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2 0 1 5 T E L S T R A BU SI N E S S WOM E N ’ S AWA R D : AC C E P TA N C E SP E E C H
FUTURE TRENDS T H E SM E SE N IO R ENTREPRENEUR
ISSUE NO.6 DECEMBER 2015
V I R G I N AU ST R A L IA O P E N S N EW P E RT H T E R M I NA L
4 Future Trends : The SME Senior Entrepreneur How baby boomers are still powering the economy
16 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Award: Acceptance Speech “There has never been a better time to be an Australian WOMAN”
Professional Services Firms and Market Research Insight for growth - research delivers for professional firms too
14 Virgin Australia Opens New Perth Terminal Latest in a long line of market leading offerings by Virgin
20 The Best Way Business Leaders Can Generate Real Influence Tips to improve SME leader effectiveness
24 62 Diamonds Economical and fast executive class twin Finally fast and comfortable transport for SME managers heading out of town
News Latest news and developments affecting SMEs
32 Ken Done Lessons for business from the art world
30 Charity Focus Light a Spark Campaign
36 My Digital Day The times they are a changing
The articles in Spark Magazine are of a general in nature only. Always seek independent financial, investment, tax and legal advice.
issue no.6 December 2015
WELCOME TO SPARK MAGAZINE As we head into Christmas 2015 the opinion polls show the business friendly Coalition has opened a two party preferred lead over Labor of 56% to 44% and Malcolm Turnbull a massive 61% to 18% lead over Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister.
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. Published online, monthly, February to December.
Obviously the public likes what it sees and hears - especially compared with the negativity from both parties over the last two or three election cycles. However business is still waiting for the walk to go with the talk. The New Year and the first Turnbull - Morrison budget will be will interesting in that respect. There is so much press and marketing focus on so called “millennials” these days it is interesting to see leading marketing professor, Mark Ritson, from Melbourne University, in an article entitled “ Millennials are out; blah blahs are your next target group” - see https://goo.gl/DwZ7oD be quite scathing about the characterisation of this group as different from any that has gone before it. And on the subject of ageism we have a great article this month from renowned and very experienced international media star David Michaelis on ageism. Michaels highlights the real strength and power of baby boomers - particularly the major contribution that they are now starting to make to the economy, albeit in a very different way from their early careers. We continue our serous of articles on research. Some readers are getting the idea that there is big value in research, including for SMEs, especially when it is brokered and companies get the very best fit. The team at Spark Magazine take this opportunity to wish our readers all the best for the festive and holiday season. May you unwind, rest and charge up for 2016 which is sure to be an exciting year to be running an SME and full of both opportunities and surprises.
Paul M Southwick CEO and Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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CREATIVE DESIGN MAP2 Pty Ltd email@example.com 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. ©2015 by Pow Wow Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
The SME Senior Entrepreneur by David Michaelis
Designed by freepik.com
issue no.6 December 2015
The new sharing economy has a clear message for those over 50 : “Create your own employment.” As difficult as it is for millennials to get jobs, the senior working population in the U.S. and Australia is witnessing a greatly disrupted labour structure and increased longevity, both of which require new plans for a working life. Senior often have the skills, financial resources, and time to fulfill a new vision and go into a new adventure. This trend needs to be promoted and encouraged. SME are a leading outlet for these undercurrents of entrepreneurship. It seems that many times senior selfemployment is a family focused affair. The 50+ market needs more policy and initiatives from the government. Maybe the new Turnbull vision will provide it.
Mature business owners
Almost 35% of all new businesses in Australia are led by seniors. Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology interviewed more than 400 people aged over 50 and found they were the fastestgrowing segment of entrepreneurs of all new firms in Australia.
Global trend It is a global trend. One of the authors of the report, Dr Rosemary Fisher of Swinburne University, said that the research busts the myth of the “young, energetic” entrepreneur. “People do assume entrepreneurship is only a young person’s game,” she says. But Fisher says it’s a narrative that has to change.“Older people are not ‘beyond it’,” she says. “Evidence suggests older workers are very good at being entrepreneurs and come with very well-honed skills.” See http://goo. gl/xDEmX0 In the U.S. 5.6 million people aged over 50 are self-employed, or, put in a different context, three out of ten independent workers are baby boomers. The author is one of those statistics and initiated and cofounded Link TV at age 54. It is now broadcasting into 50 million homes. How much of this is due to the age I was when I created it?
Push and pull A paper called “Senior Entrepreneurship,” released by OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development, describes reasons for the self-employed nature of seniors in the U.S. It says, “Older individuals are both ‘pulled’ and ‘pushed’ to self-employment.” “Pull,” in this context, shows that the
older generation is made up of mature individuals who have a lifetime of experience, business skills and often the financial backing for legitimate entrepreneur roles. In short, they have a “can do” attitude, and thus are pulled toward working for themselves. They have earned their stripes, but not without failures along the way. Sometimes business owners need to be sorry, not safe, in order to learn how things work. The ‘push’ argumentation, on the other hand, is based on the proposition that older employees are being ‘pushed’ from the traditional labor market by factors such as age discriminatory practices in recruitment, promotion and training as well as a lack of attractive employment options.” Those in the senior bracket know that entrepreneurship and innovation are tied together. You have to create new value and be creative in order to succeed. This age group flies under the radar and entirely skirts the millennial hype, so few notice their advantage — they are actually the most apt for succeeding in this way. Here’s how: 1. Benefits of age Compared to their younger counterparts, older entrepreneurs possess advantages such as: •
More developed networks
More work and industry experience
A higher technical and managerial skill level
A stronger financial position
But they are still up against difficulties. The report highlights one key aspect. 2. Ageism Many respondents felt that society still has the perception that older people should not be involved in new types of economic activity or employment. •
Perceived age discrimination occurred not only as an abstract barrier, but also a series of discrete external practices that can hinder business activities. Clients having questioned their ability to provide adequate services and products, based on their age. This often impeded the ability of older entrepreneurs to develop a market and to seize new opportunities, jeopardizing the sustainability of their business.
3. Mindset changes We should re-examine our mindset on the role of small firms, many of which are created by senior-aged entrepreneurs. Likewise, many of these seniors are struck with the need to give back to their communities, so their businesses often reflect socially conscious values, which enable a
better society. Experience is the new competitive advantage. A multi generational approach is needed. While first timers are reinventing the wheel seniors can mentors them and collaborate with all ages.
The digital age and gaming As we enter this new digital exponentially growing economy, how can we create a senior class that get the right grip on the right tools? Maybe gaming is a solution to consider. Doubters might say that it is not possible to catch up with all the latest software and cutting edge technology. Yet, seniors are the fastest growing online gamer community in Australia, which is a good entry point into the digital world.
