Category Archives: LMA news

Win a COMPLIMENTARY Ticket to the Women World Changers event – Competition Drawn

Leadership Management Australia is proud to partner with The Growth Faculty in bringing, Women World Changers, THE PLATFORM for critical debate on leadership, diversity, talent and economics.

As a partner of the Women World Changers event, LMA is giving away a free ticket to each of these exciting and engaging events in Melbourne and Sydney.

We are proud to announce our FREE ticket winners:

Melbourne 9 October 2017

Valda Parks, Learning and Organisational Development Manager, Anglicare SA

Sydney 11 October 2017

April Symko, Organisational Development Manager, Virbac

Think Perform Assists Australian Manufacturer In Increasing International Competitiveness Through Lean Management

The viability of Australia’s manufacturing sector is going to depend on finding ways to increase productivity, international competitiveness and eliminate waste.

Manufacturing accounts for 6.8% of the economy and employs more than three times as many people as the mining sector. Government policy and media commentary has tended to focus on bailouts for large manufacturers, rather than reform initiatives aimed at improving operational efficiency.

One company driving change in this sector and producing positive results is Think Perform. Think Perform is part of the Thrive Alliance group of companies and a certified provider of Lean, Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence training. Unlike most other RTOs, which simply deliver off-the-shelf training courses, Think Perform immerses itself within a business, identifies inefficiencies and then develops and implements a program to increase productivity.

For family-owned WA-based swimming pool manufacturer, Aquatic Leisure Technologies (ALT), Think Perform underpinned a wholesale transformation of its operations. ALT is one of Australia’s largest manufacturers of fiberglass pools and had been producing them in much the same way for the last forty years since the business started. With increasing competition from manufacturers in Asia and other countries, as well as concrete pool makers, ALT knew it needed to change and change quickly. ALT had even considered shifting manufacturing offshore to remain competitive, but as a family owned business it wanted to keep producing pools in Western Australia.

The company was familiar with so-called “Lean” management, which is perhaps best associated with Toyota’s production system. Lean management is about delivering quality goods and services at the best possible prices as quickly and efficiently as possible by eliminating waste, smoothing out production issues and empowering workers.

ALT built its new factory with Lean principles in mind and partnered with Think Perform to drive change at every level of the business. When ALT came together with Think Perform it had already started on its Lean journey with the launch of ‘The ALT Way – Business Excellence Initiative.’ ALT had already been exporting pools for more than 30 years, but the transformation program established the foundations for ALT for further expansion in overseas markets.

Importantly, reform at ALT would not have been possible without the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) and the role it played in convincing State and Federal Governments of the need to continue supporting these types of industry transformation programs. With on-going Government support for initiatives aimed at driving operational efficiency, both CCIWA and ALT believe Australia’s manufacturing industry can prosper and once again be internationally competitive.

It has been unfortunate for the entire training industry, as well as the beneficiaries of these programs, that a few unscrupulous operators have tarnished the reputation of the sector.  However, in line with results being displayed from clients such as ALT, there are providers such as Think Perform who are delivering quality outcomes. Countries such as South Korea and Japan have demonstrated that even in a high labour cost environment, they can establish a competitive advantage in manufacturing through increased efficiency and productivity.

Click here to download a free Lean Management ebook or click here to contact Think Perform and discover how Lean Management and Continuous Improvement Training can be of benefit to your staff and business.

Win a Free Ticket to See Verne Harnish in Australia

This competition is now closed. The winners are:

Ian Hazzard – NSW Public Works Advisory (Sydney)
Alison Kelly – Shine Lawyers (Brisbane)
Tony Gibbs – New Zealand Data Limited (Auckland)

10 reasons why a bad boss may be good for your career

Leader competency results “disturbing”

Leadership skills research reveals widespread mediocracy

Nearly half of middle and frontline managers and supervisors rate their leadership skills as average or below average, according to “disturbing” findings from Leadership Management Australia.

Analysis of more than 3,000 responses to LMA’s online DIY competency test found executives had the highest average competency rating (3.7 out of 5), followed by middle managers (3.6), employees (3.6) and frontline managers and supervisors (3.4).

Overall, a quarter of the respondents rated their skills as average, and 16 per cent as below average, on the five key competencies listed for their management level.

