The World According to Shane

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If culture is everything, why is it that most organisations don’t have a culture document, statement or map?

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I had an early flight to Melbourne this morning, which meant and even earlier start from Toowoomba to get to the airport on time.Thankfully, I had a good run with little traffic (not all that surprising for 5am) and arrived with enough time to grab some breakfast in the lounge before boarding.After perusing the offerings, I settled on a bowl of cornflakes.As I took the lid of the jar, and placed the scoop in to load up my plate, I had an immediate flashback to getting breakfast at my grandparents place as a kid. They had this big plastic “tupperware” type bowl with a bright yellow lid, which stored the cornflakes. Each day at breakfast time we’d dig in and load up our plates, and enjoy breakfast, usually with my Grandfather at the table and my Grandmother pottering around the kitchen.It just reminded me that its the simplest things in life that make the greatest memories. My grandfather passed a few years back and my grandmother is having a few health issues these days, but the warmth of that memory, and breakfast shared many years ago gave me a smile, and a super start to the day - and I wanted to share

The world according to Shane - Whether its at home, or at work, never under estimate the impact the smallest things are having on creating the warmest memories.


Connect with me - I love to chat!
Check out my other blogs at www.shaneridley.com.au
  
Follow me on LinkedIn at shane-ridley
  
Follow me on Twitter at shane_ridley
Call me on 07 4659 9300
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Just watching the 7:30 report and they're running a story on the rising unemployment, and how job seekers are struggling to find suitable work. As usual, there is the token "Ive sent out 10 hundred thousand resumes and haven't even got an interview" job seeker.

As usual, the job seeker says something like "I'm applying for everything and I'll do anything, I just need a job".

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OK - Maybe I'm a cynic, but I'm not buying the story of Melbourne based NLC laying off 50% of their workforce because of the governments decision to make changes to the FBT laws as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald today, and as per the Directors interview last night on the ABC's 7.30 program.

First some background. 2 days ago, the Treasurer announced a policy change to the option of just nominating an amount of personal KM's travelled in a company car to reduce the FBT paid.

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Here's a note I received this morning from Ross Clennett, (www.rossclennett.com). Ross is a Recruiters recruitment expert and provides coaching and consulting services to Recruitment Companies.

Ross hits on many good points regarding the recent announcement from Ford Australia, regarding the closure of it Geelong car plant and the government response. Past and present, and I couldn't agree more.

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On my recent trip to the US, over dinner and a discussion about the challenges of running a business our host Chris made the statement - "In my business, the more my staff need me, the less I need them".

A pretty harsh statement one might think. After all, our staff are our biggest assets aren't they?

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We all think of Henry Ford as visionary and applaud his achievement, but what few people realise is when he was building the Ford Motor Company, and introducing the moving assembly and production line, Henry had a few workforce challenges he needed to overcome.When Ford introduced the production line to his Model T Assembly plant, it brought with it an unexpected problem. Workforce Engagement and Moral declined. Not because people were working harder, rather because people we bored. With declining moral, came other challenges.On any given day, 10% of his workforce would be absent. This meant he had to employ an additional 1300 odd people, just to fill the vacant daily roles on the line. Yearly turnover in 1913 was 370%. Thats almost the equivalent of a brand new workforce, every 3 months.  That year, 52,000 workers needed to be hired, just to maintain the existing numbers.At Christmas 1913 out of 15,000 employees on the payroll, only 640 had been there more than 3 years. Moral was bad. Employees were even fighting.Whilst his factory performance during this time was unquestionably impressive (that year he doubled production and reduced his wages bill), the management of his people was poor. He could never have gone on to build one of the largest and most successful companies of all time had he not got this under control.Ford addressed the challenge head on in 1914, with a number of strategies including reducing the work day from 9hrs to 8hrs, (which also allowed him to increased the number of daily shifts from two to three), and doubling the rate of pay for the average worker. From around $2.50 to $5 / day. This decision was known as the $5 day decision and whilst industry figures including competitors called it ludicrous, and suggested it would see the end of Ford and the Ford Motor Company, it proved to be a stroke of genius.Within a year, this strategy had made significant improvements. Turnover of staff reduced to just 16%. Productivity was up 40 - 70% and the number of workers hired that year was only 2000 (down by over 50,000 on the year before). Not only that, the media attention he gained by doubling the wage meant he now had significantly more people applying for roles at Ford Motor Company, and he was able to pick the brightest and the best - much again to his competitors dislike.By the way, his profits were up significantly too.Some people say this decision was made as a way to improve sales of his vehicles, by paying enough that his workers could afford to buy one, but thats simply not true. He did it to fix his workforce challenge.Henry Ford himself said “introducing the $5 day was one of the best cost cutting decisions I ever made”.Do you know your scores for absenteeism, staff turn over or even moral. They are not as hard to measure and calculate as you might think. And if you think your “just about industry average”, I can assure you that you can make great improvements to your workforce, your productivity and of course your profitability by moving your numbers from “average” to “best in Industry”.

