ISSUE 3 MAY 2012
AND HIS QUEST FOR PERFECTION
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ISSUE 3 MAY 2012
04 Editor’s Letter 06 Steve Jobs and his burning passion to be perfect Gerald Flurry examines the life of Steve Jobs – his brilliance and perfection – but sadly his lack of spiritual enlightenment 10 Creating theatre in your marketplace Peter Irvine encourages business owners to enlarge their ‘tent’ to break down any limitations in the mind 14 Approach to business dilemmas Mark Bilton gives insight into simple strategies that should be implemented in business
17 Doing business the Jewish way Dr. Weitzner explains the morals Jews expound in the workplace 20 A womans’s world Margaret Vote, gives her views of the highs and lows of owning your own business – but she has discovered it is mainly positive 24 Workplace principles Liam Glover shares business principles he has implemented, particularly in taking over leadership and merging two great organizations 27 The rise and rise of the fourth sector Innovators are taking a business-like
EDITOR’S LETTER Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln We are now publishing our 3rd edition of Inspired Business – I am sure you will find some extremely interesting, informative and encouraging articles in this publication. I am excited that we can bring readers who are either in business or thinking about starting, some strategies and implementations that are important to succeed. I admit that it is not always easy to step out into something new whether it is a new strategy in business or start a business, let alone lead other people and be responsible for them! However it is a great challenge and one that will certainly cause you to ‘grow’. One thing I know is vital – and that is to go before God and seek his strategies for business – in fact for anything we are doing.
approach to solving social problems… Holly Clark 30 Venture capital Venture Capital is one way to fund a business to ensure it gets off the ground… Jane Jeffery 32 The starting point Tony Gattari gives some insights as to how to keep your customers content and satisfied 34 Quit getting comfortable Look outside your comfort zone and life will be exciting, adventurous and sometimes challenging, even in business…according to Lee Colan
This is the greatest way to success in life. Steve Jobs the former CEO of Apple was brilliant in his strategies for his company Apple and we have an article detailing what he put into place and this offers great encouragement to people all around the world who want to step out of a comfort zone – not easy but worth it. Peter Irvine has once again shown his business prowess with an article on Thinking outside the Box. He challenges business owners to look at different marketing tactics to reach customers. He has some great examples not only from Australia, but also in his international travels. Mark Bilton talks about how a business must have the right strategies in place. He gives insight into simple strategies that should be implemented to secure a successful business that will thrive in this new economy.
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Blessings, Lynn Goldsmith Editor-in-Chief Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 5
JOBS Gerald Flurry examines the life of Steve Jobs – his brilliance and perfection – but sadly his lack of spiritual enlightenment
t the time of his death last October, Steve Jobs was overseeing the most valuable corporation on earth. He was the primary author of the spectacular success of Apple Inc., which is why many say he was the greatest CEO ever. There is a lot to learn from Mr. Jobs. In fact, many of his most exceptional traits are endorsed in God’s Word. Perhaps his most distinctive and empowering quality, as well as his most important, was that he was a perfectionist. In a world that tolerates and even exalts imperfection, the success Mr. Jobs achieved because of his quest for perfection is worth pondering. The Case of the Imperfect Case In every detail of creating computers and gadgets – even in building the Apple empire and its distinct almost mesmerizing culture – Steve Jobs wanted everything to be perfect. This desire for the perfect gadget, the perfect product launch, the perfect Apple store, propelled him to unrivalled success more than anything else. Just six weeks before the iPod was scheduled to be unveiled in 2001, it had a plastic screen. Suddenly Jobs became convinced that plastic would scratch too easily 6 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
and that the screen should be glass. His decision to make the change sent shock waves through the company: Designers, engineers, technicians were sent scrambling to redesign the casing. “No other CEO on earth would have made that call,” wrote Time magazine (Oct. 17, 2011). Steve Jobs didn’t care about the added cost or how the media would react. His primary focus was on releasing the most perfect product possible! Jobs demanded the highestquality screws be used on components inside the computer. He even insisted on beautiful finishes inside, even though only repairmen would ever see it. “Jobs…always indulged his obsession that the unseen parts of a product should be crafted as beautifully as its façade, just as his father had taught him when they were building a fence,”
Isaacson writes. What a unique way of thinking: creating a product that is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. No wonder Apple products are in such high demand! The determination to reach perfection is a remarkable quality. In a very real sense, it points us to God! In Matthew 5:48 Jesus Christ commands His followers, “Be (or become) ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” This is a profound scripture. It really encapsulates the gospel of God. It is all about human beings actually becoming like God Himself. God is a perfectionist. Being a perfectionist is a godly quality – which is why it works. Steve Jobs embodied this quality in his pursuit of the perfect gadget, and look at the success he attained in that arena. Christ challenges us
LESSONS FROM THE GREATEST CEO EVER to apply it in the areas of our life that really matter most. How much of a perfectionist are you? Do you strive for the perfect marriage, the perfect children? Do you labor to produce the most perfect product possible at work? If we do this, good things will happen. God tells us to develop that quest for perfection in everything we do. Vision Proverbs 29:18 says that, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Whether we apply this spiritually or even to our physical life – our job, our marriage, our family – it remains true: People need vision. In order to truly succeed, we need to have our mind fixed on the goal – something big, something important to pursue and aspire to. Steve Jobs was always fixated on
his ultimate vision. In 1983, Jobs was searching for a CEO to run Apple. He approached John Scully, who was working at Pepsi-Cola at the time and seemed uninterested in the position. Finally, after months of unsuccessfully petitioning Scully to join the Apple team, Jobs told him flatly, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water? OR DO YOU WANT A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WORLD?” This man wasn’t in the computer business simply to create gadgets, or build a global corporation, or even to transform the computer industry. His ultimate ambition was to ‘CHANGE THE WORLD.’ Jobs has often been quoted as telling his co-workers, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe.” This was his goal for Apple, and he did his best to make it the goal of every employee working at Apple. How far-reaching is your vision? God has given human beings a potential that will stretch your imagination to its limits. He wants that vision to propel us onward and upward, to motivate us to seek greatness. You can learn about that vision in our book The Incredible Human Potential. We will send you a copy for free. Steve Jobs had a novel way of recruiting employees in 1981. During the interview process he would bring the candidate into a room where a prototype of the Mac was covered by a cloth. Then, with great drams, he would rip the veil from his creation – and then watch their reaction. “If their eyes lit up, if they went right for the mouse and started pointing and clicking,” recalled Andrea Cunningham, “Steve would smile and hire them.” Jobs surrounded himself with people who loved Apple. He only wanted to work with people who had the same vision, the same hopes and dreams for Apple’s products and services. When asked what he looked for when hiring a senior
In a world that tolerates and even exalts IMPERFECTION, the success Mr Jobs achieved because of his QUEST FOR PERFECTION is worth pondering executive, Jobs responded, “They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is – Are they going to fall in love with Apple?” Jobs’ enthusiasm for His plans and His way of life. Above all He wants men and women “after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22). He tells us, through the Apostle Paul, to “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” and to “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). One of the greatest challenges in creating an Apple product was striking the balance between aesthetic appeal and engineering. Steve Jobs didn’t just want the best product technologically: He also wanted it to be visually appealing, as simple and pure as possible. From an engineering standpoint, this was never easy. Often, the engineers or manufacturers would tell Jobs that he was demanding the impossible and style would simply have to be compromised. Jobs would always fire back. We are going to do it. An employee who continued to fail to believe would be fired. Jobs couldn’t stand to work with naysayers, people who were negative and hadn’t fully bought into his vision. He knew that such people would drain him and the rest of his team of optimism and energy. Even this principle has a biblical corollary. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” the Prophet Amos wrote. Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 7
