Idea capture tools encourage useful ideas from staff

A software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use would make it easier for your staff to contribute ideas. A recent Employee Innovation Survey asked employees what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas. The top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use, with lower management particularly in favour at 59% as well as organisations with 5,000 plus employees at 64%. Only 26% of employees said that their organisations offer a software tool/digital platform to contribute ideas, including 41% of organisations with 5,000 plus employees. When an innovation tool is provided, 75% of employees use it, males 81% and females 68%. David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW, said “I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution. I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas?” The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results with charts and comments is now being prepared. Please contact me if you’d like to receive it and/or would like information about IdeaSpies Enterprise. Lynn Wood ph +61 418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise  

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Incentives work to encourage ideas

Young employees in particular would contribute many more ideas with incentives We recently revealed the results of an Employee Innovation Survey. The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. There are many employee engagement surveys but not employee innovation surveys. It’s a good sign that 73% of employees are offering ideas without an incentive to do so. Recognition of ideas is a strong motivator. It’s one thing to contribute ideas to an organisation, but it is even more important to know that you have been heard. Only 27% of organisations provide an incentive to contribute ideas; however, 58% of respondents (65% male and 53% female) said they would provide more ideas if there was an incentive to do so. Significantly, however 87% of 18-35 year-olds said they would contribute more ideas if an incentive was offered and it seems sensible that Management should encourage ideas from young people who have them. The IdeaSpies Enterprise platform provides businesses with the opportunity to encourage all employees to contribute and implement ideas that may increase productivity and staff engagement. Incentives can be part of the process. David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW, said “I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution. I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas?” Management needs to stop feeling comfortable about the way they do things – for example by saying ‘that’s the way we have always done things’. In organisations like this, employees who suggest new ideas can be seen as a threat. In more progressive organisations, innovation is part of the culture- a continuous process where employees are encouraged to suggest ideas. Progressive organisations are getting rid of 20th century silo thinking and need managers who have vision, imagination and drive (VID) Those who have VID are quick to see the value of ideas and proposals and have the drive to implement them. The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results with charts and comments is now being prepared. Please contact me if you’d like to receive it. Lynn Wood ph +61 418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise

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Are you the only one in your company who is passionate about innovation?

Employees could contribute many more ideas than they do now You might think that you’re the only one in your group who is passionate about innovation however many more are- they’re just not being heard. IdeaSpies Enterprise, a platform for ideas that will improve business performance, has revealed the results of an Employee Innovation Survey. The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. There are many employee engagement surveys but not employee innovation surveys. 76% said they could contribute more useful ideas than they do now, especially those who are 26-35 years old (89%). When asked what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas the top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use, with lower management particularly in favour at 59% as well as organisations with 5,000 plus employees at 64%. Psychological safety is an important issue to consider when encouraging ideas from employees. Many think their ideas aren’t good enough. Therefore they don’t want their name linked with an idea that’s seen by others. Similarly, many at lower levels are concerned that their idea will be judged by their level in the organisation rather than its quality. Therefore they don’t contribute ideas. IdeaSpies Enterprise solves this problem by offering employees the opportunity to post their ideas anonymously, with a fun IdeaSpies name. Many take advantage of this opportunity so only their names can only be identified after ideas are judged for implementation. The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results with charts and comments is now being prepared. Please contact me if you’d like to receive it. Lynn Wood ph +61 418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise

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How to get your startup better known with publicity

