Coffee Anyone?

May 4, 2009
Topics soon to be discussed

The Innovation Cafe Launch

The Innovation Cafe menu is now available to anyone who’s interested.

If you live in S/E Queensland then perhaps you’ll get the chance to come along but for now let’s examine the first one – ‘Changing the Culture’ (of management) that is.

I have worked for, or managed both public and private businesses all over the world. From Melbourne, to New York, to Bangalore and Manila. But sadly the story is always the same; executive management at the top seem lost in a time warp. Caught up in the bullshit regime of corporate silo’s, bureaucracy and rear vision thinking!

Take my last employer  (a business I happen to love) – the mighty global property giant Lend Lease – a company founded on ethical and sustainable business principles by one of Australia’s greatest corporate business mavericks – Dick Dusseldorp in 1958. Since his passing in 2000 the business continues to thrash around having lost its way. Worse it lacks real leadership and a heart and soul. Don’t get me wrong there are thousands of talented – moreover exceptional loyal and devoted employees who are trying to make a difference. However unless there is a coup or a decapitation of the culture at the top, I fear nothing much will change.

No I am not all bitter and twisted… just sad because despite my numerous efforts to help no one above wanted to listen!

But more on that story another time….Australia’s corporate leaders (and the worlds for that matter) should take a page out of the Dick Dusseldorp story as it stands in stark contrast to those greed obsessed, myopic and uncaring so called business leaders (CEO’s) of today.

Leadership (or the lack of it) is to me the number one problem confronting Australian business today. Words like Love, Compassion, Collaboration, and Innovation are to the great majority of leaders – just words, as not much of that is being practiced in the board rooms within the corporations that I know.

So just where’s the problem? What can we do about it? Besides who gives a rats?

Well I do, so look for my two bobs worth later this week…




The Innovation Cafe

May 3, 2009

Hello and welcome to my Australia – a land very much ‘down under’ in respect to where we sit within the global innovation economy!

Undaunted, a couple of weeks ago (Monday 20th April to be precise), three committed Queensland Economic Development Mavericks – Derek Ephrem, Nick McGuire and yours truly, decided to do something about it, when we raised the innovation bar a notch for this country.

Over 200 invited VIP’s and guests attended, the first Innovation Cafe breakfast (Watch the Launch here) – hosted by Logan City Council’s mayor Pam Parker.

Australia’s leading strategic foresight thinker – Steve Tighe – (from Chasing Sunrises) provided a fascinating 45 minute insight into why the world’s smartest business leaders continually get it so wrong. Scenario planning – spot the signals before they become a trend!

Now before you start trying to Google – The Innovation Cafe’s location, let me say this isn’t about a physical place rather this is more about the metaphor which underpins Innovation – the new peer to peer collaboration model – to  get together over a coffee (or if you prefer – green tea) to discuss issues or a topic around a common interest!

This is an era of Ready Fire Aim. Its time for Aussie business leaders to Think Different!

To unlearn those rear vision lessons from the past. To look up and to look forward. To notice what’s going on around you. To recognise that people especially your most valuable asset – employees matter just as much as profits and customers.

hire the right staff as they will attract the right customers because they will deliver you sustainable profits!

Yes, change is constant and inevitable. Therefore any business success, regardless of the current GFC (global financial crisis) is entirely dependent upon the benefits it provides by matching society’s perceived needs at any given point of time. And that can change in a blink of an eye.

You either adapt or you’ll become extinct.

But not this little black duck.

Open collaboration that fuels innovation is the key.

Join me in this quest to Think Different…and watch this space!