Focus Steve Job’s clear vision of what he wanted enabled him to have a laser-like focus on what he wanted to accomplish. He often told his executives that deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. Though he had co-founded Apple in 1976, Jobs was fired in 1985. When he returned to the company in 1997, it was a mess. Jobs immediately undertook a survey of the company, its employees and its products – and what he discovered infuriated him. There were too many products, too many versions of software, too many competing visions for the company. He spent months working to sort through the morass. Finally in a product strategy session, Jobs yelled, “Stop.” This is crazy, he said. He went to the whiteboard and drew a horizontal line and a vertical line to make a four-squared chart. Here’s what we’re going to do, he explained: Apple is going to make one product for each quadrant. Instead of developing multiple different products and even expanding into other industries, he wanted Apple to focus on one industry, and on three or four products. Within months of his return, Apple had cut 70 percent of its models and products, and was devoting all its resources to a handful of projects. This new acutely focused strategy paid off, and soon the company was growing again. According to Isaacson, Steve Job’s ability to focus – and to force those around him to focus – ‘saved Apple.’ Once again, Jobs was employing a spiritual principle. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus told His followers, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” God knows that if our lives are scattered in too many directions, we will fail at everything. The truly important things 8 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
will get crowded out by trivialities. “When thine eye is single,” Jesus said, “thy whole body is also full of light” (Luke 11:34). God demands that we maintain our focus on what really matters. The Missing Component Like all men, Steve Jobs had his share of flaws. Steve Wozniack his partner at Apple and the man largely responsible for the engineering behind the empire said he could “never trust his (Job’s) integrity.” This great computer magnate was self-centred, highly combustible and often brutally honest with his
criticisms. Early in his career he had a child out of wedlock. Although he was a millionaire and powerful man at the time, he rejected his daughter and humiliated her mother in the national press. Despite all his material success, Steve Jobs was constantly searching for spiritual enlightenment. As a young man, this search led him to some pretty intensive drug use. He went to college for six months, where he became interested in
Zen Buddhism. He grew close to prominent spiritual gurus and would regularly participate in bizarre rituals. In 1974, Jobs told his bosses at Atari that he was quitting his job and going to India in search of a religious guru who could help him find himself. About his jaunt to India, Jobs later said: “For me it was a serious search. I’d been turned on to the idea of enlightenment and trying to figure out who I was and how I fit into things.” Daniel Kottke, a friend of Jobs at the time, recalled that “there was a hole in him, and he was trying to fill it.” That hole stayed with Jobs his
A young Steve Jobs
whole life. After returning from India, he continued his search for enlightenment. Despite his intellectual and creative brilliance, spiritually he was a deeply confused man. “I think different religions are different doors to the same house,” he said once. “Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.” A few months before he died,
Steve Jobs transformed human existence with his technology, but he never figured out why humans exist. He never figured out whether there is a God. Even he knew there was a mission component to his extraordinarily successful life Jobs was talking with Isaacson about the meaning of life and the existence of God. “I’m about 50-50 believing in God,” he said. “For most of my life, I’ve felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye.” Isn’t that sad? This man has spent a lifetime searching the planet for a Higher Authority and the best conclusion he could draw was there is “more to our existence than meets the eye.” This brilliant, highly educated man transformed the world with his dazzling gadgets. He was rich and powerful. He could pick up the phone and talk to presidents and prime ministers to CEOs and scientists. He received private concerts from world-class artists. He could go anywhere and do anything, no matter the expense. He had everything! Everything, that is, except what he wanted most: spiritual enlightenment. Jobs revolutionized the computer industry, the movie industry, the cell phone industry, the music industry – and really the world – with his technology. Yet he never discovered the answers to life’s most basic and important questions. During one of his last conversations with Isaacson, Jobs mused about how he’d like to believe something great was in store for humans after they die. Then again, he stated, “perhaps (life) is like an on-off switch. Click! And you’re gone.” He even joked that “maybe this was why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.” Sad, isn’t it? Steve Jobs transformed human existence with his technology, but he never figured out why humans exist. He never figured out whether there is a God. Or if man was put on earth for a specific reason. Or if there is life after death. This brilliant man died ignorant. Even Steve Jobs himself knew there was a mission component to his extraordinarily successful life. What was it? Put simply. This man lacked a relationship with the one omnipotent, all-powerful living God! Gerald Flurry Editor | The Trumpet | www.theTrumpet.com
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Creating THEATRE in your market THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX Peter Irvine encourages business owners to enlarge their ‘tent’ to break down any limitations in the mind
want to stimulate your thinking. In the current climate, people do have money and they will spend given the right inspiration. Retailers need to change. We not only have the baby boomers, post baby boomers and ‘X’ generation but I read recently that the ‘Y’ generation have been ignored by many retailers. This generation makes up much of the market today. It is estimated that, in Australia alone, they have 1.5 billion dollars a year to spend – and not just on technology - research shows spending on food, drink, toys and clothes. MORE EXAMPLES OF INNOVATIVE THINKING: Following examples of retailers who are creating interactive and fun store or online experiences. Retail Stores Apple Stores: Most of us have experienced large floor-space Apple Stores with great customer interaction. Have you noticed that each of the sales people have iPhones they use to process transactions automatically as they deal with customers? No handing you off to a long checkout queue.
This keeps the transaction personal and quick. It also confirms their status as technology gurus. In September, my wife and I visited a Westfield center in LA. Not only did we see a very large, busy Apple store but a few doors up was a Sony store, with the same interaction. A bit further around the center was a not-so-busy Microsoft store. Technology is an important part of our lives today. How can you utilise it to benefit your customers’ experience? Sonic: Retro experience – a US hot dog and hamburger outlet concept where you drive in and park at a squawker box, very much like a drive in movie. You order your food, and it is delivered to you on roller-skates. It may be
10 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
short-lived, but it captures people’s attention. What kind of experience would capture potential customers in your business? Beaumont Tiles: This is an Australian company, particularly in the southern states and growing throughout other areas. The stores are interactive – you bring your plans and the staff help you with tile selection at large work tables. They also have a playground for children. How can you set your business up to make buying easier? I am starting to notice a number of retail outlets where you can get a shoulder massage for no cost just by going into the store. Make the experience enjoyable and attract people inside your lease line.
reception area and the pager would call them when needed. NY Restaurant: Upper East Side’s Park Avenue Autumn restaurant – whose quirky name changes with the seasons – now advertises that you can have a ‘dinner date with a dictator’. They have teamed up with artist Michael Rakowitz, who has an Iraqi-Jewish background, to make the meal: venison topped with date syrup which is served up on gold-plated dishes looted from the palaces of Sadam Hussein. The restaurant has said it also uses rare pieces of Wedgewood china once owned by Iraq’s King Faisal II to serve the dish. Food for thought here!
One Gloria Jean’s Coffees store: A Franchisee in Melbourne has a regular children’s book-reading about mid-morning. This allows mums of younger children to come - sit and enjoy their coffee and food while the children are entertained. And another: In another store, positioned next to a medical center the two businesses co-operated. People with appointments for the medical center were given a pager, then they were able to go and enjoy a drink at Gloria Jean’s Coffees. This reduced any stress and agitation in the medical
Let your mind have free reign. What could you do to make your business a real ‘experience’ for customers?
Online Retailing: Online retailers are now moving towards and embracing live chat services to shatter the last stronghold of traditional traders – customer service. Live chat services give customers paying online or browsing the online store, the ability to chat live with a customer service assistant, through a pop-up box on their computer screen. New figures show that retailers have big plans for live chats, with Forrester Research predicting the number of Australian sites will double in the next year. Take a good look at how you interact on your website. How can you improve?