The World According to Shane - You can’t grow a business if you are constantly playing catch up with the team. Even the great Henry Ford found this to be true. What can you do to create a $5 day moment in your workforce and maybe, just maybe, become the next Henry Ford





Follow me at:
twitter: shane-ridley

LinkedIn: Shane Ridley (Toowoomba, Au)
Web: www.shaneridley.com
Ph: +61 (7) 4659 9300 

Source and Credit:
This story, including the facts come from Verne Harnish’s new book The Greatest Business Decisions of all time, which outlines 18 great business decisions, including Apple returning Steve Jobs as CEO and Boeing's bet on the 707. The book is available for purchase online at Amazon.com. and I highly recommend it.
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Here’s an interesting question. Where it the real value in your business? You might be surprised by the answer.In 1975, 83% of the value of all the companies on the S&P 500, was made up of “Tangible” or “hard” assets. You know the ones; plant and equipment, buildings and land. The rest (just 17%) was put down to “good will” or that hard to measure stuff - the “11 secret herbs and spices” or that hard to define reason people were prepared to buy Dove soap, over the other brands. Today we call that the “Intangible” or “soft” asset.By 2009 the value of the tangible assets held by all the businesses in the S&P 500 had reduced to only 19% of the combined, total values of these companies.  The rest, or 81% was made up of the intangible. Not plant and equipment but processes, systems, secret recipes. patents, technology and other “magical stuff”. 

Look at Apple Inc for example the worlds biggest company. Most of their manufacturing is now done offshore. No big factories filled with plant on their balance sheets. The value is in the intangible. In their ability to launch the next iPad, or whatever.




Companies have of recent times been buying other companies to access these patents and technology and to increase their stock of “Intangible assets”. Recent examples include the likes of Google buying loss making, and market share loosing Motorola for $12.5b - mostly to access their technology, patents and designs.

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The World According to Shane: How bad is our economy really? Australia v Spain

Monday, 29 October 2012

How bad is our economy really? Australia v Spain So we’re moaning and groaning about how bad we have it here in Australia at the moment, and all thinking a change in government might fix it, but spare a thought for the people of Spain.

According to Wikipedia, we’re roughly the same size economy at about $1.5 trillion. They’re bigger than us, with a population a bit over double our size at 47 million.

This week, unemployment in Spain hit 25%. Thats one in four people able and looking to work, without a job.

In Australia, unemployment is at just over 5%, or about one in 20.

Spanish Youth Unemployment (16 - 24 year olds), it now above 50%. In Australia, our official number is closer to 12%. Even in remote regions where youth unemployment is notoriously high, we are still under 50%

The labour force in Australia is about 12.5 million people or 55% of the population.

In Spain its about 23 million, or 50% of the population, which means not only is their unemployment rate much higher, their participation rate is also lower. This means even more people without jobs (though those people are not looking for work either).

One in every 10 households in Spain, now has no one working. Can you even think of 10 households in your network with NO ONE working?

Spain needs the economy to grow by more than 1.5% just to create new jobs, but the current outlook with spending cuts, tax hikes and austerity measures - a contraction of 0.5%. That most likely means even more jobs to go. And there’s not sign it will be any better in 2013/14

Again by contrast, treasury forecast are for the Australian economy to grow in the next 12 months, which even with some small increases to productivity, should see our employment rate stay level, or reduce slightly.

And by the way - worried your house price hasn’t increased in the past year or two. In Spain, they’re still waiting for the market to bottom out. That is, for property prices to “stop falling”.

I am openly critical of Wayne Swan and the Labour Government. I even question if Treasurer Swans “economic stimulus’ had the impact on the economy he so regularly suggests it did. But the one thing that I do agree with him on, is that we are doing remarkably better that most of our peers. Especially Spain.