Basic rules for starting today 1. Do what you love
Find people who share your interests, no matter what age they are. 3. Start small and work up That way you can adjust your idea quickly as you learn what your market wants and if you fail, the cost is kept low and you can move quickly to the next project idea. 4. Go digital and use social media It’s not just that everybody’s on the internet the whole of your business is going to be run on a digital platform.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR After 30 years of global media service, in 1999 David initiated and was co founder of Link TV, a non-commercial nationwide US television network. The network currently reaches 50 million homes. David served as Vice President for Current Affairs until July 2010, overseeing all news and current affairs productions.
Whatever you love doing, find a way to be involved in that, at whatever level. If it interests you, it won’t feel like work, it will be your passion. If you follow that, you will reap the rewards financially, mentally and emotionally.
Prior to his service at Link TV,
2. Seek out a community of likeminded people
(IBA). He specializes in coverage
David produced and directed live news productions and documentaries for public television in the UK (BBC), Germany (ZDF & ARD) and Israel of political and social issues.
issue no.6 December 2015
spark magazine business
Professional Services Firms and Market Research
by Roma Hippolite MNZM
issue no.6 December 2015
via brand research to determine how a firm’s clients position or rate the PSF and its competitors. Uncovering gaps can lead to targeting strategies to overcome those gaps.
Many professional services firms (PSFs), especially the larger more successful ones, use market research, but generally small and medium ones do not. What are the implications and opportunities for these small and medium firms to use research too?
The research provider can also identify or create ongoing or ad hoc monitoring reports on national and international industry trends that could have an impact on services, allowing the PSF to promote, to enter, or perhaps even to quit a particular service.
Are there any financial or reputational gains to be made by ‘checking things out’? Are there risks that can be mitigated through judicious use of market research? What types of market research can help PSFs?
Definitions While there is no commonly agreed definition for a PSF, based on general usage, it should include: accounting firms; legal firms; architecture practices; management consulting firms; advertising agencies; and perhaps even investment banks.
Types of market research The most common reasons for a PSF to use market research is to help them: increase their clientele; increase the revenue per client; lower the proportion of clients leaving the firm; and to reduce costs. 1. Increase the number of clients. Market research companies can help PSFs find new clients. One of the keys ways they do this is
2. Increase the revenue per client and reduce client churn. Market research providers can undertake client feedback (client satisfaction) research. Good ones will gather the data, give insightful and helpful analysis, and provide grounded recommendations. This process can help a PSF earn more revenue from current clients. Customer satisfaction research will also identify any weaknesses in the service offering and ensure clients feel they are being listened to and valued. Other new hybrid approaches, including “Net Promoter Score” - now used by many of the top companies in Australia and New Zealand, for example, Telstra, can help reduce client churn through focusing on customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention.
Sharplegal 2013. http://www.acritas.com/sharplegal.
Generic questions There are several generic yet important questions a PSF needs data on to fully interact with their clients: •
What do clients really think of the firm itself, its services and the individuals servicing the clients?
Do clients know what services the firm offers? Do they know the full range of services and how the firm can meet their needs? What services are offered that they not know about, and why is that?
How well is the firm’s story and brand getting across? What can be done to improve it?
Can the firm’s client-facing people (especially the partners) clearly explain their firm’s offering?
How do firms overcome client dissatisfaction? Sharplegal, an annual study of the global legal markets from Acritas notes that “Clients spend an average of 15% more budget with firms that they rate as excellent for service”1
Services available PSF marketing in today’s digital world includes brand tracking, SEO, and digital marketing. Many market research companies have the tools and expertise to both measure and offer insights to help target for costeffective marketing.
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Another service research companies can provide is in benchmarking between comparable PSFs and the sector as a whole. This can include benchmarking the marketing and business development, and comparable marketing spend.
Frequency of market research How often should a PSF commission market research?
CASE STUDY: THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW
Market research generally falls under three types of frequency, all of which have their place in a PSF.
In a recent case study, a PSF mentioned that they have some big clients that
Ad hoc. Customised research project to answer a specific (and usually urgent) objective, often framed around the question of “what keeps the managing partner (or partners) awake at night?” These projects are one-off (even if they are repeated every 2 – 3 years) that provide an analysis of data gathered at the time, and usually recommendations based on that analysis.
Continuous. This is research that is designed to find and act on trends, such as customer satisfaction or brand monitor projects.
Syndicated. The asking of a few questions within a larger research project that runs regularly. These regular, small snapshots of a particular part of the market are very cost effective ways to recognise and get ahead of changing trends. A PSF can also purchase sector-specific research reports that are regularly conducted.
use them (and are happy with them) but in just a few services. However this PSF has 10 key and different services they provide, not just the ones their big clients currently use. This PSF realised that some of their key clients don’t know the full range of services they offer and therefore go elsewhere for those other services. The focus of this PSF recently has been to change this client perception quickly and increase the offerings to and revenue from existing happy clients.
3. Reduce internal costs. One of the key ways to reduce costs is to lower employee turnover. Effective and appropriate employee feedback research can assess the level of engagement and satisfaction staff have with their firm. Having this baseline and benchmark will help with effective strategies to lower employee turnover. However, in order to get the best value from employee feedback it needs to be independent and designed appropriately. One reason of course is to maintain confidentiality and to allow full expression.
CASE STUDY: LEAVE RESEARCH DESIGN TO THE EXPERTSDON’T KNOW In the aged-care sector the Residents and Family surveys often had “car parking” as a question that always rated poorly by respondents. A first glance would suggest that the provider should spend money improving the car parking and therefore improve their rating (and ranking across comparable facilities). However, when the correlation coefficient of this question to all questions in the survey was measured and the questions where ranked for importance and impact, car parking almost always ranked near the bottom. Even though just about everyone marked it poorly, as a ‘to do’ it was not as important as just about everything else. Take home for PSFs, just as you are professionals in your field, engage the professionals their field. They are the experts in survey design, data gathering, analysing, and reporting. .
The benefits of market research There are many benefits for a PSF in conducting appropriate market research, both intangible and tangible. Intangible, such as having a clearer
issue no.6 December 2015
picture on how the firm is viewed by current (or potential) clients. With this knowledge PSFs will be able to better target both segments. PSFs can understand who their clients are, who their potential clients are, how they can grow their business, and how they can reduce churn.
project can vary across companies by 300% but for a small PSF good research can be obtained cost effectively, starting at around $10,000.
