1. This is innovation - Launch of the iPhone - 9th January 2007
2. Our farmers need the rain - A prime minister prayer
3. Leaders in Australian ICT - Meeting notes from
4. First class service from a call centre ?
5. First Impressions - Malcolm Turnbull meeting
6. Leadership Matters - Meeting notes of Leaders in IT(cont..)
7. GFC - Leadership in times of crisis... V interesting to look back on this blog now!
8 . Good Communication is a gift - Michael Parkinson and you!
This is Innovation
January 9, 2007
Steve Jobs take a BOW!!!
The unveiling of the iPhone today will revolutionize the world of mobile tech and bring in a new era for a "Digital World"
Here is a man who re-invented apple after taking it over during trouble times. What a long way Apple has come. When Steve Jobs was sacked at the age of 30 from the company he founded along with Steve Wozniac who together in their parents garage build taking the "first" micro computer I was dumb founded. A quick Google search will reveal the goose behind that move.
Whoever initiated the gutsy move to bring Steve Jobs back to Apple buying his company NEXT, must be now a lost man for as Bill Clinton said "Every victory has a thousand fathers", and every board member must be clamoring to claim so! for the record Clinton rightly went on to say "Every defeat is an orphan" and I bet there is not a board member or leader who will admit to supporting Steve's ouster so many years ago..
Apple under Steve Jobs is now in for a ride of a century and all players and operators in the mobile and smart phone market stand up and take note... the digital world will transform!....
........ when a paradigm shifts EVERYTHING goes to ZERO!.
January 9, 2007
If you haven't already seen these videos try to watch the entire presentation of the iPhone in 2007 in the 5 videos under Steve Jobs in the home page!
Our farmers need the rain
Sydney has been praying for rain, and haven't we been showered down in the last few days !!!. I remember it would have been a couple of months ago when John Howard asked people to pray after a visit to the Murray Darling, and from that point onwards we've had more rain than I can remember.
I am delighted more so for our farming friends who have been suffering without rain for months. On a visit in January to a farm in Wellington run by the Brien family, Scott Brien a farmer of many generations was seriously considering his options due to the impact the drought was having on their business. I got to say the rain has brought them much relief and new found optimism... I am keeping my fingers crossed for more rain for our farmers and certainly wont be joining the band wagon of critics knocking Howard for asking people to pray..
Leaders in ICT - Meeting notes!
I had the pleasure of meeting some interesting leaders of Australian ICT, professional services firms in the last couple of weeks. All of whom have done wonders for their respective businesses in the last few years. Neil Wilson, CEO of Oakton has a record that would even make the likes of Warren Buffet blush, (while his company would probably be a bit too small for Berkshire Hathaway at this stage considering their curent pool of money!!) Oakton has grown from revenues of $12 Million in FY00 to around $125+ Million (based on analyst forecast) with market capitalisation growing to nearly $500 Million riding on a buoyant share market in the last 12 months. This is an awesome feat for any organisation, Oakton return on equity(ROE) in the last 6 years have varied between 24.4% to 41.5% which is in stark contrast to the likes of Commander whose share price has plummeted in the last 12 months with market capitalisation of around $332 million on revenues in excess of a billion dollars. In contrat the ROE of Commander in the last few years have hovered in the 9.1% to 13.7% range.
Talking to Neil and listening to his strategy was an absolute breath of fresh air. Neil was very clear on where he wanted to take his company, his growth plans and more importantly even clearer on the areas Oakton would not play in. Being a clear about where you will not play, which are the trade-offs you make are fundamental to good strategy, and many leaders often lose sight of this in their quest for growth and dominance in meeting every aspect of a clients need.