                                           Australia                       Spain
Economy                           $1.486 trillion (2011)      $1.479 trillion (2011)
Population                         22+ million                     47+ million
Labour Force                    12.05 million (55%)        23.1 million (50%)
Unemployment                 5.3%                               25%
Youth Unemployment      11.7%                             51.1%                         


The World According to Shane - perhaps its not so bad here after all. Stop complaining and get on with continuing to make Australia the best country in the world to live and work. If you still want to complain - perhaps you should consider moving somewhere warm - like Spain. Good luck with the job hunting.

Connect with me - I love to chat!
Check out my other blogs at www.shaneridley.com.au

Follow me on LinkedIn at shane-ridley

Follow me on Twitter at shane_ridley

Call me on 07 4659 9300
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A few months back, I embarked on a journey of asking every entrepreneur I could contact what was the difference between an entrepreneur and a business owner? You know what I mean. There are business owners who’s businesses are 10, 20 or 100 times bigger than an entrepreneurs, but they still are just business owners, not entrepreneurs.

There is something special about the Entrepreneur, and whilst I knew what it was in my heart, I couldn’t find a way to say it out loud.

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IT Industry - YOU HAVE IT WRONG - Software plus Service does not mean what you think it means.

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Media Release - For Immediate Release

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The number one thing I am hearing from clients lately regarding their training and in particular their safety training is “Its currently in review”. That in itself is a good thing right, we should continually be reviewing our training and ensuring we’re delivering the most appropriate and up to date information to our staff and visitors.

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Dear Mr Newman,
 
I’m sorry, but you have it wrong.
 
I get that the budget is in trouble, the state has too much debt and that Queensland is holding too many government employees. I understand that we need to “rightsize” the public service and that people need to be put off. I even applaud you for making the brave decision to make the cuts.
 
As a tax payer, I even agree that these are all the right decisions to make. 
 
The wrong decision is not in WHAT you are doing, but WHO you are removing.
 
I am not talking about back office staff, admin and support or even executive staff. It makes sense that those areas are trimmed. It makes sense to protect the “front line” workers. What I am concerned about, is the removal of the contract and casual workforce first.
 
I am concerned that the people you are keeping, the long term, permanent employees, may not be the best people to reinvent the public service, to find the efficiencies, and to do things differently to take the state forward. 
 
In short, what I am saying is you are cutting the wrong people.
 
I understand that not renewing contracts is easy. And that by definition, you can terminate the employment of casuals at anytime. I even get that redundancies are expensive and the impact to the budget would be significant. My concern is that you are making adjustments to our public service, based on the employment contract type, rather than performance.
 
By reducing the numbers, but maintaining the wrong people, you are not doing any favours to the budget, to the employees left in the public sector or to the people of Queensland in the medium to long term.
 
A much better approach would be to determine what Skills, Experience and Attitudes you want in the “new public service” and to outline the type of Culture we need to create it. 
 
Once determined, a set of tangible, quantitate and qualitative description and requirements can be applied, and each and every employee in the states workforce could be assessed against the new requirements.
 
All staff could then scored and ranked, highest to lowest, and the bottom 20% (or whatever the required number) could be removed. This way, we are keeping the keepers, and removing the people who are unlikely to be successful in the long run anyway.
 
Given the reduced workforce size, we’re going to require a different skill set (and mind set) to realise the additional productivity and to meet the new expectations.
 
 
With a leaner, meaner public service, it is more important than ever that we have the right people as part of the mix. The productive ones. The ones that are open to change. The ones that will engage with your new direction, take ownership and help to drive the state forwarded.
 
I know that this approach will take time, real commitment and will require actual hard decisions being made, but it is the best and most appropriate way to rightsize a workforce.
 
My Newman, its not too late. Stop this nonsense of firing people based on employment type and demand your ministers and department heads start making decisions on performance and whats best for the employees themselves, and of course the people of Queensland.
 
Regards
 
 
Shane Ridley
Managing Director
OGroup Mgmt
inc OStaff | OTrain | TempTradies | Park Consulting Group | CPE Rural
 
Phone |      07 4659 9300
LinkedIn |  Shane Ridley
Twitter |     shane_ridley
 
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Dear Mr Newman,

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There's an interesting thought I've been having centred around the following statement:

People don't leave jobs, they leave managers.

With all the noise at the moment about a skills shortage, labour shortage and people shortage, and everyone experiencing the mining, resource and energy sector getting all the good workers, my though was are we focusing on the right areas to make a difference here?