CASE STUDY: IT PAYS TO SHOP AROUND
Tangible, such as increased growth and profits. Lee Frederiksen of Hinge Marketing notes “…professional services firms that do systematic, structured research on their target client groups are more profitable and grow faster.” 2
Recently a Not For Profit (NFP) was looking to conduct some health-related research and they approached a local company for a quote. This was a reasonably sized piece of research. The local company came back at just under
The costs of market research
$100,000. The manager of the
There are key questions partners should ask in order to rationally choose whether to commission market research. Partners should discuss these questions with either a market research broker or a few research companies to get several viewpoints prior to making decisions. For example the partners will need to know: How much will it cost? Will there be a positive return on this investment? Is this money better spent elsewhere? When is the best time to commission research? How, and where do I start? Who should I use?
quote after a chance discussion
The cost of market research depends on several factors including the research company that is engaged and whether they use the best methodology or even an adequate one. Sample size is also a key factor in determining cost. Another factor is whether the project is ad hoc, continuous or syndicated. Research costs for exactly the same
NFP decided to get an additional with a market research broker. This subsequent quote came back at $63,000. A saving of nearly $40,000.
There are several reasons why research companies charge differently, including the following: •
Depending on the client, some market research companies will look at what the research is worth to the client, and price it accordingly. Most market research companies have a rate sheet for all the different components of the project. They add these up, then add their margin on top. Some companies require gross margins of 60%.
Social media Social media has become an
important avenue for obtaining and keeping clients. PSFs are well-advised to have expertise, either in-house or via business partners to drive their social marketing and engagement. Helping the firm, or key partners and staff within the firm become thought (opinion) leaders with their target market is an important part of social marketing. Market research companies who have embraced the social and digital world can help the PSF develop a process (including the ongoing gathering of appropriate data) to enable the partners and/or senior managers to become thought leaders within the specialities offered by the PSF. This forms the basis of a social marketing plan that can position those partners or senior managers as trustworthy and knowledgeable about their particular speciality. The marketing plan can also build or enhance the firms’ brand.
Return on investment for sponsorship Many PSFs sponsor sports, cultural or other events. There are market research companies who are able to measure the ROI of this sponsorship to quantify their involvement.
Conclusion If a PSF wants more clients, wants to keep them coming back, wants them to use more and different services on offer, and wants to reduce client churn and staff turnover then they should consider talking with a market research specialist. One who has experience in their sector.
Lee Frederiksen http://www.hingemarketing.com/blog/story/cost_and_benefits_of_market_research
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issue no.6 December 2015
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Based in Melbourne Roma Hippolite MNZM is the Managing Director of The Research Broker International, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first and largest market research brokering company. He has a degree in accounting and finance and has consulted to, or sat on the boards, of SMEs for several years. Prior to consulting Roma served in both the New Zealand Police, and as an infantry officer in the NZ Territorial Force Army.
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Virgin Australia Opens New Perth Terminal
by Paul M Southwick
issue no.6 December 2015
irgin Australia has launched a new domestic terminal at Perth Airport meaning customers will be able to transfer seamlessly between regional, interstate and international services in one convenient location. Perth Airport Chief Executive Officer, Brad Geatches said the T1 Domestic Terminal is a world-class facility and the most significant project in Perth Airport’s current $1 billion redevelopment. The new terminal was built especially for Virgin Australia and designed by Australian-based international architectural practice, Woods Bagot. Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer, John Borghetti said “Perth is a city on the move, and we are pleased to be launching Virgin Australia’s new world-class Domestic Terminal on 22 November,” Mr Borghetti said. “Perth is now home to our flagship check-in experience and we have doubled the size of the Virgin Australia Perth Lounge. “The new Virgin Australia T1 Domestic Terminal will see regional, domestic and international flights located together in one precinct, enabling us to offer customers one of the fastest connection times in Australia. “The new Virgin Australia Perth Lounge features our signature Wine and Espresso Bar, together with an outstanding view of the Perth CBD over the tarmac and a range of delicious food. “Together with our new Business Class suites on our Airbus A330 aircraft, I believe our ground experience will ensure that Virgin Australia becomes the number one choice for travellers
on trans-continental routes,” Mr Borghetti said.
value and business attraction grows,” he said.
Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett commended Perth Airport on its investment decision, saying it coincided with the Federal and State Government’s $1 billion expenditure on Gateway WA, the road network leading into the airport.
Features of Virgin Australia’s new T1 Domestic Terminal include: •
28 domestic check-in kiosks and 14 hybrid self-service bag drop desks;
12 aerobridge serviced departure gates including three A330 capable aircraft gates;
a central retail and dining area offering an extensive range of dining and shopping options;
“Tourism is an $8.7 billion industry for Western Australia and in 201415 Perth Airport’s total passenger numbers, including international and domestic, reached almost 14 million.
a Wine and Espresso Bar, spectacular views of the Perth CBD over the tarmac and a range of delicious food from the Lounge menu; and
“We want visitors’ first impressions to be positive and lead to return visitation and endorsement, so a combination of better access to airport facilities and the delivery of services people want and need is key.
shorter transfer times to both regional WA and international flights.
“Perth Airport is an important gateway to our city and our State and this new terminal represents an exciting milestone in the transformation of the precinct,” said Mr Barnett.
“There is no doubt this additional infrastructure will be needed for business and leisure travel now and into the future as the State’s tourism
The new Domestic Terminal also includes innovative sustainable design features to reduce energy consumption, particularly the use of natural light and a façade providing shade during the summer months.
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2015 Telstra Business Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award: Acceptance Speech
by Rohini Kappadath
issue no.6 December 2015
Australia is a country proudly made great by and giving opportunity to many who joins us for other lands.. In this issue we publish the acceptance speech from Rohini Kappadath, Director – Cross Border Business at Pitchers in Melbourne, who recently won the Telstra Business Woman of the Year award.
Acceptance speech What an honour!! First, let me congratulate all the finalists in this category. As you have seen, each one is a winner and equally deserving of being up here. I share this Award with each one of you as pioneers and trailblazers in your field. I left my home in India, as a young 20 year old, with nothing but a dream to create a life of significance in Australia, a country I knew very little about. In the last 28 years I have had the opportunity to grow business ventures across many countries and work with people across a multitude of cultures. I stand here today on the shoulders of many who have supported me. If it took a village to raise a child in the decades past, it has taken a close community of family, friends and colleagues to support my journey. I have many people to thank. Thank you mum and dad, who are just as
much my pillars today as they have been through my childhood and teenage years. Special gratitude to my husband and kids without whose love and support none of what I do would seem half as fulfilling. They complete the semicircle for me and are the reason I work with a sense of joy and abundance. Thank you Shailendra Kumar, who I recruited as a young graduate nearly 20 years ago, and now leads the Asia Practice at IBM - who nominated me out of the blue. To my friends and colleagues .... collaborators and co-creators of the future ….. committed advocates of Australia’s engagement with the Asian region … Many of you are here this evening ... leaders in your own right ... sharing in this journey to lift Australia’s relevance and impact in the rapidly growing Asian region. I share this award with you to mark the significance of our collective efforts. To Pitcher Partners, and the forward thinking firm that it has shown itself to be --- thank you for taking a leap of faith and making an investment towards Asian engagement – well ahead of the curve! Though Asia’s rise brings opportunity for many Australian businesses, it does not come without its share of complexity and risk
Engaging successfully with Asia will demand more from us than ever before – and the only way to succeed is to have a Team Australia approach
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To the enterprising women in this room …. I have this to say … all my opportunities in life have come from staying ahead of the curve:
A recent McKinsey report stated that $12 Trillion could be added to the global economy by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.