It has taken you some time getting your entrepreneurial journey started. Luckily for you, you were able to spot a profitable business or develop your own. The task ahead of you is to create brand awareness. You have to collaborate with your customers to be able to make them aware of your business and the products and services you offer. The following are the best ways you can make your start-up well known by publicity through guest posting. What is guest posting? Guest posting can simply be defined as the act of contributing to another web owner’s or blogger’s website. How do you get started?                                                     The first step will be to search for an authority website that allows contributors. You can search over the internet for relevant sites that have blogs You can find them on social media or forums. Be on the lookout for brands or people who get talked about a lot in your niche or industry as well as noted authors and influencers. Examples of authority websites you can contribute to are www.outbrain.com  www.huffingtonpost.com  www.about.com  and www.IdeaSpies.com which all have impressive global ranking. There are also many magazines that may be looking for guest writers. Once you establish an authority publication to write for, reach out. Do a pitch, identify yourself and express your interest in contributing..  When you have done your pitch, you need to sit back and wait for approval. The time it will take for you to get feedback will depend on how busy the webmaster and editors are. They are getting requests from other bloggers to contribute to their sites. Ask for feedback. The publication may be able to suggest ways to improve your post. When your post is published share it to your social media. When you do the value of the post is maximised. What role does guest posting play in making your business known publicly? 1.    It allows you to share your news with more people Guest posting will expand the size of the audience you will be able to reach. You already have an audience. If you contribute to a relevant website, you will be able to draw more audience to your site. Provided you contribute quality and relevant content you will be able to increase your following: which signifies that your brand has more value. 2.    Link building By guest posting, you will be able to build links for your website: which is a smart move. Remember that search engines consider quality backlinks in ranking a site on search results. If you do it well, guest blogging will earn you backlinks and in turn, search engines will rank your site more highly.  Hence your site will be easier to find. A bigger audience will be able to find you, therefore your brand will become better known.                          3.    Building relationships While guest posting, you will be able to establish relationships with other web owners and bloggers. Most of them are influential in the market and they could help you to be influential. 4.  Guest posting will improve your online authority There is no better way of improving your online authority than guest posting. When you contribute to a brand or business that already has authority you will gain credibility hence  more brand awareness . 5. Honing your content marketing skills The best way to learn content marketing is by doing it. For your brand to be known publicly your content marketing skills should be on point. Guest posting will give you an arena to research and an opportunity to learn. Through guest posting you will experience growth in every area of content marketing, which you can use to grow your own brand by increasing awareness. Guest posting is one of the surest ways of creating brand awareness. If you have not yet put it to the test, use these guidelines to get started, and it will be worth your while. Dancun Kingori   Dealstream

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How serious are you about innovation?

IdeaSpies Enterprise, a platform for ideas that will improve business performance, has released the results of an Employee Innovation Survey. The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. It’s good to see that 84% of leaders are talking about the need for innovation, but only 69% of employees believe the culture of their organisation actually welcomes new ideas. This result indicates there is a significant gap in organisations ‘walking the talk’ on innovation. Organisations that offer an idea capture tool for employees to contribute ideas have much better scores- 88% of employees believe their organisations welcome new ideas. Frustration was expressed when organisations said they wanted innovation but were not resourcing it. Management often give the illusion of wanting ideas, but then lack the skills to capture ideas in a simple way, give feedback and implement good ideas. Management needs to stop feeling comfortable about the way they do things – for example by saying ‘that’s the way we have always done things’. In organisations like this, employees who suggest new ideas can be seen as a threat. In more progressive organisations, innovation is part of the culture- a continuous process where employees are encouraged to suggest ideas.” The survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments. A full report on the results is now being prepared. Please contact me if you’d like to receive it. Lynn Wood ph +61 418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com IdeaSpies Enterprise  

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Survey finds employees believe they are the best source of innovation