Surface Computing: You might remember Microsoft’s first surface computer, a $15,000 table launched in 2008. Now Microsoft has partnered with Samsung and the ‘Surface 2.0’ is due by year’s end. Creative Agencies, architects, and engineering officers, product developers and others will love the interactive, multi-touch drawing tablets. But for Microsoft, the tablet at the center of all of this is just the beginning. In fact tablets are not far from providing such interaction already. TV programs like the new Hawaii 5-O, Bones and others are using interactive tables and screens. It won’t be long before we see interaction in retail stores, whether it is fashion, or whatever. Eventually we will be able to simply speak or wave our commands to whatever connected device happens to be closest at the time. In the workplace of the future, the PC could be the last thing you touch - computing will be taking place all around you. For more information visit: www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/ whatissurface.aspx
Shoe Dazzle: This is an online shoe store. You pay $49.95 a month, set up your personal profile, and every month you are shipped a pair of shoes. Many women love the idea of a brand new pair of shoes arriving every month, and they are not expensive. You can choose to have a month off – no money, no shoes, and you have twelve months to return the shoes if you are not happy.
Eco-Signs and Graphics: I was visiting a friend at Eco Signs and Graphics who showed me an interactive, stand-up touch-screen. In retail stores, a customer can walk in, stand in front of the screen and simply touch the options to see themselves in an out-fit, pair of shoes or the like. What a great way for customers to become interactive within your store! Interested – visit: www.ecosigns.com.au
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 11
And there’s more: Intel has developed retail signs that will adjust to people’s gender and age. Shopping malls are developing ways of interacting and attracting people. Like the real ski slope some of you may have visited in Dubai.
In Australia now some shopping malls are offering JP services at times during the week, providing a service to bring customers back. Certainly, Landlords of shopping centers are looking for retailers who will provide the theatre and interactive mindset. Let your mind have free reign. What could you do to make
your business a real ‘experience’ for customers? Peter Irvine www.peterirvine.com Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business”, speaker and business consultant.
Additional reading... Going Global –expand your growth possibilities elsewhere. business. Compared to previous times the Why go for it? opportunity to expand outside Asian countries want to do business Australia is far easier. It is not without with Australia. its obstacles but many businesses Support is available from consultants have expanded successfully. who are better informed and The advancement of technology, have experience in dealing with communication and willingness of international growth. This was not previously closed countries to want always the case. to do business with Australia has IT advances and social media opened the doors. provides an international platform. When we purchased the Support is available from Austrade International brand for Gloria Jean’s with marketing financial grants. Coffees we were told it wouldn’t work Major companies or financial and that we can’t run it from Australia. stable families are keen to take on We will face distance and customs concepts and brands. issues. There will be cultural issues You can create jobs in these and so forth. markets. Of course all these comments You generate more financial could have some element of truth, resources to help people. You are but in the end we did. We inherited blessed to be a blessing. 15 poorly performing countries which have now grown to 39 countries. There Lessons. are always issues and obstacles but We have learnt valuable lessons in the brand is growing worldwide. moving out of Australia. Amongst this growth are the Asian countries. The markets in Find the right partner. these countries are open and are You can open your own office and accelerating. I remember saying to employ a manager. my partner – “Why do we want to go to Partner with someone. India, as they are all poor?” He said, Sell master rights for the country. “We appeal to the middle class and even if that is 10 % we have access to In all cases you need to do the a market size which is over five times following: more than Australia’s total population. Share your vision ,mission and values. These people read and watch western Show your passion for your market material and want the brands business. and want a better lifestyle. What are these people doing now We forget Australia has a small in their country that reflects your population for its geographic size and passion and vision? once you reach maturity have 12 | Inspired Business Issueyou 3 May 2012 Do they want to launch and
implement the business around what your business is about or just have another trophy name on the door? What is their financial capability? We have had many individuals and companies that run out of financial steam. Will they focus on the business? Are they willing to appoint a manager committed to the business and not deflected with too many other responsibilities? Are they connected with their Government? Being networked with Governments in many of these countries makes it easier to break down red tape for businesses and therefore opening doors and being able to resolve problems far easier with the right connections. Legal protection. Copyright is a major issue, so apply for trademark protection and be prepared to protect it. Experienced lawyers are important in dealing with these countries. Not all lawyers have the experience and they often learn at your expense. Austrade will work with the Consulate in each country and carry out background checks for you on companies you are planning to do business with. They will source interested companies that have financial viability and connections for you to interview as partners or Master franchisees. Your Opportunity is out there. Growth is out there - just a flight away.
“A must-read book for any business owner, entrepreneur, leader… or in fact anybody living in today’s modern, hectic world. Peter is my own modern day Solomon - an abundance of wisdom of how to live and prosper. Read , enjoy and let this wisdom transform you!” Tony Gattari, Achievers Group Through practical advice and inspirational examples, this book will help you grow your business and brand to heights you may never have thought possible. But the man who helped steer the phenomenal growth of Gloria Jean’s Coffees in Australia warns that success is not just about being the best and making the most profit. It’s also about taking the people around you--your family, staff, customers and community--on the journey with you.
“A must-read book for any business owner, entrepreneur, leader… or in fact anybody living in today’s modern, hectic world. Peter is my own modern day Solomon - an abundance of wisdom of how to live and prosper. Read , enjoy and let this wisdom transform you!” Tony Gattari, Achievers Group
Peter Irvine integrates deep life truths with personally-proven business principles to enrich your business, your people and your life. Peter unravels the myth that business and family don’t mix. He challenges you to a more rewarding life by involving your family in your business and vice versa.
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 13
Approach to BUSINESS DILEMMAS Mark Bilton gives insight into simple strategies that should be implemented in business to secure a successful business that will thrive in this new economy
usiness is tough. We are in an environment where we have reluctant consumers who need a reason to open their wallets and a commercial sector that is cautious and reticent to invest. In my opinion this will not dissipate for some considerable time. This is the new normal. This is the state of the world we live in and have to live with. So what can we do as business owners and leaders to ensure we not only survive but thrive in this new economy? To succeed we have to adapt. If we do the same things in the same way, we can only reasonably expect the same results. Strategy is really a very simple subject made unnecessarily complex by an army of self-interested consultants and practitioners. Often businesses will build a complex document that gets no real attention and is put in the bottom draw until the next review time. We live in a world that is changing rapidly and we have to adapt accordingly. Not only do we need flexibility in our strategy but also in the culture of our companies, so we can move quickly to take advantage of a changing world. Strategy in its simplest form describes; what we want to look like, how we are going to get there, and who is going to do it. Where are you going? Where are you going, what are you trying to achieve, what is the future 14 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
state of your company that you are aiming to get to? I can’t tell you what you need to look like but I guarantee you and your team already have the answers. In deciding where you need to go, look out into your market rather than inwardly to your company. What is happening to your customers, suppliers, markets, distribution channels, legislation and any other factors that impact your business? What are the key trends that are occurring? We have the rise of environmental awareness, social media, m-commerce and value seeking consumers, for example. The simple question is; what do you need to look like to be the perfect company to take advantage of those trends? In other words what is the ‘sweet spot’? We all need direction, in order to focus, to allocate resources and to create vision and momentum. If we don’t know where we are going how will we know when we get there? “She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.” (Proverbs 5:6) Don’t be aimless and wander. Ask God for clarity of direction. He has a plan and purpose for your work life, just as He has for every aspect of your life. Part of our destiny is orchestrated, part we need to partner with God, hear from Him and impact our circumstances with faith prayer and action.
