by Darrell Hardidge



Have you ever noticed the performance difference between two quite similar businesses? One seems to be totally on top of it and the other you can tell is struggling. Considering the market conditions, they are same location, product/service, sales catchment, employment options, etc. So why is it that one can totally dominate the other and achieve higher margins?

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spark magazine



ave you ever noticed the

experience is front and center and

referrals, especially for high value

performance difference

delivers true value that’s beyond the

products and services. The business

between two quite similar

price tag.

must have earned your trust before you will put your personal reputation

businesses? One seems to be totally on top of it and the other you can

Optimising customer value and

on the line. They must have gone

tell is struggling. Considering the

margin is directly proportional to

beyond your expectations and

market conditions, they are same

the standards of service you deliver.

delivered a unique experience.

location, product/service, sales

If you just deliver a standard of

catchment, employment options,

satisfaction, you will sell what the

The companies that you won’t risk

etc. So why is it that one can totally

market needs and mimimise average

your reputation for will be the ones

dominate the other and achieve

sale values. If you obsess over your

that focus on themselves and their

higher margins?

customers and deliver a superior

competitors and forget about the

service model directed to what the

value they should be giving to you.

In most situations, market leadership

customer values, you will open the

They must keep spending money

comes down to one very specific

door to selling a whole range of

to get you back with a special offer

and fundamental belief and process.

things they want. This opens your

rather than relying upon a respected

They obsess over their customers

ability to engage with them and build

and trusted relationship with you.

and not over their competitors. They

a reputation of a forward thinking

Obsessing over your customers will

put their customer at the center of

and value driven supplier and keeps

cause your team to think about how

everything they do and make sure

you front of mind.

to improve and how to build security into the customer base.

it’s a finely tuned process to deliver optimal service.

If you’re not remarkable with your service standards, then you’re not

A company that has mastered

The current economic outlook is

memorable and quickly become

customer experience doesn’t need

challenging and the need to master

invisible. Market relevance is essential

to worry about the competition,

customer experience is more critical

if you want to leverage repeat

because the competition is already

than ever. When things get tight

business and average sale values. 100

worrying about them.

the consumer is far more selective

customers averaging $1000/year is

with their spending, if you can’t

more profitable the 200 customers

The competition is more worried

deliver superior service then you

averaging $500/year. Mastering the

about how many of their customers

will lose out on sales. Right now,

basics of service excellence and then

they are about to lose because they

smart companies are reviewing their

expanding is safer then going full tilt

cannot match on service experience.

customer journeys and making sure

to get a sale and not focus on margin

Investing in designing a unique

its finely tuned. They have a point

or their future transactions.

customer journey and experience will pay massive dividends and when

of difference in the way they think Obsessing over customers and not

done correctly can prove significant

competitors has one unique benefit

value on a balance sheet and also the

The key is their mindset around

that provides the highest margins

value of a company’s brand equity.

service Innovation. They approach

and shortest sales cycles. It is rarely

Having roadmap to train your team in

the process very differently to most.

measured or understood why it

service excellence is one the highest

They define Innovation as ‘change

happens and is rarely on any KPI’s.

paying dividends you can achieve

that adds optimal customer value’,

It’s the personal referrals supplied

with your team.

They ensure everything they do

by appreciative customers and most

provides value to their customer.

importantly why they were given.

about customer experience.

Different isn’t always better, but, better is always different. Obsessing

If it doesn’t, they keep developing until they can prove it does. This

Think of your own behavior, you

over customers and not over

approach ensures the customer’s

will be careful about how you give

competition will build you a powerful reputation of being better.

About the Author Darrell Hardidge is the founder and CEO of Saguity and the author of The Client Revolution and The 10 Commandments of Client Appreciation

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by Donna McGeorge



Traditional approaches to time management involve prioritising, planning, creating to-do lists and ticking off goals. Yet, despite all of this, if someone were to ask, ‘How’s work?’ most leaders would respond ‘Busy!’ Along with busy, comes the feeling of tiredness (because busy and tired go hand-in-hand.).