It was also pleasing meeting up with Tom Stianos CEO of SMS Management & Technology (ASX-SMX). Tom again has done an outstanding job leading SMS (since joining the business in 2002) to its currently strong market position. SMS today have a market cap of $372 Million on revenues of around $127 Million (FY06). SMS has widely outperformed the market doing extremely well for its shareholders. SMS ROE's have steadily increased with FY06 at 24%. Tom was extremely humble about his achievement s at SMS and yet you could see clarity in strategy along with a very clear awareness of the target market for his company (another area of ambiguity I am often horrified to find out amongst many in senior leadership positions). I then met two dynamic young software Entrepreneurs, they had resigned from very comfortable high paying jobs to take the plunge in building their business. Tom Peters would be proud of these guys, as TP says "if you got it develop it and sell it, transform from cubical slavery to being a free agent". It was an absolutely refreshing meeting where you could see the passion and will power in their eyes. They had come together in December 06 to set up a business operation where one of the partners will lead the Australian Operations and lead all client facing work with a small team initially, while the other will head back to India to set up and lead software development operations personally ensuring quality control. What a great concept. They have got the foundation of the business absolutely right, focus on customer facing work and personally supervise quality control. They asked for my assistance and I had no hessitation in helpiong any way I can. While the business would operate from two continents the business it self was of two parts, one that would develop software products to meet specific market needs in resolving business problems and the other in consulting to medium sized businesses on, 1) Microsoft Share Point 2007 which there is phenomenal demand for ( with the launch and hype around Microsoft's latest platform Vista, ), 2) Customized Software development along with 3) Business Intelligence, and 4) Work-flow. If anyone is keen to talk to these guys I am more than happy to introduce you to Jay and Praj. You may email me at email@example.com
Dinesh De Silva--June 19, 2007
First class service from a call centre !
Palm Australia's offshore call centre team, gets a HUGE nod of approval from me. The other day I had to call Palm customer service a couple of times with re to my Palm Treo PDA which was giving some trouble. I must say the service I received was not just good but fabulous. Thinking back about the times I have called palm several months before, and the service I have received from Palm it occurred to me that this was no accident but was a feature of Palm customer service on every occasion whether it was a software or usability query. Palm management and staff I take my hat off to you. Congratulations, your offshore team I think in the Philippines are not just trained on the product they are intelligent and have a great customer service ethic.
Especially in these times where we have so much discussion and complaints about service we get from contact centres in Australia and from those offshore. The problem I have always have had with contact centre staff is that they can often only give canned responses and when you have a problem that needs to resolved which is slightly off the script no one can help you. I recently received the brunt of it when working with an Australian online broking firm, whose staff were disappointing and frustrating. I believe the reason for the less than impressive service is due to the lower wages call centre staff receive in this country receive, results in us not attracting the best people. However offshore call centres are able to attract better educated, intelligent talent due to the strength of our dollar in these emerging economies. Having said all this, I went down to Palm's out sourced collection agent Highpoint in Flemington NSW, to pick my my replacement part. I arrived there sharp at 5pm after one hour of travel and being stuck in traffic, only to be rudely told by a fairly big made gentleman of Asian origin that it was 5pm and they close at 5pm. When I said I had travelled for an hour he insisted impolitely that I should have left earlier.. So much for service with a smile. It is not easy is it to ensure every link in your supply and service delivery chain is smooth. This proves.
Dinesh De Silva--March 1, 2007
Malcolm Turnbull our Federal minister for Environment is a very smart man, I had the good fortune of having a good long chat with him at a private function hosted by ex-ACS(Australian Computer Society) president Edward Mandlar. Malcolm is not just smart he is also a very nice guy, he takes the time to talk to and get to know people which is a great trait, unlike many other politicians he doesn't brush you a side after a few courtesies before moving on to the next potential voter. I was also very impressed with his political and commercial astuteness. This country needs people of Malcolm's calibre in both major parties representing and fighting fiercely for our interest
Dinesh De Silva--March 8, 2007
It was a pleasure of meeting up with Chris Nicoli, CEO of the Business Solutions Group, at UXC.
During that meeting I noticed how effective leaders work and make difficult things look easy, which I will get to later in this blog. UXC by the way is one of the top performing mid-cap companies on the ASX.