What do you want? If we don’t know where we are going, how will we get there and when will we arrive? So many companies just survive or do what they do, without taking the time to know where they are going. A vision is important, and I am not talking about a fancy plaque on a wall that no one can quote. I mean a commonly held idea of where the business is going and what we are trying to achieve. This is born out of the exploration of the external market. Taking into account the trends externally and the capabilities internally, what does the ideal company look like, and more importantly, how would we know if we got there? “And the Lord answered me and said, ‘Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may be able to read it easily and quickly’.” (Habakkuk 2:2 (AMP)) Here are some great aspects to how a vision should be presented. WRITTEN If it is in your head no one can see it. PLAIN Keep it very simple, so that it is memorable. EVERYONE Make it available to all. PASSES Keep it accessible and in plain view. READ
Did I already mention written? EASILY You don’t need big words to be credible. QUICKLY Short is good.
be worked on. This model allows a lot of empowered buy-in and change to occur in a compressed timeframe with minimum compliance and maximum effect.
How clear is your vision statement, or company idea or purpose, or whatever you choose to call it? Test it against the mandate above. There is a lot of godly wisdom in a plain, simple, easily read, available, clear, vision.
How will you lead? The new vision and strategy has to be undergirded by crystal clear leadership, sounding a definitive note, bringing an end to confusion of direction. “The assembly was in confusion:
Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.” (Acts 19:32) How cohesive is your team? If you asked them to articulate their main purpose or the company’s key goals, could they tell you what they were? A creative environment with lots of open opinions should be valued. A culture where differing positions are not only tolerated but encouraged is rare, yet desirable. However, a process of decision making based
How do you get there? If you take this future state as an end goal, then build a list of milestones that need to be achieved, in order to lay a foundation to make the ‘sweet spot’ a reality. This becomes your three-year horizon. Will you know if you have achieved this future state? The milestones set should be able to be demonstrated by a yes or no. Did we make it yes or no, simple, achievable and measureable? I tend to operate on ten key demonstrable, measurable, milestones. What now do we need to do to lay the foundation over the next twelve months? This foundation is articulated through ten, one year milestones and then a set of 90 day goals. Each milestone is allocated a single owner empowered and resourced to achieve these strategic goals. The 90 day goals are reset at each 90 day cycle on an action-learning basis, as we move the business forward in an inclusive, conclusive, committed and transparent way. This, when given a specific timeline and empowered owners, propels the business towards its stated goals. Whilst this is happening, an understanding and building of competencies within the business that needs to be evident to achieve the future state also need to Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 15
on specific, demonstrable goals and outcomes, underpinned by clear jurisdictions and authorities, is critical to contain this vibrancy in a cohesive structure. Control is often an illusion. Those who are too controlling move people from commitment to mere compliance, and often to passive if not overt resistance. “No longer do I call you slaves; for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15.) Openness, transparency and free communication come with a set of risks, which are far outweighed by the trust and positive productivity that they engender. Engagement to a clear vision and open communication these are a powerful cultural mix. Innovation, creativity, customer service, and productivity, are all increased in an environment of trust and empowerment. If people don’t know what’s going on, they will make it up anyway; they might as well talk about what is really happening. Freeing people to operate as they wish aligned to an agreed direction will bring a higher degree of productivity. Does it come with a touch of chaos, yes but I would rather that, than hinder innovation and expression.
Who will you be? If you are called to lead this change, how do you maximize your potential? Your leadership is the key not only in leading the strategy, but also in determining the culture in which it will succeed. “Get real” is a statement which encourages a certain authenticity and transparency. How much easier would it be to be who we really are rather than meet the expectations of others. I believe we all have God given talents and giftings and that these allow us to operate with excellence in the area of life we operate in. We will be at our most content and competent when we live in a way that allows those gifts to operate. When we relax, we are who we are meant to be. Let us demonstrate who we are, by being who we are. In leadership there is often an expectation to be something we are not, which forces us to be someone we are not. I have found that the more I drop the pretense the more effective I am as a leader. We can’t be perfect, we don’t know it all, and often we will get it wrong. So let’s call it like we see it, be who we are, and be comfortable getting it wrong. No pretense, no agenda and being who we are, breeds a level of trust and transparency, that I have found increases productivity and
engagement in those around me. Let’s stop trying to live up to our own expectation of what leadership is, and outline a new paradigm of transparency, engagement, trust and productivity. What do you stand for? Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23.) I love excellence. I appreciate seeing things done well, professional, efficient and effective. A well-conceived strategy powerfully executed and delivered, is great to experience. God calls us to strive for excellence by working with all our hearts, passionate and committed. Keep coming back to this powerful truth; it may well help overcome immense frustration. It is sometimes not easy, but God’s Word will prevail. He is vitally interested in you, your workplace and business. Seek His answers in your strategic planning and implementation and you will gain insight, opportunity, favor and wisdom.
Mark Bilton Bsc DipBus MBA
Mark has extensive experience working as a CEO, Director and Managing Director, in both private and publicly listed companies. His specialty is creating value through strategy, vision and culture, and he describes himself as a “Change Catalyst”. His latest position was the CEO of Hagemeyer Brands Australia, which was transformed and divested on behalf of French owners Rexel. Recently Mark was appointed to the Gloria Jean’s Coffees board helping to oversee 1000 stores in 32 countries. Mark has held a number of commercial and “not for profit” directorships, on industry, trust, leadership, international missions and educational bodies. He recently was presented the ‘Terry Plochman Award’ for being the world’s best YPO Forum Officer, in front of 2500 CEOs in Denver, by the premiere leadership body, the “Young Presidents Organization”. He has a passion for business and for Christians in the marketplace. His online ministry, “Called to Business” (www.CalledtoBusiness.com), uses social media to “encourage and equip Christian Business Leaders to be effective in the marketplace.” Mark has a Master’s in Business Administration, a Post Graduate Diploma in Business, and a Bachelor of Science. He has been married to Helen for twenty years, has three young children and lives in Sydney. 16 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
Doing business the Most people in the world believe Jewish people are extremely proficient in business deals. DR. WEITZNER explains the morals Jews expound in the workplace
Radically Jewish Business Ethics
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 17
n the wake of the latest business scandals in the news, let’s go ahead and ask the real question that sits in the back of the head of every businessman with a conscience: Is business inherently at odds with ethics? Let’s probe deeper than that: What is the precise relationship between the world of business and the seemingly disparate world of morality and ethics? Does this relationship begin and end with a set of rules specifying the behaviors that are to be avoided while engaging in an inherently unholy, albeit necessary, task? Or, as a radical alternative, can business activity be celebrated as something with significant spiritual potential? An authentically Jewish approach to business ethics begins by shattering our popular conceptions of morality. Unlike other spiritual traditions, Judaism does not view business activity as nothing more than a necessary evil. Like everything else that is meaningful in one’s life, the call to engage in business comes from Above. The classic Jewish discussions of morality in business veer considerably far away from the topics that dominate what we generally regard as the sphere of the moral. Morality is often conceived in the popular mindset as the realm of altruism and self-sacrifice. Yet Jewish business ethics push for the development of qualities and character traits that do not, at first glance, have specifically moral significance. Perhaps you have heard of the classic Talmudic insight into our moment of judgment. The first question we will be asked after death, according to our sages, is, “Did you do business b’emunah (in good faith)?” Now, what is the point behind