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spark magazine



o let’s think of time like

makes snap judgements. It also

intensity, will be required in four

real estate. Beachfront

doesn’t require much energy.


2. System 2 is slower, more


properties with a water view are generally of higher

value. Apartments in Hong Kong will be valued differently from those in Manila. Even in a game of Monopoly, properties that cost more give you a greater return than others. When leaders start to value time the

deliberative, and more logical. It takes deeper thinking and uses a lot of energy. People feel tired or ‘brain dead’ if they have been using System 2 a lot. Hence, leaders need to schedule

Tasks that directly and positively affect results and require a lot of attention, energy and focus. This is a person’s most important work. 2. HIGH INTENSITY/LOW IMPACT.

work that requires intensity for

Tasks that require being in the service

when they are at their most alert and

of others. Giving time to someone

energetic. Impact is the return they

to ‘bounce an idea off’ or something

will get on the time and energy spent


at those times.


to do it. Now it becomes a valuable

If a task will have a high impact or

Tasks that can be done while

resource that deserves a return on

return, it should be prioritised more

metaphorically sleeping because


highly than something that has low

they are easy and the stakes are low.

impact. To be clear, the first priority

These are things that are repetitive

will be the impact on the leader

and routine in nature.

way the world values real estate, then traditional time management approaches get flipped. Instead, leaders truly think about what managing time means, not just how

So how do leaders make the best use of every minute of the day?

themselves and their personal work,


then impact on the team, and then

To design a better day, one that is

Often leaders spend a lot of

full of productivity, motivation and

time doing things that are of low

joy (gasp!) still means figuring out

importance or have little impact on

what needs to be done that day.


However, rather than writing down and working through a long list of tasks, leaders should run their tasks through the filters of intensity and impact.

impact on the organisation.

For most people, there are just two or three things that can be done in a day that will have the biggest impact on productivity and results.

4. LOW INTENSITY/HIGH IMPACT. Tasks that don’t require a lot of ‘heavy lifting’ brain-wise, but will have a positive impact: planning, maintenance, preparation. Basically, anything that sets a successful day tomorrow. When leaders design their day like this, when asked, ‘How’s work?’ they will answer either ‘productive’ or ‘unproductive’ instead of the usual


‘busy’, ‘frantic’ or ‘stressful’. Try it and

brainpower a task will require. Does

The Pareto Principle explains that


it need deep thinking, concentration

20 per cent of activity will give us

About the author

and focus (high intensity)? Or can

80 per cent of results. This concept

it be done with a blindfold on (low

originated from Italian economist


Vilfredo Pareto when he noticed

Intensity is the amount of

Another way of thinking about intensity is to use the metaphor created by Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

that 80 per cent of the country’s land was owned by just 20 per cent of the population. This led Pareto to examine this imbalance further and how it related to other areas,

In it, he describes the brain as having

including how time, effort and

two systems:

energy is spent.

1. System 1 is fast, instinctive and

When it comes to scheduling tasks,

emotional. It moves quickly and

think about how much energy, or

Donna Mcgeorge is a speaker, author and mentor who helps people make their work work. Using a creative, practical approach, she improves workplace effectiveness while challenging thinking on leadership, productivity and virtual work. ‘The First 2 Hours: Make better Use of Your Most Valuable Time’ is published by John Wiley.

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spark magazine



by Nicola Moras

THE STEP PLAN TO A WINNING SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IN THE FINANCE SECTOR Every business wants to increase their enquiries and get more clients. The wonderful news for you is that you can use social media in order to build your pipeline.

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usiness owners can no longer

head that you can imagine when

something that can help them relax

ignore the fact that social

you’re coming up with content for

when talking about money.

media is a crucial element,

social media and it will help you cut

that when used strategically, can

through the rest of the noise from

connect them with potential clients

all of the other finance industry

and even educate our existing

professionals vying for attention.

clients. It can (and should) be used as a medium to encourage repeat business, referrals, and to continue to build deep trust that consumers are looking for. With 3.48 billion social media users in 2019 (Source: We Are Social) and a global penetration rate of 45%. (Source: Statista), businesses should use it as a tool to grow.