DIY Table

A “disturbing result” is that 35 per cent of executives, 40 per cent of middle managers, 47 per cent of frontline managers and 42 per cent of employees rate their leadership skills as average or below average, LMA says.

LMA executive director of strategy and growth Andrew Henderson adds that little has changed in four years of analysis, and he describes the results as “a call for help”.

“By revealing a shortfall in their own leadership and management competencies, the workforce says it wants to excel, but isn’t allowed. Equipping people with the skills they need will lift performance and productivity for the organisation, and the economy in general.”

Courtesy of HR Daily

Walking the Talk

All managers can and should model the attitudes, behaviours and performance levels that they want their people to emulate and achieve. In other words to become truly inspirational leaders they must set the standards and ‘walk the talk.’

Early in 2016 the management team at Leadership Management Australia (LMA) and the sister company Think Perform made the commitment to participate in The Performance Edge course as a team. Given that most of the participants had previously completed one or more LMA courses , the facilitation approach was tailored to the participants’ needs and varied considerably from the typical course.

The program focused heavily on personal organisation, time management, interaction, collaboration and teamwork within and across departments and the management team as a whole.

A strong emphasis on goal-setting and progressive realisation resulted in some excellent outcomes and a much more cohesive group. On Monday 30 May, the team graduated from The Performance Edge and celebrated their results to date, which included the achievement of a number of win-win goals, along with improvements in productivity, communication, and team performance.


Achieving a Performance Edge

In 2015, the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) Awards recognised three outstanding performers in the industry with the Future Leaders Award. As part of the acknowledgement for their hard work and talent, joint winners Samantha Lowry, Senior Procurement Advisor, Department of Education & Training and Danielle Brennan, Category Specialist, Stanwell Corporation were awarded with an opportunity to partake in Leadership Management Australia’s ‘The Performance Edge’ course. Joining them on the personal development journey was High Commendation Future Leader recipient Nathan Barrett, National Health and Safety Manager for Young Guns Container Crew.

With their own set of goals, expectations and aspirations, all three industry leaders entered ‘The Performance Edge’ as upcoming leaders, but all left with a greater sense of their own potential and actions for the future.

For High Commendation winner Nathan Barrett, the opportunities ‘The Performance Edge’ could offer were numerous, ‘I wanted to challenge myself to become a formal leader within my business and to further challenge ourselves as a Health & Safety team to lead the way in all aspects of our business,’ Nathan explains.

Nathan’s dedication to rise to a challenge has taken him into ‘The Performance Edge’ course, a program traditionally only awarded to Future Leaders winners, and on to achieve more than even he had thought possible.

‘I didn’t really know what to expect, I entered the course with an open mind as to the opportunities that would be afforded,’ Nathan says.

‘I was very poor at documenting goals and pulling them apart into individual steps, coordinating them in sequence and then executing them. ‘The Performance Edge’ has allowed me to see the value in documenting goals, breaking them down into manageable tasks and then completing them.

This has allowed me to organise myself and see progression with my team, rather than simply waiting for the outcome and then discussing whether we hit or missed the target,’ Nathan says.

Similarly for Danielle, the course allowed her to take stock of the way she achieved tasks, and how she could improve her processes to achieve even more.

‘Prior to commencing ‘The Performance Edge’ course I had heard from professional associates that it was beneficial on a time management front. I had expected to improve my time management, but not as much or as far as Leadership Management Australia made possible,’ Danielle explains.

‘Admittedly, prior to ‘The Performance Edge’ I was not a good goal setter. I achieved a lot, but I had never sat down and thought about my long term goals and how I would achieve them.

I am now achieving the big, audacious tasks, by breaking them down and using the goal setting framework Leadership Management Australia teaches,’ Danielle says.

Not one to sit on the sidelines, decision maker and go-getter Samantha also found new focus through the course, ‘I was practiced in goal setting, however setting focus goals each week improved my current practices,’ she says.

With her recent completion of a Diploma of Government (Procurement and Contracting) and career aspirations of becoming a chief procurement officer, Samantha is well on her way, ‘I am focused on balancing all areas of my life now,’ she says. ‘In the next 12 months I hope to see myself and my team become more productive, and to expand my procurement experience beyond the ICT category.’