this question? Is the heavenly court only interested in how honest I was, and business happens to be a good laboratory in which to test that honesty? It doesn’t sound that way to me. It sounds like they are really interested in whether I was occupied in a unique and particular activity called “business in good faith”— because that activity contains an inherent sanctity that is of such prime importance, it must be placed prior to inquiries on any other activity. I can evidence this from the context of the question. After this first question, come several others, such as, “Did you set aside fixed time for Torah study?” The virtue under inquiry isn’t simply living by a schedule, or fixing time for good deeds, but rather there is something uniquely special about regular Torah study. Or, “Did you occupy yourself with being fruitful and multiplying?”—a very specific question demonstrating the holiness of a very particular action with particular results. Similarly here, the question does not seek to confirm that while doing business you did not cheat, lie or break any of the 613 commandments. It seems to suggest that there is a type of business activity that in itself is holy. The Talmud wants us to know that when we face the Highest of Judges, His first inquiry is not for an account of the sins we avoided while doing business; not to list the negative behavior from which we duly abstained, or even to account the non-business related altruistic endeavors in which we engaged through our business activities (“I gave 10% to charity. I had a lunch and learn session in my office. I ran an appeal from Israel among my business associates.”). The sages are informing us that there is an ultimate need to tell in detail
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the seemingly mundane story of our actual daily good-faith business interactions. Why would the Heavenly Courts care for such an accounting, unless there is a deep moral good to be discovered in the particulars of how we performed the seemingly amoral activities of business? This question only makes sense if business activity and moral behavior have the potential to be one and the same: business “b’emunah.” We need to think about how we are creating real and meaningful value. Or put it this way: They are saying that the essence of an authentically Jewish approach to business ethics is not to be found by criticizing business activities or simply delineating a set of rules and prohibitions. Authentically Jewish business ethics is about engaging in business in a way that changes the person, changes the environment in which that person works, and changes all those who come in contact with the business person through their daily business activities. Jewish business ethics is concerned with preparing that narrative that we all know we will need to eventually relay to the Heavenly Judge. We need to work on thinking about how we can tell the best possible story of what we do every-day in business— why it is a good faith activity. We need to think about how businesses are changing the world we live in via their work. The expectation is not to create a narrative telling of how we engaged in high-minded acts of selfsacrifice. That story is for a different time and place. The question of Jewish business ethics is to create a story of transformation through the seemingly simple acts of our good faith business activities. The Talmud talks glowingly about our ancestor Jacob finding favor in the eyes of the local indigenous
We need to think about how we are creating real and meaningful value. The weak need to be protected from exploitation… but the powerful sometimes need protection as well
population. One might wonder about the details of the miraculous or altruistic endeavor of greatness which Jacob was required to engage in to attain this elevated state. And as often is the case in our tradition, there is no consensus. But let us look at the different opinions expressed in the Talmud and the similar theme on which they are all based. The debate focuses around three distinct activities: either Jacob established a stable currency for the people, or he set up local markets or perhaps he built a working public bathhouse. In other words, our forefather Jacob turned the establishment of markets, currency valuation and infrastructure developments into the highest of moral acts. These seemingly mundane activities, actions that we normally do not think of having any moral significance, are the basis for his transformational narrative. He changed the world through his righteousness. But he also changed the world with business. The two are forever linked. This message is repeated again and again throughout the Jewish canon. Our Talmudic sages tell us that the guide to sainthood is to be found in the study of the tractates on damages. The path to sainthood is not locked in the lofty esoteric discussions of deep mysticism… it is available to all in the practical explorations of business interactions and compensation! Business ethics in classic Judaism is not about charity and altruism (which are absolutely moral goods in themselves)—they are about real business activities and the holiness and moral goodness found in those particular acts. The Chassidic masters taught that holiness can be found anywhere, so why should we be surprised to find that engaging in the seemingly mundane activities of business is an
authentic path to righteousness? There is a famous Midrash in Genesis Rabbah that talks about our forefather Abraham wandering through foreign lands and seeing people eating, drinking and engaging in frivolity. Clearly these people had lives of leisure and not suffering, yet Abraham intoned a hope that this land would not be his inheritance. Instead, when he passed a land of toil, where the people were engaging in the necessary tasks of life at their appropriate times, he expressed a hope that he could even have a piece of this hard-working community. God looked down and said, “This is the land I will give your offspring.” What did Abraham see in this land that was so wonderful? The Lubavitcher Rebbe suggests that Abraham saw the dignity of the people… dignity that is found in selfsufficiency. Business activity allows the people to be partners with God in re-creating the world they live in. Loving the Eternal is one thing— working with Him to provide for the world is another. The weak need to be protected from exploitation… but the powerful sometimes need protection as well, Practically speaking, what is the essential message found in the classic Jewish discussions of business? In short, go about your business. But always be mindful that good faith business is no small task. Create a level economic playingfield. Our sages were very careful to ensure that creditors had the same protection as debtors. They wanted to strike a balance so that those with capital would not be discouraged from lending. They wanted to make sure that business transactions were just that, business transactions and not inadvertent charitable giving. Charity is good, but business is good as well. Both institutions needed to
be solidified. Jewish business ethics finds great moral worth in clarity. Clarity about the nature of the transaction, and clarity regarding what the results would be if the transaction goes horribly wrong. So much time is spent in Talmudic discussions outlining the most improbable of scenarios because the more clarity there is in the economic arena, the better markets can function. This is as true today as it was then. An authentically Jewish approach to business ethics believes that businesses can do well while being good. Be mindful of your strategy, and be mindful of the greater narrative that you will one day have to relay. Are you creating more opportunities for business, opening doors for more people to join the transactions? Are you playing your role as authentically as possible, whether you are a buyer or a seller, a lender or a borrower? The moral good that comes from business activities done well is as real and meaningful as the moral good that may come from anywhere else. That is business b’emunah. Dr. Weitzner is the Associate Director of the Strategic Field Study Program at the Schulich School of Business, York University
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 19
You can see there is something you can go after and that is probably what excites you, the fact there is no limit to what you can do 20 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
What is it that draws people to business? Is it the challenge, is it the excitement? One motivated lady, Margaret Vote, gives her views of the highs and lows of owning your own business – but she has discovered it is mainly positive
argaret is one of the most motivated, inspiring and vibrant women I have met, and I have the greatest respect for all she has achieved and all she is as a business woman. When I talked with her, she just bubbles out a positive attitude. She is Principal of a Real Estate franchise office. Times in business have not always been easy for her but she has certainly learnt to overcome and this is what our journey is about – to overcome!
when I started my business, needed to have a shopfront.
I asked Margaret some pertinent questions and she has answered in a very down-to-earth way.
Was it a daunting experience starting out in business? I just could see it was the obvious next step. I had already worked as a commission only agent and I really didn’t have anywhere else to go other than to go into my own business.
Why did you desire to go into business – what were the pressing forces that propelled you to be a business woman? I wanted to have a secure future, rather than just working for somebody else. It was so I had some control over my destiny. Also I had something to sell – a business to sell if and when the time came. To me real estate was a practicality and real estate in 2004,
Describe your working life prior to going into business I was busy as a sales person working from home earning good income but felt my future wasn’t factored into the equation as I only went from sale to sale - no residual income with no rent roll income turning over every month hence I had nothing to sell after all the years of working.
When thinking about going into business and thinking it would be a good idea – what are the important steps that you need to think about? You need to know what your market is and why you think you would have a chance to capture that market. I
think you need to know you have got enough money behind you to pay for the essential things to keep the business running. What is it about business that excites you? Just the fact that nobody can limit you in what you can do. You are the one that is in charge of that business. It’s up to you to set what your goals are and what it is that you want to achieve. Therefore it is like a fresh slate, that you can draw on as big as you want. I think that’s the main reason – it just opens up so many opportunities. What would you say to people who are considering going into business? To ask all the questions they would need to ask people who have gone where they want to go. Gather as much information so that you’ve got a balance – you’ve got checks and balances in your system that internally you think, Yes, I can do that. Then you get to the point where you are willing to take that step.