Get in early.
Build from the ground up.
Own your space!
The good news is …… Australia ranks second in the world as the best place for female entrepreneurship …. So let’s build on this achievement.
Continued innovation by Australian businesswomen is critical to the nation’s social and economic future.
Without the equal participation by women in creating and scaling businesses, countries like Australia are going to miss out. Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge.
I carry this award tonight with a deep sense of responsibility ... and a vision to make a difference. Our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently said …. “There has never been a better time to be an Australian”. Well, it is my intention to play my part so we can soon say
“There has never been a better time to be an Australian WOMAN !” Thank you Telstra. Thank you all!
issue no.6 December 2015
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The Best Way Business Leaders Can Generate Real Influence
by Amber Daines
issue no.6 December 2015
Speak up. Find your passion and purpose in every conversation and the rest is easy. To be able to speak well and really be heard is a gift, not all are born with but can obtain. How many times have you sat in a meeting and thought, “I should share my ideas” or “Why don’t I say I have a better way?” The meeting ends and you haven’t said a thing. Or you are asked to pitch to a new customer and you are at a loss for words on what they need to know about what you do and how you can help them, without the hype or hyperbole?
Opportunities through technology A wasted opportunity to shine is something we all have had to face, whether you are in corporate or self-employment, are a moneymaker or a game changer. The good news is speaking your mind, while always respecting the listener, and exchanging ideas as valuable currency, really is easier than ever. Memorable speakers are leaders on a new level. Platforms like TEDx and the online worlds of YouTube, and Vine, give anybody with an idea a welcoming place to share it. It is no longer the sole domain of the powerful, rich and famous – those who have already made their mark on the
world. Anyone with (even yet to be crystallised) vision, a message, and a voice can be heard.
make all their points without slides – the slides are merely for illustrating a few points.
Technology has bolstered the affordability, accessibility, and audience reach; where individual leaders from New York to New Zealand are able to gain traction in real time; and everything is open 24/7. Why not become part of the momentum?
However when most business people have to give a speech, they will first create a set of slides and only then find a way to narrate them. This has limited value – the speaker is not authentically present. The best speakers, the best orators, go past the presentation slides to take the audience on a journey. The most important aspect in creating a presentation is practise telling the journey or the idea in an inspiring way, write it down, and then create some slides only if absolutely necessary. And practise, practise, practise.
In the DNA For some people being a great communicator is in their DNA, but even those with the gift of the gab or a talent, need to tweak and refine it along the road to success. It is an era of ‘Brand Me’. Personal branding is everywhere. You may not have even realised you have a brand but it’s very likely you do. Harnessing it and being authentic is the key to really unleashing what you need to say and to whom. The ‘how’ is in many ways just a set of tools to deliver life to your brand or bring it to the fore.
Public speaking and presentations Public speaking was summed up perfectly by Steve Jobs: “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint” (from Walter Isaacson’s book Steve Jobs). When you watch TED talks, the key point of difference is that the speakers
Overcoming blocks It can be hard to overcome those nervous ticks and mental roadblocks. As you do more presenting on new topics, it can be great to video yourself for review. Then take notes on how to overcome the gaps in your presenting style. Many political and business speakers work with a speech therapist to help protect their voice and use a less high-energy style. Its hard work and pretty dull, but it can change the way you sound dramatically. The main point here is that nobody can know everything about everything. If you have some ‘bursting with excitement, must tell the world’ ideas, but are afraid of speaking to a large crowd, then work on improving
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your skills. Through courses, coaching, practice, and watching others, you can only get better
Expert help Find experts with whom you have a good rapport or who can genuinely can help you project authenticity. The wrong training can do more harm than good - you leave feeling less authentic than ever, with piles of ‘correct’ postures, gestures, and speech effects to practise. Being told “Don’t tilt your head! Stand up straight! Don’t pace too much! Walk more! Make eye contact with more people! Make eye contact with fewer people! Gesture bigger! Gesture smaller!” is usually part of general presenter training, but after you leaving the training, most people forget 90% of what they have learned within a month.
style is another. To become better at communicating on an everyday level, at a meeting, or even a networking function, you can reap the rewards of working with those who teach these skills every day. To smooth nerves and remove distracting habits that hold back the ability to think on your feet and basically “nailing it”, is what you deserve. Being heard and generating influence is sometimes a long journey but it can make or break a business story
Keep detailed notes of ideas– even tiny seeds of an idea, no matter how random or seemingly off centre they may seem. The simplest ideas are usually the magic ones!
Get out of the office. Personally, the best ideas can come when driving alone in the car or doing exercise solo or even chatting to friends. Desks are not the epicentres of creative thinking.
Try it on for size. Start speaking to trusted colleagues and loved ones about your topics and how you want to share them, just to see if they have any traction. Ideas need to ‘speak to’ the hearts and minds of an audience from day one or be scrapped. If you can’t articulate it to the converted, it may be time to come up with some entirely new ideas.
Action list Decide that you want or need to find ways to be heard and that may include formal public speaking – it’s a choice you must make. It’s key to believe 100% in what you are doing from that moment on, because it’s going to take time and energy to make it happen. •
This is not just from my own experience of being in training (versus giving training) from my years working for PR agencies, but from talking to scores of executives who have been through training conducted by others — often some of the best brand names in the business. Any methodology taught has to be used often, and be simple to recall. Inspiring people is one thing; improving their natural communication
when you are looking for ways to refine your messages or join the speaking circuit.