According to UXC's own description, UXC operates under a federation business model, comprised of autonomous, individually branded Business Units, providing a diversified portfolio of specialised businesses, products and services. Business Units retain their identity, brand and management structures, yet hold accountability for the achievement of financial outcomes, collaboration initiatives and operational performance objectives that are mutually agreed and regularly reviewed.
UXC is one of those very astutely managed businesses whose market capitalisation has nearly tripled in the last 2 years. You can see that astuteness immediately on meeting with Chris, he manages over 1400 people via the different businesses under his purview yet he is completely calm and unrushed. A man who shows great humility and has plenty of time to talk about UXC's various businesses, their goals and the competition.
As aluded to a little earlier, while I was talking to Chris I did happen to notice how he immediately squeezed in the time to meet an employee (within the same day) who was grappling with an issue.
It is often that you hear how senior management fail this timeliness test in sorting out issues while they are only small. Such meetings are made if not days, several weeks out by lesser leaders, when its often too late. I know of a case recently in another ICT business, when a similar meeting was made two weeks out to the great frustration of a valuable resource and then it was postponed, only find this person resigning to join the competition who welcomed the opportunity with glee. A delayed reaction and much greater effort and more money thrown to reverse the employee decision proved too little too late. How often do we here of such stories
Leadership Matters doesn't it? A stitch in time saves not nine but a million and nine. People like Chris Nicoli are a minority of leaders who clearly seem to achieve those big results whilst doing those little things right.
Dinesh De Silva--June 21, 2007
Leadership in times of crisis...
(The blog below was written during the heart of the
Global Financial Crisis in Feb 2009
when governments and corporations a
round the world were in a state of panic and Australia was doling out money as there was no tomorrow! )
There is fear everywhere. In the absence of leadership there is often little hope. In the absence of fact there is only emotion, and we all know how negative sentiment drive markets down, meaning driving down the value and viability of listed vehicles which in return impact employment, related businesses and the economy.
I am of the firm opinion a lot of the negative sentiment we have seen could have been easily avoided through courageous leadership and clarity of direction even in tough times like these.
Often doling out money is not the answer, certainly doling out money alone is not the answer as it's vital to draw a line in the sand and provide the country with clarity and factual evidence how we actually compare with other nations and even our past.
Our economic fundamentals of today, 3 years ago, 10 years ago and those of other economies such as the US, UK Germany should be displayed for everyone to see, the good and the bad.
I can assure you our numbers will certainly prove the argument I am making here, that our economy is in fact a lot stronger and a lot more resilient and in fact that we can be optimistic, we can stop pressing the panic button and we can play a part in saving and creating jobs.
These are times where leaders can call to their people, to improve productivity in the work place, create efficiencies good times find hard to create, make major cultural change only times like this will allow. We need to be relentless in our hope and our pursuits, and we will as a nation ride through this and if we are smart will come through a whole lot stronger.
There is opportunity even in times like this. Major opportunity. It's leadership that will be the key.
Dinesh De Silva--February 20, 2009
Communication is a Gift
Good communication is a gift. There is no better exponent of the mastery of communication than Michael Parkinson. It's however a gift that can be learnt and continually improved. The ability to learn the arts of Listening, thinking & speaking can help you socially, at home with your family and most certainly professionally. Most of us can speak well, but to articulate our thoughts and opinions in the best possible way enables your audience to listen to you and take notice of not just what you said but also of you. It builds respect, enhances your ability as a leader and most importantly makes you a good listener a thinker. Priceless virtues. I learnt and improved most of these qualities when I joined the Toastmasters Organisation, a not for profit International Organisation that dedicates it self to helping its members to learn the important arts of listening , thinking and speaking… So don’t leave this page and take no action, if you think the gift of communication can help you with your career or personal life to be more fulfilling, Google the closest Toastmasters club to your home or workplace and give them a call. You will not be disappointed with your decision. Parkinson no doubt started with taking a similar small step, yet a giant stride in building the assets of your future.