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 21
I think the heart of my business is treating everyone with respect knowing they are ‘made in the image of God’ and ‘doing unto others as you would have others do unto you’ Margaret Vote (front and centre) with her team
Energy – I can’t stress enough how important it is to have energy. Also important is having a positive attitude – based on good common sense as well as faith. You must have people skills – communication with and caring for other people. Having good people around you and caring for their wellbeing. Cash flow – it is important to plan on ‘what’s the worst scenario’. Presentation is vital – to be friendly, welcoming, openness (and personal hygiene). I would state – Build a good reputation – plant ‘good seeds’ with every contact you make - believe in your own ability and have the willingness to ‘do whatever it takes’. Do you see business as a challenge? Yes both challenging and frightening if you only look at what you can see like bank statements, bills, salaries etc and that is why it is most important to have plans/goals set out to move towards so you aren’t paralysed by fear and have no control of your situation. You have to be willing to back yourself! If you take control of the reins in your business then you move
yourself ‘beyond fear’ because you are operating in good faith based on your belief in your own ability to make things happen and that is when opportunities come to meet you. Also be sure you maintain good communication regularly with your bank and those you have accounts with so they know they are accounted for in your payment plan. It’s exciting that you see that there’s a mountain you can climb. You can see there is something you can go after and that is probably what excites you, the fact there is no limit to what you can do, if you’re willing to do the work. In an economic crisis when things are not looking too positive – how do you cope with that? With great difficulty but the obstacles are overcome by hard work, perseverance, creative thinking, having more than one plan (a, b, & c) and remembering that everyone you meet is important and they will respond positively to you if you make them feel good. You have to be sure to keep everything close to you – like talk to people you may owe money to
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or people who owe money to you. Just keep relationships strong, because when this is strong there’s just a natural obligation for people to meet their commitments. Have your bank manager on side and see what things you can do just to survive in your business. It can be scary but there are always ways and you just have to be creative and find ways to deal with things. Keeping Christ at the centre and looking towards his strategies – that’s what is important in business? Absolutely! If that is firmly in your being. If you know that Christ is the centre of your life then everything flows out from there. Also that gives you the courage and the strength to know that there is nothing really to fear – provided you’re willing to work – there is always that balance that you’ve got to put in the energy and all your resources so that it’s a team work again. An internal teamwork as well as an external teamwork with those around you. Lynn Goldsmith Editor-in-Chief
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24 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
WORKPLACE PRINCIPLES Liam Glover shares business principles he has implemented, particularly in taking over leadership and merging two great organizations
Many businesses celebrate increase in revenues, increase in customers or clients and increase in market presence. I know I am believing for increase in these areas as I assume leadership for the new organization, bringing together Arrow Leadership Australia and Australian Marketplace Connections (AMC). With the application of faith, belief in the staff and belief in the services we contribute to Christians in Australia, there are for us, some exciting opportunities for growth and development in the coming years. However, commensurate with growth and development, some enterprises (for profit and not for profit) can experience growth pains. The energy that is created by newness can sometimes mask strains on systems not necessarily designed for continued expansion. When working as Chief Finance Officer a number of years ago, I joined an organization almost from start-up (in its second year of operation). We had revenues of under $500,000 and three staff members I was charged with the responsibility of leading, and a client base of around one hundred. Over the four year period I served in this role, we expanded rapidly, engaging in significant capital and operational expenditure and experiencing substantial growth in revenues.
During this period I oversaw the construction of facilities valued over $11 million, developed joint venture agreements, negotiated land acquisitions with three land developers, sourced funds for long and short term projects totalling over $30 million, oversaw the growth of the client base of the company by over 800% and recruited staff to sustain growth. Many celebrations were enjoyed over the four year period I served the company. Many flat whites were consumed! However, there were many challenges accompanying the celebrations. Upon reflection, a few lessons were discovered. Culture Whilst sometimes intangible, difficult to articulate and financially quantify, culture is an absolute distinctive of all organizations. It is what makes us special, bordering on unique. For example, there is a vibe when one walks into an Apple Store. A sense of bouyedness, fun, spontaneity and quality are issued through the space by most staff. You can feel it. My three sons like to hang out in the Apple Store, I think because of the technology with which they can play, but also because of the culture that permeates through the store. With rapid expansion comes the challenge of maintaining a healthy
culture. Every new staff member brings with her or him perspectives about how office communications are effected, what’s appropriate and not so, how we celebrate and what makes every staff contribution unique yet symbiotically complementary to each other, resulting in outstanding organizational results. To use a phrase we often shared around recruitment times, “We are going to water down the gene pool.” This is not designed as a derogatory message, but a statement of fact. With each new staff member (and client and supplier), the culture we want to maintain will be diluted, until the new additions are ready reflectors of the culture they experienced when they first joined. Some staff slipped through the recruitment process, arriving with the attitude that they were going to change our culture – who we were as an organization and what made us distinct. Thankfully, these staff members unsuccessfully attempted to convert others to their cultures and self-excluded after a short period. Our culture was maintained. However, when there were multiple staff recruitments in a short period of time, creating consonancy with existing culture was difficult, requiring intentional allocation of time, resources and systems. Sometimes it went well. Other times,
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 25
The proverb affirming that generally the plans of those who seek the counsel from many will succeed became the norm not the exception.
we were struggling for a number of months. Establishing a biblical ethic throughout the operation of our organization was imperative, ensuring that decisions were consistently aligned with biblical principles and Christian ethics. This sometimes meant letting staff go or backing off from opportunities. In the long term, however, such decisions produced long lasting fruit. Wisdom During this period of rapid expansion, having wisdom of peers, those external to the operations of our organization (our board who understood the important role of governance and strategic policy development) and those external, completely removed from our organization (consultants of various kinds) proved invaluable. However, we learnt the hard way. Believing that we had managed to corner the market on all things wise, we threw ourselves boldly into what we thought may be a promising opportunity. (Our experience to date had been that we were successful in initiating opportunities into new markets.) Not obtaining sufficient advice and wisdom from those around us, the opportunity proved more costly than originally anticipated, resulting in a less than ideal outcome. We were then intentional in our processes to ensure that, despite the apparent need for immediate responses and decisions, we consulted appropriately with the wise people God had placed around us. The proverb affirming that generally
the plans of those who seek the counsel from many will succeed became the norm not the exception. Team When recruiting staff, whilst we gravitated towards those who looked like us and spoke like us, we were intentional about identifying staff who did exceptionally well in that skill or competency that we could only do average. This meant that as each team member was added, the whole skill set of the team increased, in both breadth and depth. There was an uplift factor that our staff experienced when someone arrived who had a specific calling to contribute to an aspect of our organizationâ€™s operations that no one else in our organization had previously been attending (or doing so in a limited way). The inherent nature of humanity, more particularly in the context of relationships, means that we like the idea of people being like us. However, when selecting other team members, we realized that selection had to be premised upon an understanding of the existing chemistry of relationships, their impact upon the team dynamic and the extent to which their professional contribution would complement existing staff contributions. This naturally impacted culture of the team and therefore the culture of the organization. The culture of our organization was worth cherishing. If our culture started to change, existing stakeholders may choose elsewhere. Future stakeholders may never arrive at our doorstep. As I contemplate all that could be in the coming years, I am excited
26 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
about continuing to establish a culture in Arrow Marketplace Connections that reflects Kingdom principles. The new board brings together an amazing group of professionals, full of wisdom and character, able to provide insight and perspective on new development opportunities. The team members with whom I work are passionate, vital in their desire to serve fervently, asking good questions on how we can improve. What a blessing to be surrounded by so many full of faith people!
Liam Glover has been recently appointed as Executive Director of a merged entity fusing Arrow Leadership Australia and Australian Marketplace Connections. Liam began vocational ministry in 1998 after working in the field of commerce and law in both the corporate and not for profit sectors. Liam has qualifications in commerce, law, finance and divinity, and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program at Fuller CA. He is married with three boys and resides in Brisbane.