You might like to talk about the importance of knowing your cash flow in and out of your household money accounts. You can let them

For example, if you are passionate

know the facts about offset accounts

about helping families consolidate

and how they can, if used properly,

debt. You can probably picture

save a lot of interest on their home

someone you have worked with

loan. You could let them know of

before. Imagine them sitting in

some options that you’ve found

front of you, telling you about

online for budget holidays with the

their situation. The pressures that

family. This helps them to trust you

they have, the desires they have,

and feel like you understand them as

the things that keep them up at

they’re learning to get to know you

night. Their children, their health,

and your organisation.

Here’s the five step plan to creating

their mindset, their work life. They

a winning social media presence

trust you, so they tell you close to

that has your business standing out



You want them to see that you can

Once you have decided on an

empathise with them online and you

audience to talk to online and you’ve

can only do this if you know exactly

created some content to share to

who they are.

help them get to know you and see

for the right reasons and has you creating the space to monetise it.

STEP 1: WHAT IS THAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT? Offerings in the finance sector are quite similar to each other in terms of product offerings, rates and services provided. Most finance professionals tend to post about rates, deals, and incentives in order to try to win the business. Instead of doing that, you need to use what makes you and your organisation different as a place to start with your

that you care about them you’ve got to get it in front of their eyeballs.


Facebook is the first platform to invest your time and with a whopping 2.2 billion active users on that platform, it cannot be ignored.

you place online that helps people, educates people and helps them get to know. Solve the problems they have and help them see that you help them achieve their goals and dreams.

STEP 5. INVITE PEOPLE TO TALK TO YOU This is the step that most business owners neglect. They put out all

winning social media formula.

Some types of content examples are:

For example, have you recently


left one of the corporate banking

Short videos

Text posts

Images that you’ve created with

You could invite them to contact you

hints and tips on them

for an appointment, download a free

Links to blogs that you may have

guide, attend a free information night


or even apply to become a client of

organisations in favour of supporting the ‘little guy’ and why is that? Why is this so important to you?

STEP 2. WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT AUDIENCE? This is important because it helps you picture a real life human in your

Using the family from the example in step two, we know that they might be stressed, so you could share

of the content and advice but they forget to tell their audience how to access further help from them. Your call to action is an invitation to take the relationship a step further.

yours online. The choice is yours. Just make sure you let them know what they need to do to take the next step.

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About the author Nicola Moras is a social media specialist, speaker and author of Visible, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing. Nicola helps clients around the world achieve visibility, impact and profits, enabling them to become ‘professionally famous’ online. Find out more at

spark magazine


by Amantha Imber



You would be hard pressed to find a company that isn’t talking about or offering flexible work arrangements. Work from home! Start work 30 minutes early! Work through lunch and clock off early!

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spark magazine



et despite this, most of us

are stereotypical “morning people”

The second type of work is Shallow

are still expected to be at

- the type that are severely irritating

Work. This is work that is non-

the office (or logging on to

if don’t happen to be one of those

cognitively demanding, such


as checking emails and instant

our computers) by around 9am and stay connected until 5pm (or later). Working roughly between the hours of 9 to 5 remains the default that no one dares to challenge too strongly.

At the other end of the spectrum are Owls, which represent another 21%

messenger, making phone calls, and administrative work.

of the population. Owls have their

But because of the fact that digital

peak productivity after most of us

distractions and interruptions are

And within these eight hours, little

have had dinner and quite often, well

rife in today’s working world, the

thought is given to the type of task

into the night.

majority of us spend our days in

and what time of day it is completed. Our days are designed reactively. We let people schedule meetings in our diary, we check email constantly throughout the day and let other people’s requests control what we do. And then we wonder why we so frequently reach the day and ask ourselves, “What did I actually achieve today?” But what we know from psychology is that forcing people to work within this default and allowing our days to be reactive is setting our workdays up for failure.