Over 90% of employees believe they are the best source of innovation Over 90% of employees would be more likely to stay with their organisations if they could contribute more ideas Sydney, 15 November 2018 – IdeaSpies Enterprise, a platform for ideas that will improve business performance, today revealed the results of an Employee Innovation Survey. The purpose of the survey was to determine if employees have a voice in helping their organisations succeed. Innovation was defined simply in the survey as “implementation of ideas that add value”. There are many employee engagement surveys but not employee innovation surveys. Lynn Wood, founder of IdeaSpies, said “This survey demonstrates the importance of harnessing employees’ ideas through a simple tool that gives them a voice. A key finding is that over 90% of employees believe they are the best source of innovation, with 57% strongly agreeing and 34% agreeing. The IdeaSpies Enterprise platform provides businesses with the opportunity to encourage their employees to contribute and implement ideas that may increase productivity and staff engagement.” David Thodey AO, Chair of CSIRO and Jobs for NSW, said “I really like the IdeaSpies Enterprise solution. I have a strong view that the best source of innovation is your staff. They know the business and how to improve it better than consultants. The issue has always been how do you provide an open forum for those ideas?” When respondents were asked how they contributed ideas in their organisations 76% said direct to their boss and 62% said through a team. Teams that are diverse and inclusive drive and support innovation. They can implement quick wins. 90% of employees have had their ideas adopted and 76% said they could contribute more useful ideas than they do now, especially those who are 26-35 years old (89%). When asked what would make it easier for them to contribute ideas the top response was 45% wanting a software tool/digital platform that’s easy to use, with lower management particularly in favour at 59% as well as organisations with 5,000 plus employees at 64%. Only 26% of employees said that their organisations offer a software tool/digital platform to contribute ideas, including 41% of organisations with 5,000 plus employees. When an innovation tool is provided, 75% of employees use it, males 81% and females 68%. Perhaps women need more encouragement in some organisations though they have been well represented as winners in programs run by KPMG with IdeaSpies Enterprise. Tony Nimac Partner in charge of KPMG Enterprise NSW said “We trialed IdeaSpies Enterprise last year and have continued to use it. It was very well received by staff. It’s thought provoking, fun and easy to use, with no training needed. People see the tool as an opportunity to suggest ideas that could improve the way they work. In addition to specific ideas, we’ve seen themes coming from the ideas that have led to improvements. We give selected staff the opportunity to implement ideas they suggest and have benefited from improving staff engagement.” Employees want more power to implement ideas they suggest. They also want management to be more supportive in testing ideas. 23% said nothing happened with their ideas and many were annoyed when time was spent developing an idea and either they weren’t empowered to test it, or they received no feedback on why it wouldn’t be accepted. Feedback was shown to be important in building employee engagement. Another key finding is that over 90% of employees would be more likely to stay with their organisations if they could contribute more ideas. Significantly, 98% of lower management would be more likely to stay. Losing employees who want to contribute more would be a significant cost to these organisations. Progressive organisations are getting rid of 20th century silo thinking and need managers who have vision, imagination and drive (VID) Those who have VID are quick to see the value of ideas and proposals and have the drive to implement them. Lynn Wood said “It’s a good sign that 73% of employees are offering ideas without an incentive to do so. Recognition of ideas is a strong motivator. It’s one thing to contribute ideas to an organisation, but it is even more important to know that you have been heard. “Only 27% of organisations provide an incentive to contribute ideas; however, 58% of respondents (65% male and 53% female) said they would provide more ideas if there was an incentive to do so. Significantly, 87% of 18-35 year-olds said they would contribute more ideas if an incentive was offered. “It’s good to see that 84% of leaders are talking about the need for innovation, but only 69% of employees believe the culture of their organisation actually welcomes new ideas. This result indicates there is a significant gap in organisations ‘walking the talk’ on innovation. Organisation that offer a tool for employees to contribute ideas have much better scores. “Frustration was expressed when organisations said they wanted innovation but were not resourcing it. Management often give the illusion of wanting ideas, but then lack the skills to capture ideas in a simple way, give feedback and implement good ideas. “Management need to stop feeling comfortable about the way they do things – for example by saying ‘that’s the way we have always done things’. In organisations like this, employees who suggest new ideas can be seen as a threat. In more progressive organisations, innovation is part of the culture- a continuous process where employees are encouraged to suggest ideas.” The Employee Innovation Survey was sent to about 2,000 employees, with 18% responding and volunteering extensive comments- see below. Having established a benchmark, it’s now possible for individual organisations to use the survey to compare their results with the benchmark. A full report on the results with charts and comments is now being prepared. Please contact Lynn Wood if you’d like to receive it. Media Contacts: Antonino Blancato Financial & Corporate Relations (FCR), ph 02 8264 1009 a.blancato@fcr.com.au Lynn Wood IdeaSpies Enterprise, ph 0418 966 625 lynn.wood@IdeaSpies.com Employee Innovation Survey comments at the end (excluding many that were very complimentary of the survey) My organisation’s leader is fixated on innovation however doesn’t have the resources to fund it. It’s extremely frustrating as the health of the business is crumbling. It’s one thing to contribute ideas to an organization but it is even more […]

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Is it OK to segregate someone because they are living with dementia?