Be forensic and spend time watching, reading, and listening to other speakers from different industries, age groups, and parts of the globe to see what works for them and what you can glean from them. TEDx talks or webinars are a great way to find out what’s trending and realise what’s missing. You won’t be able to carbon copy anyone else’s speaking style or content successfully, but it helps immensely to be a student again
ABOUT THE AUTHOR By Amber Daines, is the CEO of Bespoke Communications and Author of ‘Well Said: How to be Heard in Business and Generate Real Influence’ (www.howtobeheard.net)
issue no.6 December 2015
MERGERS AND ACQUISITION December 2015
NEWS PUBLIC GIVE THE GOVERNMENT AN “A”, SMES RESERVE THEIR OPINION FOR THE NEW YEAR As we head into Christmas the opinion polls show the Coalition has opened a two party preferred lead over Labor of 56% to 44%, and Malcolm Turnbull a massive 61% to 18% lead over Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister. Obviously the public likes what it sees and hears - especially compared with the negativity from both main parties over the last two or three election cycles. Business and the millions of SME owners and managers are still waiting for the walk to go with the talk. The New Year and the first Turnbull Morrison budget will be will interesting in that respect.
MOOD FOR TAX CHANGE IMPROVES All the southern hemisphere stars (except Federal Labor - but they may well get sucked into a black hole) seem to be aligning for real and meaningful tax reform, including the previously sacrosanct goods and services tax (GST) sooner rather than later. Some State premiers, notably the 51 year old Jay Weatherill in South Australia now support a GST increase to a New Zealand equalling 15%. Prime Minister Turnbull has made it clear there will be substantial and fair compensation for those least able to absorb the changes. There are also hints that the Coalition will look to be seen to move away from “governing for the rich and big end of town” to governing for all Australians by addressing tax breaks at the high end, particularly in superannuation. Such a move is sure to win favour with the “ordinary Australian”, Aussie battlers, or to put it another way, the swinging voters that elect or eject governments. For Turnbull and Morrison the test is easy. Any tax changes must be seen by Aussies as a “fair go”.
Low interest rates and a swath of both domestic and international money looking for a good home has powered merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2015. The outlook is strong for 2016. The much lower Aussie dollar, down from nearly 1:1 versus the US dollar, to around 70 cents is making Aussie companies much cheaper for US based companies that have been enjoying a much improved domestic US economy. If the dollar does fall further, as many predict, but remains to be seen, this with make Aussie companies even more attractive, especially as the Australian economy remains strong and politically stable.
TIP SME owners who are contemplating sale, especially those that have internationally or transferrable intellectual property, knowhow or business models would be wise to look for advisors who can access international buyers and optimise business in preparation for exit.
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62 Diamonds Economical and Fast Executive Class Twin
by Paul M Southwick
issue no.6 December 2015
t’s not all lie flat beds and champagne
For many SMEs in Australia travel is not all about jumping onto an airline jet - there’s a lot of valuable business that must be done well away from the big smoke, and in places too far to drive, not serviced by the airlines. Traditionally the mode of transport has been chartered aircraft, often with twin engines, for reasons of perceived safety or to keep the insurers happy.
The problem is that many of these light twins are now forty or more years old - their technology, economics of operation, safety, and comfort levels have failed to keep pace.
In the last 10 years large and fast turbine powered singles like the Swiss Pilatus PC-12, the US made Piper piston-powered ¬Mirage and turboprop Meridian, and the French Daher-Socata TBM 850, have started to find favour in the charter market, but suffer from the single engine perception problem, especially when a night or over water flight is required. SME owners and managers will therefore be delighted to know that
in 2016 Austria’s Diamond Industries will bring their new, technologically advanced, twin aircraft, the DA62 which they refer to as “Your high-class limousine for the sky” to Australia. It’s sure to find its way onto the books of charter companies and flight schools in all the main centres.
Diamond Aircraft Industries Diamond is an Austrian based aircraft manufacturer of general aviation aircraft and motor gliders, which also has a large manufacturing facility in Canada. The company produces a range of light aircraft and was founded as Hoffmann Flugzeugbau by Wolf Hoffmann in Austria in 1981. It is now headquartered in Wiener Neustadt. Today, Diamond is Europe’s largest producer of ultra-modern, lightweight fibreglass and carbon fibre composite aircraft. and boasts many first in aviation including: The Garmin G1000 glass cockpit (like TV screens with moving maps rather than dials). Synthetic Vision Technology in a general aviation aircraft (perfect vision outside the aircraft displayed on one of the “TV screens” no matter what the weather or time of day). •
A diesel powered piston twin engine aircraft (most use Avgas).
A five-seat modern composite aircraft (most are aluminium).
The Personal Light Jet (although not yet in production).
The Austro Engine AE300 engine offering very low fuel burn, independence from leaded fuel and low noise emission.
The world’s first serial hybrid electric aircraft.
The DA62 The twin-engine DA62 is the ideal combination for executives of space and performance. It’s ideal for families and business travellers as well as an excellent choice for “air taxi” operators in Australia. The aircraft builds on the strengths of the world’s bestselling twin piston aircraft, the Diamond DA42. The large and comfortable cabin seats up to seven. A mix of distinctive styling, lightweight carbon design, and superior flying dynamics, combine to make this a “breakthrough” aircraft. “With the roominess of the cabin, the advanced avionics and the overall performance of the DA62 you may feel like an airline captain.” says Christian Dries, CEO of Diamond Aircraft.
Aussie entry The DA62 is now certified and Hawker Pacific will see it’s demonstrator arrive on Australian soil mid 2016. The demonstrator will be highly optioned with air conditioning (perfect for the
26 spark magazine business
Aussie outback); include a system that allows flight into known icing areas of cloud - great for winter or flying high and fast; a screen that shows â&#x20AC;&#x153;trafficâ&#x20AC;?, or other aeroplanes in the sky; and third row seating. While at economical cruise, operators can expect to see the aircraft use just 45 LPH of Jet A1, and a speed just shy of 160 knots (300 kph). As Jet fuel is cheaper than Avgas it will cost less to fuel the DA62 than a small Cessna C172, while cruising 40kts quicker with three extra seats. If more speed is required to get executives to that critical meeting - or home quicker, the aircraft will top 190 knots (350 kph) while burning only 70 litres of fuel per hour.
SME managers will love the fact that the engines are extremely quiet - this makes working and talking with colleagues easy. And there is a lot of baggage space for brief cases, business samples and even golf clubs.
issue no.6 December 2015
28 spark magazine
issue no.6 December 2015
Facts and specifications (with 1,999 kg maximum take-off weight) Below are the performance specifications of the DA62, something purists and enthusiasts alike will savour.
and EECU single lever control system. This means the DA 62 can use the widely available jet fuel - the same as the Boeing and Airbus.
You may not get to lie flat but the ride will likely be quiet, smooth, cool and get you home a lot quicker.
2x three-blade constant speed propellers.
2x Austro Engine AE 330 turbocharged common-rail injected 2.0 litre diesel engine with 180 HP
Single engine service ceiling: 5,029 m 16,500 ft.
Max. demonstrated crosswind: 46 km/h 25 kts.
Dimensions / mass / loading •
Seats up to 7.