THE RISE AND RISE OF THE FOURTH SECTOR Social entrepreneurship is causing people to focus on helping others. Innovators are taking a business-like approach to solving social problems… HOLLY CLARK A customer of Opportunity International
t’s one of the fastest growing sectors of the Australian economy but rather than placing an emphasis on chasing profit, it illustrates a renewed focus on helping others. Social entrepreneurship – where entrepreneurs use business experience and expertise to address social issues – is causing traditional boundaries between the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to become increasingly blurred, often for the benefit of the communities where they work. “A social entrepreneur is an innovator that takes a businesslike approach to solve a social problem,” says Stephen Robertson, Philanthropy Director for development organisation Opportunity International Australia. “Interestingly, there has been explosive growth in the number of social entrepreneurs appearing over the past decade across the rest of the world. And while Australia has lagged behind our foreign counterparts in nurturing social entrepreneurship, the tide now appears to be turning.” In fact, coinciding with World Entrepreneurship Day on 13 April, Opportunity International Australia
has calculated that the number of social enterprises has increased by 37%1 over the last five years. It appears that Australians are embracing what is often referred to as the ‘fourth sector’, integrating business principles with social purposes – either economic, cultural or environmental. It is also being suggested that social entrepreneurialism is the new breed of philanthropy, attracting some of Australia’s top entrepreneurial minds. “We are certainly seeing a trend in entrepreneurs who have built successful empires and are now applying their skills to social businesses,” says Mr Robertson. “If you were to look across the BRW Rich List you would see many examples of people who are successfully turning their hands to social enterprise or supporting entrepreneurs in some capacity. Indeed, many of our own donors are entrepreneurs who have chosen to support Opportunity International Australia because nurturing and helping entrepreneurs in developing countries is what we are all about.” A focus on entrepreneurship is at
the core of Opportunity International Australia, an organisation inspired by Jesus Christ’s call to serve the poor. Founded by Australian entrepreneur David Bussau in the 1970s, it uses business principles to address the issue of global poverty – giving people in developing countries small loans (microfinance) and business training to enable them to grow small businesses, earn regular incomes and provide for their families. Essentially, it empowers people living in poverty to become microentrepreneurs themselves. “It’s a long-term solution to poverty, and many people involved in their own businesses appreciate the sustainability of the microfinance model. The nature of a loan means that the funds given out are repaid once people have been able to use the money to start a successful business. Opportunity sees 97 per cent of loans repaid – funds that are then recycled to help the next person start a small business and leave poverty behind,” Mr Robertson says. Opportunity notes that there are a number of synergies that companies look for when offering support to social entrepreneurs and social
Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 27
It is also being suggested that social entrepreneurialism is the new breed of philanthropy, attracting some of Australia’s top entrepreneurial minds businesses: a logical fit between their existing business and the new venture, chemistry between the parties, a natural fit with the brand, commercial viability, longevity and ability to leave their legacy, and opportunity for the entrepreneur to grow and develop their personal skills. Mr Robertson notes, “Entrepreneurs are not prepared to throw money at any social business, rather they are extremely considered and the opportunity must tick all the boxes, both commercially and personally. We are always encouraged when a business or entrepreneur chooses to support Opportunity – their input and support enable us to achieve an even greater impact.” Social entrepreneurship is also getting noticed with younger generations, with universities embracing the discipline both in
terms of the research they conduct and the options for study. For the one million university students in Australia there are now at least six universities in Australia offering social enterprise or entrepreneurship studies. This compares to 250 courses offered in the US, where university students number more than 17 million, and 20 opportunities to study this discipline for the UK’s two million university students. “The growth in social entrepreneurship as a field of study is in response to student demand,” says Mr Robertson. “For many years, prominent universities in America such as Yale have offered courses in the field, and we are seeing burgeoning interest in Australia. The University of Sydney, Swinburne and Adelaide University all offer either modules of study or full courses for budding social entrepreneurs and the School for Social Entrepreneurs has also recently set up its Australian campus.” Opportunity also credits the government with helping to stimulate social businesses through initiatives such as The Social Enterprise Development and Investment Fund (SEDIF) which provides funding to social enterprise. A total of 105 social enterprise projects have been funded to the total value of $73.6 million, and SEDIF is also playing a role in helping to engage the private sector. “It’s fantastic to see a resurgence of business’ interest in social causes. With more and more entrepreneurs entering the social space either with their own innovations or with increased philanthropic support
28 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
of existing programs, we will see a positive impact on both the communities and issues that really do need the world’s attention,” Mr Robertson says. Holly Clark Opportunity International For more information on Opportunity International Australia, visit www.opportunity.org.au
1. Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector (FASES) Report http://www.socialtraders. com.au/sites/www.socialtraders. com.au/files/FASES_9.7.10.pdf There are an estimated 20,000 social businesses. An estimated 37% started in the last 5 years.
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www.arkhousepress.com Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 29
Venture Capital Venture Capital is one way to fund a business to ensure it gets off the ground. JANE JEFFERY explains the process...
ne of the sources of funding for a business is venture funding. The sources of funds described in the previous article are perhaps less well known and directed at new and developing enterprises. The term Venture Capital is more widely known but certainly not understood. The graph below puts the various types of funding available the amounts involved and the risk (to return on the investment) into perspective Figure 1 Funding stages In the very early stages a new enterprise is very risky and the amounts of fund raising available are small The first three stages of funding mentioned in Figure 1 Funding stages are a time when the entrepreneur must prove the concept of the product or service. However, it is also a time to demonstrate personal business acumen and teachability. The venture capital fund manager invests in the person leading the business as much as the idea. Any entrepreneur unwilling to listen to the advice from the experienced business mentor will find it very difficult to secure funding. The entrepreneur also needs to be very clear about the purpose and goal of a venture fund. Be very clear, the purpose is to make money for those who have entrusted their hard earned resources to the fund. A venture fund is not a charity, it is not a government initiative designed to promote job creation. It is a means 30 | Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012
Figure 1 Funding stages
where by groups and individuals can increase the value of their resources to provide for their future needs. It is no different from any other investment vehicle. Its clients are those who invest in the fund. Not those who come to the fund manager seeking investment in their business. This said venture funding is a valuable source and asset class of funding for those who require later stage funding for an endeavour that is well established. The entrepreneur who believes that at some stage venture funding may be required, needs to plan well in advance if there is a need for those funds. The first key point is to ensure that sufficient equity in the project
is available to attract the venture fund manager. Do not â€˜give awayâ€™ too much equity to obtain the early stages of funding. Equity is the actual ownership of the company and a percentage of the company is owned by others in exchange for capital they invest in the company. As owners in the company each equity holder expects to receive payment from the profits the company makes in proportion to the percentage they hold. Secondly the entrepreneur must be very clear who owns the intellectual property on which the company is founded, as helpers and employees come and go in the development of the enterprise - this needs to be clearly established. A venture fund manager will not be
interested if this is not clearly documented.Phase one the start Phase two The Founder’s ownership decreases, as naturally the equity gets diluted with each stage Phase three the percentage of equity decreases and hopefully the value of equity increases, However if all is working according to the plan and there are no down round then the following should occur Then in phase four, the benefit occurs the results in the goal of the entrepreneur significant increased profit to equity ratio profits after tax. These tables show the various stages of funding an entrepreneurial business. The percentages shown are those that can reasonably be ‘given away’ in exchange for different stages of funding. When making a presentation to a VC be clear that it is you the entrepreneur who will be assessed as much as the business idea you present. It is important to prove that: • The idea is sound • The technology is workable • The team has the skills required or can be developed • The team leader is teachable Figure 2 Basic funding sequence The diagram in Figure 2 shows the sequence of events which will hopefully lead to the successful awarding of the required funds. The team employed by the venture fund manager will want to make a thorough investigation into every aspect of the business. This is
Figure 2 Basic funding sequence
referred to as due diligence or DD. It is important to have all information and documentation in order. Use the process of applying for venture funding to get all documentation up to date and in order. It may not be required when presentations are made but will need to be available quickly and in an easily examined format. Entrepreneurs must keep in mind that they are asking others it entrust their hard earned money to them. This is a business the fund manager takes very seriously. The entrepreneur must have the same respect. Lastly it is vital to keep in mind that this process takes time. A matter of months not a few days! Do not approach the venture fund in desperation it must be part of a strategy. The four keys to obtaining VC funding • Understand the process yourself • Write the business plan yourself • Prepare the financial forecasts yourself • Be clear about ownership of equity and Intellectual property Venture funding is not the same as a loan. If the enterprise in which the funds are invested fails the VC loses money and thus reputation is lost. This is why they are so cautious about making an investment. For
For the entrepreneur who decided that this is the way forward it must be done in a way that will give the greatest potential for success the entrepreneur who decided that this is the way forward it must be done in a way that will give the greatest potential for success. See www.cib-ventures.com for some further information.