All talk, no action! I don’t know about you, but 2018 seems to be an annus horribilis for Residential Aged Care (RAC). With the recent announcement of a Royal Commission on Aged Care, not a week goes by without the media focussing on something negative in our industry. This isn’t helped by the fact that the Aged Care Roadmap has in essence stalled with little to no innovation in the way Aged Care is practiced in Australia. The fact remains that we are facing an aging population and a rising dementia rate. In 2018, there are an estimated 436,366 Australians living with dementia including 25,938 with younger onset dementia (under the age of 65). Australia will need to change and innovate how we run Aged Care to cater to these numbers. When it comes to dementia specific care and RAC, unfortunately there has been little or no change in what the norm of yesteryear was. Terms such as; “dementia specific unit”, “locked unit”, “secure unit”, “the dementia wing”, “the resident has been transferred to the dementia section”, “high care and low care dementia floors” to name just a few are sadly well-known to us all. These are terms that I have struggled with for a long time and I would like to know whether it acceptable to segregate people based on a physical or cognitive diagnosis? If you were living with dementia, how would you feel to be placed in a “secure unit” away from the rest of society? Creating a world first dementia friendly microtown™ For me the answer, after years of research and development, keeps coming back to the same thing; if my mum was living with dementia I would not want her placed in a dementia unit and suddenly “removed” from normality.  So rather than talking about it and complaining about all the issues in the industry, I trialled a concept some 4 years ago in Tasmania into what was then called small-scale living. Two small houses were built each with 7 bedrooms, a working kitchen, laundry and living room enabling 7 residents to live together in a normal house and be involved in day-to-day activities such as cooking and cleaning. There were no longer routines, but instead residents, even though they were in RAC, started to experience a sense of normality, greater freedom and empowerment. Fast forward to September 201, I was proud to see the doors of NewDirection Care Bellmere in Queensland open. A $30+ million RAC Australian and world first microtown™ located between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, it boasts 17 unique and individually domestic-styled homes scattered over 2 hectares of land and is home to 120 residents. The microtown™ inclusive community recreates life in the real world and is transforming the way residents live with or without dementia in their twilight years. Putting people first Unlike traditional institutional care environments with many restricted or out of bounds areas, at NewDirection Care there are no locked secure dementia units, no corridors lined with rows of bedrooms and large common areas, nor industrial sized laundries, or a central commercial kitchen preparing generic, canteen-style food served at fixed times by dining staff in a large and loud dining hall. Neither are there nursing assistants or personal carers responsible for toileting, assisting to eat or showering residents at fixed times, or Registered Nurses running around with medication trolleys. Instead, NewDirection Care at Bellmere looks exactly like any other Australian suburban community with picket fenced houses all with mail boxes, gardening hoses, barbeque, clothes line, and front- and back-yards, positioned on lovely gardened wide streets each with their own name and house numbers. Each of the 17 houses is home to seven residents who live together based on values and lifestyle, they are not segregated according to their diagnosis nor are dementia specific residents isolated in a secure location. Each resident has their own private ensuite bedroom (king single, double or queen bed) and share the home as a family unit in their Shaynna Blaze designed domestic-style kitchen, laundry, dining room, and sitting rooms. Residents, with the assistance of House Companions™, decide their routine right down to the daily menu and are free to explore as much as they wish throughout the microtown™. As with any other suburb, the microtown™ has a town centre or shopping precinct with a range of shops and services; cinema, corner shop, café, beauty salon, barber, GP, dental, and a wellness centre. They’re for use not only by residents, but also team members, families and the wider external community. There is a community garden onsite overseen by residents producing seasonal fruit and veg for their own use, as well as an onsite gardener providing educational sessions such as fertilisation and plant propagation. The onsite chooks are also tended to by the residents including feeding and cleaning of the pen. Meanwhile pet dogs and a bird provide company, unconditional love and entertainment for all. With the year coming to an end, and as we move into 2019, hopefully we will see others take the risks I have, question the norm, provide services and accommodation that the Australian community is asking for and that the RAC industry will be viewed with a more positive outlook, in particular by its various sceptics. By Natasha Chadwick, Founder and CEO, NewDirection Care About Natasha Chadwick Natasha Chadwick is founder of NewDirection Care, an Australian and world first microtown™ inclusive community for the elderly and those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs.

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Early education as it should be