As ‘The Performance Edge’ covers a wide array of material, each of the participants finished the development journey with a different stand-out takeaway lesson.

‘Prior to this course I would set a task list each day,’ Danielle says. ‘Each day I would receive ‘more important’ tasks from others, and acceptance of these tasks would disrupt my day plan. Since undertaking ‘The Performance Edge’ course, I now know what my High Payoff Activities are. The course has also assisted with my mindset towards goals, and how the power of positive affirmation can assist with goals being achieved,’ she says.

Always aiming for the next step forward, Samantha is determined to continue applying the time management skills learnt throughout the course, ‘I valued gaining more knowledge into how to manage my time better, and learning how to say no when I need to,’ she says.

For Nathan, the lessons learnt during the course carry over into his team as well, ‘I’ve already seen an increase in quality of work from all of my team members. My biggest takeaway from the course was that previously I expected my team to perform to my expectations, without giving them the full knowledge of ‘why’ they were being asked to do what they were doing…now I try to ensure that my team is fully aware of business goals, expectations and direction so that they have an overall picture of what needs to be done to achieve the required outcome,’ he says.

With the skills and knowledge gained from ‘The Performance Edge’ now a part of these Future Leaders personal and professional toolkit, the future looks bright and sure to be filled with more achievements and milestones to come.

Why aren't you setting goals? | LMA

Lead by purpose, not position or power

Satisfaction with the standard of leadership in organisations is declining and may be affecting productivity growth. Reasons for the declines, and how to develop a leadership style that can reverse them, were outlined at a recent seminar conducted by Leadership Management Australia (LMA).

A significant reason for the adverse trends may be that more is expected from leaders than ever before.

The seminar quoted the following statistics:

  • The level of “bureaucracy” issues in organisations, and their complexity generally, have increased considerably – some estimates say by seven times over the past 50 years.
  • Communication overload – some estimates say a tenfold increase over 50 years. It is now estimated a manager spends about one day per week managing communications and two days per week in meetings, etc – leaving only about two days to actually do his/her job.
  • The number of KPIs used to measure managers’ performance has also expanded considerably.

In this context, a halving of the rate of productivity increases over the past decade is easier to understand.

Gap between leaders’ and employees’ view of leaders’ performance

LMA regularly conducts a survey of management practices called the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey. Like other similar surveys, it has found leaders tend to rate their own performance more highly than their employees rate it.

Statistics from the latest LEAD survey include:

  • Overall, the ratio of people satisfied with leaders’ performance to those dissatisfied is about 2:1, but employees gave lower ratings than managers and leaders themselves.
  • While about 50 per cent of leaders said they entrusted employees with responsibility and provided them with interesting and challenging work – two of the most influential factors on improving performance – less than 10 per cent of their employees agreed with them.
  • While about 80 per cent of leaders claimed they gave employees sincere praise, only 14 per cent of employees agreed.
  • There was a similar gap between the perceived importance of good leadership to organisation performance, and their performance at developing good leaders.

When asked to nominate reasons why leadership failed, more than two-thirds nominated poor interpersonal skills (ie the ability to interact with and influence others) as a major reason, versus 45 per cent for personal skills and only 15 per cent for technical/business/knowledge skills.

The increased complexity of leadership roles as discussed above, plus constant pressures to “get it done now” by relying on established procedures and compliance requirements, appears to be a major contributing factor.

Gaps in learning and development

Randy Slechta, CEO of Leadership Management International, said that while the benefits of investment in training, learning and development are not questioned, there is evidence the investment is often misdirected.

One disturbing statistic is that the level of senior management satisfaction with leadership development in their organisations has fallen steadily from 53 per cent in 2003 to only 19 per cent in 2014 – although one of the reasons appears to be that the issue now receives greater scrutiny than it used to.

The survey also found that most (85%) funding goes to the learning experience itself – delivery of training and development – with only 10 per cent going to pre-work and goal setting, and a mere 5 per cent to follow-up, feedback and on-the-job application. Slechta recommended allocating 50 per cent to follow-up, feedback and application, and about 25 per cent each to the other two.

Only about 30 per cent of what is learned from training and development is actually used on the job.