Empty weight 1,529 kg / 3,371 lbs.
Useful load 470 kg / 1,036 lbs.
Max. take off mass 1,999 kg / 4,407 lbs. Fuel capacity total - main tank 326 lt, auxiliary tank 189 lt or 86 US gal.
Max. speed: 372 km/h / 201 kts.
Cruise speed at 77% power: 333 km/h / 180 kts.
Max. rate of climb: 8.4 m/s 1,650 ft/min.
Max. Range (incl. auxiliary tank): 2,433 km 1,314 nm.
Fuel Consumption at 60%: 44.7 lt/ hr 11.8 US gal/hr.
Take-off ground roll: 355 m 1,164 ft.
Landing ground roll: 350 m 1,148 ft.
Certified service ceiling: 6,096 m 20,000 ft.
Power plant Engine
In lay business person terms it means the aeroplane will be fast, comfortable, safe, and much cheaper to charter.
In 2016 Spark Magazine will fly the DA62 on a typical Aussie mission and give readers a full flight review. We’ll SME managers know where they might charter the aircraft for those mid range, “too far to drive”, “no airline service”, business trips.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Paul M Southwick is a pilot and the Spark Magazine editor.
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Frustrated that your business hasn’t reached its potential - still? Don’t know why? Discover how to thrive not just survive. Join us for this hard-hitting 3 hour event entitled “The Edge: Gaining the Unfair Advantage and Increased Profits”. Plus ... discover exciting new Government grants and schemes to help support innovative businesses
When you started your business you had a dream of taking your industry by storm earning amazing money - having the freedom to enjoy a rich personal life. But right now, your life is anything but that. You’re working crazy hours, facing fierce competition and cash flow is often a nightmare. 1000’s of business owners across the country
felt that way too, until they attended “The Edge”, presented by ‘10X’. We’d like to invite you to join them. It will be the most profitable 3 hours you’ve spent all year. It could also very well change your life. Plus … learn how to tap into exciting Government initiatives to finance and fasttrack your growth.
issue no.6 December 2015
1 2 3
BUT BE WARNED! This event is NOT for people who want to sit passively and wait for success to come to them. If you are committed to doing whatever it takes to grow your business substantially –to go from ‘just surviving’ to truly thriving - then this is a ‘must be at’ event. A quick snapshot of what you’re learn ... •
How to thrive not just survive ... regardless of what financial position you are in right now
How to gain an edge over your competitors ... even if you have tried it all before
How to turn indifferent customers into raving fans
How to massively grow your client base ... even if you have a small marketing budget
How to make small changes to key profit drivers and experience a 33%+ profit increase
How to create lasting change ... even if you’ve had trouble making initiatives ‘stick’ in the past.
WALK AWAY WITH … •
The mindset initiatives to awaken the leader in you
3 tools used by the super successful to achieve much more in less time
The keys to dramatically enhancing your life and work style
The 7 characteristics you can apply to have more time and money
A workbook full of ideas, tools and strategies to grow your business
A specific action plan so you can move forward faster
BONUS: Get the Government to FINANCE your Business Growth •
Thanks to some exciting initiatives, the Government may finance and support your business expansion so you can get the training you need to reach your goals without putting a dent in your cash flow. You’ll learn about the different options available, what the process is, whether your business qualifies, and how 10X has made it easy for you to take advantage of what’s on offer.
WHO IS ‘THE EDGE’ FOR? If you’re a small to medium business owner who is: •
Fed up with being in ‘survival’ mode and want steady cashflow 365 days of the year
Working crazy hours and want to build a business that runs without you
Ready to take your business to the next level and looking for a way to do that sustainably
Frustrated with getting rejection after rejection from potential clients and is looking for a way to get more clients to say YES to doing business with you
In marketing overwhelm not knowing which marketing initiatives will attract the right clients
Sick of competing on price and looking for a way to differentiate yourself without price cutting
Is passionate about growing your revenue and profits massively in 2016
“This event is jam-packed with SOLID business growth information you can apply and profit from immediately.” If you believe you have what it takes to get your business to the next level, and need the support and systems to help you grow, you need to come to The Edge!
RESERVE YOUR SEAT NOW: http://10xknowledge.com/
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Light a Spark Campaign â&#x20AC;&#x153;My hope is to say something More than thank you. I want to pay it forward and give back to the Alfred Hospital. This is our way of doing this and from the bottom of my heart I say thank you and bless you for buying a candle today and supporting this campaign.â&#x20AC;?
TO DONATE CLICK HERE: https://goo.gl/HesiDn
issue no.6 December 2015
KIRSTEN’S STORY I am a Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, a Writer and a Candle Maker. I am also someone with a Brain Aneurysm. I have learned how to walk again, I was blind, I have been chopped, stitched, broken, mended and blessed and I am still here. I am currently in the fight of my life, and thanks to the Alfred Hospital and Dr. Anoop Madan I was able to wake up this morning, kiss my children and do what I love. When I was contacted by the wonderful Regina we shared our stories, I knew that with this intent and integrity we could do something pretty magical, and now we present it to you. REGINA’S STORY When I met Kirsten I knew we would ‘work’ together one day – I just didn’t know how. My Father’s brain tumour would eventually take his life and I know what it means to lose a loved one in this way. As the person literally ‘fades’ they scramble to maintain their dignity and their identity and in another cruel twist, they are aware of the deterioration as their brain function erodes. Then I heard Kirsten’s story (it comes out slowly as she is not defined by her condition) and the wheels started spinning. WHAT IS LIGHT A SPARK? The Christmas season is traditionally a time of giving and receiving. It is also a time of extreme emotions- from celebrating achievements to honouring those who are no longer with us. What if the dollars you were going to spend went to a cause and not a multinational?
“I’m doing this in memory of my Dad who was and is my Bright Spark. I am sure all of us have our own Bright Sparks who have guided our lives and made us shine bright. Please consider honouring them by purchasing a candle.” HOW DOES IT WORK? Every Light a Spark Candle sold sees $15.00 go directly to The Alfred Foundation, the fundraising team of Alfred. The Alfred is a leader in health care delivery, research and education, providing cutting edge surgeries- saving people’s lives every day. Funds raised will go towards Neurology of the Alfred.
The purpose is to raise $15,000 for the Alfred Foundation by Christmas Eve. Imagine waking up Christmas morning knowing you’v e made a difference to so many lives! Each candle purchased will have a Special Edition thank you card, explaining the Campaign with Thanks and Gratitude. Your Candle will be beautifully Gift Wrapped and ready for Giving. The Wordsmith™ Light a Spark Edition range was created to inspire and give back and we would love you to join us in this journey. There are no admin fees in your purchase, the money will go directly to the The Alfred Foundation.