Recently I saw a headline article on the ‘School of the future’, with a particular focus on design, or to use the relevant term, the “built environment”. Whilst the focus was important and necessary, any content that referred to how the design of the built environment promoted best practice teaching was conspicuous in its absence. How often is discussion about structural environments contributing to culture, and very little about people? Talk to most parents and you quickly realise that the relationships between their children and their teachers are front and centre. This becomes particularly important in early education, the period of time before attending ‘school’ as it known. In the early education sector, which is largely composed of preschools and long day care centres, the discussion assumes another dimension. There is not only a difference between the built environments of an early learning centre and a school, but also the nature of the educators and the skill sets required of them now and into the future. In fact, a glimpse into the future of early learning quickly alerts us to the realisation that the educators of tomorrow will need to assume a range of skills that are quite different to the educator in (say) a  primary school. Here are just a few some likely scenarios, hopefully with a lot more rigour than a Nostradamus prediction: The educator of the future will need to be more adept in recognising factors that inhibit learning. The earlier these are identified in a child’s development, the better. This implies that an early educator will play a more essential role in this process. Following on from that, the early educator will need to be better trained in how to best address these factors, particularly in children who have  special needs. Again, remedial action sooner rather than later is advisable. Early learning centres will need to form stronger pathways and links to local schools so that children can transition more smoothly. The wealth of data and knowledge gained by the early educator would be invaluable to the next teacher, and the strength of this link can go a long way toward addressing the learning challenges of a young child. The manager and staff of your local preschool or long day care centre may assume a role as the parental counsellor and guide. Apart from the faithful local nurse, pediatrician or doctor; who stands beside the parent who is finding it tough adjusting to parenthood? Add to this the pressure on family relationships, financial adjustment and a busy lifestyle and all of a sudden, your child’s first educator becomes a confidant, counsellor and resident shoulder to cry on. How do we equip these people whose career was chosen based on other criteria? The educator of the future will need a deep understanding of diverse cultures and backgrounds. As a nation Australia has a unique blend of  many cultures that challenges our established ways of understanding and relating. A better understanding of a child’s background can be essential in delivering better learning outcomes, particularly if it is assumed that ‘success’ in the early learning revolves around effective partnerships with families. So, what does this have to with the built environment and design? Everything I say, if not a lot. If engagement with parents is important in these years then providing spaces for this to occur is important. The need to train and equip staff continually requires intelligent design. If we are truly committed to the individual requirements of children with  special needs then thought needs to be given to how we best create the environment for our early educators to enable them to succeed. The school of the future may look impressive, but education of the future needs to involve the educator of the future. Domenic Valastro CEO Integricare   