Stages of learning and development

Slechta said that leaders will be at one of the following four stages of performance, and training and development should aim to take them to the fourth stage:

  1. Unconscious incompetence – the starting point, which requires assessment and education.
  2. Conscious incompetence – they know or learn what is required but are not yet able to do it well. Training and opportunities to practise learning are required, but Slechta said many organisations do not progress beyond this stage. He added it is also the stage that MBAs will take students to and no further.
  3. Conscious competence – they can do the job by following procedures, etc. To progress from here, they need constructive feedback and opportunities to apply learning on the job. Evaluation of training and development makes a difference here – most organisations measure knowledge acquired and reactions to training/development, but too few also measure actual behaviour changes and impact on results/return on investment.
  4. Unconscious competence – mastery of the job. The missing link here is the importance of being able to influence other people that is fundamental to leadership. It involves influencing their values and emotions and being able to energise them, and this is where the overlooked and underrated interpersonal skills become critical. Training and development focuses too much on the “outside” factors such as knowledge and technical skills.

Slechta suggested this is why Australian engagement surveys typically report that only about 25 per cent of employees are actively engaged at work and the majority (about 60 per cent) are only passively engaged.

Leadership by purpose the desired model

About 97 per cent of leadership models in organisations are “transactional”, based on position and/or power. The big challenge for learning and development is to move them to the model of “leadership by purpose”, currently practised by only about 3 per cent.

Leadership by position is based on command and control principles, using fear and consequences to enforce conformity.

Leadership by power is the most common model. It relies heavily on monetary rewards, incentives and sanctions. This has several drawbacks:

  • Motivation is contingent on receiving a reward, so not intrinsic
  • There is competition for rewards instead of collaboration
  • Rewards only reinforce current traditional behaviour (described as “wheelspin”)
  • It fosters a culture of compliance
  • As rewards increase, employees tend to lose interest and become more extrinsically motivated
  • As interest wanes, various forms of aberrant behaviour may emerge, such as resistance to new ideas, fear, defiance, withdrawal, rorting the system and disrespect.

Leadership by purpose requires work to have meaning to employees, who are intrinsically motivated.

Various studies have found that intrinsic motivation results in major gains in engagement, innovation and work performance generally for both leaders and their employees. Features of the workplace include high self-motivation, trust, responsibility and accountability.

However, it can take a lot of time and effort to build relationships. Leaders under time, cost and results pressures find it easier to default to one of the other two styles – again, the “get it done now” edict. Therefore, a supportive organisation culture that encourages and supports people to take ownership of what they do is crucial to reaching the “leadership by purpose” (or transformational leadership) model.

Originally published on

International thought leader Joseph Grenny to speak at The Growth Summit ’16

Leadership Management Australia and The Growth Faculty are excited to announce that multiple New York Time best-selling author and international thought leader Joseph Grenny will be joining the Growth Summit in 2016.

For thirty years Joseph Grenny has delivered dynamic and engaging keynotes at major conferences around the world. A highly sought-after social scientist, commentator and author, Joseph has inspired leaders and organisations to achieve previously unimagined new levels of peak performance. Cited in hundreds of newspapers around the world and having appeared on numerous radio and television programs, Joseph’s expert opinion carries enormous weight in the international business community. With his specific focus on human behaviour, Joseph’s insights are invaluable to any organisation that values its people and the way they interact with one another, their work and their industry each day.

An outstanding protégé of Albert Bandura, the world’s greatest living psychologist, Joseph’s life-long research into human interaction provides a model for how to turn leaders into influencers, and how to ensure the change they enact is long-lasting, meaningful and profitable.

Having shared the stage with other speaking greats such as Jack Welch, Colin Powell and this year’s Summit powerhouse Jim Collins, Joseph is an exhilarating addition to an already powerful program for next year’s Summit.

The one-day program will address the current challenges many leaders and entrepreneurs face and will provide you with the relevant tools and strategies to compete in this dynamic and constantly shifting environment. Joseph’s expert voice will conclude the day’s program with an in-depth analysis on how influencers can generate lasting and effective organisational change.

For a limited time you can take advantage of discounted ticket prices to secure your seat at this life-changing event. Book before Friday 18 December to secure your discounted ticket and give yourself the opportunity to learn from international recognised speakers and leaders.