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PHOTO: DAVID PETRANKER
Ken Done Artist
by Julie Meek
issue no.6 December 2015
The artwork of famous Australian artist Ken Done graced quite a number of my fashion accessories growing up in the 1980s. For me, his art was woven into my childhood and synonymous with the beach, the sun and the vibrant Australian outdoors. Not surprisingly, Ken has been described on an international level as symbolising Australia and the Australian culture; creative, optimistic and bold. Born in Sydney, Ken knew he was destined for a life in the world of art when he submitted his drawings to ABC radio as a seven year old and received a gold star in return. It was a pivotal life moment for Ken because he followed his dream and left school at the age of 14 to enter the National Art School in East Sydney. After five years of study, he began a 20-year career as an art director and designer in New York, London and Sydney. His ultimate passion was realised at 40 when he left his advertising career
and became a full-time painter. Since then, Ken has held over 50 one-man exhibitions in Australia, Japan, Europe and the U.S.A. His works have been shown in exhibitions for the Archibald, Sulman, Wynne, Blake and Dobell Prizes. Ken is much loved in Japan and from 1988, Hanako, a Tokyo fashion and lifestyle magazine, featured a Ken Done painting on the cover every week for over 15 years. Closer to home, Ken created a series of works for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games and he continues to promote Australian art and design to a global audience. Ken has always been involved in charitable organisations but closest to his heart is the welfare of underprivileged children. Father of the Year in 1989, Ken has been an Australian Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 1988.
KENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PERFORMANCE TIP
There are plenty of hills and valleys in life with various degrees of difficulty â&#x20AC;&#x201C; accept the challenge.
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What Ken has learnt Ken Done freely admits that he works constantly and utilises every waking moment for art. Ken’s passion for his art is such that he doesn’t consider it to be work at all. At times soul destroying and incredibly difficult, he still loves it wholeheartedly. For his passion and work ethic to be sustainable, Ken knows that his own health and that of his family is an integral aspect of his life. This became apparent in the past few years when Ken was challenged with prostate cancer and pneumonia. Although healthy food is important, it is not a conscious focus in the Done household, perhaps because Ken’s wife, Judy, is a great cook. They grow their own vegetables and tend to eat a predominantly vegetarian diet now, while still indulging Ken’s love for red wine and dark chocolate. Ken’s studio is very close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which along with the magnificent Sydney Opera House are in his sight most mornings. The Dones, who live beside Sydney Harbour, make the most of their surroundings and enjoy both walking and swimming. When queried about stress, Ken hesitates, as he ensures it doesn’t
feature prominently in his life now. He has experienced significant financial stresses over the years but now consciously avoids external sources that he believes introduce unnecessary angst. This includes not owning a mobile phone, no email, no Twitter and no desire at all to gather friends through social media, as he would rather have conversations with his real ones. In the 1980s Ken was the art director of the Benson and Hedges campaign, one of the biggest sponsors of sport in Australia at the time. In those days, Ken was a smoker. Although this was long before anti-smoking campaigns and our current stringent laws, Ken woke up one morning and was smart enough to realise that smoking was a not a healthy pastime and went cold turkey. Ken has been challenged often by personal health issues and also with the difficulties of being in an industry that is highly subjective and rife with competition and financial hardship. With these road miles behind him, this famous Australian artist has a few sage words of advice for anyone about to take the plunge into better health. Always prepared to accept a challenge, Ken readily describes
himself as a terrific delegator and believes a clear understanding of your abilities – or lack of them – is essential. If you need help, go and get it. And don’t take good health for granted.
At the beginning of her school year my seven-year-old daughter posted a note on the fridge. It simply said, “The gool for this week is to get beta at skipey.” I overlooked the spelling but the interpreted version is, “The goal for this week is to get better at skipping.” I am talking about a kid that could barely get over the rope but desperately wanted to follow in her older sister’s footsteps. From the minute that challenge was posted on the fridge it seemed that every time I looked at Miss Seven, she had a skipping rope in her hands. Fastforward to the middle of the year, and this girl could do 90 consecutive skips over the rope at a cracking pace. Miss Seven is not an elite athlete (skipping is not an Olympic sport yet) but unknowingly she developed many of the attributes that high performers like artist Ken Done utilise to achieve success in their personal and professional lives. They accept challenges and devise strategies and
issue no.6 December 2015
tactics to get the 1% edge that gets them across the finish line a fraction of a second ahead of their opponents in any area of expertise. If you have ever embarked upon a health change or tried to establish a new habit like an exercise program, eating healthy food, sleeping more or reducing the stress in your life, you would have noticed that all of a sudden there are many challenges and more than a few potential hills and valleys along the way. What are the challenges that directly affect your ability to live a healthy life? •
High (and sometimes unrealistic) expectations, both from yourself and others
Resources available (manpower and time)
Fitting in exercise
Accepting just one challenge could give a 1% edge to your health and personal performance and is the first step to reaching your goal.
If you have ever embarked upon a health change or tried to establish a new habit like an exercise program, eating healthy food, sleeping more or reducing the stress in your life, you would have noticed that all of a sudden there are many challenges and more than a few potential hills and valleys along the way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR A nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian, Julie Meek is one of the most respected sports dietitians in Australia. With over 15 years’ experience in public, sports and corporate nutrition, she has helped thousands of people achieve personal success through eating well. Recently, she was awarded the official title of Sports Dietitian for WAIS (Western Australian Institute of Sport). An accredited member of the National Speakers Association and a regular guest on 6PR radio, she is an accomplished speaker, empowering individuals and teams in the corporate sector to achieve peak performance through nutrition.
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My Digital Day
by Paul M Southwick
issue no.6 December 2015
My grandfather, a shepherd, lay his bed roll next to the camp fire and drifted off to sleep facing the clear Milky Way. When woken by the streak of early light to the east he knew it must be 4.30am. After a breakfast of cold lamb and stale bread he drank a cup of billy tea and saddled up. It would be days of hard mustering before he descended back to the homestead. He loved being alone, out in the fresh air, in nature, with no bosses, no government, no interruptions. In fact things were so beautiful in the high country, at lunch time he took out his pencil and pad to sketch his favourite sheep dog Patch with the mountains in the background. He also did some sums on how many shillings he would be left over from his next pay packet after paying for his board. Grandad noticed high clouds gathering in the West and knew instinctively that it would rain soon. His thoughts turned to the poster he’d seen about a coming black and white movie. His sweetheart, Lily, just a short steam train journey away in the next town, loved romantic comedies, but it was the newsreels from London about last month’s overseas happenings that excited him the most and made it worthwhile having to dress up and pay the thruppence each entrance free.