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Great to Good

Yes, you read it right. The title of this piece is ‘Great to Good’. I’m going to talk about how, in the 21st Century, we need ‘Goodness’ more than ‘Greatness’ when it comes to innovation. Between 1996-2001, Jim Collins’ team researched and wrote a bestselling book called Good to Great. They described 11 out of 1,435 companies that had shown the highest level of success over the decades. Most of them were organizations that ‘make and sell’ products (Abbott Laboratories, Kimberly-Clark, Philip Morris, and Gillette Company). Other books such as Built to Last (1994) by the same author and In Search of Excellence (1982) by Tom Peters made similar studies with concurring results. However, the majority of these great 20th century companies failed to sustain their level of greatness in the Open-Source era. The management consultant giant McKinsey and Co. did a follow-on study that found 32 of the 50 companies described in these books to only matched or underperformed the market over their subsequent 15-to-20-year period. In fact, the ‘great’ Circuit City and Kodak both went bankrupt. The question is “Why?” If I asked you to name some innovations of the 20th Century, which ones would you think of? Well, many of you might already be thinking “Stop asking and just Google them, silly!” That is true; excuse me. So, I typed ‘Innovations of the 20th Century’, and the results I got are 1) Nuclear Power 2) Personal Computer 3) Airplane 4) Automobile 5) Antibiotics 6) Television, etc. We are familiar with all these inventions. Here is another question: Do you know who these people are? And what they invented? In parentheses are their dates of birth. Charles Darwin (1859), Thomas Edison (1879), Albert Einstein (1921), Alexander Fleming (1928), Edwin Land (1948), Robert Metcalfe (1973), and Peter Dunn & Albert Wood (1998)? They were inventors of the 20th Century; many of which gave rise to the said products. Now, how about these? Jack Ma (2000), Jeff Bezos (2003), Mark Zuckerberg (2004), Reed Hastings (2007), Brian Chesky (2008), Travis Kalanick (2009), Anthony Tan (2012). They were also inventors, but of the 21st Century. Obviously, all names listed are ‘innovators’ of their time. But the real question is, what is the difference between the first and second set? The answer, to me, is how the meaning of innovation has changed. We have spent over a century making and producing ‘things’. Never has the world experienced so much wealth, consumed so much resources, collected so much assets, and generated so much wastes. In fact, most of us own at least 4 of the 6 examples of Innovations of the 20th Century that I outlined above. Books such as Consumptionomics (2011) by Chandran Nair and Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (2012) by Peter H. Diamandis provide further evidence of this prosperity. By the way, in case you were wondering, Peter Dunn & Albert Wood (1998) are inventors of the performance-enhancing drug Viagra. Innovation in the 21st century, however, is about sharing – not producing. If I were to now Google Innovations of the 21st Century; here is what it would tell me about inventions that are impacting lives: “The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. The world’s most popular media company, Facebook, creates no content. The world’s most valuable retailer, Alibaba, carries no stock. And the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no property. Something big is going on.” These businesses own virtually nothing they are providing to customers, yet they have created tremendous values and changes in the world. Unicorns, Decacorns and Hectocorns are the theme of the present era. It is the age of making money out of nothing; what Hamish McRae @TheIndyBusiness dubbed ‘The rise of content non-generator’. As a matter of fact, businesses of the 21st Century are being invested based on their ‘value-ation’ rather than the traditional Return on Asset or Profit & Loss statements. Even Google does not own the search results that were returned. It merely drew them from existing data generated by millions of resources around the world. The innovations in the 21st Century are different. Something big is indeed going on. The 20th Century was an era of geniuses; one needs not ponder for long to think of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the inventor of the E = mc2 equation; the special theory of relativity; and a recipient to the Nobel Prize in photoelectric, which serves as the basis for Quantum Physics. Or, even before that we had Thomas Edison (1847-1931) who was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. These genious discoveries have since gave birth to products like nuclear power, lights, television, automobile, spacecraft etc. Such influence partly explains why most parents strive to raise their kids to be as smart as possible. The genius craze led to children books with titles like ‘Raising Genius’, the ‘Baby Genius’ DVDs, and movies such as ‘Goodwill Hunting’, starring Matt Damon as the improbable ‘genius’. Notice that none of the innovators in my second list has a Nobel Prize. And I think it is unlikely that any of them will ever get one. Innovations of the 21st Century era do not rely on one to discover secret codes of the universe. Facebook basically lets people around the world share their diaries; Airbnb is a brokerage for vacant rooms; and Grab is a virtual concierge who goes out and get us a cab. There is no complex ingenuity at play here; only laymen who see questions that the world has been waiting for answers. These start-ups simply integrate and utilize things that already exist to provide good answers. In the current era of resource abundance, one does not need to have an IQ of Einstein’s, or to dedicate a life of failing 10,000 times like Edison to concoct an invention. A good idea or two will suffice. 20th Century was about a few people finding GREAT discoveries. 21st Century is about all of us, using the breakneck speed connectivity that technology provides, to do GOOD things together for a better future. That is my meaning of Great to Good. Leadership Insights 1. The New S Curve: Organizations in various countries that I am working with are all buzzing about disruptive innovation – how to build the new growth cycle? To begin cracking that code, one must understand that innovations of this era are unlike anything we have ever seen before. I would argue that even […]

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Are platforms like FHIT the way of the future for personal trainers?

Over the past five years, the fitness industry has undergone considerable structural change due to the rise of digital technology and entrepreneurs forging a career in helping people achieve fitness goals. Fitness Centre revenues in Australia are forecast to reach $2.4 billion in 2022/23. In 2017 the ‘licensure for fitness professionals’ industry grew reflecting the rise in fitness professionals and personal trainers worldwide. To stand out from the crowd, these fitness entrepreneurs are tapping into the thriving digital space to innovate their offering and reach a wider audience. Lauren Hannaford (ex-Wiggle and Dorothy The Dinosaur) has created FHIT, a digital fitness program for subscribers to use at the comforts of home, at work or even while travelling. All the online streaming program requires is an internet connection – no equipment, no gym, just a personal coach who happens to be Lauren Hannaford. Speaking to IdeaSpies, Lauren says the fitness industry has come a long way in terms of innovation. “If there continue to be new discoveries in the way the human body functions, the industry will continue to create new innovative ways to train,” said Lauren. “Whether that’s using new machines or through greater understanding of the mechanics and functionality of the body, new styles of training and techniques will continue to evolve and improve the way we train.” The FHIT program is largely based on various HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, which is the first choice of training technique among many fitness experts in the industry due to its lack of equipment, time efficiency and flexible space arrangements. Lauren has also incorporated techniques as a former National gymnast, including body-weight training, into her workouts. The move towards an online streaming workout program is both cost effective and convenient. It eliminates the hefty cost of gym memberships, waiting for gym equipment to be free, travel time to and from the gym and working out in an uncomfortable environment. FHIT users are encouraged to embark on a fitness journey at their own pace, increasing in intensity as they progress. For motivation, Lauren joins the session with you as your personal trainer with workouts ranging from 15, 30 or 45 minutes with quick add on options of 5 and 7-minute burner workouts. To provide a holistic approach, users receive personalised messages from Lauren, regular blog updates and personal check-in messages to keep you in check, motivated and on-track. Lauren cites social media as a major reason for creating FHIT with frequent requests for fitness programs, tips and advice. “I started FHIT for both personal and professional reasons. Over the years I have constantly been asked to write programs, give fitness tips and advice for people. I decided the most effective way to achieve this is to create an online platform like FHIT where people could exercise anywhere, anytime but in a way, that is personable, instructional and motivational.” said Lauren. As the convenience economy grows in Australia, online based platforms are also growing and the need for products and services at the click of a button is stronger than ever. This has allowed for the emergence of an alternative personal training system. “As personal trainers are becoming more digitally focused and want to be able to train anywhere and at any time, their clients still crave the communication and connection that comes with a trainer.” Lauren said. To learn more visit https://www.laurenhannaford.com.au  

