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Category Archives: Leadership

Building Organisational Resilience

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander organisations are constantly dealing with crises and organisational stress; more than most other not-for-profit organisations and commercial businesses. At the edge of financial viability, they face funding pressure, changing Government policies, the weight of community expectations, and the pressure of “walking two worlds” in governance and management. Many Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander organisations operate in remote locations for constituents whose first language is not necessarily English, where finding and retaining capable staff is a constant struggle, let alone training local community members in the administrative, financial and management jobs. It is not surprising then to hear that as an organisation, they struggle with resilience and sustainability. A resilient organisation should be able to withstand shock, crisis, pressure, and stress, and bounce back quickly to effective performance levels. Many have developed characteristics that allow this to happen. (more…)...
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Keep Emotions Out of Negotiations

Negotiating is part of being a small business owner. You negotiate contracts with suppliers. You negotiate employment contracts with your employees. You negotiate sales agreements, you negotiate pay-rises, you negotiate your rent! More often than not it is a stressful process (if not for you, then certainly for the other party) because the "normal" mindset is that one party loses to some extent, and the other party wins. So, you get ready to do your best when you enter that room, in order to "win". Once you allow that mindset to establish itself, negotiations become an emotional exercise - we get stressed, as I've already said; we get angry, we get fearful, we feel like celebrating, we feel wronged, we feel tough, we feel weak. But it doesn't have to be like that. (more…)...
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Outsource for Efficiency

Once upon a time, running a small business was relatively uncomplicated. Not easy, but uncomplicated. You were good at something. You saved or borrowed some capital. You set up procedures that focused on doing what you were good at, which was what drove the business, and then you hired people who could do the supporting functions like keeping the books. As you progressed, you hired some contract specialists like tax accountants, or you hired contractors to do things you didn't want to do like clean the office every night. (more…)...
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Create A Feedback Culture In Your Business

One of the consulting assignments I most enjoy is working with all the people in a client's business. Often, when I am helping Directors prepare a strategic plan, or Managers work on their business plans, I only work with these Directors and Managers, or sometimes owners and other stakeholders. Rarely do I get to work with the company as a whole unless I am working on a change management assignment involving restructuring, systems, people and culture. But of course, even when I don't work with people below management level, I meet and interact with the other employees, and see a vast range of cultural phenomena. Even in driven and well-led companies, I sometimes see an underground layer of tension. Leaders need to recognise that some people feel intimidated by strong leadership and despite being invited to, do not voice their opinions. They have to be invited to do so and be given the opportunity to see that feedback from them is welcome and positive. (more…)...
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