Read about how previous attendees to the Growth Summit have benefited from the wisdom imparted at the event.

“Speakers were fantastic. So much content to think about and try to implement. If I only implement 5% of what I have heard it’s very worthwhile.” Renee Hutchinson, One Harvest

Click here to book tickets – discount ends Friday 18 December.

LMA is growing in New Zealand

Leadership Management Australasia has been established since 1972, offering leading people development throughout Australia and New Zealand. Earlier this year,  Steve Gill joined LMA as a Licensee based out of Auckland. He joins us following  a successful 30-year career in the food manufacturing and restaurant industries.

Steve-GillAs a leader and manager of significant projects with large revenue streams, Steve has been responsible for directing outstanding sales and market delivery, effectively promoting change and development in the industry with recognised communication skills, and influencing decision makers and key stakeholders to the benefit of his team and organisation.

Steve began his career with Griffin Food Ltd on the ground floor. With dedication, perseverance and skill, Steve achieved a steady stream of promotions to become Sales Director for the organisation. Steve’s management style placed emphasis on managing and leading team members to create cost effective structures to execute key strategies and deliver budgeted results. Steve’s interest in food took him to the restaurant sector where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of an efficiently running business.

Throughout the past 35 years of living and breathing organisations and people, Steve has contributed toward the success of each organisation he has been affiliated with. To continue his passion for professional and personal development, Steve is dedicating himself to creating exceptional results through people with his Leadership Management Australasia License.

“I derive a lot of enjoyment from being a resource to those who are in need of personal, professional, educational and business performance support. I have dealt with a wide range of business owners, senior executives and business functions. I enjoy helping others and empowering leaders and teams to complete projects while using my skill of relationship management to listen, engage and connect with all.”

Supply Chain & Logistics Awards – 2015 Future Leaders Winners

During this year’s Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) Awards, the Future Leaders Award was presented to two outstanding industry future leaders, Samantha Lowry, Senior Procurement Advisor, Department of Education & Training and Danielle Brennan, Category Specialist, Stanwell Corporation. LMA is proud to be a key sponsor of the Awards and support the development of leaders in the industry.

For Samantha Lowry, her move from being a solicitor to developing her career in procurement was one that saw her step into her potential in a whole new way.

SCLAA-Award-Winners-2015_007“I learned that I don’t enjoy giving advice from the side lines and that I’d much rather be making and informing decisions,” Samantha explains. “When I rotated through the graduate program to the procurement branch, I really began to find my passion, and that is leveraging my legal experience to negotiate the best possible outcomes, both financially and otherwise.”

With her recent completion of a Diploma of Government (Procurement and Contracting) with career aspirations of becoming a chief procurement officer, Samantha’s future in the Supply Chain industry looks bright. Her current projects see her establishing a Software-as-a-Service Community of Practice to connect key personnel in providing consistent advice and assistance to help schools to balance the benefits of new and accessible technologies alongside the privacy and duty or care concerns of their students.

Samantha shares her Future Leaders Award win with peer Danielle Brennan. Danielle’s skills in the procurement industry have developed through a series of strategic roles at Queensland Health and Transport & Main Roads. A self-starter and innovator, Danielle has utilised her skills to drive the ICT procurement and engineering services of Stanwell. With an ability to break-down barriers and create new opportunities, Danielle has been awarded for her continuous drive, passion and enthusiasm for her work. Already an effective leader in her own right, Danielle notes that “Leaders must ensure that any value created should contribute to the business, its needs and direction.”

SCLAA-Award-Winners-2015_006Both young women in a career path traditionally dominated by their male counterparts, Samantha and Danielle are aware of the underlying need for diversity in their roles and in their industry. “All industries benefit from diversity,” Samantha notes. The SCLAA actively promotes women in the supply chain industry – in 2015, for the first time, half of the State or Division Presidents are women.

Along with this significant Future Leaders acknowledgement from the SCLAA, both Samantha and Danielle will be given the opportunity to increase their skill base with access to LMA’s ‘The Performance Edge’ program. Through the program both Samantha and Danielle hope to obtain skills to increase the productivity of themselves and their teams.