We've been involved with a lot of employers and industry groups over the past few months, as well as a few NGO's and other enterprises that have been set up to address these issues. What surprises me is that everyone is looking at more recruitment, more advertising, more training and more money.

Obviously this is probably whats required at a sector level, but I don't think its the full answer, particularly when you get down your business level. I struggle to believe there are "that many more people" out there to fill the jobs, regardless of how much we invest in recruitment and training (not without reviewing our immigration policy anyway).

The fact of the matter is people generally don't leave jobs, they leave people. Its about the experience of the job, not the money or training that will drive their likely ongoing employment and certainly their engagement. More engaged people are less likely to leave, regardless of how much money is on offer by another competitor.

This is not just my view, but a direct finding by the Gallup organisation after 100's of focus groups and 1000's of interviews with employee across a range of sectors.

So if this is the case, my hypothesis is this:

We could fix the skills shortage (in our business at least), by becoming better leaders of people.

I believe 10 of the 12 questions in Gallops Employee Engagement survey are directly influenced by an employees direct manager, regardless of sector, role, skill level and budget constraints.

So if this is true, its leadership and engagement that will overcome (our businesses) skills shortage, not recruitment and training.

We are spending a fortune (or several fortunes perhaps) on training people with hard skills like trades qualifications, and yet I see almost nothing being spent upstream on the supervisory and management team to make them better leaders. Sure some companies are, but by and large the most are not.

Add to this the fact that in a lot of cases the people left to manage the team are the people who have been there the longest, not necessarily the most experienced or qualified and you have all the makings of a disengaged workforce.

Add to this the significant resources being spent by your competition (either for business or talent) telling your employees how much better off they would be working from them and you have all the makings of a labour shortage in your own environment.

Personally I believe in an abundance mentality. Whilst the energy sector boom is going to require however many people it requires, your business in only going to require a minuscule percentage of that. Even if you are growing at a rapid rate. So forget the press and focus on your team.

There are more than enough suitably skilled people available to fill all your roles. They're just already working for your competition. You just need to create an environment that promotes engagement. And thats done through genuine leadership.

Becoming an employer of choice is an over used cliche these days. Nearly every employer I meet with tells me they are and yet hardly any have a grasp of what it really means. (One manager recently spent 15 mins telling me how great his company was and how they were an EoC, then 20 mins later asked me to find him a new job???)

If your too busy fighting off crocodiles to drain the swamp, it might just be time to review your situation and see what you are doing to create an engaged workforce, (Tip: Its not about how much you pay). Gallups questions are a great place to start.

The World According to Shane: Becoming a "leader of choice" is the new frontier. Master leadership and you'll fix any skills shortage, maybe not in the entire sector, but certainly in your enterprise - and thats all that really counts right.

Shane Ridley

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This morning I was lucky enough to be invited on a private ride morning with my local bike shop. As a hack mountain bike rider I’m in the market for a new ride and Sandy from iRide in Toowoomba offered to let me and some mates trial a range of new bikes prior to my purchase.

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I attended a workshop today that was promoted on the basis of “Managing Staff during Difficult Times”. In Toowoomba (where I live) we've had a few challenges recently, most notably was the flooding in January and on top of the GFC, its having some serious impact on the local business community.

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I came across this note today, that I received from a friend of mine, Jack Daly, a Sales and Culture Coach from the US exactly 3 years ago this week. Its an extract from an interview with Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE in 2007 about people. There were 3 quick points about people that resonated then I included them in our monthly newsletter), and still resonate today, so I thought I would share.

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Have you ever stopped to notice how infrequently people use your name to address you; or how your ears prick, when someone does?

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Ryan Myler

Director/ Financial Planner

Optimas Financial Planning

Shane has provided me with invaluable advice, being that I am in start up phase with my business. His knowledge of business in general, along with his strong understanding of the current trend toward social media and it's influence, have provided me with insights on how to grow my company. I would strongly recommend Shane in a business mentoring role due to his depth knowledge and broad experience, along with his superior story telling ability to make the complex simple.


June 25, 2012

Indiana Forrest-Bisley

Business Development Manager Australian Exhibitions & Conferences

Shane exhibited with us at the 2012 Safety in Action trade show - Melbourne. I found him to be extremely professional and furthermore his pre employment training services were a hit at the show. We will see Shane return to the safety show Perth (August 7-9). If you're in need of ANY type of pre employment training
I would strongly reccommend OTrain to anyone within HR."


June 29, 2012