If you can’t relate to either extreme, you are probably a Middle Bird. In general, Middle Birds tend to follow the energy patterns of a Lark, albeit a couple of hours delayed. The big problem that Owls face is that the business world works against their natural body clocks. As a result, Owls are at a distinct disadvantage in organisations that don’t dare challenge the default hours of working. Whatever your Chronotype, you need to start proactively structuring your days to align with your energy levels.

Shallow Work and try to fit the Deep Work in amongst it. But really, it needs to be the other way around if we are to accomplish anything of value and make meaningful progress. Bringing these concepts together, Larks and Middle Birds perform best when they schedule Deep Work for the morning. All digital distractions and communication channels should be switched off. Owls do their best Deep Work in the evening or at night, ironically, when no one is expected to be in the office.

Larks often work best when they can

Here are some methods to

start work at 6am, while Owls are

dramatically improve your work

better placed to not arrive at work

performance through re-designing

until lunch.


the workday.

Larks and Middle Birds should



Through studying thousands of

According to Professor Cal Newport,

people’s internal body clocks,

there are two modes of working

scientists came to learn that we

that knowledge workers can engage

are not all created equal when it

in. The first type of work is Deep

For Owls, given their days essentially

comes to our daily energy levels

Work. This is work that is cognitively

run in reverse, Shallow Work can be

and how they fluctuate. Around 14%

demanding and to do it well, requires

done in the middle of the day, when

of the population are what these

focus and a lack of interruptions.

their energy is not firing like it does

researchers refer to as Larks. They

schedule this for their afternoons. Meetings that don’t require deep thinking (such as work in progress meetings) are also good to schedule in the afternoons.

at night.

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Productive Larks and Third Birds will

of extreme Larks who will regularly

workplaces that forced them into the

batch email and communication

start their workday at 4 or 5am. They

9 to 5 mould, they are now thriving

checking for the afternoons.

spend their early morning hours

with these self-set hours that are

Blocking out an hour or so do clear

doing deep, focused work, with no

matched to their Chronotype.

your inbox is a great use of your

interruptions. They might then take

afternoons, but a waste of precious

a break for a few hours and spend

brain power in the morning.

the afternoon doing shallow work

At my consultancy Inventium (www., we have a couple

Dr Amantha Imber is the Founder of Inventium, Australia’s leading innovation consultancy and the host of How I Work, a podcast about the habits and rituals of the world’s most successful innovators.

such as checking and responding to emails. And compared to past

So while flexible work policies are great, design your workday (and those of your team) based on getting the most out of people’s brains and natural circadian rhythms.

spark magazine


by Spencer Smith

THE HEALTH PARADOX how to live longer and better

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spark magazine



hat’s the

out, sedentary lifestyle, with a poor

point in busy

diet, in an environment awash with

business owners,

invisible pollution such as automobile

executives, and entrepreneurs


chasing status, position and financial success if their health is

One in two Australian adults has at

compromised later in life by chronic

least one chronic health condition3


and over half the adult population is

Advances in modern medicine have

overweight or obese4.

resulted in a slow but steady rise in


life expectancy for both males and


females1. So why is it that chronic lifestyle diseases such as type two

Australian Government, The Department of

main/publishing.nsf/Content/chronic-disease 4

Australian Government, Australian Institute of

medicine work to diagnose and

Health and Welfare

prescribe dietary and lifestyle

changes that tackle the root cause

are on the rise?


of chronic disease. They work in



diabetes, heart disease and obesity Australian Government, Australian Institute

of Health and Welfare,



Modern medicine is keeping people


alive longer, yet the quality of life

The health paradox is that while

for many is compromised and

modern medicines help keep people

deteriorates in old age. What quality

alive longer, their quality of life in

of life does an older person have if

old age is deteriorating as a result

they suffer from dementia and can’t

of chronic disease. Health coach

remember their own name?

