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The ‘Integral’ Funk Jazz Band

By Ron Cacioppe, Managing Director, Integral Development I had never been to the Jazz Festival in York. I had seen advertisements about it for years, it looked interesting but I never had been there. It was one of those things I had always been tempted to do but had not gotten around to. After I told Karen of my desire to go there, we booked five months in advance and waited patiently but eagerly for the weekend. The image I had of the Jazz weekend didn’t match the reality. I thought it would be like New Orleans with hundreds of jazz bands in lots of cafes, restaurants, and in the streets. And thousands of people everywhere, but it turned out to be twelve jazz bands (not counting the fifteen enthusiastic, pimple faced, dangling shirts, high school jazz bands that played in the Town hall over two days) and only a hundred or so people. Karen and I walked about on this sunny Saturday afternoon feeling slightly disappointed with the quality of the town hospitality and the lack of good jazz. Until we saw and heard…THEM! On first sight, the Funk Band looked like a bedraggled group of four twenty-something year old kids who worked as waiters in cafes in Leederville and somehow managed to talk someone into letting them play in the Jazz festival on their day off. The first person I noticed was Jimie. Out front, safari desert type shorts and a trumpet in his hand. An Australian version … Continue reading

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Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

by Tony Schwartz author of The Energy Project and Be Excellent at Anything What do these words have in common? “Savor,” “relish,” ” “luxuriate,” “stroll,” “muse,” “dawdle,” “mosey,” “meander,” and “linger?” We rarely use them, because we rarely do them. We don’t have time. We’ve got so much to do, so many balls to juggle, so many miles to go before we sleep. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I posted the blog “The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time” two weeks ago. It prompted a passionate outpouring of comments from people feeling overwhelmed by the relentless demands in their lives, and the sense that there’s no way out. We’re all wired up, but we’re melting down. We’re dancing as fast as we can. Stroll? Mosey? Linger? That’s what slackers do. I’m not suggesting this is a new phenomenon. “More, bigger, faster” has been the rallying cry of capitalism for more than two centuries, since the advent of the industrial revolution. I first wrote about this subject 25 years ago in an article for Vanity Fair titled “Acceleration Syndrome: How Life Got Much, Much Too Fast.” Even then it was before anyone had cell phones or an email address, and before Google, Facebook, texting, and tweeting existed. But the acceleration has accelerated — crazily so. The speed of our digital devices now sets our pace and increasingly runs our lives. Any doubt? See if you can turn off your email for a day, or even for … Continue reading

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The Truth About Training And Professional Development

In today’s economic climate, resources are being stretched or shuffled with the aim to do more with less. So why spend limited dollars on training when that money could go elsewhere?   The development of human capital (people) is globally heralded as fundamental to individual, organisational, and societal sustainability and progress. Yet, the continuous and professional development of leaders, managers, directors, employees, and volunteers is repetitively admonished for its absence, particularly in sectors like Not-for-Profits (NFP). Despite the need for an informed conversation, there is a profound absence of systematic information on the state of professional development in Australian organisations: how they develop their people, the consequences of their efforts, and what might be holding them back.   A recent study by the Centre for Social Impact looked into the return on investment of training in the NFP sector and uncovered some surprising numbers.   Interestingly, the NFP sector is the fastest growing part of the Australian economy with 600,000 NFP organisations in Australia (57,000 of which are economically significant) employing over 1 million people/9% of the workforce (generating $55 billion towards GDP) with assistance from 5 million volunteers who contribute an additional $15 billion in unpaid work.   The study revealed that professional development of NFP employees makes them more effective in their roles and furthermore, that development activities addressing governance, strategic leadership and impact evaluation had systematic, positive effects on those trained. All key areas relevant to most business or organisation, regardless of sector. Of the employees trained,  69% indicated … Continue reading

Sport. Unrecognizable runner on the starting -- selective focus, toned and stylized

True Grit is Vital For Talent to Flourish

Many people think that if you are smart and have enough talent, you will succeed in fields such as sports, music, education and business.  When we think of great people in history such as Mozart, Edison, Confucius, and Shakespeare we hear about their talent and intelligence. But true genius is being shown to be as much a product of grit as intelligence or skill.  A study of genius (By Dr Angela L. Duckworth and Christopher Peterson) in twenty-one fields, including astronomy, music, mathematics, Eastern and Western philosophy, painting and literature showed that only two or three giants stand way ahead in each of these fields, a few top performers outdistance the rest by a huge amount.  For example, in the publication of scientific papers, a very few people publish many papers but the majority of scientists publish none or only one.  In golf, only three golfers have won sixty or more PGA tournaments (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods). Greatness and high achievement are reserved for only a few. And it is their grittiness as well as their intelligence and skill that resulted to their success. The equation that predicts success is; Skill X Effort = Achievement.  Martin Seligman, a well know academic and psychologist, in his recent book, ‘Flourish’, points to a a great deal of research that shows achievement can be understood and predicted by the following four factors. SPEED; Seligman calls this ‘Fast’ and it is the sheer speed of your thought about a task.  This … Continue reading

Comfort Zone/ Challenge Sign Concept

Corporate Tenacity – Being Bold

by Mark Armitage What separates one company’s success or failure from another? Human capital, Intellectual property, Market capital, Innovation, Corporate culture, Luck? Performance of organisations is impacted by many factors both internal and external, however a common thread of today of most successful companies is their self belief, an unwavering sense of purpose, their drive to keep moving forward overcoming whatever obstacles get in the way. But even more that this, they appear delighted by the challenge; it spurs them on as if energizing their very being.  When the market is flat or in decline, they see opportunity, knowing that their competitors will be down sizing, battening down the hatches, they choose another path. Today most successful companies possess the common attributes of tenacity and boldness. Collective tenaciousness shouldn’t be confused with mere stubbornness for it is much more than their capacity to hang on in difficult circumstances. When combined with boldness, tenacity takes on another dimension allowing the organisation to surge forward against the odds. How bold is your organisation? Does the uncertainty of the market paralyse your creativity, limiting your critical thinking? Are your goals more closely linked to minimising risk rather than maximising your true potential? Virgin Airlines boldly entered the Australian domestic aviation market despite the failure of Ansett, which was placed into administration in 2001 after suffering financial collapse; Initially focused on delivering the cheapest flights possible to gain market share, Virgin soon established themselves, making flying both fun and cheap. Virgin has grown revenue … Continue reading

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