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Rebranding Australia as an Entrepreneurial Nation

The Academy of Entrepreneurs launched a Corporate Challenge in collaboration with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in response to the Australian Government Initiative to develop a stronger Nation Brand. The initiative is all about better positioning Australia to enhance our global competitiveness. The Foreign Policy White Paper of 2017 found that the current nation branding is fragmented with no unified representation of Australia internationally. It showed that the number of individual brands in the global market place was diluting the effectiveness of the collective promotion of Australia. The students of the Academy of Entrepreneurs presented their Brand Australia proposals to Fiona De Jong, Head of Australia’s Nation Brand at Austrade after being mentored through the Corporate Challenge by two creative industry leaders, both entrepreneurs in their own right, Duncan Harriss, Managing Director of award winning integrated production company Limehouse Creative and Dan Aldridge, Creative Director, BBC Studios Australia and Hyperkid. Fiona De Jong said, “I had the opportunity to hear the top four pitches from extraordinary entrepreneurs of Australia. I was blown away by the creativity, and the expression and the imagination of these incredible young people in our country. Each of the ideas was executed in different ways but collectively articulated some really special attributes of this country and that’s what this whole project was about. Let’s get to the essence in a simple way about what’s great about his country and let’s celebrate that. The people in this course were able to do that over the course of a very short period of time so I do thank the Academy of Entrepreneurs for the opportunity to have this project come to life and for sharing with us the inspiring ideas from young entrepreneurs in our country.” “What brief could be more exciting than helping rebrand and better brand Australia! The Nation Brand initiative is one that resonates with our own industry and citizens of course but perhaps more importantly, one that needs to be heard across the world by potential investors and talent to convince them Australia is the place to come to realise their dreams. We believe that Australia is the perfect place to test and launch a start-up; because we are a multicultural, young, innovative nation with a strong economy. Entrepreneurs are a key voice, a current and future demographic and engine of Australia,” says Duncan Harriss. Over 5 weeks, 61 students and budding entrepreneurs from over 40 nationalities workshopped ideas and creative concepts to rebrand Australia. Students learnt branding and advertising 101, analysed what Australia has to offer as a nation and critiqued other successful global nation brand campaigns Dan Aldridge said, “The brief most certainly peaked my interest and my hunger to be part of an ambitious and exciting branding exercise. By sharing my expertise, wisdom and skillsets in branding and design, I feel the young budding entrepreneurs that have attended our sessions have really got a lot out of it, with a wide range of integrated ideas and concepts being displayed.” The Academy of Entrepreneurs was founded by CEO Paula Mills with the aim of disrupting the education industry. The Academy teaches various business diplomas and entrepreneurship to students from all over the globe. Paula Mills says, “This is a great opportunity for students to test their strategic thinking, problem solving and entrepreneurial skills, whilst giving back to Australia with campaigns designed to make it more attractive for students overseas to consider launching their start-ups in Australia. It’s interesting to see how most visitors and students come to Australia for the laid-back lifestyle and its natural beauty but then most end up wanting to stay due to Australia’s young, multicultural, welcoming and strong & safe economy. For that reason, I pitched to Austrade the idea of letting our students share their experiences & ideas, so we could together build a campaign and attract more young talent into Australia.” The Corporate Challenge winners (left to right) were Eduarda Costa, Renata Torres and Gabrielle Marek. For more information, please contact: Jacqueline Cridland Account Manager, Taurus Marketing 02 9415 4528 jacqueline.cridland@taurusmarketing.com.au Samantha Sakr Account Executive, Taurus Marketing 02 9415 4528 samantha.sakr@taurusmarketing.com.au The Academy of Entrepreneurs has built a bridge between education and the start-up business world, allowing students to network with top leaders, be taught by serial-entrepreneurs, exchange ideas with likeminded colleagues, be coached and mentored, receive investor pitch training, and learn via entrepreneurial challenges. Our mission is to supercharge leaders with empowering entrepreneurship skills for them to succeed. Limehouse Creative is an award winning full-service production company that believes in intelligent integration. Based in Sydney, Australia, we house a celebrated network of specialists who produce arresting creative solutions for clients from all over the world. Operating a core team and an extended network of partners and experts both locally and abroad, we collaborate with agencies and brands to create world- class visuals and content for all media channels, including print, television, online, digital and across social media. Hyperkid is a global creative agency with over 20 years’ experience in branding, design, talent shoots, content marketing and digital strategy. We have straddled both client side and Agency, working collaboratively, creatively and cleverly to push all boundaries. With an infectious creative vision, we take strategic risks to engage audiences in ways that are both unique and impactful.  