Jane Jeffery MEd Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 31
THE STARTING POINT:
I believe the one thing customers in every area of business complain about is the service they receive. TONY GATTARI gives some insights as to how to keep your customers content and satisfied
ou take your car in for service. The service office is immaculately clean and resembles a hotel lobby. The smell of freshly brewed coffee is in the air, and you ask yourself, How come I cannot smell any car fumes? The service manager greets you, is well dressed in a neatly pressed shirt and tie, with a name badge. You give him the keys, and he asks you, “Do, you mind if I go through our 12 Point Service Guarantee?” He then places the form in front of you, and points his pen next to each of the guarantees as he explains each one to you. You then drive off in the courtesy car. The car is the latest model, and it drives fantastically. As you are driving it, you say to yourself that this will be your next car. You are phoned later in the day by the service manager to tell you the car is ready for pick up. On your arrival, your car is waiting at the front of the office, and has been cleaned inside and out. Before you are about to pay, the service manager, goes through all of
the service points that were carried out. You do not even care about how much the service was because it was so good. A couple of days later, Suzie, from the customer care department of the dealership gives you a courtesy call. She asks you a few non-intrusive questions about your thoughts on the service, the performance of the car, or any questions that you may have about the whole experience. The car is working perfectly, and you are totally satisfied by the experience, and you love the fact that the dealership wanted to know your thoughts. Here is an example of a perfect link between what the dealership had in mind as they were creating the vision, mission, values, and unique selling proposition for their business, and what the customer wants from any engagement. Can you see how the dealership has built a system? 1. On your arrival the service staff had uniforms and name badges
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so that you could identify them with ease. Before they serviced your car, they go through another script – the 12 Point Service Guarantee. From all the current affair shows that exposed dodgy car services, consumers have a general fear of being cheated on what they have paid for. This 12 Point Service Guarantee reduces the fear in the purchase, in highlighting that the dealership will deliver on their promise. 2. The courtesy car, that is provided, is also a system. It is a marketing system that is designed to get you hooked on the latest model of cars. Car manufacturers and dealerships have done thousands of studies on the impact that driving a new car has on future purchases. 3. Upon your arrival, the car is cleaned for you inside and out. In a time poor society we sometimes find it difficult to clean
our cars, and the dealership again has saved you time and money. 4. When you collect your car, the service manager goes through another script with you of explaining all the service points that were done to your car. This is again to reduce the fear in your mind, that you have received what you paid for. 5. The follow up phone call is to gain customer feedback on the service. The dealership records all of the information, and discusses it in team meetings. Any issues that are raised are quickly dealt with. The systems that have been developed by the dealership have been well thought out. The systems have always focused on the customer first, prior to the needs of the business first. This is always a challenge for many businesses, as we try to make our life easier, instead of the customers, and in doing so, lose a lot of business because we have created
barriers to make the purchase easier. Most of the time, these barriers are called ‘procedures’, and these procedures need to be defined separately from systems. Procedures are designed to reduce or eliminate any losses to the business, such as theft, fraud, or anything to do with the processing of financial transactions or inventory management. Systems are designed to either; • Increase sales and profit • Save time • Improve the quality of service that is given to the customer
Tony Gattari The author is founder and Chief Energy Officer of Achievers group. He is a much in demand passionate professional speaker, business educator, author and corporate, business advisor. He has worked with over 140 businesses around the world.
1. Write down one common engagement that you have with a customer that you would like to create a system for - e.g. customer purchase, a refund, a customer complaint, a phone enquiry and so forth. 2. What are the customer’s expectations from that engagement? 3. Close your eyes for a moment? Can you visualise how that engagement is carried out? Now write it down. 4. Write down step-by-step how the engagement is carried out. List all of the functions of the business that are involved in this system - e.g. marketing, finance, human resources, sales, administration, and operations/ production.
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COMFORTABLE Look outside your comfort zone and life will be exciting, adventurous and sometimes challenging, even in business. Lee Colan explains…
omfort certainly has its advantages—our comfy chair in the living room, a comfortable routine at work, a comfortable relationship. With all the advantages of comfort, here are some things you should know about the comfort zone before you explore the edge. The comfort zone is where most of life is played. It is certainly where most of sport is played. Consider a football field: 90 percent of the game is played between the 20-yard lines. That’s why they call anything outside that area the ‘red zone’—it’s where the difference in the game is made. It’s okay to feel good and play well inside the comfort zone before you explore the edge and go for the score. But staying in the comfort zone too long can get boring. We get soft and unfocused; we don’t have to be as sharp. If we make our comfort zone as big as our life, we not only lose our edge, we can even lose sight of the edge. We must ignite our own sense of adventure if we want to see what the world has to offer us and what we have to offer the world. It’s pretty safe in the comfort zone. We know the boundaries, the landscape, and the other comfortable
Thomas Edison said, “Genius? Nothing! Sticking to it is the genius. I’ve failed my way to success” players in the comfort zone. There is little or no risk; a misstep here or there is not very costly. But like the football team that’s trapped between the 20-yard lines, we cannot win in the comfort zone. Because the risk is small, so is the reward. Learning and growth occur when we are uncomfortable. Think of the defining moments of learning and growth in your life. Were you hanging out in your comfort zone? No, you were hanging over the edge. So, in case you’re hesitating to explore the edge, here are four comforting questions to help you move forward.
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1. Who else has done it? You may think you’re in unexplored territory, but it’s unlikely that you’re trying something no one else has ever tried. Look around to find others who have explored the same edge that you might be anxious about. Whether your comfort zone ends at the edge of learning a new skill, speaking in public, making a financial investment, expressing your feelings, or quitting a bad habit, someone else has been at that very same edge. That person can help support you, prepare you, and encourage you to win. 2. Can I dip my toe in first? No
one says you have to hurl yourself headlong into every new endeavor. Try it out first. Start small. When you reflect on the first time you tried anything new (leading, speaking, rock climbing, painting, playing a musical instrument), you probably remember how uncomfortable you felt. But you stepped out and did it, and you soon discovered that it wasn’t as hard as you had expected, right? After awhile, what was once the edge became your comfort zone as you built your competence—and competence builds confidence. 3. How bad can it be? Often, the fear
in your mind paints a darker picture of things outside your comfort zone than is really the case. Remember, the victory is in the exploration itself more than the success of your attempt. Thomas Edison said, “Genius? Nothing! Sticking to it is the genius. I’ve failed my way to success.”
4. How great can it be? Your dreams are usually bigger than your comfort zone. You must be so passionate about your dream that, instead of feeling that you have to leave your comfort zone, you are magnetically drawn to the edge. So, quit getting comfortable and explore the edge!
Lee J. Colan, Ph.D. is President of The L Group, Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based consulting firm. Lee’s passion for serving leaders enables him to deliver cutthrough-the-clutter tools that elevate leaders and their teams. He is a highenergy leadership advisor, author and leadership expert. Inspired Business Issue 3 May 2012 | 35
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