Mother My mother, a housewife, woke to 6am “beep, beep, beep” tones from the BBC in London, with news and the national weather forecast broadcast from the wireless. It was frustrating that her region was always last in the forecast. Could she safely put the washing on the line today? She reread a telegram hand delivered the night before. Her sister had wired her 500 pounds from Hong Kong. She hoped it would appear in her post office account sometime in the next ten days. Grabbing her hat she placed her daughter Nancy in the rear mounted, front facing child seat of her bicycle and rode five miles into town, playing “I spy”. She stopped to collect photos from a roll of black and white film previously dropped into the chemist. It was a week now and she hoped that at least some of the shots had come out okay. Next Nancy rode to the Post Office to buy stamps. While there she used her savings book to withdraw money. She signed the form carefully as the teller compared her scribble to that on the signature card from her file in the large storage cabinets behind the counters. Luckily there was only a 20 minute wait in the queue that day. Mum was in a hurry because she’d
seen an advertisement in the local newspaper for a hand rung food mincer that she wanted to put on lay-by. She went upstairs to the department store’s customer service counters to pay her monthly account with big notes. The machinists updated on her orange account card using one of the new high speed electric golf ball typewriters. Nancy knew she had to be home before eleven o’clock to finish a letter to her brother in England to made today’s post and get there within the short eight weeks before Christmas. After lunch she headed for the bus stop, not sure how long she would have to wait, and went to the library to collect books her son had reserved by telephone weeks earlier for a project on something called “data processing”. She had also promised to buy him a new dictionary as he needed to check spellings often now. Before heading back to her one acre home in the suburbs, to water the vegetable garden, she stopped at a travel agent to get some brochures and ask about booking a holiday batch for Christmas. At the local dairy she picked up a copy of the Women’s Weekly - her favourite magazine. She knew she’d forgotten something but she would have to wait until she got home to ask her husband as there was no way to contact him now.
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Son When the digital alarm on my mobile phone beeped at exactly 6.30am I reached straight for my tablet, connected wirelessly through a router to the internet via a 100mps glass fibre cable into our 27th level CDB apartment. Peppa Pig, which my son was watching in the car the night before, was still on the screen so I swiped her away. I then read the latest real time news and used an â&#x20AC;&#x153;appâ&#x20AC;? to check a live webcam in Europe. I noted that the latest issues of my favourite Australian Flying and Acuity magazines had arrived in the electronic newsstand. Getting out of my electric blanket heated bed, I turned on my computer screen - the PC itself is always on - reading and replying to multiple emails received overnight. I selected and attached the best
issue no.6 December 2015
of the latest colour photos of our son for friends in Germany, taken the day before with our 10 megapixel digital camera, and movies with my mobile phone. My wife, who I fell in love with and talked to online, long before we met in person, said “make sure you copy his grandmother so she has them the second she wakes up”. I glanced at the pop ups reminding me of today’s appointments forwarded from my cloud based calendar and checked out what my friends had been up to - via Facebook, and business connections via LinkedIn. There was no time for breakfast today as I had a sales pipeline Skype video call with my business partner using our shared online CRM system - we own a digitalisation business consultancy. He kept sneezing and I was so glad we were not meeting in person. During the call we accessed business files and proposals from cloud storage. We opened a contact group to hold a video conference with a client in Auckland and her distributor in Sydney. It was just like being there with HD cameras and fibre quality sound. Best of all it was free and I did not have to dress up, incur travel time, or costs. Hoping a key account had paid I used my mobile phone banking app to check balances and then transfer funds. I logging into my cloud based accounting system to update records.
I checked exchange rates in real time, purchased Euros and transferred them overseas knowing they would be there immediately. Liking to work with background music I connected my music player earphones safe in the knowledge that both Amy Winehouse and German superstar Helene Fischer’s music was synchronised to all my devices anywhere, anytime. Quickly taking cloths from the washing machine with its electronic wash cycle I through them in the dryer and heated water for a cuppa in the microwave. I logged on to the single internet site for all my government interactions and using a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse, updated my email address and income details tax. I had a beep from my digital mailbox to which most of my letters and bills are now being sent and ticked the option for bills under $200 to be automatically paid and debited to my bank account. At 11.30am I entered an address into the city’s online trip planning app to check where I was going, traffic updates and public transport options. I grabbed my electronic building access card, with flashing random number generating banking fob, back up USB drive, and keyless entry car remote attached, and followed my car’s GPS instructions to a lunch date with clients. The traffic was thick but
I felt safe with ABS, ESC, computer controlled collision prevention and electronically activated airbags. Luckily I caught a call from a prospect with my hands free mobile phone connected by Bluetooth to the car speakers. It seemed strange to be meeting people in person. One could not (yet) eat digitally but two guests said that they were doing 5-2 diet programs, checking calories, and tracking weight loss and BMIs on line. The restaurant had Wi-Fi so I could read emails, sms my wife, and check the weather forecast for flying over the weekend using my handy. Later I would use apps to hire the aeroplane and file the flight plan. In the weekend when flying my all digital Cirrus SR22 I would use an electronic flight bag or EFB on the iPad to track the flight with moving map and other sophisticated features like the one that shows me other aircraft around me and their call signs. Back at my computer by 3pm I watched a video lesson, sat the final exam for the “Advanced Competitive Strategy” course offered as a MOOC (massive open online course) by Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität Münich, via Coursera. It reminded me of the online video tutorial assignments I did for my Diploma of Freelance Journalism the previous year.
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I used my electronic stored value transport card to pay for a ride to the shops. With my son in one hand and credit card in the other I was able to “touch and go” - no pin or signature required. The return tram was late but I know when it was coming via the tram-tracker app. On the way out of the supermarket I noticed an ATM for Bitcoins. Back at my computer I watched a Boeing 777 sweep over the city. I knew where it was from, its destination, altitude and how fast it was going thanks to the app on my tablet. That reminded me I needed to book a flight for Sydney next week and a holiday to Hawaii later in the year which I did online using a comparison site to check for the best flights and hotels. The airline already knew my seat preferences, credit card details and air point account number. Their
system sent me a booking linked to my calendar in the cloud so I did not have to key it in. I couldn’t help thinking some secret service government spy in Australia or the US was watching all this. “Move on” I say, “Nothing to see here!” I looked up a word in German with an online dictionary - which even pronounced it for me, watched for free a missed episode of my favourite TV show and realised it was now dark. Sitting at my computer with the lights off I stared out and up at the night sky searching for the Milky Way. But there was no chance with the bright lights of the city and nearby neon signs, so I decided to YouTube movies of the galaxy and run them on the computer screen as I drifted off to sleep think about what digitisation might look like for my son when he grows up. It had been quite a digital day.
issue no.6 December 2015