professionals are helping to turn the

The good news is these diseases

tide at providing, not just a longer

are generally reversible by making

life, but a higher quality life for their

dietary, lifestyle and habit changes


and health coaches are trained


to assist their clients in this

Western society is faced with its biggest health crisis in the history. Chronic diseases, such as type two diabetes, heart disease, cancers, dementia, Alzheimer’s and complications from being

transformative process. ‘People don’t have chronic health problems; they have chronic life problems that reflect in their health.’

collaboration with health coaches who address the lifestyle habits and behaviours that contributed to the problem in the first place. The CEO of the Health Coach Institute Eric Neuner summarises it perfectly;

‘Our healthcare system needs a new kind of caregiver. A caregiver who provides ongoing support for sustainable habit change. A caregiver who inspires intrinsic motivation. This kind of care is precisely what health coaches provide’.


FunctionalMedDoc, San Diego,

The term overweight really means


carrying too much body fat for a particular height and mass. It

of deaths in the western world,


including Australia2.

Functional medicine is a relatively

Mass Index. A few kilograms of


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,

new model of health care that is

seemingly innocuous fat around the

gaining traction around the world. It

waist can be enough to tip a person

offers people with chronic disease an

into the official overweight category

These diseases are referred to

alternative to the conventional health

and enough to cause chronic

as lifestyle diseases, caused by

care approach.

problems over time.

leading an increasingly stressed

Doctors who specialise in functional

overweight, represent the majority

doesn’t take much to be classed as overweight according to the Body

spark magazine

71 Achieving and sustaining an ideal

kilograms. Some bacteria are the

weight range through a healthy

good bugs, while others are the

diet is critical to preventing chronic

bad bugs. Foods that feed the bad

disease. This is the single most

bugs result in the gut being overrun

effective action a person can take in

by disease promoting bacteria

reversing it.

which can cause leaky gut and

How to use food as medicine to

resulting inflammation. Foods that

prevent, reverse chronic diseases,

feed the good bugs protect the

gut lining preventing leaky gut and




Simply put, eating foods that feed


the good bugs and cutting out foods


that feed the bad bugs, over time will

What a person eats (the diet) is only

not only aid in weight loss but also

part of the food puzzle and is the

protect against developing chronic

reason why most diets fail to deliver


and where a person eats also plays

Examples of foods that feed the good

a vital role in controlling weight yet

gut bacteria include olive oil, berries,

few are aware of this hack.

avocado, mushroom, tubers (carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, radish) and

The five secrets to losing weight (and

figs. Examples of foods that feed the

keeping it off)

bad gut bacteria are sugar, alcohol,

The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is not strictly correct. Acclaimed American heart surgeon, Dr Steven

high fructose fruits (grapes, bananas, mango), dairy products, corn and peanuts.


Gundry claims a more correct

How a person eats is all about speed.

statement is ‘you are what your gut

It can take up to 20 minutes for the

bacteria digests’.

brain to register that the stomach is full. Therefore, eating a meal quickly

Latest research indicates5 that the

over five to 10 minutes will likely

gut bacteria, or microbiome, plays a

result in a person eating much more

large role in health, weight control,

than they need to feel satiated and

mental wellbeing and the onset of

satisfy hunger. Men in particular are

chronic disease.

guilty of being fast eaters - weight

5 Gut Mircobiota for health, https://www.

gain in the western world is in part a

result of over nutrition, eating more than the body metabolically needs.

The microbiome is made up of

The ‘20 minute meal’ implores

trillions of bacteria, more than

people to slow down and take their

there are cells in the body and

time over a meal. To savour, taste, appreciate and most of all, enjoy it.

can collectively weigh up to two

When a person eats is a vital part of controlling weight over the long term. Humans evolved during a time when food was not as available as it is today. Food was in most part scarce and restricted to seeds, berries, nuts and tubers. There would be long periods when early Homo sapiens didn’t get to eat at all. Hence the human body has had to adapt and evolve to accommodate food scarcity. When a person fasts (either by choice or out of necessity), the body switches into a metabolic state called ketosis6. 6

permanent weight loss. How, when



Web MD,


In this primal state, body fat is burned to produce ketones which the body can use for fuel because sugar (glucose) in the blood and reserves in the liver (glycogen) have all been consumed. Intermittent fasting has become fashionable as have ketogenic diets. Fasting from say seven pm in the evening and breaking the fast (breakfast) around 11am is a 16 hour fast where the body is well and truly in a state of ketosis and burning body fat - this is well documented to achieve one kg per week weight loss (as mostly body fat). Fasting also has other well proven and documented benefits including autophagy, a spring clean of the body where damaged cells are consumed and replaced with new cells. This has obvious benefits with respect to preventing cancerous cells from taking hold and multiplying.