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Sharing a journey of Spiritual Awakening and Self Discovery

Meditation can help individuals with mental health issues cope with stress, anxiety, and depression, according to Healthdirect – an initiative of the Australian Government that provides free health advice. Professor Willem Kuyken and his colleagues agree. In 2016, the researchers found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is as effective as antidepressants. With one out of five Australian adults reporting that they experienced mental health conditions based on 2007 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),  the study comes as a welcome addition to the techniques used by psychologists and healthcare professionals that provide mental health services at the Department of Social Services. Meditation as Therapy Kuyken, a clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford, notes that although mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is not a panacea, it is a new way to stay well. Meditation, a type of mindfulness therapy is defined by Shafii in his study Silence in the service of the ego: psychoanalytic study of meditation published in 1973 as “a psychological state of active passivity and creative quiescence.” The impact of meditation and self-reflection on mental health has been studied for centuries but the research done by Kuyken and his team provides a more structured approach to the technique. According to Kuyken, MBCT is a form of mental training that allows individuals to arrest depressive relapse by being in tune with the early signs of depression.   As Good as Medication  What truly makes Kuyken’s findings special is the fact that mindfulness is as good as psychiatric medication. Based on the study, individuals who participated in MBCT sessions without the aid of medication were able to avoid a relapse for a period of two years. Drugs, the study shows, also have the same efficacy. It must be noted though that older meditation techniques such as tarot reading or yoga are just as beneficial. Tarot reading, for example, can help individuals reflect while yoga offers inner peace for its practitioners. Awareness of Your Own Thoughts Meditation and concentration can provide clinically depressed individuals with better awareness of their own thoughts. According to Kuyken, knowing that thoughts are not facts is essential in the practice. This knowledge can be quite helpful especially for men and women who get depressed due to negative thoughts. Proponents of the practice also say that mindfulness techniques such as meditation do not only improve mental health but can also help reduce stress.   However, Kuyken reiterates that despite being a compelling alternative to psychiatric drugs, this holistic technique is merely one of the ways to ease mental distress. Australians who do not have access to MBCT sessions can take a look at Kenneth E. Miller’s advice. Miller, an expert in psychology, notes that mindfulness is not just about meditation and that it can be as informal as eating a meal, walking, running, biking, or taking a shower. Mindfulness, according to Miller is being present in the moment which means that anyone who has experienced anxiety or depression can take advantage of this technique to improve their mental well-being. Supplemental Tool Meditation may not be able to cure or prevent mental health problems on its own but it is a good addition to the tools and techniques that can calm the mind. With stress being a major factor of mental health issues, managing it through meditation can help those who experience depression or anxiety. Meditation, based on the study, can also give individuals a chance to get in touch with their thoughts and countering those thoughts through introspection. Author- Cassie Steele, 23 June 2018

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