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As an introduction to intermittent fasting, try to resist the urge to eat past seven pm and start the day with a large glass of warm lemon water or some herbal tea and delay consuming calories until eight or nine am.

4) WHERE YOU EAT The way a person responds to stress can trigger the sympathetic nervous system and the fight or flight response, impacting digestion. When the body’s stress response is activated, blood is diverted away from the digestive tract and towards the heart and limbs in order to prepare for fight or flight. When the small intestine is starved of blood then digestion is impaired as is nutrient absorption. For busy business owners or executives, it is recommended to eat a healthy lunch away from the office. Go for a walk, sit in nature for 30-60 minutes and before eating perform deep breathing exercises to settle the body and trick it into turning off the stress response and diverting blood back to the digestive system.

5) HABIT CHANGE Health coaches are often referred to as masters of habit change. A health coach works with a client over two to three months typically to first awaken and then reprogram the brain with new habits and behaviours around diet, lifestyle and movement. An important element to transforming bad habits and

behaviours in these areas is conscious intervention in subconscious thought patterns, the brain’s paradoxical desire to selfsabotage the process of change. The ego lives in the most ancient part of the brain and its mandate is purely one of survival. Self-sabotage is the ego’s desire to maintain the status quo, to resist change and transformation because it is viewed as a threat to a person’s survival. A breakdown always precedes a breakthrough and self-sabotage is the sticking point to a person’s permanent transformation. Being a health coach isn’t about telling a client what to eat and what not to eat. The role of a health coach is to facilitate, ask guiding questions and provide the space for a client to dig deep and transform themselves.

CORPORATE HEALTH EDUCATION On average, an Australian employee takes 8.8 unscheduled days off per year7. This costs employers approximately $578 per employee per absent day, with the annual cost of absenteeism to the Australian economy an estimated $44 billion per year8. 7

Australian HR Institute (AHRI) HR Pulse survey

on Absence Management Report, March 2016, 8

HR Advance, Absenteeism: a big cost to your


Health and wellness education in the workplace are on the rise as businesses awake to the cost of their employees leading an

spark magazine


unhealthy lifestyle. Forward-thinking corporations with a long-term view that invest in educating their employees to lead a healthier lifestyle will likely be rewarded by higher productivity and engagement levels. Other benefits can include reduced absenteeism, higher morale and energy levels in the workplace, contributing to lower staff turnover. Corporate health education can take the form of day workshops and health and wellness programs rolled out into the workplace. Education raises self-awareness, which in turn challenges employees to make better, more informed decisions and choices about diet and lifestyle.

From Buettner’s work it is clear that living a high quality life up to and beyond 100 years old is not a fluke of nature, but rather a result of lifestyle choices centred around eating well, keeping active and having a strong sense of family and community.

For many of us in the western world living outside the blue zones, the words attributed to Mickey Mantle may well apply: ‘If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself?’

LONGEVITY In his bestselling book, ‘The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest’, Dan Buettner identified five regions of the world where people live much longer than average Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece); and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. Buettner discovered there were certain commonalities across the people that lived in these regions, namely: • • • • • •

Strong sense of family; Low incidence of smoking; Consumed predominantly plant based foods; Constant moderate physical activity; High social engagement; and Consumed legumes.

About the author Spencer Smith is The Transformation Coach - a health and lifestyle coach and passionate believer in the reversal and prevention of chronic lifestyle disease. He lives and breathes the Change for Life mantra. Connect with Spencer on LinkedIn - alternatively, he can be contacted at au or through